Happiness in Hell

26th Jun 2020
Sudarshana devi dasi

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

In Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3 Chapter 15 we see that the four Sanat Kumaras become angry and curse the door-keepers Jaya and Vijaya who check them from entering into 7th gate of Vaikuntha. At once Lord along with Lakshmi devi rushes there and gives His transcendental darshan to the Kumaras and the door-keepers. Then the Kumaras begin to regret that it was not correct on their part also to behave in such an angry mood in Vaikuntha. So they think themselves as worthy of punishment.With great humility they say in verse 3.15.49

kāmaṁ bhavaḥ sva-vṛjinair nirayeṣu naḥ stāc
ceto ’livad yadi nu te padayo rameta
vācaś ca nas tulasivad yadi te ’ṅghri-śobhāḥ
pūryeta te guṇa-gaṇair yadi karṇa-randhraḥ

O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of life, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful [by speaking of Your activities] just as tulasī leaves are beautified when offered unto Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities.

This verse shows how devotees of the Lord do not mind going to hell also - provided they are able to serve Supreme Lord, hear and chant His glories. They very nicely say that just like tulsi leaves when offered to Lord's lotus feet, become beautiful, similarly words (vāca) when used for glorifying Lord become beautiful śobhāḥ. They also pray that their ear holes - karṇa-randhraḥ, be always filled with guṇa-gaṇair - transcendental glories of the Lord.

In the current scenario also we find that when the whole world is affected due to the pandemic disease, everywhere people keep hearing and talking about the virus, number of people affected, death rate, possibility of cure etc. Such shravanam and kirtanam about the virus only brings in anxiety and agitation to the minds. But by the causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada, devotees make the best use of this bad-bargain by engaging themselves in shravanam and kirtanam of the Supreme Lord and thereby remain blissful even in these difficult moments. If not for His Divine Grace we would have never even come across or touched this vast stock of scriptures in this life time. In one of the lectures on verse 1.13.14, Srila Prabhupada says,

"Therefore śravaṇam is very essential. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. So in all our centers, this process should be followed. We have got now so many books. Simply if we read books... Our Yogeśvara Prabhu is very enthusiastic to read books. So everyone should read books, and others should hear. That is very essential, śravaṇam. The more you hear... We have got so many books. Whatever is already published... Just like we are describing one verse daily. So at least... There are so many verses already in stock, you can go on speaking for fifty years. These books already published, you can go on. There will be no want of stock.

So this practice should be adopted. Don't waste time. As much as possible, try to hear about this transcendental subject matter, Bhāgavatam. Yad vaiṣṇavānāṁ priyam. It is stated that "The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is very, very dear to the Vaiṣṇavas, to the devotees." In Vṛndāvana, you will find, they are always reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That is their life and soul. So now we have got already six volumes, and further... How many? Eight volumes are coming? So you will have enough stock. So you should read. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]. That is the main business. That is pure devotional service. Because we cannot devote twenty-four hours in hearing and chanting, therefore we have extended our activities, program activities, in so many ways. Otherwise, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so nice, if you practice anywhere, any condition, simply by reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you will be happy. So adopt this practice and make your spiritual life perfect more and more."

How grateful we should be to His Divine Grace for not only writing the books, but also for insisting the process of regular reading and thus enabling us to be happy even in hellish conditions? Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!

Hare Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi