Srimad Bhagavatam 11.02.28 - Why Saintly Devotees Travel (download mp3)
by Jayadvaita Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
manye bhagavatah saksat
parsadan vo madhu-dvisah
visnor bhutani lokanam
pavanaya caranti hi
King Videha said: I think that you must be direct associates of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is famous as the enemy of the demon Madhu. Indeed, the pure devotees of Lord Visnu wander throughout the universe not for their personal, selfish interest, but to purify all the conditioned souls.
King Nimi here welcomes the great sages by glorifying their transcendental activities. It is well known that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental to the three modes of material nature, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.13): mam ebhyah param avyayam. Similarly, His pure devotees are also on the transcendental platform. One may ask how such transcendental living beings as the associates of Lord Visnu could be seen within the material world. Therefore it is stated here, pavanaya caranti hi: the associates of Lord Visnu travel throughout the universe to reclaim the fallen, conditioned souls on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A representative of the governor may be seen moving within the prison house, but that does not mean that the governor’s representative has become a conditioned prisoner. It is understood that he is within the prison to negotiate the possible release of those prisoners who have rectified their criminal propensity. Similarly, the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead called parivrajakacaryas wander throughout the universe inviting everyone to surrender to Lord Krsna and go back home, back to Godhead, for an eternal life of bliss and knowledge.
In the Sixth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam the mercy of the associates of Lord Visnu has been described in connection with the salvation of Ajamila. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has pointed out that the associates of Lord Visnu are as merciful as the Lord Himself. Even though the ignorant members of human society are not interested in approaching the servants of Lord Visnu, the devotees of the Lord, without any false prestige, act to liberate the conditioned souls from their perpetual misfortune.