Light of the Bhāgavata

Text 30

In autumn all the reservoirs of water become enriched with growing lotuses. The muddy water again becomes normally clear and decorated, just as fallen, conditioned souls once more become spiritually enriched in devotional service. 

We should not be disappointed in our muddy life of material existence, for as soon as we voluntarily take to the devotional service of the Lord our whole life becomes clear, like water in autumn. Devoid of our relationship with God our life is barren, but as soon as the muddy mind is cleared by spiritual association or cultivation of the human spirit the threefold miseries of material life are at once cleared off. Thus the lotus of knowledge gradually fructifies, and this gradual process of development ushers in transcendental bliss. 

The whole spiritual process is technically called yoga, or linking with the Supreme. It is something like a long staircase, and the upward steps are variously designated as regulated work, transcendental knowledge, mystic powers, and ultimately bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. Bhakti-yoga is pure and unalloyed, being entirely beyond all the preliminary steps. Such unalloyed devotional service in favor of the Supreme Lord was displayed at Vṛndāvana when the Lord descended there, and thus the yoga exhibited by the gopīs of Vṛndāvana is the highest unalloyed love of Godhead, the perfection of bhakti-yoga. To rise to the stage of love shown by the gopīs is very difficult, but this stage is attainable for serious conditioned souls. 

Unfortunately, cheap neophytes make a show of the transcendental ecstasies of the gopīs, bringing them onto the mundane plane for perverted manifestations and thus clearing the way to hell by such unwanted caricatures. Serious students of yoga, however, practice it seriously, and thus they attain the highest perfection in bhakti-yoga, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (6.47)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 6.47

And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

yoginām api sarveṣām
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ