Steadiness in Devotional Service - Part 10

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, 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. 
d) Lord is shaantah - calm, quite and peaceful. When we practise tolerance and satisfaction, then we also become shaantah. 
e) Lord is pleasing to eyes and mind. Remembering this we should always be smiling and pleasing in our behaviour to others.
f) If we constantly see the Lord's beautiful form, we will be freed from material contamination.
g) Deity Worship regulates our life and instills cleanliness in us.
h) Offerings to the Lord (leaves, fruits, flowers and vegetables) should be pure, fresh and should be done with loving devotion.
i) If physical paraphernalia are not available, then we can do maanasik pooja (worship within the mind) by chanting prayers.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.8.57 Narada Muni says,

svecchāvatāra-caritair acintya-nija-māyayā
kariṣyaty uttamaślokas tad dhyāyed dhṛdayaṅ-gamam

My dear Dhruva, besides worshiping the Deity and chanting the mantra three times a day, you should meditate upon the transcendental activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different incarnations, as exhibited by His supreme will and personal potencies.

Narada Muni advises Dhruva Maharaj that besides doing deity worship and chanting, it is also important that we meditate upon the transcendental activities of the Lord. Scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are full of transcendental activities of the Lord. Since we are present in the material body and susceptible to contamination, there is always a chance that we might tend to loose our faith and taste in process of bhakti if we don't meditate on the transcendental activities of the Lord. On the other hand, by regularly and seriously meditating on the transcendental activities of the Lord, our faith in the bhakti process will improve in leaps and bounds. Srila Prabhupada in his wonderful purport to verse 1.18.11 says, "The more we hear about the transcendental activities of the Lord, as they are stated in the Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, the more we can know about His transcendental nature and thus make definite progress on the path back to Godhead." So by regularly hearing about His pastimes, activities and His nature, we will also gradually develop the transcendental nature and qualities of the Lord.

Such remembrance of Lord's activities will have a positive effect in improving the quality of chanting and deity worship as well. All Vaishnava acharyas like the six Goswamis of Vrindavan, HDG Bhaktivinoda Thakura, HDG Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, HDG Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada all were engaged in deity worship. Still they spent so much time in studying, writing and speaking about the transcendental activities of the Lord. This shows the importance of meditating and remembering the transcendental attributes and qualities of the Lord.

In fact, if we chant the holy names nicely without offenses, then gradually we will become more and more inquisitive to know and learn about the transcendental qualities of Krishna and then ultimately in the advanced stage of devotional service it becomes so difficult for us to keep away from speaking and hearing about the glories of the Lord. That is what Srila Prabhupada beautifully says in his purport to SB 2.1.11, "Hearing of the holy name gradually promotes one to the stage of hearing about His form, about His attributes, His pastimes and so on, and thus the necessity of the chanting of His glories develops successively."

Srila Prabhupada says that the 'necessity' of the chanting of His glories develops successively, which means that chanting the glories of the Lord becomes a necessity and not an option at the advanced stage of hearing. One cannot help but keep glorifying the Lord continuously. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so intense in His eagerness to glorify Krishna that at times He would speak as if He had a thousand mouths. Lord Anantadev is glorying the Supreme Lord with his thousand mouths for thousands of milleniums but still he is not satisfied with this service. So we can see from the advice of Narada muni and also from Srila Prabhupada's transcendental purports that the processes like shravanam, kirtanam, archanam, smaranam etc are interlinked and performing one process nicely, positively feeds onto the other with the ultimate result of developing steady transcendental love and devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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