Steadiness in Devotional Service - Part 4

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

This is in continuation of the previous topic, "Steadiness in Devotional service", wherein we were meditating on the wonderful verses spoken by Sri Narada Muni to Dhruva Maharaj, describing the form and glories of Supreme Lord. In the previous offerings we saw the following points which will help us to become steady in devotional service,

a) We should surrender to Krishna, be fully dependent on Him without any reservations.
b) Lord is tolerance personified and is mercifully tolerating our inebrieties. Remembering this we should learn to be tolerant to other living entities.
c) Lord's beauty is matchless and by sincerely hearing His glories from pure devotees, we will be able to meet the Lord.

Now let us continue to meditate on some more qualities of the Lord as described by Narada Muni in verse 4.8.49 of Srimad Bhagavatam,

kāñcī-kalāpa-paryastaṁ lasat-kāñcana-nūpuram
darśanīyatamaṁ śāntaṁ mano-nayana-vardhanam

 The Lord is decorated with small golden bells around His waist, and His lotus feet are decorated with golden ankle bells. All His bodily features are very attractive and pleasing to the eyes. He is always peaceful, calm and quiet and very pleasing to the eyes and the mind.

The transcendental qualities 'śāntaṁ' and 'mano-nayana-vardhanam' mentioned by the Lord in the above verse is worth meditating.

śāntaṁ- In the word to word equivalents, His Divine Grace very nicely translates the meaning of this word as peaceful, calm and quite. Lord is atmarama - self satisfied and is very tolerant. So He is always shaantah - peaceful, calm and quite. In order to be steady in devotional service, it is very important for us to meditate and imbibe these qualities.  How to be śāntaṁ?

i) In the previous offerings on this topic, we saw the importance of being tolerant even to people who offend us. When we practice tolerance then automatically we become śāntaṁ - calm, quite and peaceful. When we are not tolerant, we become agitated and noisy and lose our peace of mind. We think that offender as the root cause of all problems and we try to revenge them, fight with them and in the process we fail to remember Krishna, to serve Krishna. In his wonderful purport to verse 3.24.44, Srila Prabhupada says, "One should become like the ocean. The ocean is filled by many thousands of rivers, and millions of tons of its water evaporates into clouds, yet the ocean is the same unagitated ocean. The laws of nature may work, but if one is fixed in devotional service at the lotus feet of the Lord, he is not agitated, for he is introspective. He does not look outside to material nature, but he looks in to the spiritual nature of his existence; with a sober mind, he simply engages in the service of the Lord. Thus he realizes his own self without false identification with matter and without affection for material possessions. Such a great devotee is never in trouble with others because he sees everyone from the platform of spiritual understanding; he sees himself and others in the right perspective."

As the proverb goes, "Haste makes waste", whereas "Slow and steady wins the race."  In this race of human birth, our destination and only goal is to reach the lotus feet of Krishna. In that race, if we keep proceeding with patience and faith, following the instructions of Guru and shastras then we are sure to reach the goal. On the other hand if we fall prey to anger and agitation, then we are bound to fall and suffer.

ii) When we are satisfied with whatever Lord blesses us, then we are shaanta. When we keep on hankering for more and more, then we will always be in anxiety. Sometimes we may be working very hard day and night inorder to achieve something. At that point it is important to have a check on ourselves to know whether we are doing it for our need or out of greed. To meet basic necessities of life, we have to do our prescribed duties. No doubt. Krishna confirms the necessity of the same in whole 3rd Chapter of Bhagavad Gita. But when it goes to the extent of affecting our own health, and sadhana then we should draw a line. Sadhana helps us to associate with Krishna. Whereas material hankerings take us away from Krishna. His Divine Grace very nicely says in purport to verse 4.24.20, "A devotee's mind is always calm, quiet and desireless because he is always anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ [Cc. Madhya 19.167], having no desire other than to serve Krishna as His personal servant, friend, father, mother or conjugal lover. Due to his association with Krishna, a devotee is always very calm and cool. It is also significant that within that reservoir all the aquatics were also very calm and quiet. Because the disciples of a devotee have taken shelter of a great soul, they become very calm and quiet and are not agitated by the waves of the material world."

Krishna willing we will continue to meditate on the other glorious qualities of the Lord as described by Sri Narada Muni to Dhruva, so that we can become steady in devotional service.

Thank you very much. 
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.