In Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila 3.41, we read about Advaita Acarya and his wife inviting the Lord in for prasadam. In the purport, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada explains the duty of a householder in terms of honoring prasadam
Pleasing a pure devotee is as good as pleasing Krishna Himself since the devotee is a direct representation of God, which is confirmed by the Supreme Lord Himself in SB 9.4.63 when Durvasa Muni seeked the Lord's shelter from His Sudarshana chakra.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur compares the mind to a dog, and if one is walking around with a foaming monster on four legs one is sure to dragged here and there. Often one may be tempted to give up one's plans for engagement in Krishna's service because the mind is agitating
On the one hand we are proud of the advanced civilization and on the other hand we find that the uncontrollable and insatiable craving for external pleasures is leading to addiction and suicides on a large scale.
As long as we stick to our service and do not poke our nose into other's business we will keep up a good relationship with the other person. Most often, this poking of nose happens only when we are driven by hidden motives, say, earn a good name or wealth or some other kind of benefit.
It is really wonderful to see the children of Gokulnandan classes in Abu Dhabi lovingly reciting and memorising the verses from Bhagavad Gita, singing keertans and playing the mridanga and kartals, performing skits, drawing and colouring and chanting the Maha Mantra.
There lived two kings by name Kesidhvaja and Kandikya ruling neighboring kingdoms. Of these two, Kesidhvaja was a great devotee of the Lord and Kandikya was a pious King and a great expert in performing sacrifices and fruitive activities.
Today I was reading the chapter entitled "Puranjana Becomes a Woman in The Next Life" in Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada's purport to the verse 4.28.19 is very intriguing. Srila Prabhupada states a very subtle difference between a grhastha and grhamedhi in this purport.
In His initial address to Arjuna's question about the symptoms of a person in perfect transcendental consciousness in verse Bhagavad-gita 2.54, Krishna already explained that such a person has given up all the varieties of desire for sense gratification and finds satisfaction in the self alone.
It is very difficult to experience mercy in this world, especially with the steady upsurge of Kali Yuga. Devotees should, however, always take heart that the Supreme Lord continues to shower His mercy on us struggling living entities, and He alone is sufficient to be our ultimate shelter in the precarious ocean of birth and death.
We are all chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra on a daily basis and it has become an integral part of our lives. Since the mahamantra has been freely distributed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and it is so easy to chant that we tend to take it for granted.
As we get acquainted with Krishna Consciousness everyday, it is natural that we do some kind of preaching (passive or active) in our day to day lives. It may range from giving dedicated discourses to sharing our knowledge or realization casually with others.
In one of his lectures - His Divine Grace lists the qualities of demons as - "These are the qualifications of persons who do not surrender to Krishna: miscreants, mischievous, sinful, mudha, rascal, asses, naraadhama, lowest of the mankind. These are the qualifications."
I remember a well known incident of an old woman who bought a ticket for an air-conditioned bus for going to some destination. Although ticket was containing a seat number, since she was illiterate, she entered in the bus and sat in whatever empty seat was available.
The word atandritah in the above verse is very significant. Atandritah means alert or with great care. We must perform devotional service with utmost care. Even slight amount of carelessness will easily lead to our downfall.
We see that some of the devotees of the Lord may not be very educated, and they may be lacking in wealth, physical beauty and strength. However due to their ardent devotion to the Lord, their heart is filled with compassion for all the living beings.
In Krishna consciousness we hear the word "Depend on the Lord" many times, from devotees and the scriptures. When I met Maharaj in Rajkot a few days back, I asked the question, "Maharaj, I am feeling anxious about my work, family and other commitments".
Krishna Consciousness is a gradual process. We cannot be restless to become a pure devotee overnight. Restlessness is predominantly in the mode of passion. So to become a devotee, we should atleast be in the mode of goodness.
The end of August was very auspicious with Janmaashtami celebrations, Srila Prabhupada Appearance day ending with Ekadasi. On all these auspicious days we are supposed to make more advancement on the spiritual front and intoxicate ourselves in the nectar of the Vedic literature(s).
Most of us have the experience that when we are new to any service, we are so enthusiastic to learn it and we voluntarily take up the work of others also. After a few years, we begin to take things for granted and we settle in our own service, rarely helping others.
Everyday I tell myself that I have to progress in the devotional service, but then how can I devote myself completely to the Lord, when there's anger filled in me in every nook and corner, which takes me one step aback from all the attempts of being a devotee?
While performing devotional service it is very important that we should be determined to follow the principles of sadhana bhakti without any deviation. Unless we are determined in devotional service, Maya is so strong that we can fall a prey to it immediately.
Today I was relishing a very interesting pastime in Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, volume 4, chapter 34 wherein Srila Prabhupada - who is goodness personified, continued to preach even amidst threats from terrorists in Calcutta in 1970s.
We need to be simple and straight forward in our dealings with others. There should not be any duplicity in our thoughts, words or action. Simplicity is always recognised and appreciated by great souls.
We can find from the above verse that how much simple is the process of devotional service. The Lord is so merciful that even if one is not able to afford to get the prescribed paraphernalia, the Lord accepts the offerings that are made mentally, just by reciting the mantra.
Krishna has very nicely listed the qualities of His devotees in the above verse. We can check out whether we are improving ourselves in bhakti yoga or not by introspecting our behaviour at a regular basis.