Devotional Service - Keep it Simple

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

HG Radha Madanmohan Prabhu's point about achieving material and spiritual opulence is very sublime. There are so many ways to cheat and achieve success in material life but there is only one way to achieve success in spiritual life - that is by doing simple devotional service following the orders of our spiritual master. In reality devotional service is naturally simple. Only when we complicate it, it becomes very difficult. 

One of the most common examples is the devotees relationship with their parents after coming to Krishna consciousness. Generally when neophyte devotees start practicing Krishna consciousness they enter into what is called 'pure devotee syndrome'. They start thinking that their parents or anyone else who is not chanting is in maya and disrespect them. They think that by associating with them they will also lose their taste for Krishna consciousness and start avoiding them or treat them with disdain. As a result the relationship get strained and the whole situation becomes unnecessarily complicated. Our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj very strongly advices against this behaviour. He always insists that one should give all respects to one's mother and father even though they may not be able to take up to Krishna consciousness. He says, "If not for your father and mother, how would you have become Krishna conscious ? They had so much tolerance and patience in taking care of you right from when you were in the womb. They are walking bhagavatas. Without their blessings we cannot proceed an inch in Krishna consciousness. We should always give full respect to all the elders no matter what they are." A few years back when I was with Maharaj in Juhu for a pandal program, one teenage girl came to him and complained that she was not able to attend programs because her parents are not allowing her. Maharaj immediately said that if her parents does not allow her, she should obey them and stay back home. First comes respect of elders and then comes everything else. He ended with an astounding punch, "In this whole world, there are only two living entities who have genuine love for you - one is your father and the other is your mother.

Interestingly I found a similar conversation in Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita where the devotees converse about the dealings with one's parents. Srila Prabhupada's golden words are worth imprinting in our hearts permanently for our lifetime

Rameshvara: "One of the commandments is that one shall honor thy father and mother.

Prabhupada replied that a devotee loves his mother and father by teaching them Krsna consciousness

Hari-shauri: "My mother testified to that. When I was at home she said I was impossible to live with. When she saw me afterwards, I was very nice.

Prabhupada: "Many. Hayagriva's father and mother also.

Rameshvara: "My parents think like that too. I could have no relationship with them before, but now that I am a devotee, I actually want to help them."

Prabhupada: "There are so many fathers and mothers who appreciate. None of our disciples are disrespectful to mother and father. Why? I never said you become disrespectful to your father and mother. At Brahmananda's initiation, his mother was standing there and I instructed Brahmananda, "Take the dust of your mother's feet first, then you offer me obeisances.' So first of all he offered his obeisances to his mother. I told him, "You have got good mother. Otherwise, how she has got a son like you?' I always say like that." (end).

The above conversation only emphasises the undeniable fact that devotional service is simple for the simple and complex for the complex.

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