Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described the finest pattern of devotional service as ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167), or cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness favorably. Kaṁsa, of course, was also Kṛṣṇa conscious, but because he regarded Kṛṣṇa as his enemy, even though he was fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his Kṛṣṇa consciousness was not favorable for his existence. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, favorably cultivated, makes one completely happy, so much so that a Kṛṣṇa conscious person does not consider kaivalya-sukham, or merging into the existence of Kṛṣṇa, to be a great gain. Kaivalyaṁ narakāyate. For a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, even merging into the existence of Kṛṣṇa, or Brahman, as impersonalists aspire to do, is uncomfortable. Kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tridaśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate. Karmīs hanker to be promoted to the heavenly planets, but a Kṛṣṇa conscious person considers such promotion a will-o'-the-wisp, good for nothing. Durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate. Yogīs try to control their senses and thus become happy, but a Kṛṣṇa conscious person neglects the methods of yoga. He is unconcerned with the greatest of enemies, the senses, which are compared to snakes. For a Kṛṣṇa conscious person who is cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness favorably, the happiness conceived by the karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs is treated as less than a fig. Kaṁsa, however, because of cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness in a different way—that is, inimically—was uncomfortable in all the affairs of his life; whether sitting, sleeping, walking or eating, he was always in danger. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. A nondevotee or atheist also cultivates God consciousness—by trying to avoid God in everything. For example, so-called scientists who want to create life by a combination of chemicals regard the external, material elements as supreme. Such scientists do not like the idea that life is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. As clearly stated in Bhagavad-gītā (mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7)), the living entities do not arise from a combination of material elements, such as earth, water, air and fire, but are separated portions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one can understand the position of the living entity as a separated portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by studying the nature of the living entity one can understand the nature of the Supreme Godhead, since the living entity is a fragmental sample of the Godhead. But because atheists are not interested in God consciousness, they try to be happy by cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness in various unfavorable ways.
Although Kaṁsa was always absorbed in thoughts of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was not happy. A devotee, however, whether sitting on a throne or beneath a tree, is always happy. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī resigned from office as a government minister to sit beneath a tree, yet he was happy. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍalapati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat (Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 4). He did not care for his comfortable position as minister; he was happy even beneath a tree in Vṛndāvana, favorably serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. For a nondevotee, the world is full of problems, whereas for a devotee the entire world is full of happiness.
- viśvaṁ pūrṇa-sukhāyate vidhi-mahendrādiś ca kīṭāyate
- yat-kāruṇya-kaṭākṣa-vaibhavavatāṁ taṁ gauram eva stumaḥ
- (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 95)
This comfortable position of a devotee can be established by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Yasmin sthito na duḥkhena guruṇāpi vicālyate (BG 6.22). Even when a devotee is superficially put into great difficulty, he is never disturbed.