Steadiness in Devotional Service - Part 1

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

The following is a humble effort to transcribe an inspiring class given by our Godbrother HG Devakinandan Prabhuji on Bhagavad Gita verse 2.41.

1. Chant and be peaceful: We are all fortunate because, wherever we are, wherever topics about Krishna are discussed, wherever chanting of Krishna's names and glories are being sung and heard, everyone becomes happy. Isn't it true that we are all very peaceful at the moment? Completely. Very peaceful. Why?  Because for the past few hours we have been doing nothing but chanting Krishna's names. And when we chant Krishna's names we automatically become peaceful. Why? Because chanting is non-different from seeing Krishna. This is the point we have to understand. The only qualification that we require to continue in Krishna consciousness is to have this unbreakable, unswerving, unflinching resolve. Resolve means determination, to continue on this path. It is very easy for us to feel very inspired when we are in the presence of devotees. Isn't it true? At this moment, we are all very fired up and frankly speaking, because we are all remembering nobody and nothing but Krishna, we are all free of the three modes of material nature. Now we are all free. We are not even in the mode of goodness, we are completely transcendental. But the moment we leave from here, we go back to our work, we go back to Singapore, we back to Kosovo, what happens? Then the challenge of the determination to continue - the fire stops. So how do we sustain the fire is the practical point that Bhagavad Gita touches. 

2. Bhakti has no boundaries: Before we start I would like to introduce you all to 3 devotees who have come all the way from Kosovo. Now how many of you know actually where Kosovo is? Kosovo used to be part of Yugoslavia. But Kosovo is more traditionally a part of Albania, in terms of culture. Now how many of you know where Albania is? (laughter) We know it is somewhere in Europe. We have HG Muralidhar Krishna Prabhu, he is born Muslim and he has embraced Krishna consciousness so nicely that sometimes we forget that he is not Indian. (loud laughter) He was the first person from Kosovo to have met our Guru Maharaj. He was 19 when he met Maharaj in London. There was civil war in his country at that time and even now when you go there, I went there few years ago and we can feel a strong military presence there. At the time of immigration, I was waiting to get through and they were asking me many questions as to 'how do you know these people, how did you become friends with them.' They looked at me with great suspicion. (laughter) I was worried because there were guns all over the place and I was thinking did I make the right move? Murali prabhu and Vishwabhavana Prabhu were just there outside. But how to get to them? (laughter) And finally, they looked at my passport many times and finally decided that I am safe, they put a stamp and then smiled very broadly and said, "Welcome to Kosovo". That was how it was. (loud laughter). 

Then we have HG Vishwabhavana Prabhu. He is a doctor by profession. Murali prabhu is a dentist by profession. So between both of them you are taken care of. (laughter) Vishwabhavana Prabhu stopped his practice as doctor and is continuing his father's business and is doing it very successfully. They have families. Their wives are also Krishna conscious and when I stayed there in Kosovo, everyday prasadam was first-class in Kosovo. Their children - Murali prabhu has two daughters - Mira and Maya. Vishwabhavana prabhu's daughter's name is Hare and she is eleven and half years old and his son's name is Arya. So this Vedic culture is very strong and they have all taken to this Krishna consciousness so well and frankly speaking they are really examples we have to follow. We have another devotee from Kosovo - Viraj prabhu. All of them are chanting very sincerely and have embraced Krishna consciousness so nicely and have come all the way from Kosovo. So Krishna is truly international! (loud laughter). This movement is not sectarian. It is not. That is a rubber stamp. 

So the question we ask ourselves today is how to become determined in devotional service. These devotees have no association in Kosovo. They have to everything underground. Their altars have to be hidden. They have to be extremely careful. Because so much of military presence and guns there. It is not a safe place. But the challenge is not the guns. The challenge is how do we continue to remember Krishna everyday, with or without guns. Bhagavad Gita 2.41 gives us the nice clue.

Krishna willing we shall continue to hear more nectar from Prabhuji in the subsequent offerings.

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