kecit - some people; kevalayÄ bhaktyÄ - by executing unalloyed devotional service; vÄsudeva - to Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a, the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead; parÄyaá¹Äá¸¥ - completely attached (only to such service, without dependence on austerity, penance, cultivation of knowledge or pious activities); agham - all kinds of sinful reactions; dhunvanti - destroy; kÄrtsnyena - completely (with no possibility that sinful desires will revive); nÄ«hÄram - fog; iva - like; bhÄskaraá¸¥ - the sun.
In the previous verse Åukadeva GosvÄmÄ« gave the example that the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree may be completely burnt to ashes by a fire, although the creepers may sprout again because the root is still in the ground. Similarly, because the root of sinful desire is not destroyed in the heart of a person who is cultivating knowledge but who has no taste for devotional service, there is a possibility that his sinful desires will reappear. As stated in ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam (10.14.4):
Åreyaá¸¥-sá¹tiá¹ bhaktim udasya te vibho
kliÅyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
Speculators who undergo great labor to gain a meticulous understanding of the material world by distinguishing between sinful and pious activities, but who are not situated in devotional service, are prone to material activities. They may fall down and become implicated in fruitive activities. If one becomes attached to devotional service, however, his desires for material enjoyment are automatically vanquished without separate endeavor. Bhaktiá¸¥ pareÅÄnubhavo viraktir anyatra ca: if one is advanced in Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness, material activities, both sinful and pious, automatically become distasteful to him. That is the test of Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness. Both pious and impious activities are actually due to ignorance because a living entity, as an eternal servant of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, has no need to act for his personal sense gratification. Therefore as soon as one is reclaimed to the platform of devotional service, he relinquishes his attachment for pious and impious activities and is interested only in what will satisfy Ká¹á¹£á¹a. This process of bhakti, devotional service to Ká¹á¹£á¹a (vÄsudeva-parÄyaá¹a), relieves one from the reactions of all activities.
Since MahÄrÄja ParÄ«ká¹£it was a great devotee. the answers of his guru, Åukadeva GosvÄmÄ«, concerning karma-kÄá¹á¸a and jÃ±Äna-kÄá¹á¸a could not satisfy him. Therefore Åukadeva GosvÄmÄ«, knowing very well the heart of his disciple, explained the transcendental bliss of devotional service. The word kecit, which is used in this verse, means. âa few people but not all.â Not everyone can become Ká¹á¹£á¹a conscious. As Ká¹á¹£á¹a explains in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ (7.3):
kaÅcid yatati siddhaye
yatatÄm api siddhÄnÄá¹
kaÅcin mÄá¹ vetti tattvataá¸¥
âOut of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.â Practically no one understands Ká¹á¹£á¹a as He is, for Ká¹á¹£á¹a cannot be understood through pious activities or attainment of the most elevated speculative knowledge. Actually the highest knowledge consists of understanding Ká¹á¹£á¹a. Unintelligent men who do not understand Ká¹á¹£á¹a are grossly puffed up, thinking that they are liberated or have themselves become Ká¹á¹£á¹a or NÄrÄyaá¹a. This is ignorance.
To indicate the purity of bhakti, devotional service, ÅrÄ«la RÅ«pa GosvÄmÄ« says in Bhakti-rasÄmá¹ta-sindhu (1.1.11):
ÅÄ«lanaá¹ bhaktir uttamÄ
âOne should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.â ÅrÄ«la RÅ«pa GosvÄmÄ« further explains that bhakti is kleÅaghnÄ« ÅubhadÄ, which means if one takes to devotional service, all kinds of unnecessary labor and material distress cease entirely and one achieves all good fortune. Bhakti is so powerful that it is also said to be moká¹£a-laghutÄká¹t; in other words, it minimizes the importance of liberation.
Nondevotees must undergo material hardships because they are prone to commit sinful fruitive activities. The desire to commit sinful actions continues in their hearts due to ignorance. These sinful actions are divided into three categories â pÄtaka, mahÄ-pÄtaka and atipÄtaka â and also into two divisions; prÄrabdha and aprÄrabdha. PrÄrabdha refers to sinful reactions from which one is suffering at the present, and aprÄrabdha refers to sources of potential suffering. When the seeds (bÄ«ja) of sinful reactions have not yet fructified, the reactions are called aprÄrabdha. These seeds of sinful action are unseen, but they are unlimited, and no one can trace when they were first planted. Because of prÄrabdha, sinful reactions that have already fructified, one is seen to have taken birth in a low family or to be suffering from other miseries.
When one takes to devotional service, however, all phases of sinful life, including prÄrabdha, aprÄrabdha and bÄ«ja, are vanquished. In ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam (11.14.19) Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a tells Uddhava:
karoty edhÄá¹si bhasmasÄt
tathÄ mad-viá¹£ayÄ bhaktir
âMy dear Uddhava, devotional service in relationship with Me is like a blazing fire that can burn to ashes all the fuel of sinful activities supplied to it.â How devotional service vanquishes the reactions of sinful life is explained in ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam (3.33.6) in a verse spoken during Lord Kapiladevaâs instructions to His mother, DevahÅ«ti. DevahÅ«ti said:
yat-prahvaá¹Äd yat-smaraá¹Äd api kvacit
ÅvÄdoÂ âpi sadyaá¸¥ savanÄya kalpate
kutaá¸¥ punas te bhagavan nu darÅanÄt
âMy dear Lord, if even a person born in a family of dog-eaters hears and repeats the chanting of Your glories, offers respects to You and remembers You, he is immediately greater than a brÄhmaá¹a and is therefore eligible to perform sacrifices. Therefore, what is to be said of one who has seen You directly?â
In the Padma PurÄá¹a there is a statement that persons whose hearts are always attached to the devotional service of Lord Viá¹£á¹u are immediately released from all the reactions of sinful life. These reactions generally exist in four phases. Some of them are ready to produce results immediately, some are in the form of seeds, some are unmanifested, and some are current. All such reactions are immediately nullified by devotional service. When devotional service is present in oneâs heart, desires to perform sinful activities have no place there. Sinful life is due to ignorance, which means forgetfulness of oneâs constitutional position as an eternal servant of God, but when one is fully Ká¹á¹£á¹a conscious he realizes that he is Godâs eternal servant.
In this regard, ÅrÄ«la JÄ«va GosvÄmÄ« comments that bhakti may be divided into two divisions: (1) santatÄ, devotional service that continues incessantly with faith and love, and (2) kÄdÄcitkÄ«, devotional service that does not continue incessantly but is sometimes awakened. Incessantly flowing devotional service (santatÄ) may also be divided into two categories: (1) service performed with slight attachment and (2) spontaneous devotional service. Intermittent devotional service (kÄdÄcitkÄ«) may be divided into three categories: (1) rÄgÄbhÄsamayÄ«, devotional service in which one is almost attached, (2) rÄgÄbhÄsa-ÅÅ«nya-svarÅ«pa-bhÅ«tÄ, devotional service in which there is no spontaneous love but one likes the constitutional position of serving, and (3) ÄbhÄsa-rÅ«pÄ, a slight glimpse of devotional service. As for atonement, if one has caught even a slight glimpse of devotional service, all needs to undergo prÄyaÅcitta, atonement, are superseded. Therefore atonement is certainly unnecessary when one has achieved spontaneous love and, above that, attachment with love, which are signs of increasing advancement in kÄdÄcitkÄ«. Even in the stage of ÄbhÄsa-rÅ«pÄ bhakti, all the reactions of sinful life are uprooted and vanquished. ÅrÄ«la JÄ«va GosvÄmÄ« expresses the opinion that the word kÄrtsnyena means that even if one has a desire to commit sinful actions, the roots of that desire are vanquished merely by ÄbhÄsa-rÅ«pÄ bhakti. The example of bhÄskara, the sun, is most appropriate. The ÄbhÄsa feature of bhakti is compared to dawn, and the accumulation of oneâs sinful activities is compared to fog. Since fog does not spread throughout the sky, the sun need do no more than merely manifest its first rays, and the fog immediately disappears. Similarly, if one has even a slight relationship with devotional service, all the fog of his sinful life is immediately vanquished.