Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 3 - Chapter 1 - Verse 45


तान् वै ह्यसद्‌वृत्तिभिरक्षिभिर्येपराहृतान्तर्मनस: परेश ।अथो न पश्यन्त्युरुगाय नूनंये ते पदन्यासविलासलक्ष्या: ॥ ४५ ॥


tān vai hy asad-vṛttibhir akṣibhir yeparāhṛtāntar-manasaḥ pareśaatho na paśyanty urugāya nūnaṁye te padanyāsa-vilāsa-lakṣyāḥ


O great Supreme Lord, offensive persons whose internal vision has been too affected by external materialistic activities cannot see Your lotus feet, but they are seen by Your pure devotees, whose one and only aim is to transcendentally enjoy Your activities.


As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.61), the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart. It is natural that one should he able to see the Lord at least within himself. But that is not possible for those whose internal vision has been covered by external activities. The pure soul, which is symptomized by consciousness, can be easily perceived even by a common man because consciousness is spread all over the body. The yoga system as recommended in Bhagavad-gītā is to concentrate the mental activities internally and thus see the lotus feet of the Lord within oneself. But there are many so-called yogīs who have no concern with the Lord but are only concerned with consciousness, which they accept as the final realization. Such realization of consciousness is taught by Bhagavad-gītā within only a few minutes, whereas the so-called yogīs take continuous years to realize it because of their offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord. The greatest offense is to deny the existence of the Lord as separate from the individual souls or to accept the Lord and the individual soul as one and the same. The impersonalists misinterpret the theory of reflection, and thus they wrongly accept the individual consciousness as the supreme consciousness. The theory of the reflection of the Supreme can be clearly understood without difficulty by any sincere common man. When there is a reflection of the sky on the water, both the sky and the stars are seen within the water, but it is understood that the sky and the stars are not to be accepted on the same level. The stars are parts of the sky, and therefore they cannot be equal to the whole. The sky is the whole, and the stars are parts. They cannot be one and the same. Transcendentalists who do not accept the supreme consciousness as separate from the individual consciousness are as offensive as the materialists who deny even the existence of the Lord. Such offenders cannot actually see the lotus feet of the Lord within themselves, nor are they even able to see the devotees of the Lord. The devotees of the Lord are so kind that they roam to all places to enlighten people in God consciousness. The offenders, however, lose the chance to receive the Lord’s devotees, although the offenseless common man is at once influenced by the devotees’ presence. In this connection there is an interesting story of a hunter and Devarṣi Nārada. A hunter in the forest, although a great sinner, was not an intentional offender. He was at once influenced by the presence of Nārada, and he agreed to take the path of devotion, leaving aside his hearth and home. But the offenders Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, even though living amongst the demigods, had to undergo the punishment of becoming trees in their next lives, although by the grace of a devotee they were later delivered by the Lord. Offenders have to wait until they receive the mercy of devotees, and then they can become eligible to see the lotus feet of the Lord within themselves. But due to their offenses and their extreme materialism, they cannot see even the devotees of the Lord. Engaged in external activities, they kill the internal vision. The Lord’s devotees, however, do not mind the offenses of the foolish in their many gross and subtle bodily endeavors. The Lord’s devotees continue to bestow the blessings of devotion upon all such offenders without hesitation. That is the nature of devotees.