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SB 7.9.11

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


naivātmanaḥ prabhur ayaṁ nija-lābha-pūrṇo
mānaṁ janād aviduṣaḥ karuṇo vṛṇīte
yad yaj jano bhagavate vidadhīta mānaṁ
tac cātmane prati-mukhasya yathā mukha-śrīḥ


na — nor; eva — certainly; ātmanaḥ — for His personal benefit; prabhuḥ — Lord; ayam — this; nija-lābha-pūrṇaḥ — is always satisfied in Himself (He does not need to be satisfied by the service of others); mānam — respect; janāt — from a person; aviduṣaḥ — who does not know that the aim of life is to please the Supreme Lord; karuṇaḥ — (the Supreme Personality of Godhead), who is so kind to this foolish, ignorant person; vṛṇīte — accepts; yat yat — whatever; janaḥ — a person; bhagavate — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vidadhīta — may offer; mānam — worship; tat — that; ca — indeed; ātmane — for his own benefit; prati-mukhasya — of the reflection of the face in the mirror; yathā — just as; mukha-śrīḥ — the decoration of the face.


The Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always fully satisfied in Himself. Therefore when something is offered to Him, the offering, by the Lord's mercy, is for the benefit of the devotee, for the Lord does not need service from anyone. To give an example, if one's face is decorated, the reflection of one's face in a mirror is also seen to be decorated.


In bhakti-yoga it is recommended that a devotee follow nine principles; śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam/ arcanam. vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam (SB 7.5.23). This service of glorifying the Lord by hearing, chanting and so on is not, of course, meant for the benefit of the Lord; this devotional service is recommended for the benefit of the devotee. The Lord is always glorious, whether the devotee glorifies Him or not, but if the devotee engages in glorifying the Lord, the devotee himself automatically becomes glorious. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12). By glorifying the Lord constantly, the living entity becomes purified in the core of his heart, and thus he can understand that he does not belong to the material world but is a spirit soul whose actual activity is to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that he may become free from the material clutches. Thus the blazing fire of material existence is immediately extinguished (bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam). A foolish person is amazed that Kṛṣṇa orders, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) "Abandon all varieties of religious activities and just surrender unto Me." Some foolish scholars even say that this is too much to demand. But this demand is not for the benefit of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rather, it is for the benefit of human society. If human beings individually and collectively surrender everything to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all of human society will benefit. One who does not dedicate everything to the Supreme Lord is described in this verse as aviduṣa, a rascal. In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.15), the Lord Himself speaks in the same way:

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvamāśritāḥ

"Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me." Because of ignorance and misfortune, the atheists and the narādhamas, the lowest of men, do not surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore although the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, is full in Himself, He appears in different yugas to demand the surrender of the conditioned souls so that they will benefit by becoming free from the material clutches. In conclusion, the more we engage in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and render service unto the Lord, the more we benefit. Kṛṣṇa does not need service from any of us.

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