SB 7.9.49


naite guṇā na guṇino mahad-ādayo ye
sarve manaḥ prabhṛtayaḥ sahadeva-martyāḥ
ādy-antavanta urugāya vidanti hi tvām
evaṁ vimṛśya sudhiyo viramanti śabdāt


na—neither; ete—all these; gunah—three qualities of material nature; na—nor; guṇinaḥ—the predominating deities of the three modes of material nature (namely Lord Brahmā, the predominating deity of passion, and Lord Śiva, the predominating deity of ignorance); mahat-ādayaḥ—the five elements, the senses and the sense objects; ye—those which; sarve—all; manah—the mind; prabhṛtayaḥ—and so on; saha-deva-martyah—with the demigods and the mortal human beings; ādi-anta-vantaḥ—who all have a beginning and end; urugāya—O Supreme Lord, who are glorified by all saintly persons; vidanti—understand; hi—indeed; tvam—Your Lordship; evam—thus; vimṛśya—considering; sudhiyaḥ—all wise men; viramanti—cease; śabdāt—from studying or understanding the Vedas. 


Neither the three modes of material nature [sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa], nor the predominating deities controlling these three modes, nor the five gross elements, nor the mind, nor the demigods nor the human beings can understand Your Lordship, for they are all subjected to birth and annihilation. Considering this, the spiritually advanced have taken to devotional service. Such wise men hardly bother with Vedic study. Instead, they engage themselves in practical devotional service. 


As stated in several places, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti: [Bg. 18.55] only by devotional service can the Supreme Lord be understood. The intelligent person, the devotee, does not bother much about the practices mentioned in text 46 (mauna-vrata-śruta-tapo-‘dhyayana-sva-dharma [SB 7.9.46]). After understanding the Supreme Lord through devotional service, such devotees are no longer interested in studies of the Vedas. Indeed, this is confirmed in the Vedas also. The Vedas say, kim arthā vayam adhyeṣyāmahe kim arthā vayam vakṣyāmahe. What is the use of studying so many Vedic literatures? What is the use of explaining them in different ways? Vayam vakṣyāmahe. No one needs to study any more Vedic literatures, nor does anyone need to describe them by philosophical speculation. Bhagavad-gītā (Bg. 2.52) also says: 

yadā te moha-kalilaṁ
buddhir vyatitariṣyati
tadā gantāsi nirvedaṁ
śrotavyasya śrutasya ca

When one understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead by executing devotional service, one ceases the practice of studying the Vedic literature. Elsewhere it is said, ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim [Nārada-pañcarātra]. If one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engage in His service, there is no more need of severe austerities, penances and so on. However, if after performing severe austerities and penances one does not understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such practices are useless. 

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