The Wise Man
"It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that after many, many lives of philosophical research the wise man ultimately comes to the point of knowing that Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is everything, and therefore he surrenders unto Him. Such serious students in philosophical research are rare because they are very great souls. If by philosophical research one cannot come to the point of understanding the Supreme Person, then his task is not finished. His search in knowledge is still to be continued until he comes to the point of understanding the Supreme Lord in devotional service."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.32.32, Purport)

"The word paṇḍita means 'a wise man.' Who is actually a wise man? The wise man is described in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.19) in this way:

    bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
    jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
    vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
    sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ

'After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.'

Thus when the wise man actually becomes wise after many births and whimsical attempts at self-realization, he surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Such a mahātmā, or learned person, knows that Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, is everything (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti). Learned persons always think that life is wasted unless they worship Lord Kṛṣṇa or become His devotee. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also says that when one becomes an advanced devotee, he understands that he should be reserved and perseverant (kṣāntiḥ) and that he should engage in the service of the Lord and not waste time (avyartha-kālatvam). He should also be detached from all material attraction (viraktiḥ), and he should not long for any material respect in return for his activities (māna-śūnyatā). He should be certain that Kṛṣṇa will bestow His mercy upon him (āśā-bandhaḥ), and he should always be very eager to serve the Lord faithfully (samutkaṇṭhā). The wise man is always very eager to glorify the Lord by chanting and hearing (nāma-gāne sadā ruciḥ), and he is always eager to describe the transcendental qualities of the Lord (āsaktis tad-guṇākhyāne). He should also be attracted to those places where the Lord had His pastimes (prītis tad vasati sthāle). These are symptoms of an advanced devotee."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.24.67, Purport)

"Unfortunately people do not know this secret. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum: 'They do not know that the real interest and the highest perfection of life is to worship Lord Viṣṇu [Kṛṣṇa].' (SB 7.5.31) It is impossible to become satisfied by trying to adjust the external energy. Without being a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can only be baffled and confused. To save living entities from such a calamity, Lord Kṛṣṇa points out in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.19):

    bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
    jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
    vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
    sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ

'After many, many births and deaths, a wise man surrenders unto Me, knowing very well that I, Vāsudeva, am everything. Such a great soul is very rare.'

We can achieve whatever benediction we want simply by becoming devotees of Vāsudeva."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.24.74, Purport)

"When the mind is polluted by fruitive activity, the living entity wants to be elevated from one material position to another. Generally everyone is involved in working hard day and night to improve his economic condition. Even when one understands the Vedic rituals, he becomes interested in promotion to heavenly planets, not knowing that one's real interest lies in returning home, back to Godhead. By acting on the platform of fruitive activity, one wanders throughout the universe in different species and forms. Unless he comes in contact with a devotee of the Lord, a guru, he does not become attached to the service of Lord Vāsudeva. Knowledge of Vāsudeva requires many births to understand. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.19): vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. After struggling for existence for many births one may take shelter at the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. When this happens. one actually becomes wise and surrenders unto Him. That is the only way to stop the repetition of birth and death. This is confirmed in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (CC Madhya 19.151) in the instructions given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī at Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa.

    brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
    guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

The living entity wanders throughout different planets in different forms and bodies, but if by chance he comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master, by the grace of the spiritual master he receives Lord Kṛṣṇa's shelter, and his devotional life begins."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.5.6, Purport)

"So our process of receiving knowledge is from the supreme controller because, according to the definition already given: wise, the most wise. Kṛṣṇa, or Bhagavān, is the most wise. Therefore, if we receive knowledge from the most wise, then there is no flaw. That is our principle, that we are receiving from Kṛṣṇa, the supreme controller, directly. Just like when there is some misunderstanding, we take help from the law books, because in the law book or in the law court, the decision is obligatory to both the parties. So to give knowledge there are many, many parties, but when we receive knowledge from the Supreme, that is all-inclusive. So here Kṛṣṇa says, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase (BG 2.11). Arjuna has accepted the guidance of Kṛṣṇa. He has said previously that 'The position is very perplexing. Therefore I accept You as my spiritual master, and You kindly give me enlightenment.' This is the process. We should approach the Supreme or the representative of the Supreme. Just like the same example: when there is any controversy, we refer to the law book or to the lawyer, or we take the decision of the law court, and that is final."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mexico City, February 11, 1975)

"You have to come to the platform of sanātana. What is that eternal? 'I am eternally servant of Kṛṣṇa.' That is sanātana-dharma. I am not servant of this or that or that. No. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.
Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108-109). Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that every living entity is, in his original position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness... At the present moment we have got different consciousness. That is māyā. This is mental concoction. I am thinking that 'I'll be happy in this way.' That is a mental concoction. You cannot be happy unless you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That is sanātana-dharma. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). A person, after many, many births, he becomes really wise."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hyderabad, November 28, 1972)

"When we think of superior person, we think he is superior because he knows something more than I, superiority means more knowledge. Krishna knows everything, and He claims that if anyone knows Him, then he also knows everything. So knowledge means to know only that Krishna is the Proprietor of everything, that Krishna is the Friend of everyone, and that Krishna is the Enjoyer of everything. These three things: Proprietor, Friend, and Enjoyer. If somebody knows this, he is actually wise. Therefore because the devotee always knows this, he is more superior person because he has got all knowledge. But even more important than the knowledge of Krishna is the acting upon that knowledge, or devotional service. By the acting he realizes his knowledge and becomes complete."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 5, 1972)

"A child may play with the imitation of another child and the child will hold the doll and play with it as if it is real. But the parents who gave the child the doll, they know good and well the child is nonsense but they tolerate and enjoy sometimes. Just like my sisters used to prepare for me some imaginary puris from their toys of very small cooking things, and I used to pretend I was eating them and we were quite happy that this was the same thing just like our parents were doing. We did not know we were nonsense, one nonsense cooking, another nonsense eating, but our father knew we were nonsense. So it is like that in this material world, everyone is acting more or less like children clinging to some play things provided by the Father and taking them very seriously. But when we become actually wise and see things from the point of view of our Father and take his instruction, then we make progressive advancement out of the childish nonsense state of life or life in this material world."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 16, 1972)

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