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SB 1.5 - Forsaking material occupation

One who has forsaken his material occupations to engage in the devotional service of the Lord may sometimes fall down while in an immature stage. Yet there is no danger of his being unsuccessful. On the other hand, a non devotee (abhajatām), though fully engaged in occupational duties, does not gain anything. Everyone is duty bound to parents, family members, country, humanity, other living beings like poets, philosophers and others, demigods etc. One can relinquish all such duties and surrender unto the service of the Lord. One may fall down from the service of the Lord due to undesirable association. Bharata Mahārāja became attached to a stag and fell down from his devotion. Ajāmila, though a devotee, fell down. But still all these personalities were saved by the Lord at the end. Thus spiritual progress is never destroyed, whereas relentless time would destroy all of one’s possessions anyway. So one who forsakes material progress for Kṛṣṇa’s service does not lose anything.

In BG 3.26 it is said that one should not disturb the ignorant who is attached to the results of work but engaging in all work himself with detachment, he should engage them in activity. But this instruction is given to one who is teaching jñāna to another person. Practicing jñāna depends on inner purification, and that purification depends on niṣkāma-karma. This is not an instruction for one teaching another about bhakti, for bhakti is independently powerful, not depending on inner purification. Thus the Lord also says in BG 18.66 to abandon everything else and surrender unto Him alone. Even in the beginning stage of bhakti, practice of karma is forbidden. Having given up one’s dharma even at the beginning stages of bhakti, a person who worships the lotus feet of the Lord incurs no sin by giving up that dharma. And if the person dies without being qualified to attain the Lord, or falls down because of sinful acts, being attached to material pleasures, even then there is no misfortune because the impression created by bhakti are indestructible and remain in subtle form. In such a state one should revert to performance of karma. The sprout of bhakti will eventually bear leaves, flowers and fruits.