शनै: पुनन्ति कालेन तदप्यर्हत्तमेक्षया ॥ ५२ ॥
śanaiḥ punanti kālena
tad apy arhattamekṣayā
devāḥ — temple deities; kṣetrāṇi — pilgrimage sites; tīrthāni — and sacred rivers; darśana — by being seen; sparśana — being touched; arcanaiḥ — and being worshiped; śanaiḥ — gradually; punanti — purify; kālena — with time; tat api — the same; arhat-tama — of those (brāhmaṇas) who are most worshipable; īkṣayā — by the glance.
One can gradually become purified by seeing, touching and worshiping temple deities, places of pilgrimage and holy rivers. But one can attain the same result immediately simply by receiving the glance of exalted sages.
Rather than remaining in seclusion and concentrating on their own perfection, Vaiṣṇava brāhmaṇas of the highest order dedicate their lives to sharing the benediction of the Lord’s devotional service. In the words of the sons of King Prācīnabarhi:
bhītasya kiṁ na roceta
“Dear Lord, Your personal associates, Your devotees, wander all over the world to purify even the holy places of pilgrimage. Is not such activity pleasing to those who are actually afraid of material existence?” (Bhāg. 4.30.37) And Prahlāda Mahārāja says:
maunaṁ caranti vijane na parārtha-niṣṭhāḥ
naitān vihāya kṛpaṇān vimumukṣa eko
nānyaṁ tvad asya śaraṇam bhramato ’nupaśye
“My dear Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, I see that there are many saintly persons indeed, but they are interested only in their own deliverance. Not caring for the big cities and towns, they go to the Himālayas or the forest to meditate with vows of silence [mauna-vrata]. They are not interested in delivering others. As for me, however, I do not wish to be liberated alone, leaving aside all these poor fools and rascals. I know that without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, without taking shelter of Your lotus feet, one cannot be happy. Therefore I wish to bring them back to shelter at Your lotus feet.” (Bhāg. 7.9.44)