By Gaurav Mittal
BG 9.30 (http://vedabase.net/bg/9/30/en) is often quoted while discussing fall down of a devotee. Many times devotee term is very loosely used. It is important to understand who is a devotee. In this verse, Krishna Himself explains the kind of devotee he is referring to. Krishna gives quality of a devotee as "bhajate mam ananya bhak" which means one who does bhakti without deviation (refer to translation). What does bhakti without deviation means? It means that our mind is focussed on object of bhakti without deviation and it is not focussed on any other object.
This principle is nicely explained in Padma Purana that one should always remember Krishna and never forget Him. "
bhajate mam ananya bhak" is not any devotee but the devotee whose mind is completely absorbed in Krishna’s name, form, lilas etc. What kind of chanting such devotee does? Actually, he is always doing chanting but when such devotee sits down to do his japa, his mind is focussed on only one object i.e Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada clearly explains who is devotee discussed in BG 9.30 in his purport of this verse.
"The only qualification of a devotee is to be
unflinchingly and exclusively engaged in devotional service." – BG.9.30 purport. Unflinchingly and exclusively engaged in devotional service describes sames qualities as mentioned above.
"…..even if one fully engaged in the devotional service of the Lord is sometimes found engaged in abominable activities ….." –
BG.9.30 purport. What does fully engaged means? Where is mind of such fully engaged person? Fully engaged again means that not only such person is externally using his senses in bhakti but also, such person’s mind is fully engaged upon Krishna, i.e. his mind is constantly remembering Krishna.
"… the Srîmad –Bhâgavatam it is stated that if a person falls down but is wholeheartedly engaged in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord …." – BG.9.30 purport. What does wholeheartedly engaged means? Where is mind of such whole hearted engaged person? Again, such whole hearted engaged person’s mind is fully focussed upon Krishna and Krishna is main object of his thoughts.
What Krishna is saying in this verse? Krishna states that the devotee who never forgets Him and whose mind is without deviation focussed upon Him may occasionally forget Him and focus his mind on material objects. But when such person again becomes situated in bhakti i.e he becomes fully engaged by focussing his mind without deviation upon him, then such person should be considered saintly or advanced devotee.
My humble obeisances to all the devotees who always remember Krishna and never forget Him. My humble obeisances to all the devotees who are honestly trying to follow this principle without pretension. We should be clear what should be the goal. Our goal is to always remember Krishna and BG 9.30 verse talks about such persons who have achieved such goal. Let us not misrepresent this verse and not use it as a excuse to hide our imperfections. Also, let us not water down the philosophy which Srila Prabhupada taught us. He taught us and wanted us to reach this goal. If we cannot achieve this goal as desired by Srila Prabhupada, let us not accept that this goal is unattainable.
We have all the blessing of Srila Prabhupada to realize all the concepts of bhakti. We just need to focus our present moment on Krishna. If we follow this simple but extremely difficult principle (for complicated people) of focussing present moment upon Krishna, we can reach a state of always remembering Krishna and never forget Him. Let us all strive for this goal and make Krishna as only object of our thoughts and mind without deviation !!!!