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SB 1.2 - Knowledge and detachment follows bhakti

By rendering devotional service unto Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world. This is the essence of all scriptures that Kṛṣṇa is the only object of worship, and establishing one’s relationship with Him thru devotional service. According to some bhakti is meant for those who cannot perform high grade activities such as sacrifice, charity, austerity and knowledge. But here that is refuted. Bhakti is the topmost of all transcendental acts, and is simultaneously sublime and easy. It is sublime for the pure devotees who are serious about getting in contact with the Lord, and easy for the neophytes who are on the threshold of the house of bhakti.

To achieve contact with the Supreme Lord is open to all grades of living beings. The other high grade acts such as sacrifice, charity etc are all corollary factors following pure bhakti. By performing bhakti the fruits of other spiritual practices – knowledge and detachment – manifest automatically. The jñāna mentioned here is not the knowledge that leads to impersonal liberation because the knowledge is said to be causeless. Rather it refers to knowledge of the sweetness of the Lord’s attributes. Therefore by practicing bhakti in which knowledge also manifests without the goal of liberation, the liberation of merging does not take place. As every leaf is nourished when we water the root of a tree, so while bhakti gives Kṛṣṇa pleasure, each soul performing bhakti naturally becomes satisfied. This bhakti is endowed with dāsya, sakhya and other loving emotions. When one attains some level of devotion, his hearing about Kṛṣṇa and desire to perform other acts that increase bhakti (like chanting) tend to increase as a matter of course. As soon (āśu) as one hears Bhāgavatam one begins to experience knowledge and detachment.

The whole spiritual process leads to perfect knowledge of everything material and spiritual, and the results of such knowledge are that one becomes detached from material affection and becomes attached to spiritual activities. Detachment from material forms does not mean nullifying the positive form. Naiṣkarma means not undertaking acts that will produce good or bad effects. The bhakti cult is meant to realize the positive form. With the application of positive service to the positive form, all negative forms are eliminated, one becomes detached from inferior things, and becomes attached to superior things. All this happens by the grace of the Lord. One who is a pure devotee has all good qualities such as knowledge, detachment etc., but one who only knowledge and detachment is not necessarily well acquainted with the principles of bhakti. This verse establishes that bhakti alone functions as the cause and the goal, and not knowledge or detachment.