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Could someone kindly explain the advaitic interpreation of the verse

नैकात्मतां मे स्पृहयन्ति केचिन्मत्पादसेवाभिरता मदीहाः | येऽन्योन्यतो भागवताः प्रसज्य सभाजयन्ते मम पौरुषाणि ॥ ३.२५.३४ ॥

naikātmatāṁ me spṛhayanti kecin

mat-pāda-sevābhiratā mad-īhāḥ

ye 'nyonyato bhāgavatāḥ prasajya

sabhājayante mama pauruṣāṇi

English Translation: Some of my devotees, who ever delight in the service of My feet and are engaged in activities only for My sake, and who lovingly sing to one another of My exploits alone, crave not even for absorption into My Being.

Does it goes against Advaitic philosophy?

  • It is Vyavaharik reality. These are just encouraging words to devotees. – Krishna Varna Apr 27 at 11:40
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Your question is interesting.

To understand its answer, we first take a look to two slokas from the Kapila-Devahuti-samvada of Canto 3 of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, from which you have quoted the sloka.

  1. Bhagavan Kapila says to His father in 3.24.39:

mAm AtmAnam svayam-jyotih sarva-bhuta-guhAshayam/ Atmanyev AtmanAnvikkshan vishoko-abhayamrichchasi//

Meaning : You will gradually realise Me, the In-dweller and Self-effulgent Supreme Self of all beings, by meditation by your Self and will go beyond fears and death.

So here what Sri Bhagavan is actually teaching His father is not against what is accepted by the Advaitins.

  1. Bhagavan Kapila says to His mother in 3.26.3 :

anAdir AtmA purusho nirgunah prakiteh parah/pratyagdhAmA svayam-jyotir visvam yena samanvitam//

Meaning : The Purusha (Brahman) is Originless (Eternal), Beyond qualities (Nirguna), beyond the Prakiti (Maya), Self-revealed (Consciousness) and Self-effulgent Which is All-pervading.

So to His Mother also, Sri Bhagava Himself presents the Supreme Reality by the features which are accepted by the Advaitins.

In fact, both the slokas represent Brahman exactly as the Upanishads repesent Him.

Now let us come to your sloka. First we must remember that the Advaitins do not reject Worship or Love of God. In fact, they include worship of God as a part of the compulsory regular duties (Nitya-Karma). As the Vedanta-sArah writes

upAsanAdini saguna-brahma-vishayaka-mAnasa-vyApara-rupAni shAndilya-vidyAdini (12).

Meaning : Upasana is concentrating on the Brahman with Form (Saguna-Brahman) like following the ShAndilya-vidyA.

Nitya-karma is essential for the purification of the mind (chitta) and for attaining concentration. The Ultimate Destination is of course what Sri Bhagavan Himself taught to His father and mother as we have seen, but for getting that ultimate illumination, worship is essential.

Your sloka says,some (kechit) do not want to be one with the Supreme Self.That depends on the mental inclination and is perfectly okay with the Advaitins.Also, the pada-seva does not necessarily mean serving the Feet of the Lord with the form, because the Vedas say

tad-vishnoh paramam padam sadA pashyanti surayah dyiviva chakshur Atatam : The Parama-Pada of Vishnu is always seen by the sages as the all-pervading eye on the sky. So pada does not necessarily imply Feet.Also, we have seen how Sri Bhagavan defines 'Purusha' and so 'Paurusha' does not necessarily mean the divine plays of the Lord with form.

To conclude, the sloka quoted by you does describe the glory of worship of God with form, but does not essentially contradict the Advaita Philosophy. As the Lord Himself says, the Ultimate goal is reached only gradually.

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