yeṣāḿ tv anta-gataḿ pāpaḿ

janānāḿ puṇya-karmaṇām

te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā

bhajante māḿ dṛḍha-vratāḥ

(BG 7.28)


yeṣām — whose; tu — but; anta-gatam — completely eradicated; pāpam — sin; janānām — of the persons; puṇya — pious; karmaṇām — whose previous activities; te — they; dvandva — of duality; moha — delusion; nirmuktāḥ — free from; bhajante — engage in devotional service; mām — to Me; dṛḍha-vratāḥ — with determination.


Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the dualities of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.



Those eligible for elevation to the transcendental position are mentioned in this verse. For those who are sinful, atheistic, foolish and deceitful, it is very difficult to transcend the duality of desire and hate. Only those who have passed their lives in practicing the regulative principles of religion, who have acted piously and who have conquered sinful reactions can accept devotional service and gradually rise to the pure knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then, gradually, they can meditate in trance on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the process of being situated on the spiritual platform. This elevation is possible in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the association of pure devotees, for in the association of great devotees one can be delivered from delusion.

It is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.2) that if one actually wants to be liberated he must render service to the devotees (mahat-sevāḿ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ); but one who associates with materialistic people is on the path leading to the darkest region of existence (tamo-dvāraḿ yoṣitāḿ sańgi-sańgam). All the devotees of the Lord traverse this earth just to recover the conditioned souls from their delusion. The impersonalists do not know that forgetting their constitutional position as subordinate to the Supreme Lord is the greatest violation of God’s law. Unless one is reinstated in his own constitutional position, it is not possible to understand the Supreme Personality or to be fully engaged in His transcendental loving service with determination.

In this beautiful verse from the seventh chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is reveling to us how rare and precious the opportunity is to be engaged in the process of Bhakti, the loving service.

bahunam janmanam ante, jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti, sa mahatma su-durlabhah

[BG 7.19]

Krishna says that after many births and deaths, by following the various practices of Yoga and religion, when one ultimately comes to the path of bhava, Prema, he surrenders to Vasudeva, who is cause of all causes. There is a beautiful verse which we have recited,

vancha kalpa tarubhyas’ ca krpa sindhubhya eva ca

Devotees are the oceans of mercy

It means that the great devotees of the Lord, they are so kind and merciful. But by just receiving their blessings, of a true sadhu, a true devotee, one can acquire the characteristics that a normally takes many thousands of births to achieve.

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva

guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

The living entity is wandering through the various species of life, through various universes. But one who is most fortunate, he meets a pure sadhu. And that devotee plants a seed of Bhakti or devotion in his heart. This is called kripa or mercy. When we speak of mercy, we must understand that it is when we receive something that we really do not deserve. If you go to a store, and you want some food, and he tells you, “this will cost you 20 rupees!” and you give him 20 rupees and he gives you some food. Do you call that mercy? But if you honestly have nothing to give him, and you are starving and he gives you out of the charity of his heart, for nothing, which is mercy!

krpa sindhubhya eva ca

The devotees of the Lord, they are oceans of mercy because they are giving us something that we do not deserve. To chant the holy name of the Lord, to have this opportunity, or to engage in the service of the Lord, there is something that ordinarily, you have to act piously and practice religious principles thousands of births. The great devotees, they are oceans of mercy because as unqualified we are, they are giving us Harinaam and they are giving us Bhagavan seva. Now, the question of how fortunate we are is whether we are going to receive this mercy. We can only receive it properly if we have some idea of its unlimited value.


Krishna is self sufficient but still accepts our service

There is a beautiful story about a great devotee of the Lord. He was living in Vrindavan dham. In Vrindavan, close to the river Jamuna, there is a holy place called, Dwadasa Adithya Tila. At the time Lord Krishna, after Krishna danced upon the hoods of Kaliya, He was feeling very cold. So He went on top of this living mountain near Jamuna. And the twelve sons of Aditi appeared as sons to give warmth to His body. And then He became very warm. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was not like us to get cold. Anyone who thinks they are God is crazy. God is the controller of entire universe. When we have to go the bathroom, we are completely controlled by that need. Little cold and we are sick. We can’t even control our sneezing. And we think we are the controller of the universe. Hari Bol!

Jiver Swarup hoi Krishner Nitya Das

We are eternally the servants of God. So, Krishna, why does He feel cold? Because He wants to give the opportunity to His devotees to keep Him warm. Why does Krishna become hungry in the house of mother Yashoda? Just to give Yashodamai the opportunity to serve His as a mother, give Him the milk. So, Krishna is self sufficient. But for the sake of extracting the love from the hearts of His devotees, sometimes He appears as He is in need.


About Srila Sanatan Goswami

So, on these mountains there lived a great devotee. This was about five thousand years back. He was one of the confidential associates of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And his name was Srila Sanatan Goswami. At the time, he was living under a tree. He had no home. He would sleep, in fact, under different trees every night. And he would go out, not every day, but every few days, and he would beg for one or two rotis from the village people. And as far his clothes, he would take one piece of torn cloth that used to be found on the side of a road. He would never accept anything new, only garbage clothes. Although previous to his coming to Vrindavan, he was the prime minister of the whole state of Bengal. He had beautiful palaces, wonderful gardens, thousands and thousands of servants. But he left that behind because he understood the value of living a simple life in Vrindavan dham and serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.



Mahamantra: The Most Valuable Gem

So there was once a very greedy man. And he was told that Sanatan Goswami had been given a very mystical stone called the touchstone, Parasmani. This Parasmani had the characteristic that anything it touches becomes pure gold. Anyone who has this Parasmani can become as rich as he wants to be. And you know in this world, money means power. So whoever has this Parasmani becomes very influential and powerful and leader amongst men. So that greedy man decided that by hook or crook, I’ll going to get this Parasmani from the Sadhu. So he went to Sanatan Goswamiji and he said, “I heard you have this Parasmani.” Sanatan Goswami said, “Yes, I have.” “It’s very valuable thing”, this man said. Sanatan didn’t consider this valuable. He said, “I want it, give it to me.” Sanatan Goswami said, “You can have it. It’s over there in the garbage where hogs are eating garbage. Many of you have been to Vrindavan. You know that hogs like to eat garbage, very dirty places. So, he started going, he started pushing the hogs away. And he started shuffling through all the garbage. And there he found Parasmani. You may wonder why all garbage didn’t turn into gold? It’s a secret! After he went through all the garbage, he found the Parasmani. And sure enough, whatever he touched it with that thing became gold. You may also wonder when he picked it up, why he didn’t turn into gold, because this Parasmani is a mystical stone. And there was certain mantra to chant to make it act. So he took this Parasmani and he was very happy. And sure enough everything he was touching with this was turning to pure solid gold. And he started becoming very wealthy and influential. He gained great power. All of his desires were fulfilled except there was no peace or happiness. There is no amount of wealth or no amount of power that can bring happiness. So this man began to think that anything I want I have as far as material possessions. And I’m still not happy. I thought I’ll be happy. There must be something better than this Parasmani. And Sanatan must have it. Otherwise why would he keep this Parasmani in the garbage dump with hogs? He must have something better and I must get that. Haribol!

So he went back to Vrindavan. And he said, “Sanatan Goswamiji, this Parasmani has value. You are keeping it in garbage, never even used it. You must have something more valuable than this. Give me what you have.” Sanatan Goswamiji said, “Yes! I have something so many millions of times more valuable than this insignificant Parasmani.” (The man said) “I want it.” Sanatan Goswamiji said, “I’ll give it. First you take the Parasmani and throw it in the river Jamuna.” The man was thinking, “if I throw this in the river Jamuna it’s gone forever.” He threw it in the river Jamuna. And he bowed down at Sanatan Goswami’s lotus feet and he said, “Now, I have given up the best thing I ever had in my whole life. Now you kindly give me the best thing you have.” Sanatan Goswamiji said, “Yes! I’ll now give you the most precious thing in all of the creation. This is the supreme wealth and will give you the ultimate happiness. You sit down and listen carefully. Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare because this Mahamantra is type of Parasmani that turns the heart into gold. It awakens one’s vision of natural Prema, the love of God. It gives the experience of ecstasy that every living being is longing for birth after birth.”


Story of Appearance of Srila Sukadeva Goswami

So we should understand that there is nothing more precious than the association of such devotees who are giving us the greatest wealth of Krishnanam. In the Srimad Bhagavatam there is a story of the birth of Srila Sukadeva Goswami. Sukadeva Goswami was born as the son of that great incarnation of Lord Vishnu names Vedvyas. He was within the womb of his mother. He was already a liberated soul. He had achieved the state of Mukti. In that conscious state of Mukti, he was in such an ecstasy of liberation, freedom that he had absolutely not the slightest inclination for any material sense enjoyment. There was nothing in the world that attracted him. Therefore he was thinking, “Comfortably situated in the womb of my mother, I’ll remain until I die.” He remained within the womb of his mother for sixteen years and refused to come out. His mother was obviously feeling discomfort and his father; he wanted to see his son. But as far he was concerned; this world is so full of entanglements and so full of bondage that if I leave this womb, I may be attracted to something of the world and lose my Brahman Mukti liberation.

At that time Vedvyas began to narrate the beautiful pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna and chant His Holy name. When Sukadeva Goswami heard that, he realized that the sweetness, the pleasure and the ecstasy of hearing Krishna’s names and pastimes is millions and billions and trillions of times more wonderful than Mukti. So he came out of the womb just to hear about Krishna.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare

There is a verse in the Bhagavatam that explains that even the liberated souls who are self satisfied, they all aspire to hear the beautiful glories of Sri Krishna. So we can understand from these simple stories the value in the work of association with devotees and hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Krishna. And yet what types of unfortunate people are in this world. We here are ourselves. But we have so many worldly responsibilities and priorities that we just don’t have time to come in the association of such Sadhus and hear and chant the glories of the Lord.


Human Life is meant for self realization through enquiry

Dhruv maharaj, he went to the forest because he wanted to achieve the kingdom greater than his grandfather Lord Bramha. And Vishnu ultimately appeared to by the grace of Narada and said, “Now I will fulfill your desire, I will give you your kingdom.” Dhruva maharaj replied that after seeing you I require nothing else. I was looking for the broken pieces of cheap glass and I have achieved the rarest diamond of your darshan. Thus we find in society today that the rare diamond of Krishna katha is available to everyone but people are too busy in collecting the broken pieces of glass to come and see this value. Among those are mudhas that people are like asses, like donkeys. They are so busy caring the burden of all their worldly responsibilities on their back that not only they take the real wealth, the real gift of sadhu satsang and hari kirtan. Athato Bramhjigyasa: human life is only meant for this purpose.

The objects of the senses, all the pleasures of our family life, all the pleasures of our social life, they are all available for dogs and hogs that eat stool. There is no value to understand. Human life is not meant to imitate the dogs and hogs. Human life is meant for self realization. Human life is meant to leave the repetition of birth and death. Human life is meant to enter into the eternal Lila of Radha and Krishna. And to achieve that goal, we must perform sacrifices. And according to all the shastras, the only purpose of this human existence is to perform that sacrifice. And what is this sacrifice?

nitya-siddha krishna-prema sadhya kabhu naya

shravan-adi shuddha-citte karaye udaya

To associate with saintly people and have their company, hear the glories of the Lord and chant the Holy names,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare

Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur: Example of a perfect Grihastha Devotee

Bhakti Vinoda Thakur was such a great devotee. He was a grihastha. He was a magistrate in the bureau system when India was under the British rule. And there was no one more responsible in the social government duties that he did. He also had a wife named Bhagwati. And two of them had ten children. For every morning, he would rise early, he would take his bath and with his mala, he would chant the holy names,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare

And he would read Srimad Bhagavatam and he would associate with great sadhus and he would serve them with great humility and devotion. And then he would go and perform his work. And he would come back home and he would take the money that he earned and use it by distributing Prasad, by giving the charity the holy name, by assisting great sadhus in their work. In this way he understood that he was working for money and all this money was being used to provide a beautiful spiritual atmosphere for his family. Each one of his children became great saints and even the greatest babajis and sadhus would come and touch his feet, and great sanyasis would come to hear him, discuss Srimad Bhagavatam. In this way he showed that even one in family life can be perfect if they just direct all of their energy towards the service of the Lord. And he wrote a very beautiful song.

grihe thako, vane thako, sada ‘hari’ bole’ dako,

sukhe duhkhe bhulo na’ko, vadane hari-nam koro re

gay gora madhur sware

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

Whether you are a grihastha with family, children or whether you are a sanyasi living in a forest, theirs is no difference. Understand the real wealth of life is the holy name of the Lord. Sincerely chant that name and you will be liberated from all the happiness and distress of this world. And you will achieve the real wealth and transcendental consciousness, Krishna Consciousness. Whether we are young or old, whatever our status may be in the society, we have only one purpose in this world: to receive the causeless mercy of the great saints, to serve them and chant the holy names. Thank you very much.


Any questions?

Question: you said in the beginning that when you get rid of your sinful tendencies and engage yourself in the service of the Lord, then you realize God. But how should we get rid of your sinful tendencies?

Second you said when Krishna comes, He does not get affected by sun or cold, He does not need food, He does it for the sake of His Bhaktas. I think another point of view is that when God comes in His own form; He has to behave exactly as a human being whenever we go and approach Him. So He has to bring thirst and hunger.

Answer by HH RNSM: We become free from sinful activities by associating with sincere devotees of the Lord and by hearing from them, and by following their instructions. There are two primary instructions. Yama and Niyama, what we must accept and what we must reject. We must reject the four pillars of sinful activities, illicit sex, any type of intoxication, eating of meat, fish or egg, and gambling. We must give these things up completely. And we must accept the regular association of devotees and we must chant the holy names. If we make these the foundation of our life and build our life upon that then gradually we will become purified. And through the process of purification, the desire of sinful activities is eradicated from our heart. Just by restraining our senses from sin, we may act piously but still, long for sinful activities remains. But the name of God is like fire, it burns all the wills of sinful desire from our heart. And also by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord this purification takes place.

om apavitra pavitro va

sarvavastham gato ‘pi va

yah smaret pundarikaksham

sa bahyabhyantara suchih

One who remembers Krishna becomes purified within his heart.

With regard to your second question, why does Krishna appear in this world?

Paritranaya Sadhunam Paritranaya sadhunam vinashaya cha dushkritam

Dharma sansthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge (BG 4:8)

Krishna comes to attract our hearts

He comes to annihilate the miscreants, protect the devotees and to reestablish the principles of religion. He does not take birth in this world as we do being forced by our previous deeds. He comes only to cast His mercy on to us. He comes to attract our hearts back to Him. God does not have to come to this world to annihilate the demons. He can do that through His various energies. Hiranyakashyipu was a great demon. Did Narasimhadev have to come and tear His heart? Krishna says I’m in the heart of every living being, Krishna is in the heart of Hiranyakashyipu. All He has to do is take His Sudarshan chakra and cut his heart. He does not have to appear as Narasimhadev. Through material nature He could create a disaster that can kill anybody. There is no reason for Krishna to come personally to kill demons. He could anything through the material nature. And, as far as reestablishing the principles of religion, He can power His devotees to do the same thing. Why does God appear as Narasimhadev, Varahdev or Krishna or Ram?

The real reason is because He wants to attract the hearts of all sincere souls back to His Lotus feet. So Krishna appears in an apparently human form. He only comes to attract the hearts of all living beings and even more than that He would share His love with his devotees. So whatever Krishna does is for that purpose. He is not hungry for food; He is hungry for your love. And if you give Him your love, He will be satisfied. But we have to give our love through some external expression. Mother Yashoda loved Him like a mother, showed her love by giving Him her milk. When Krishna would steal butter from the Gopis, He had no need to steal. His own house, Nanda Maharaja had plenty of butter. But He wanted to give all the Gopis the chance to offer their love in the form of their butter. Krishna was not stealing butter, He was stealing hearts. And if your heart becomes very soft like butter, He will steal your heart. You see, in order to make butter you have to churn cream. And I will tell you the secret churning process to turn your heart into sweet butter. Every day you should go,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare

In this way, you are churning your heart by chanting Harinam.

Hari Bol!

So when we do this churning process every day, it makes our heart sweet, soft like butter and then Krishna will come and will steal your heart. Krishna is hungry to taste the butter of the heart.


Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.