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In the 4th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Dhruva is told by his mother (4.8.19) and Narada (4.8.41) that

By worshipping Sri Hari one can fulfill the material desires as well as the desire for liberation.

In the 10th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, King Parikshit (10.88.1-2), Sukadeva Gosvami (10.88.5-7) and Sri Hari Himself (10.88.8-11) say that

By worshipping Hari one can never fulfill any material desire.Moreover the worshipper loses every material possession.

How to reconcile the above two sayings?

  • Hari is here the denominator for a deva. – Wikash_ Apr 30 '19 at 4:41
  • It really depends on Krishna. Sometimes, he puts people in trouble to increase the faith of their devotees (we remember Him automatically when we are in trouble). However it is also true that Krishna would fulfill all desires (material or liberation). At least that is what I think. – user17858 Apr 30 '19 at 15:48
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    Needs a better subject/summary in the title. – sv. Apr 30 '19 at 23:48
  • The first one is consistent with the teachings of the Gita. – user16581 Jan 4 at 1:51
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Swami Prabhupada's purport on ŚB 10.81.6-7 seems to be relevant here:

In response to this point, a distinction must be made between two kinds of renounced devotees: one kind is inimical to sense gratification, and the other is indifferent to it. The Supreme Lord does not force sense gratification upon the devotee who is extremely averse to worldly enjoyments. This is seen among such great renouncers as Jaḍa Bharata. On the other hand, the Lord may give limitless wealth and power to a devotee who is neither repelled nor attracted by material things, such as Prahlāda Mahārāja. Up to this point in his life, Sudāmā Brāhmaṇa was totally averse to sense gratification, but now, out of compassion for his faithful wife — and also because he hankered to have Kṛṣṇa’s audience — he went to beg from the Lord.

So the two contradictory view are due to two different types of devotees. So, it's upto devotees' intention. For example, in Sudama's case, Lord Krishna said

Being the direct witness in the hearts of all living beings, Lord Kṛṣṇa fully understood why Sudāmā had come to see Him. Thus He thought, “In the past My friend has never worshiped Me out of a desire for material opulence, but now he comes to Me to satisfy his chaste and devoted wife. I will give him riches that even the immortal demigods cannot obtain.” ~ŚB 10.81.6-7

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I am reproducing the 2 cases here, for having clarity.

  1. by worshipping Sri Hari one can fulfill the material desires as well as the desire for liberation (Narada (4.8.41))

  2. by worshipping Hari one can never fulfill any material desire.Moreover the worshipper loses every material possession - Sri Hari Himself (10.88.8-11)


1st case:

The translation of 4.8.41, from the linked site itself:

Any person who desires the fruits of the four principles religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, liberation, should engage himself in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for worship of His lotus feet yields the fulfillment of all of these.

Here lies the catch - who desires the fruits


Case 1

Dhruva wanted to sit on the lap of his father, which was denied by his step-mother due to which he wanted to do austerities for fulfilling his wish.

Even his mother advises him to do so, for getting his desires fulfilled.

So here worshipping of Hari is for fulfilling one's desires.


Case 2

Here, it is the case of getting liberation/moksha. In order to give liberation, Hari has to get his aspiring devotees relieved of bondage towards wealth, wife, ego, status.


Hence, there is no contradiction in the statements from Bhagavatam, in my view.

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