Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
This is in continuation of the series titled, "Obedience is the Key to Goloka" wherein we were discussing on the nature and characteristics of obedience, based on Srimad Bhagavatam verses 3.13.9 and 3.13.10. Let us try to meditate on the points one by one.
1. Without reservation (nirvyalika): The first quality of obedience we meditate upon is nirvyalīka - which means to be non-deceptive, to follow without any reservation. Without any deceptive motive means we accept without any condition or inner agenda. For example we have to sing Gurvashtakam (saṁsāra-dāvā) in Mangala arati which talks about paying obeisances to Guru in every verse. We do arati to the Supreme Lord but we sing Guru arati. It seems to be contradictory. But we have to understand that Guru and Krishna are non-different and with the satisfaction of Guru, Krishna will automatically be satisfied. It is our acaryas' instructions and we simply accept it without any reservation. Krishna is supremely pure and we are so much materially contaminated and therefore we don't have any qualification to be engaged in His direct service. Therefore we pray to our Guru to engage in his service who in turn will offer it to the Lord. We have the example of Prahlad Maharaj who says very emphatically in his prayer to Lord Narasimha that he wants to be in the service of Guru instead of the Lord. He says in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.28:
evaṁ janaṁ nipatitaṁ prabhavāhi-kūpe
kāmābhikāmam anu yaḥ prapatan prasaṅgāt
kṛtvātmasāt surarṣiṇā bhagavan gṛhītaḥ
so ’haṁ kathaṁ nu visṛje tava bhṛtya-sevām
My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, because of my association with material desires, one after another, I was gradually falling into a blind well full of snakes, following the general populace. But Your servant Narada Muni kindly accepted me as his disciple and instructed me how to achieve this transcendental position. Therefore, my first duty is to serve him. How could I leave his service?
If Krishna comes face to face then we may even forget to express our gratitude to our spiritual master without whom we would not have got the darshan of the Lord. But Prahlad Maharaj shows us the way by saying very emphatically to the Lord that because of my spiritual master Narada muni, I have achieved this transcendental position and thus I am able to see You face to face and therefore how can I leave the service of my spiritual master? Srila Prabhupada gives the secret of success in spiritual life. The whole philosophy of singing saṁsāra-dāvā in Mangala arati is based on the concept that without being grateful to our acharyas it is not possible to achieve perfection in our devotional service. This is emphasized in the above verse of Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada makes it very clear in the purport of 7.9.28, "One should not attempt to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by concoction. One must first be prepared to serve the spiritual master, and when one is qualified, he is automatically offered the platform of direct service to the Lord. Therefore Prahlad Maharaja proposed that he engage in the service of Narada Muni. He never proposed that he engage directly in the service of the Lord. This is the right conclusion."
a. We don't put any condition to our spiritual master for executing his instructions. We don't have to change his instructions according to our convenience. Our spiritual master wants it and Krishna wants it, we will do. Lord Parasuram is a perfect example in front of us. He executed the order of his father by killing his own mother and brothers implicitly and without any reservation even though it was impossible situation. What is the result of that obedience? He got back his brothers and his mother back. This is without reservation.
b. We should be ready to do any type of service, from cleaning to everything. We should not discriminate any aspect of devotional service. We should have Srimad Bhagavatam on one hand and duster on one hand. Devotional service is absolute - from slipper management to preaching.
c. We have to become malleable. When we are rigid it is not possible to execute the service without reservation. Pandavas were so malleable that Krishna served them in all ways from messenger to chariot driver. In all conditions Pandavas were executing the devotional service. This is without reservation.
d. Simplicity is a must for obedience. The more simple we are, the more obedient we will become without any reservation - nirvyalīkena.
e. Without reservation means we are ready to sacrifice our ego, mind and intelligence.
Krishna willing, we will meditate on other characteristics of obedience in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sajjana Priya Krishna das
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