Whom to Invite

16th Jan 2009
Sri Ramachandra das

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

Recently I came across a following story which very nicely tells what level of importance needs to be given to wealth, success, and love. Once a woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.
"No", she replied. "He's out."
"Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. "Go tell them I am home and invite them in!" The woman went out and invited the men in.
"We do not go into a house together," they replied.
"Why is that?" she asked.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"
His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"
Their daughter was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed to our daughter's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love to be our guest." The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest." Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him.

Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

The word "Love" is being used very loosely and rampantly in this misguided civilization. The point is that love is present, but it is a perverted form of love. Why? Because this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world and thereby everything is topsy turvy and it is not eternal. This does not mean that we don't know how to love and what to love.

In Caitanya-cartitamrta (Madhya 22.107) it is said "Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens."

Nectar of Instruction Text 4 shows the right path:

dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam

In this verse Srila Rupa Goswami explains how to perform devotional activities in the association of other devotees. There are six kinds of activities :

1) Giving charity to the devotees
2) Accepting from the devotees whatever they may offer in return
3) Opening one's mind to the devotees
4) Inquiring from them about the confidential service of the Lord
5) Honouring prasada, or spiritual food, given by the devotees, and
6) Feeding the devotees with prasada.

Srila Prabhupada in his wonderful purport says: "The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees."

He further adds : "The life of the Krishna conscious society is nourished by these six types of loving exchange among the members, therefore people must be given the chance to associate with the devotees of ISKCON because simply by reciprocating in the six ways mentioned above an ordinary man can fully revive his dormant Krishna consciousness."

So Whom should we invite? The answer is we must invite Krishna. Will He come by just mere utterance of invitation? No. We have to invite with LOVE. One and only way is by sincerely calling out

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the only wat to purify our existence. I sincerely pray to our beloved Maharaj to bestow upon me his love and blessings which will allow me to chant lovingly.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sri Ramachandra das
Abu Dhabi.