Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Dandavats to all the devotees of the forum. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
Srila Prabhupada often quotes the last verse of the 5th chapter in the Gita the peace formula for the entire world.
bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.
I heard a very nice realization about this from a devotee named HG Jahnava Nitai das. When Krishna says, "bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ", he rejects the path of karma kanda. Because the followers of the karma kanda have the idea that by performing sacrifices and austerities, they can attain heaven and enjoy. But Krishna says, "No. I'm the enjoyer of all austerities and sacrifices". When He says, "sarva-loka-maheśvaram", He rejects the path of speculative knowledge which is aimed at becoming self-realized but not to attain god-realization. The impersonalists being devoid of their service attitude to the Supreme, try to merge into the Lord and become God themselves. But Krishna says, "No. At any situation, I'm the only Lord of all universe. Nobody can become equal to or greater than Me." When He says, "suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ", He rejects the path of ashtanga yoga which is aimed at gaining mystic powers. Such yogis, impress people with mystic powers and use them to cure diseases and help them advance materially. Thus they act as well-wishers of the common masses. But Krishna says here, "No. You cannot be the real well-wisher for I'm the real well-wisher". So these three categories of people do not understand Krishna to be the beneficiary of all austerities and sacrifices, supreme Lord of all universes, and well-wisher of everyone. Because of this lack of understanding, they do not attain lasting peace.
However, the devotees, accept Krishna to be the beneficiary of all austerities and sacrifices, Supreme Lord of all universes, and well-wisher of everyone. So they attain complete peace. Now we may get a question, "Do not the devotees perform sacrifices? Are they not ruling the worlds? Are they not practicing ashtanga yoga?". The answer is yes. Devotees like Prthu Maharaj, Yudhistira, and Parikshit performed great austerities and sacrifices. Devotees like Priyavrata, Ambarish were ruling the entire world, and devotees like Dhruva, sage Yajnavalkya, and Vashishta performed ashtanga yoga. However, these devotees performed these various acts as an offering to the Lord with the understanding that the Supreme Lord is the goal of all these practices. So performing austerities, cultivation of knowledge and ruling the country, and performing ashtanga yoga, in themselves are not rejected, but if they're not aimed at Lord Vasudeva, then they cannot make the practitioner peaceful, whereas a devotee who may not be doing any of these things attain complete peace just by understanding Krishna as mentioned in the above sloka.
Thank you very much.
Moderator's Note: There is a very interesting verse in CC Madhya lila 19.149 that proves this point nicely. This verse is an instruction given by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Srila Rupa Goswami.
kṛṣṇa-bhakta — niṣkāma, ataeva ‘śānta’
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī — sakali ‘aśānta’
Because a devotee of Lord Krsna is desireless, he is peaceful. Fruitive workers desire material enjoyment, jnanis desire liberation, and yogis desire material opulence; therefore they are all lusty and cannot be peaceful.
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