If one endeavors simply to achieve knowledge of the Absolute Truth or the Supersoul but has no devotional service, he labors without gaining the real result. This is compared to beating the husks of wheat after the grains have already been removed
SB Canto 3
Her mind became completely engaged in the Supreme Lord, and she automatically realized the knowledge of the impersonal Brahman. As a Brahman-realized soul, she was freed from the designations of the materialistic concept of life. Thus all material pangs disappeared, and she attained transcendental bliss.
The previous verse states that Devahūti was already conversant with the Absolute Truth. It may be questioned why she was meditating. The explanation is that when one theoretically discusses the Absolute Truth, he becomes situated in the impersonal concept of the Absolute Truth. Similarly, when one seriously discusses the subject matter of the form, qualities, pastimes and entourage of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes situated in meditation on Him. If one has complete knowledge of the Supreme Lord, then knowledge of the impersonal Brahman is automatically realized. The Absolute Truth is realized by the knower according to three different angles of vision, namely impersonal Brahman, localized Supersoul and ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one is situated, therefore, in knowledge of the Supreme Person, this implies that one is already situated in the concept of the Supersoul and impersonal Brahman.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is said, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). This means that unless one is freed from the material entanglement and situated in Brahman, there is no question of entering into the understanding of devotional service or engaging in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who is engaged in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is understood to be already realized in the Brahman concept of life because transcendental knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead includes knowledge of Brahman. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham (BG 14.27): the concept of the Personality of Godhead does not depend on Brahman. The Viṣṇu Purāṇa also confirms that one who has taken shelter of the all-auspicious Supreme Lord is already situated in the understanding of Brahman. In other words, one who is a Vaiṣṇava is already a brāhmaṇa.
Another significant point of this verse is that one has to observe the prescribed rules and regulations. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, yuktāhāra-vihārasya. When one engages in devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he still has to eat, sleep, defend and mate because these are necessities of the body. But he performs such activities in a regulated way. He has to eat kṛṣṇa-prasāda. He has to sleep according to regulated principles. The principle is to reduce the duration of sleep and to reduce eating, taking only what is needed to keep the body fit. In short, the goal is spiritual advancement, not sense gratification. Similarly, sex life must be reduced. Sex life is meant only for begetting Kṛṣṇa conscious children. Otherwise, there is no necessity for sex life. Nothing is prohibited, but everything is made yukta, regulated, with the higher purpose always in mind. By following all these rules and regulations of living, one becomes purified, and all misconceptions due to ignorance become nil. It is specifically mentioned here that the causes of material entanglement are completely vanquished.
The Sanskrit statement anartha-nivṛtti indicates that this body is unwanted. We are spirit soul, and there was never any need of this material body. But because we wanted to enjoy the material body, we have this body, through the material energy, under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as we are reestablished in our original position of servitorship to the Supreme Lord, we begin to forget the necessities of the body, and at last we forget the body.
Sometimes in a dream we get a particular type of body with which to work in the dream. I may dream that I am flying in the sky or that I have gone into the forest or some unknown place. But as soon as I am awake I forget all these bodies. Similarly, when one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, fully devoted, he forgets all his changes of body. We are always changing bodies, beginning at birth from the womb of our mother. But when we are awakened to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we forget all these bodies. The bodily necessities become secondary, for the primary necessity is the engagement of the soul in real, spiritual life. The activities of devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness are the cause of our being situated in transcendence. The words bhagavaty ātma-saṁśraye denote the Personality of Godhead as the Supreme Soul, or the soul of everyone. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, bījaṁ māṁ sarva-bhūtānām: (BG 7.10) "I am the seed of all entities." By taking shelter of the Supreme Being by the process of devotional service, one becomes fully situated in the concept of the Personality of Godhead. As described by Kapila, mad-guṇa-śruti-mātreṇa: one who is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, situated in the Personality of Godhead, is immediately saturated with love of God as soon as he hears about the transcendental qualities of the Lord.
Devahūti was fully instructed by her son, Kapiladeva, on how to concentrate her mind on the Viṣṇu form in full detail. Following the instructions of her son in the matter of devotional service, she contemplated the form of the Lord within herself with great devotional love. That is the perfection of Brahman realization or the mystic yoga system or devotional service. At the ultimate issue, when one is fully absorbed in thought of the Supreme Lord and meditates on Him constantly, that is the highest perfection. Bhagavad-gītā confirms that one who is always absorbed in such a way is to be considered the topmost yogī.
The real purpose of all processes of transcendental realization—jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga or bhakti-yoga—is to arrive at the point of devotional service. If one endeavors simply to achieve knowledge of the Absolute Truth or the Supersoul but has no devotional service, he labors without gaining the real result. This is compared to beating the husks of wheat after the grains have already been removed. Unless one understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be the ultimate goal, it is valueless simply to speculate or perform mystic yoga practice. In the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system, the seventh stage of perfection is dhyāna. This dhyāna is the third stage in devotional service. There are nine stages of devotional service. The first is hearing, and then comes chanting and then contemplating. By executing devotional service, therefore, one automatically becomes an expert jñānī and an expert yogī. In other words, jñāna and yoga are different preliminary stages of devotional service.
Devahūti was expert in accepting the real substance; she contemplated the form of Viṣṇu in detail as advised by her smiling son, Kapiladeva. At the same time, she was thinking of Kapiladeva, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore she completely perfected her austerities, penances and transcendental realization.