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CC Antya 4.173

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 173

aprākṛta-deha tomāra ‘prākṛta’ kabhu naya
tathāpi tomāra tāte prākṛta-buddhi haya


aprākṛta—transcendental; deha—body; tomāra—your; prākṛta—material; kabhu naya—is never; tathāpi—still; tomāra—your; tāte—in that; prākṛta-buddhi—conception as material; haya—is.


“Actually your body is transcendental, never material. You are thinking of it, however, in terms of a material conception.


Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura gives his opinion about how a person completely engaged in the service of the Lord transforms his body from material to transcendental. He says, “A pure devotee engaged in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa has no desire for his personal sense gratification, and thus he never accepts anything for that purpose. He desires only the happiness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and because of his ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa, he acts in various ways. Karmīs think that the material body is an instrument for material enjoyment, and that is why they work extremely hard. A devotee, however, has no such desires. A devotee always engages wholeheartedly in the service of the Lord, forgetting about bodily conceptions and bodily activities. The body of a karmī is called material because the karmī, being too absorbed in material activities, is always eager to enjoy material facilities, but the body of a devotee who tries his best to work very hard for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa by fully engaging in the Lord’s service must be accepted as transcendental. Whereas karmīs are interested only in the personal satisfaction of their senses, devotees work for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore one who cannot distinguish between devotion and ordinary karma may mistakenly consider the body of a pure devotee material. One who knows does not commit such a mistake. Nondevotees who consider devotional activities and ordinary material activities to be on the same level are offenders to the chanting of the transcendental holy name of the Lord. A pure devotee knows that a devotee’s body, being always transcendental, is just suitable for rendering service to the Lord.

“A devotee on the topmost platform of devotional service always humbly thinks that he is not rendering any devotional service. He thinks that he is poor in devotional service and that his body is material. On the other hand, those known as the sahajiyās foolishly think that their material bodies are transcendental. Because of this, they are always bereft of the association of pure devotees, and thus they cannot behave like Vaiṣṇavas. Observing the defects of the sahajiyās, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung as follows in his book Kalyāṇa-kalpataru:

āmi ta’ vaiṣṇava, e-buddhi ha-ile,
amānī nā haba āmi
pratiṣṭhāśā āsi’, hṛdaya dūṣibe,
ha-iba niraya-gāmī
nije śreṣṭha jāni’, ucchiṣṭādi-dāne,
habe abhimāna bhāra
tāi śiṣya tava, thākiyā sarvadā,
nā la-iba pūjā kāra

“‘If I think I am a Vaiṣṇava, I shall look forward to receiving respect from others. And if the desire for fame and reputation pollutes my heart, certainly I shall go to hell. By giving others the remnants of my food, I shall consider myself superior and shall be burdened with the weight of false pride. Therefore, always remaining your surrendered disciple, I shall not accept worship from anyone else.’ Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has written (Antya-līlā 20.28):

premera svabhāva—yāhāṅ premera sambandha
sei māne,—‘kṛṣṇe mora nāhi prema-gandha’

“‘Wherever there is a relationship of love of Godhead, the natural symptoms are that the devotee does not think himself a devotee, but always thinks that he has not even a drop of love for Kṛṣṇa.’”