The regulative principles are such that one who follows them is promoted from the platform of fruitive activities to the platform of transcendental knowledge. After many, many lifetimes of cultivating transcendental knowledge, one becomes perfect when he surrenders unto the Lord. This is the general procedure. But one who surrenders at the very beginning, as recommended in this mantra, at once surpasses all preliminary stages simply by adopting the devotional attitude. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.66), the Lord at once takes charge of such a surrendered soul and frees him from all the reactions to his sinful acts. There are many sinful reactions involved in karma-kāṇḍa activities, whereas in jñāna-kāṇḍa, the path of philosophical development, the number of such sinful activities is smaller. But in devotional service to the Lord, the path of bhakti, there is practically no chance of incurring sinful reactions. One who is a devotee of the Lord attains all the good qualifications of the Lord Himself, what to speak of those of a brāhmaṇa. A devotee automatically attains the qualifications of an expert brāhmaṇa authorized to perform sacrifices, even though the devotee may not have taken his birth in a brāhmaṇa family. Such is the omnipotence of the Lord. He can make a man born in a brāhmaṇa family as degraded as a lowborn dog-eater, and He can also make a lowborn dog-eater superior to a qualified brāhmaṇa simply on the strength of devotional service.
Since the omnipotent Lord is situated within the heart of everyone, He can give directions to His sincere devotees by which they can attain the right path. Such directions are especially offered to the devotee, even if he desires something else. As far as others are concerned, God gives sanction to the doer only at the risk of the doer. But in the case of a devotee, the Lord directs him in such a way that he never acts wrongly. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.42) says:
- sva-pāda-mūlaṁ bhajataḥ priyasya
- tyaktānya-bhāvasya hariḥ pareśaḥ
- vikarma yac cotpatitaṁ kathañcid
- dhunoti sarvaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ
"The Lord is so kind to the devotee who is fully surrendered to His lotus feet that even though the devotee sometimes falls into the entanglement of vikarma-acts against the Vedic directions—the Lord at once rectifies such mistakes from within his heart. This is because the devotees are very dear to the Lord."
In this mantra of Śrī Īśopaniṣad, the devotee prays to the Lord to rectify him from within his heart. To err is human. A conditioned soul is very often apt to commit mistakes, and the only remedial measure to take against such unintentional sins is to give oneself up to the lotus feet of the Lord so that He may guide one to avoid such pitfalls. The Lord takes charge of fully surrendered souls; thus all problems are solved simply by surrendering oneself unto the Lord and acting in terms of His directions. Such directions are given to the sincere devotee in two ways: one is by way of the saints, scriptures and spiritual master, and the other is by way of the Lord Himself, who resides within the heart of everyone. Thus the devotee, fully enlightened with Vedic knowledge, is protected in all respects.