Bhakti destroys the egoism arising from falsely identifying the body with the self (deha-abhimāna). This is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.11.30):
tvaṁ pratyag ātmani tadā bhagavaty ananta
bhaktiṁ vidhāya paramāṁ śanakair avidyā
granthiṁ vibhetsyasi mamāham iti prarūḍham
[Manu said to Dhruva:] By searching for Bhagavān Ananta, who possesses all potencies, who is the embodiment of supreme transcendental bliss and who resides within all living entities as the Supersoul, your devotion will become very steady. On the strength of that devotion you will be able to cut the tight knot of ignorance in the form of the false conceptions of “I” and “mine”.
manu bale dhruva tumi dhṛta sarva-śakti
pratyak ānanda-rūpa kṛṣṇe kara bhakti
chedana karite krame haibe sakṣama
A sādhaka experiences his own transcendental form (svarūpa) by cultivating pure devotional service that is unobstructed and not personally motivated. Upon realising his svarūpa, he very easily cuts the knot of ignorance by which he identifies the material body as “I” and material objects as “mine”. When the living entity transcends the three modes (sattva, raja and tama), he is able to experience bhagavad-rasa, which is endowed with all potencies. This takes place by the influence of association with devotees. Since he is self-realised, he searches for Bhagavān, who is beyond the material modes, who is the non-dual Absolute Truth endowed with all transcendental qualities, and who is infallible. By cultivating bhakti in this way, he gradually becomes eternally situated in his own svarūpa.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.22.39) states:
karmāśayaṁ grathitam udgrathayanti santaḥ
tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo ’pi ruddha-
sroto-gaṇās tam araṇaṁ bhaja vāsudevam
[Śrī Sanat Kumāra instructed Pṛthu Mahārāja:] The devotees of Bhagavān are easily able to cut the knot in the heart in the form of desires for fruitive activities by meditating upon the splendour that emanates from the toes of Bhagavān’s lotus feet. However, impersonalist yogīs, who are devoid of loving devotion, cannot do so even by controlling their senses. Therefore give up the endeavours of jñāna, yoga and so forth, and engage in bhajana of Vāsudeva-Kṛṣṇa.
pratyāhāre ruddha-mati yogeśvara-gana
kadāca karite pāre yāhā sampādana
sei karmāśaya granthi kāṭe sādhu-gaṇa
yāṅra kṛpā-bale, laha tāṅhāra śaraṇa
Impersonalists (nirviśeṣa-jñānīs) are not able to control their senses even by performing severely rigid practices, but devotees can very easily control the extremely strong senses by meditating upon the lustre of the lotus-petal-like toes of the most merciful Bhagavān. In this way they become absorbed in deep meditation. This meditation (dhyāna), and the object of meditation (dhyeya), Śrī Bhagavān, are both eternal. The followers of the theory of monism (advaitavādīs) say: “sādhakānāṁ hitārthāya brahmaṇi rūpaḥ kalpate – Brahman is formless but for the benefit of sādhakas a form has been imagined.” They say that by worshipping imaginary forms of Viṣṇu, Śiva, Durgā, Sūrya and Gaṇeśa, one’s heart is purified and one then attains sāyujya-mukti, merging into Brahman. This conception, however, is an ignorant hypothesis that is opposed to the scriptures.
The word vilāsa-bhaktyā in this Text 22 means that the sādhaka contemplates Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s body and meditates on different kinds of services, such as anointing Him with perfume, giving Him an oil-massage, bathing Him and so forth. Meditation on the toes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is clever in vraja-rasa, means remembering that His lotus toes have been coloured by kuṅkuma while He was performing intimate pastimes in the bowers of Vṛndāvana with the vraja-devīs. By meditating on this, all the knots of the disease in one’s heart are easily and naturally destroyed. How can the impersonalists, who are covered by ignorance, obtain all these transcendental sentiments? They do not even accept the eternality of Bhagavān and His transcendental form. Although they consider themselves liberated, in reality they are not. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 22.29) confirms this:
jñānī jīvan-mukta-daśā pāinu kari’ mane
vastutaḥ buddhi ‘śuddha’ nahe kṛṣṇa-bhakti bine
The endeavours of the offensive nirviśeṣa-jñānīs to control their senses are futile. Externally their activities may look like self-control, but internally there is a flow of dirty, lusty desires likened to the Phalgu River, a river in Gayā that has no flow of water on the river bed but flows underground. Even after thousands of years of severe austerities, Saubhari Ṛṣi was not liberated from material desires. However, by serving Bhagavān in the association of the pure devotee Mahārāja Māndhātā, he was liberated from material existence very easily. On the strength of bhakti, the devotees are able to cut ignorance at the root. All their senses remain engaged in Bhagavān’s service and they make their senses successful by relishing the nectar of Bhagavān’s beauty. Therefore give up futile endeavours to subdue the senses and perform bhajana of Śrī Vrajendra-nandana, who is eternal and full of transcendental bliss. This is the only auspicious activity.
An introduction to the midday pastimes (madhyāhna-līlā) is found in Govinda-līlāmṛta (8.1):
rādhā-kṛṣṇau satṛṣṇau parijana-ghaṭayā sevyamānau smarāmi
I meditate upon Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, who at midday enjoy each other’s company while being beautifully decorated with various bhāvas, such as aṣṭa-sāttvika-bhāvas and vyabhicāri-bhāvas. They become extremely restless due to contrariness (vāmya) and yearning (utkaṇṭhā). In Their amorous play (kandarpa-yajña) the joking words of Śrī Lalitā and the other sakhīs give Them much pleasure. They blissfully enjoy sports like swinging (jhūlā), frolicking in the forest (vana-vihāra), playing in the water (jala-keli), stealing the flute (vaṁśī-haraṇa), amorous meeting (rati-krīḍā), drinking honey (madhu-pāna), worshipping the Sun-god (sūrya-pūjā) and many other kinds of pastimes while being served by Their dear ones.
rādhā-kuṇḍe sumilana, vikārādi-vibhūṣaṇa,
sambhoga-narmādi-rīti, dolā-khelā vaṁśī-hṛti,
madhu-pāna, sūrya-pūja khelā
jala-khelā, vanyāśana, chala-supti, vanyāṭana,
bahu-līlānande dui jane
parijana suveṣṭita, rādhā-kṛṣṇa susevita,
madhyāhna-kālete smari mane
After finishing Her prasāda-sevā at Nanda-bhavana, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī returns to Jāvaṭa with Her sakhīs, where She very eagerly waits to meet Her prāṇa-priyatama, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Her mother-in-law, Jaṭilā, orders Her to worship Sūryadeva, and on this pretext she leaves Her house with Her sakhīs and secretly departs for Rādhā-kuṇḍa, where She is able to freely meet with Her beloved. There, His darśana and touch decorate Her with aṣṭa-sāttvika, kila-kiñcita and many other bhāvas. Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s contrary mood (vāmya-bhāva) enables Her prāṇeśvara to relish the mellows of pastimes to their highest extent, and it also stimulates His ever-fresh eagerness. Then many pastimes take place with the gopīs, such as meeting with Kṛṣṇa (sambhoga), joking while playing dice (pāśā-krīḍā), playing hide-and-seek (āṅkha-micaunī), stealing the flute (vaṁśī-corī), drinking honey (madhu-pāna, or prema-pāna), engaging in water-sports (jala-krīḍā), having a picnic (vanya-bhojana), feigning sleep (chala-śayana) and worshipping the Sun-god (sūrya-pūjā). Absorbed in meditating on these pastimes, the rāgānuga-sādhaka performs kīrtana of Kṛṣṇa’s names.
Thus ends the Caturtha-yāma-sādhana,
Madhyāhna-kālīya-bhajana, of Śrī Bhajana-rahasya.