Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 11 - Chapter 1 - Verse 53


त्रिभुवनविभवहेतवेऽप्यकुण्ठ-स्मृतिरजितात्मसुरादिभिर्विमृग्यात् ।न चलति भगवत्पदारविन्दा-ल्ल‍वनिमिषार्धमपि य: स वैष्णवाग्य्र: ॥ ५३ ॥


tri-bhuvana-vibhava-hetave ’py akuṇṭha-smṛtir ajitātma-surādibhir vimṛgyātna calati bhagavat-padāravindāllava-nimiṣārdham api yaḥ sa vaiṣṇavāgryaḥ


The lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are sought even by the greatest of demigods, such as Brahmā and Śiva, who have all accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their life and soul. A pure devotee of the Lord can never forget those lotus feet in any circumstance. He will not give up his shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord for a single moment — indeed, not for half a moment — even in exchange for the benediction of ruling and enjoying the opulence of the entire universe. Such a devotee of the Lord is to be considered the best of the Vaiṣṇavas.


According to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī one may ask, “If one were able to gain the opulence of the entire universe in exchange for leaving the Lord’s lotus feet for just half a moment, what would be the harm in leaving the Lord’s lotus feet for such an insignificant amount of time?” The answer is given by the word akuṇṭha-smṛti. It is simply impossible for a pure devotee to forget the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, since everything that exists is in fact an expansion of the Supreme Lord. Since nothing is separate from the Supreme Lord, a pure devotee of the Lord cannot think of anything but the Lord. Nor can a pure devotee contemplate ruling or enjoying universal opulence; even if given all the opulence of the universe, he would immediately offer it at the lotus feet of the Lord and return to his position of a humble servant of the Lord. The words ajitātma-surādibhir vimṛgyāt are very significant in this verse. The lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa are so opulent that even the lords of all material opulence, namely Brahmā and Śiva, as well as the other demigods, are always searching for a glimpse of the Lord’s lotus feet. The word vimṛgyāt indicates that the demigods are not actually able to see the lotus feet of the Lord, but are endeavoring to see them. An example of this is given in the Tenth Canto when Lord Brahmā offers prayers to Viṣṇu, begging the Lord to rectify the disturbances on the earth. A similar verse is found elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.14.14): “The devotee who has offered his soul to Me does not want anything if it is separate from Me — not the position of the supreme demigod of the universe, Brahmā, nor that of Lord Indra, nor kingship over the entire earth or over the lower planetary systems, nor the mystic perfections of yoga, nor even freedom from the cycle of rebirth.” According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, the word ajitātmā can also be taken to mean ajitendriyāḥ, or “those whose senses are uncontrolled.” Although the demigods are all to be respected as devotees of Lord Viṣṇu, the absence of gross material discomfort in the higher planetary systems makes them tend to become affected by the bodily concept of life, and sometimes they experience some spiritual difficulty due to the gorgeous material facilities available to them. Such disturbances, however, cannot exist within the mind of a pure devotee of the Lord, as indicated in this verse by the word akuṇṭha-smṛti. According to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, we can understand from this verse that since none of the material facilities available in any of the universal planetary systems can distract a pure devotee of the Lord, such a devotee can never possibly fall or become inimical to the Lord’s service.