Srimad Bhagavatam 01.10.36 - Dont imitate the Mahatmas (download mp3)
by Devanand Pandit Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
tatra tatra ha tatratyair
sāyaṁ bheje diśaṁ paścād
gaviṣṭho gāṁ gatas tadā
On His journey through these provinces He was welcomed, worshiped and given various presentations. In the evening, in all places, the Lord suspended His journey to perform evening rites. This was regularly observed after sunset.
It is said here that the Lord observed the religious principles regularly while He was on the journey. There are certain philosophical speculations that even the Lord is under the obligations of fruitive action. But actually this is not the case. He does not depend on the action of any good or bad work. Since the Lord is absolute, everything done by Him is good for everyone. But when He descends to the earth, He acts for the protection of the devotees and for the annihilation of the impious nondevotees. Although He has no obligatory duty, still He does everything so that others may follow. That is the way of factual teaching; one must act properly himself and teach the same to others, otherwise no one will accept one’s blind teaching. He is Himself the awarder of fruitive results. He is self-sufficient, and yet He acts according to the rulings of the revealed scripture in order to teach us the process. If He does not do so, the common man may go wrong. But in the advanced stage, when one can understand the transcendental nature of the Lord, one does not try to imitate Him. This is not possible.
The Lord in human society does what is the duty of everyone, but sometimes He does something extraordinary and not to be imitated by the living being. His acts of evening prayer as stated herein must be followed by the living being, but it is not possible to follow His mountain-lifting or dancing with the gopīs. One cannot imitate the sun, which can exhaust water even from a filthy place; the most powerful can do something which is all-good, but our imitation of such acts will put us into endless difficulty. Therefore, in all actions, the experienced guide, the spiritual master, who is the manifested mercy of the Lord, should always be consulted, and the path of progress will be assured.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the First Canto, Tenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa for Dvārakā.”