Simplicity - Part 1

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

This transcription is based on the wonderful class given by HG Vaijayantimala mataji.

Devotional service is actually very simple. 3rd Canto 31st Chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam says that when we were in the womb of our mother, we were praying to Krishna. So Bhakti is so simple that without any paraphernalia we were praying to the Lord. Bhakti is nothing but going to our father. A child walks to the mother very naturally even if there is any obstacle in between. Maharaj says bhakthi is like breathing. We don't even know that we are breathing. We are not conscious of our breathing. Breathing is simple and easy. Similarly bhakthi should also be simple. Just like breathing is essential for our life, bhakti is essential for our soul. We should not complicate bhakti.

Krishna likes simplicity. Krishna came as a cowherd boy. The gopas and gopis were simple. They are illiterate that they don’t even know the difference between right hand and left hand. If the Lord Sri Krishna is so simple and we are His part and parcels, then we should also become very simple in our life. 10.21.5 of Srimad Bhagavatam describes Krishna entering into the forest to graze the cows,

barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ

Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikaara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krishna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrndavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories.

Krishna decorates His head with a small peacock feather which is very easily available in the forest. He did not go for a crown which is made of diamond and gold. He is wearing only karnikaara flowers in His ears. He is wearing beautiful simple yellow garment. He is wearing only multi coloured flowers as necklace. He is having a very simple instrument in His lips. Flute is made up of bamboo. It is very easily available in the forest. So just cut it and make 7 holes and flute is ready. So simple. He is entering into the forest without even wearing the slippers. He did not take Mercedes car. He is so attractive, sweet, wonderful, innocent and very easily approachable because He is so simple. Krishna is very simple that sometimes He just eats the left out prasadam of gopas.

In 3.29.18 of Srimad Bhagavatam Lord Kapila gives the five qualities of a devotee,

ādhyātmikānuśravaṇān nāma-saṅkīrtanāc ca me
ārjavenārya-saṅgena nirahaṅkriyayā tathā

A devotee should always try to hear about spiritual matters and should always utilize his time in chanting the holy name of the Lord. His behaviour should always be straightforward and simple, and although he is not envious but friendly to everyone, he should avoid the company of persons who are not spiritually advanced.

In this verse the very important quality is aarjavam. Unless we have aarjava - simplicity, we will not have time to hear spiritual matter and chant the holy name of the Lord. Simplicity saves all our time. Then we can nicely do our devotional service. Let us see the qualities of a simple person.

1. A simple person does not agitate others: In 12th chapter of Bhagavad Gita Krishna says one of the important quality of a devotee is 'yasmān nodvijate loko lokān nodvijate ca yaḥ' a person who does not cause agitation to others and one who is not agitated by others. A person who is not agitated by others is dhira. There are so many instances in Bhagavatam where even the bad news are conveyed without giving agitation to the other living entity. Before we speak we have do the triple filter test. Before we pass on any information we have to see whether it is good, truth and useful.

Even while performing the devotional service, we should not create agitation to other living entities. Bhakti is something which is within our heart. Supposing our kirtan is disturbing the neighbour, we should not be fanatic that we are doing our devotional activity only so let us do. No, we should not agitate other living entity and be peaceful and practical whatever is within our limits in performing our bhakti.

One of our god brother is staying in labour camp where there are so many non Hindus are staying. He cannot do mangalarthi singing loudly at 3.30am. He gets up 3.30am and sings mangala arati in his mind. So it is very important to understand that we should not do anything which is agitating to others or even our own family members.

Krishna willing, we will see the remaining qualities of a simple person in the subsequent offerings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Anuradha devi dasi