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SB 11.14 Summary

Please note: The summary and following translations were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda

In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa explains that devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the most excellent method of spiritual practice. He also speaks about the process of meditation.

Śrī Uddhava wanted to know which process of spiritual advancement is the best. He also desired to hear about the superexcellence of devotional service free from ulterior motives. The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied to him that the original process of religion revealed in the Vedas had become lost during the time of annihilation. At the beginning of the new creation, therefore, the Supreme Lord spoke it again to Brahmā. Brahmā repeated it to Manu, Manu spoke it to the sages headed by Bhṛgu Muni, and these sages in turn instructed this eternal religion to the demigods and demons. Because of the living entities' multitude of diverse desires, this system of religion was elaborately explained in different ways. Thus different philosophies arose, including various atheistic doctrines. Because the living entity, bewildered by illusion, is incapable of ascertaining his eternal benefit, he mistakenly identifies ordinary vows of penance, austerity, etc., to be the topmost spiritual practice. But the only true means of achieving happiness is to meditate on offering everything to the Supreme Lord. In this way one becomes free from all desires for selfish gratification through enjoyment of mundane sense objects, and he becomes released from all hankering for either enjoyment or liberation.

The Lord then proceeded to describe the superior process of devotional service, which destroys countless sinful reactions and produces many symptoms of spiritual happiness, such as the standing of the hairs on end. Pure devotion, having the power to purify the heart, enables one to achieve the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and because the devotee is very dear to the Lord and is always close to Him, he is able in turn to purify the entire universe. By virtue of his unflinching devotion to the Lord, the devotee can never be completely diverted by the objects of sense enjoyment, even if he is not able to gain control over his senses in the beginning. One desiring to attain the perfection of life is advised to give up all material processes of elevation as well as the association of women. He should then merge his mind constantly in thought of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Finally, the Lord instructed Śrī Uddhava about the true object of meditation.