स्मृतिर्नाद्यापि विध्वस्ता भवत्सन्दर्शनार्थिन: ॥ २५ ॥
tava dāsasya keśava
smṛtir nādyāpi vidhvastā
O Keśava, as Your servant I was devoted to the brāhmaṇas and generous to them, and I always hankered for Your audience. Therefore even till now I have never forgotten [my past life].
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī comments on this verse as follows: “Since King Nṛga openly declared that he had two outstanding qualities — namely devotion to the brāhmaṇas, and generosity — it is clear that he possessed these qualities only partially, since someone who is truly pure would not boast about them. It is also clear that King Nṛga considered such piety to be a separate goal, desirable for its own sake. Thus he did not fully appreciate pure devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa had not been the only goal of Nṛga’s life, as He was for Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, even in the stage of regulative practice. Nor do we find that King Nṛga overcame obstacles like those Ambarīṣa did when Durvāsā Muni became angry at him. Still, we can conclude that since Nṛga was able to see the Lord for some reason or another, he must have had the good quality of sincerely desiring the Lord’s association.”
Śrīla Prabhupāda confirms the above analysis in Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead: “On the whole, [Nṛga] had not developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Kṛṣṇa conscious person develops love of God, Kṛṣṇa, not love for pious or impious activities; therefore he is not subjected to the results of such action. As stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, a devotee, by the grace of the Lord, does not become subjected to the resultant reactions of fruitive activities.”
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī offers the following commentary: “When Nṛga mentioned ‘one who hankered to have Your audience,’ he was referring to an incident concerning a certain great devotee King Nṛga had once met. This devotee was very eager to acquire a temple for a most beautiful Deity of the Supreme Lord, and he also wanted copies of such scriptures as the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Being very generous, Nṛga arranged for these things, and the devotee was so satisfied that he blessed the King: ‘My dear King, may you have the audience of the Supreme Lord.’ From that time on, Nṛga desired to see the Lord.”