CC Madhya 6.92
śuni’ hāsi’ sārvabhauma balila vacana
“A person influenced by the external energy is called bahirmukha jana, a mundane person, because despite his perception, he cannot understand the real substance.” Hearing Gopīnātha Ācārya say this, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya smiled and began to speak as follows.
When one’s heart is not cleansed, one cannot awaken the transcendental nature of devotional service. As Lord Kṛṣṇa confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.28):
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the dualities of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.”
When one is actually engaged in pure devotional service, it is understood that he has already attained freedom from all reactions to sinful activities. In other words, it is to be understood that devotees are already freed from sin. A sinful person, a miscreant (duṣkṛtī), cannot engage in devotional service. Nor can one engage in devotional service simply on the basis of scholarly speculation. One has to wait for the mercy of the Lord in order to render pure devotional service.