Chapters 9 – 25 are Work In Progress
What if one does not accept the authority of Srimad-Bhagavatam
This is the conclusion of all the scriptures. If you do not accept the Bhagavatam, you will be troubled by other scriptures. There is no need to quote many different scriptures. One may simply consider what is said in Bhagavad-gita, which is accepted by the adherents of all philosophical systems. In fact, all instructions are present in
“When one has no object of devotion other than Me (Krishna), and his faith is thus exclusively fixed in Me, he remains absorbed in worshiping Me by hearing hari-katha and chanting hari-nama. Such a person has adopted the path of sadhus, and should therefore be considered a sadhu, even if he behaves in opposition to the path of karma due to an abominable and depraved nature.:
The implication is that the system of varnasrama that belongs to karma-kanda is one type of path; the process of knowledge and renunciation that belongs to jnana-kanda is a second type of path; and faith in hari-katha and hari-nama that develops in sat-sanga is a third type of path. Sometimes these three paths are taken together as a single yoga system, identified either as karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, or bhakti-yoga, and sometimes they are practiced as separate systems. The practitioners of these different systems are known as karma-yogis, jnana-yogis, and bhakti-yogis. Amongst all of these, the bhakti-yogis are the best, because bhakti-yoga is endowed with unlimited auspiciousness and is unparalleled in its supremacy. This conclusion is supported in the statement of the Bhagavad-gita (6.47):
“O Arjuna, of all yogis, I consider the topmost yogi to be the one who constantly worships Me with great faith, with his mind deeply absorbed in loving attachment to Me.”
The Bhagavad-gita (9.29-32) further explains:
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.”
“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.”
“He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.”
“O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, merchants and workers—can attain the supreme destination.”
It is essential that one clearly understand the implications of these references. Faithful people who have adopted the path of ananya-bhakti, exclusive devotion, are quickly purified of all faults in their nature and behavior. Dharma surely follows wherever there is bhakti, because Bhagavan is the root of all dharma, and He is easily conquered by bhakti. As soon as Bhagavan is established in the heart, maya, who binds the jivas in illusion, is immediately dissipated. There is no need of any other method of sadhana. Dharma appears as soon as one becomes a bhakta, and makes the bhakta’s heart virtuous.
The moment one’s desires for mundane sense enjoyment have dissipated, peace pervades the heart.
That is why Sri Krishna promises, “My bhakta will never perish.” The karmis and jnanis may fall prey to bad association in the course of practicing their sadhana, because they are independent, but the bhaktas do not fall down, because the influence of Bhagavan’s presence saves them from bad association. The bhakta has the supreme destination in his grasp, whether he takes birth in a sinful family or in the home of a brahmana.