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SB 5.19.22

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


kiṁ duṣkarair naḥ kratubhis tapo-vratair
dānādibhir vā dyujayena phalgunā
na yatra nārāyaṇa-pāda-paṅkaja-
smṛtiḥ pramuṣṭātiśayendriyotsavāt


kim—what is the value; duṣkaraiḥ—very difficult to perform; naḥ—our; kratubhiḥ—with performances of sacrifice; tapaḥ—with austerities; vrataiḥ—vows; dāna-ādibhiḥ—with executing charitable activities and so on; —or; dyujayena—with achieving the heavenly kingdom; phalgunā—which is insignificant; na—no; yatra—where; nārāyaṇa-pāda-paṅkaja—of the lotus feet of Lord Nārāyaṇa; smṛtiḥ—the remembrance; pramuṣṭa—lost; atiśaya—excessive; indriya-utsavāt—due to material sense gratification.


The demigods continue: After performing the very difficult tasks of executing Vedic ritualistic sacrifices, undergoing austerities, observing vows and giving charity, we have achieved this position as inhabitants of the heavenly planets. But what is the value of this achievement? Here we are certainly very engaged in material sense gratification, and therefore we can hardly remember the lotus feet of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Indeed, because of our excessive sense gratification, we have almost forgotten His lotus feet.


The land of Bhārata-varṣa is so exalted that by taking birth there one can not only attain the heavenly planets but also go directly back home, back to Godhead. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.25):

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām

"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me." People in the land of Bhārata-varṣa generally follow the Vedic principles and consequently perform great sacrifices by which they can be elevated to the heavenly planets. However, what is the use of such great attainments? As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.21), kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ viśanti: after the results of one's sacrifices, charity and other pious activities expire, one must return to the lower planetary systems and again feel the pangs of birth and death. However, one who becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious can go back to Kṛṣṇa (yānti-mad-yājino 'pi mām (BG 9.25)). Therefore the demigods even regret having been elevated to the higher planetary systems. The denizens of the heavenly planets regret that they could not take full advantage of being born in the land of Bhārata-varṣa. Instead, they became captivated by a higher standard of sense gratification, and therefore they forgot the lotus feet of Lord Nārāyaṇa at the time of death. The conclusion is that one who has taken birth in the land of Bhārata-varṣa must follow the instructions given personally by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama ([[BG 15.6 (1972)|BG 15.6]]). One should try to return home, back to Godhead, to the Vaikuṇṭha planets—or to the topmost Vaikuṇṭha planet, Goloka Vṛndāvana—to live eternally in full, blissful knowledge in the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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