There are three kinds of men within this material world. Those who are trying to enjoy the senses to the utmost are called karmīs, above them are the jñānīs, who try to conquer the urges of the senses, and above them are the yogīs, who have already conquered the senses. None of them, however, are situated in a transcendental position. Only devotees. who belong to none of the above-mentioned groups, are transcendental. As explained in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 14.26):
- māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman." Lord Brahmā herein advises Priyavrata to remain transcendental in the fortress not of family life but of the lotus feet of the Lord (abja-nābhāṅghri-saroja). When a bumblebee enters the opening of a lotus flower and drinks its honey, it is fully protected by the petals of the lotus. The bee is undisturbed by sunshine and other external influences. Similarly, one who always seeks shelter at the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead is protected from all dangers. It is therefore said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.14.58):
- samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
- mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
- bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
- padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
For one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, everything becomes easier. Indeed, even crossing the great ocean of nescience (bhavāmbudhi) is exactly like crossing the hoofprint created by a calf (vatsa-padam). For such a devotee, there is no question of remaining in a place where every step is dangerous.
Our actual duty is to carry out the supreme order of the Personality of Godhead. If we are fixed in our determination to carry out the supreme order of the Lord, we are always secure, regardless of where we are situated, whether in hell or in heaven. Herein the words prakṛtiṁ bhajasva are very significant. Prakṛtim refers to one's constitutional position. Every living entity has the constitutional position of being an eternal servant of God. Therefore Lord Brahmā advised Priyavrata, "Be situated in your original position as an eternal servant of the Lord. If you carry out His orders, you will never fall, even in the midst of material enjoyment." Material enjoyment achieved by dint of one's fruitive activities differs from material enjoyment given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee sometimes appears to be in a very opulent position, but he accepts that position to follow the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore a devotee is never affected by material influences. The devotees in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are preaching all over the world in accordance with the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They have to meet many karmīs, but by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they are unaffected by material influences. He has blessed them, as described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (CC Madhya 7.129):
- kabhu nā bādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga
- punarapi ei ṭhāñi pābe mora saṅge
A sincere devotee who engages in the service of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by preaching His cult all over the world will never be affected by viṣaya-taraṅga, material influences. On the contrary, in due course of time he will return to the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and will thus have perpetual association with Him.