An exalted and pure devotee like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is in full awareness of Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān; in other words, a devotee of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is in full knowledge of the other features of the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is realized in three features—Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān (brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11)). A devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, knows everything (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19)) because Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, includes both Paramātmā and Brahman. One does not have to realize Paramātmā by the yoga system, for the devotee always thinking of Vāsudeva is the topmost yogī (yoginām api sarveṣām (BG 6.47)). And as far as jñāna is concerned, if one is a perfect devotee of Vāsudeva, he is the greatest mahātmā (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ). A mahātmā is one who has full knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Thus Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, being a devotee of the Personality of Godhead, was in full awareness of Paramātmā, Brahman, māyā, the material world, the spiritual world, and how things are going on everywhere. Everything was known to him. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). Because the devotee knows Vāsudeva, he knows everything within the creation of Vāsudeva (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ). Such a devotee does not give much value to the highest standard of happiness within this material world.
- nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve
- na kutaścana bibhyati
- api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ
- (SB 6.17.28)
Because he is fixed in devotional service, a devotee does not regard any position in the material world as important. Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī has therefore written (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 5):
- kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tri-daśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate
- durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate
- viśvaṁ pūrṇa-sukhāyate vidhi-mahendrādiś ca kīṭāyate
- yat-kāruṇya-katākṣa-vaibhavavatāṁ taṁ gauram eva stumaḥ
For one who becomes a pure devotee through devotional service to great personalities like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, kaivalya, or merging into Brahman, appears no better than hell. As far as the heavenly planets are concerned, to a devotee they are like a phantasmagoria or will-o'-the-wisp, and as far as yogic perfection is concerned, a devotee does not care a fig for such perfection, since the purpose of yogic perfection is achieved automatically by the devotee. This is all possible when one becomes a devotee of the Lord through the medium of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's instructions.