By Narasimha das
O spotless one, your answers to all these questions will grant immunity for all material miseries. Such charity is greater than all Vedic charities, sacrifices, penances and so on. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.7.41)
“The highest perfectional work of charity it to give people in general immunity from the anxieties of material existence. This can be done only by performing activities in devotional service to the Lord. Such knowledge is incomparable. Cultivation of knowledge in the Vedas, performance of sacrifice, and distribution of munificent charities all together cannot form even a part of the immunity from the pangs of material existence that is gained from devotional service. The charity of Maitreya not only will help Vidura, but, due to its universal nature, will deliver all others in all times. Thus Maitreya is immortal.” (SB.3.7.41, Purport)
In this section of Third Canto Bhagavatam, the great saint Vidura puts forward many questions to Maitreya Rishi. His aim was to point out the principles of transcendental loving service to the Lord. He knew that by this understanding anyone, past, present or future, will be liberated from the miseries of material existence and return to the spiritual world via the methods of pure devotion.
In this age, Srila Prabhupada has kindly adjusted the prescribed methods of devotional service found in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Upanisads and Vaishnava commentaries in a way suitable not only for highly intellectual sadhus of Vedic times but for people in general—even those of this present degraded age.
The charity of Srila Prabhupada is meant not only for a small group of disciples or those he personally met and guided, but, due to its “universal nature, will deliver all others in all times”. Thus Srila Prabhupada, like Maitreya Rishi, is immortal. This mystery can never be appreciated by posers whose ulterior aim is to exploit the eternal mission of the Supreme Lord for personal ambition. Nor can it be understood by mayavadis, impersonalists, and sahajiyas. In fact, even prakrita-bhaktas (materialistic devotees) who deliberately remain attached to this material world and fail to appreciate good instructions for detachment may fall again into degradation.
“The demigods in the heavenly planets, and many devotees on this planet also, want to remain in the material world as devotees of the Lord and take advantage of material happiness. They do so at the risk of falling down to the lower status of existence, and this makes the Lord dissatisfied with them.” (SB.3.9.12, Purport)