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ŚB 11.6.47

Devanagari

वातवसना य ऋषयः श्रमणा ऊर्ध्रमन्थिनः
ब्रह्माख्यं धाम ते यान्ति शान्ताः सन्न्यासीनोऽमलाः ॥ ११.६.४७ ॥

Text

vāta-vasanā ya ṛṣayaḥ
śramaṇā ūrdhra-manthinaḥ
brahmākhyaṁ dhāma te yānti
śāntāḥ sannyāsino ’malāḥ

Synonyms

vāta-vasanāḥ — dressed by the air (naked); ye — those who are; ṛṣayaḥ — sages; śramaṇāḥ — strict observers of spiritual practices; ūrdhva-manthinaḥ — who have conserved their semen to the point that it has risen up to their heads; brahma-ākhyam — known as Brahman; dhāma — the (impersonal) spiritual abode; te — they; yānti — to go; śāntāḥ — peaceful; sannyāsinaḥ — members of the renounced order of life; amalāḥ — sinless.

Translation

Naked sages who seriously endeavor in spiritual practice, who have raised their semen upward, who are peaceful and sinless members of the renounced order, attain the spiritual abode called Brahman.

Purport

In Chapter Twelve of Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, kleśo ’dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām: those who are attached to the impersonal feature of the Personality of Godhead must endure grueling penances in order to achieve impersonal liberation in the realm of Brahman. Also it is stated in the Bhāgavatam, āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ/ patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. Kṛcchreṇa: with great struggle and trouble the yogīs climb their way up into the impersonal effulgence called brahmajyoti, but again they slip out of the jyoti and fall back into the material world because they do not take shelter of the Personality of Godhead.

Envious fools object to the “paternalism” of the Personality of Godhead, but these fools cannot take credit for the creation of their own body, brain or energy, nor can they claim credit for the air, rain, vegetables, fruits, sun, moon, and so on. In other words, they are totally dependent on the mercy of God at every second, and yet they arrogantly state that they do not want to accept the shelter of the Lord, because they are self-sufficient. In fact, some bewildered living entities even think that they themselves are God, although they cannot explain why “God” has to struggle and toil to achieve meager success in the yoga system. Therefore Uddhava is pointing out that, unlike the impersonalists and meditators, the pure devotees very easily cross over the illusory energy because they are totally attached to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is always transcendental, and if one is firmly attached to the Lord’s lotus feet, then he is also transcendental. The causeless mercy of Kṛṣṇa is more valuable than millions and billions of years of one’s own struggling and straining. One should try to get the Lord’s mercy, and then everything will become very easy on the path of spiritual realization. In this age one can achieve the mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa by constantly chanting His holy name, as recommended in the śāstra:

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

(Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa)

If one constantly chants Lord Kṛṣṇa’s holy names, avoiding offenses against the names, then surely one will achieve the same result as Uddhava. Uddhava was not interested in so-called Brahman realization, but rather he wanted to go on drinking the maddening nectar of the beautiful smiling of the Lord’s moonlike face.