The uniqueness of devotion rests on the truth that the yearning is for the highest bliss that far exceeds any finite object of enjoyment. True devotion transcends considerations such as learning, wealth, status, etc., and understands the Lord’s supremacy and strives to gain access to His presence by humble and pure obeisance alone. When surrounded by an atmosphere of competition in this world, a Jivatma finds it difficult to fix his mind on God alone with absolute steadfastness.

But the Lord’s penchant for true devotion is so strong that He comes forward to lift the Jivatma from the shackles of samsara, and this is symbolised in Krishna’s fondness for butter, said Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.

The epithet Navaneeta Chora — one who steals butter — only signifies the Lord’s special fondness for those who show pure and unselfish love for Him. Like the butter that continues to remain and float in the curd from which it is obtained, maintaining its separate identity henceforth, the Jivatma whose devotion is pure and simple is dear to Him. The Lord Himself chooses to release those whose devotion to Him is strong even when worldly concerns may distract them from maintaining a detached state. Similarly the flute in His hands is also symbolic of the spirit of true devotion. A true devotee always wishes to bide by the Lord’s command and be an instrument to do His bidding. Is not the flute privileged to be carried by Him and always ready to serve Him?

The Gopis represent the highest stage of devotion and their words reflect the state of mind of realised souls. Hearing the Lord’s music, they run seeking Him. They are dissuaded by Krishna to get back to their immediate duties. This is what they tell Him: “The Supreme Lord accepts all those who go to Him seeking liberation. The Lord is the soul of the souls of all beings. He is the closest relative and the dearest object of love. We have abandoned all worldly concerns and have come to you as our succour. It does not behove you to spurn us thus.”

Devotion alone promises release from samsara. One has to offer oneself to God and not desire anything else in this world except union with God.