[Sri Saunaka asked Suta Gosvami: Sri Sukadeva Gosvami was already on the path of self-realization, and thus he was pleased with his own self. So why did he take the trouble to undergo the study of such a vast literature?]

[For the people in general the highest perfection of life is to cease from material activities and be fixed on the path of self-realization. Those who take pleasure in sense enjoyment, or those who are fixed in material bodily welfare work, are called karmis. Out of thousands and millions of such karmis, one may become an atmarama by self-realization. Atma means self, and arama means to take pleasure. Everyone is searching after the highest pleasure, but the standard of pleasure of one may be different from the standard of another. Therefore, the standard of pleasure enjoyed by the karmis is different from that of the atmaramas. The atmaramas are completely indifferent to material enjoyment in every respect. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami had already attained that stage, and still he was attracted to undergo the trouble of studying the great Bhagavatam literature. This means that Srimad-Bhagavatam is a postgraduate study even for the atmaramas, who have surpassed all the studies of Vedic knowledge.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.7.9

suta uvaca
atmaramas ca munayo
nirgrantha apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim
ittham-bhuta-guno harih

sutah uvaca — Suta Gosvami said; atmaramah — those who take pleasure in atma (generally, spirit self); ca — also; munayah — sages; nirgranthah — freed from all bondage; api — in spite of; urukrame — unto the great adventurer; kurvanti — do; ahaitukim — unalloyed; bhaktim — devotional service; ittham-bhuta — such wonderful; gunah — qualities; harih — of the Lord.

[All different varieties of atmaramas [those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self], especially those established on the path of self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.7.10

[Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained this atmarama sloka very vividly before His chief devotee Srila Sanatana Gosvami. He points out eleven factors in the sloka, namely (1) atmarama, (2) munayah, (3) nirgrantha, (4) api, (5) ca, (6) urukrama, (7) kurvanti, (8) ahaitukim, (9) bhaktim, (10) ittham-bhuta-gunah and (11) harih. According to the Visva-prakasa Sanskrit dictionary, there are seven synonyms for the word atmarama, which are as follows: (1) Brahman (the Absolute Truth), (2) body, (3) mind, (4) endeavor, (5) endurance, (6) intelligence and (7) personal habits.
The word munayah refers to (1) those who are thoughtful, (2) those who are grave and silent, (3) ascetics, (4) the persistent, (5) mendicants, (6) sages and (7) saints.

The word nirgrantha conveys these ideas: (1) one who is liberated from nescience, (2) one who has no connection with scriptural injunction, i.e., who is freed from the obligation of the rules and regulations mentioned in the revealed scriptures like ethics, Vedas, philosophy, psychology and metaphysics (in other words the fools, illiterate, urchins, etc., who have no connection with regulative principles), (3) a capitalist, and also (4) one who is penniless.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.7.10

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 24 –
The Sixty-One Explanations of the Atmarama Verse

[The Lord then went on to point out that there are eleven items in the Atmarama verse: (1) atmaramah, (2) ca, (3) munayah, (4) nirgranthah, (5) api, (6) urukrame, (7) kurvanti, (8) ahaitukim, (9) bhaktim, (10) ittham-bhuta-gunah, (11) harih. The Lord then began to explain each and every one of these items. As far as the word atmarama is concerned, the Lord explained that the word atma is used to indicate: (1) the Supreme Absolute Truth, (2) the body, (3) the mind, (4) endeavor, (5) conviction, (6) intelligence, and (7) nature. The word arama means enjoyer; therefore anyone who takes pleasure in the cultivation of the knowledge of these seven items is known as atmarama. The Lord then explained about the different kinds of atmaramas, or transcendentalists. As for the word munayah, or muni, those who are great thinkers are called munis. Sometimes the word muni is also applied to a person who is very grave. Great sages, great austere persons, great mystics and learned scholars are also called munis.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLC 15:

Explanation of the Atmarama Verse in Srimad Bhagavatam
[The transcendentalists can be categorized into six basic types: the neophyte transcendentalist, the absorbed transcendentalist, one who is actually situated in transcendence, one who actually desires liberation, one who is actually liberated, and one who is actually engaged in activities in his constitutional position. All of these are called atmarama. When a person becomes atmarama, or a great thinker in Krsna consciousness, he fully engages in devotional service. According to the grammatical rules, there are many atmaramas, but one sense of the word is sufficient to represent the others. In the collective sense, all the atmaramas are inclined to worship the Supreme Lord Krsna.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLC 16: Conclusion of Teachings to Sanatana Gosvami
[Thus the word atmarama indicates that even birds, beasts and fools — in short, everyone — can become attracted by the transcendental qualities of Krsna, engage in His service and become liberated.
Still another meaning of atma is “intelligence.” One who has special intelligence is also called atmarama. The atmaramas with special intelligence are of two kinds. One is the learned sage, and the other is the fool without book knowledge. Both of these can have an opportunity to associate with the pure devotee. Even the foolish atmaramas can give up everything and engage themselves in Krsna consciousness in pure devotional service. In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that the Lord is the origin of everything and that everything emanates from Him. Anyone who is actually intelligent can understand that the Supreme Lord Krsna is the source of everything and thus engage in His service. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.46): “What to speak of persons who are intelligent enough to study the Vedas — even less intelligent persons like women, laborers, the Huna, Sabara, and the birds and beasts can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life.” As previously quoted, Bhagavad-gita (10.10) also indicates that when a person becomes highly intelligent and engages in Krsna consciousness, Krsna reciprocates by giving him the intelligence by which he can be promoted to the abode of the Supreme Lord.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLC 16: Conclusion of Teachings to Sanatana Gosvami
[The Lord then told Sanatana Gosvami that the association of good devotees, engagement in the transcendental service of the Lord, the understanding of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, and residence in a holy place like Vrndavana or Mathura are all very important for elevation to the transcendental plane. One need not attain all five of these items; if one is expert in just one of them, he will, without fail, be elevated to the stage of love of Godhead. One who is actually intelligent gives up all material desires and engages in the transcendental service of Krsna. The influence of devotional service is such that when a person engages in it, he gives up all material desires and becomes fully attached to Krsna, being inspired by the transcendental qualities of the Lord. Such is the beauty of the Lord in the eyes of His devotee.
Another meaning of the word atma is “nature.” In this case the word atmarama indicates that everyone is enjoying the particular nature he has acquired. However, the ultimate nature, or the perpetual eternal nature of the living entity, is to serve the Supreme Lord. One who attains to the perfection of understanding his real nature — as eternal servant of the Lord — gives up his designative (material, or bodily) conception of life. That is real knowledge. Those who are in pursuit of knowledge and who get the opportunity to associate with a pure devotee also engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Sages like the four Kumaras, as well as fools and birds, can engage in the Lord’s transcendental service. By being favored with Krsna’s causeless mercy, anyone and everyone can be elevated to the platform of Krsna consciousness.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLC 16: Conclusion of Teachings to Sanatana Gosvami
[Even those who believe that the body is the self, or those who are full of material desires, are also, in a sense, atmarama. When they associate with the pure devotees of the Lord, they give up their material desires and become perfect in the service of the Lord. The best example of this is found in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (7.28), wherein Dhruva Maharaja said:

sthanabhilasi tapasi sthito ‘ham
tvam praptavan deva-munindra-guhyam
kacam vicinvann api divya-ratnam
svamin krtartho ‘smi varam na yace
[Cc. Madhya 22.42]

“My dear Lord, I came to worship You because I desired some land on this earth, but fortunately I have attained You, who are beyond even the perception of great sages and saintly persons. I came to search out some particles of colored glass, but instead I found a very valuable gem like You. I am satisfied, and I do not desire to ask anything of You.”]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLC 16:
Conclusion of Teachings to Sanatana Gosvami

Teachings of Lord Caitanya –
00A – Narrator Foreword, Preface – Chapter 32


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