Devotional service must be done with sincerity and joy. But are we really doing that?? We have these devotees from Mussaffa (a place in Abudhabi), who undergo so much of difficulties to maintain their daily life, staying amongst so many materially engrossed people (who mostly are not following the regulative principles), getting up at 2.30 or 3 am everyday to perform the japa, sincerely following the principles.
Though people in general believe that bhakti and performing pious activities helps one in accumulating unseen merit and gives protection from miseries, when they go through difficult situations in life, this faith is shaken by various degrees. For neophyte devotees like me, this slackening of faith due to miserable situations in life affects bhakti very much.
Ravana was famous for his wealth. He was having so much gold that he wanted to build a golden staircase to svarga so that people can go there without going through the difficulty of performing austerity. But inspite of all the gold he had, he could not take even a small piece of it when he left his body.
In this verse the word mitha-bhuk refers to less eating. In his purport to the above verse Srila Prabhupada says, "This means that one should eat only as much as necessary to maintain the body and soul together. One should not be gluttonous to satisfy the tongue."
Recently he advised us that mere reading of scriptures alone would not help. It is important for us to keep a small book and take notes of our understanding. This would be a very nice preparation for preaching too. When we write down the points, it would stay in our memory longer and would also help us to understand better.
The great acharyas explain that a pure devotee awaits his final day just as a young boy engaged with a beautiful girl is just counting his days for marriage. While fear of death has no negative effect on a pure devotee, for an atheist it causes great agony as he is in ignornace of the eternal nature of atma which is never destroyed.
The more painful thing for me was how much careless we are (I was) in dealing with living entities. He was infact in India in his home during his last days and if I were in touch with his family, I could have at least visited him and chanted for him. Our lackluster behavior in dealing with the living entities cost us dearly and we pay a heavy price for this ruthless behavior.
Once Narada met Krishna and spoke to Him. "My dear Krishna, by becoming Your devotee, the Pandavas are very happy. They have lost their Kingdom. Their wife is insulted. And now they are banished for 12 years. So it is a very good thing. But the wonderful thing I see, now, in spite of all these inconveniences, they have increased their love for You. "
He was telling how nice the children in our Sri Prahlad School in Rajkot are very sharp. Even the playschool kids who are just 2+ years old and cannot even speak properly but they are able to recite the slokas during the assembly prayer very nicely. They are able to absorb the slokas very easily.
The material condition is like the jaundice disease and the names of Krsna are like sugar candy. Initially the sugar candy tastes bitter for the jaundiced person but it is the actual medicine which will cure the jaundice and bring back the actual taste of sugar in our tongue.
We should serve Lord with undeviated attention and without motives. Such animitta bhakti (bhakti - without desire for sense gratification) pleases Lord. But we forget this and keep asking Krishna for material benefits. Reality is Krishna has been giving us so many things every day
While I was preparing for the class, I was profoundly affected by the suffering that Srila Prabhupad underwent, while in Delhi. He underwent all kinds of material suffering - being without food,shelter and adequate clothing, being undermined by young brahmacharis,being put in difficult and unjustified situations by Godbrothers
The only qualification required for disciple is complete surrender to guru and Krishna . By this nature, they would be bestowed with all transcendental knowledge and would also become powerful preacher and thus become sincere follower of Lord Caitanya's mission.
Uncertainty about the future, troublesome people, loneliness and death are some of the common sources of fear. Such fears are baseless. Fear mainly arises due to ignorance. As soon as darkness of ignorance is removed by light of knowledge, fear will vanish.
The tendency in the material world especially modern days is to have a competitive spirit and to compare ourselves with others materially/spiritually. Personally I waste lot of time and energy by comparing me with others who have better material comforts, bigger flat, more money, more talents, lesser responsibilities and worries and fume with envy always.
Because we are not honest, we take the credit for all the successes that happen in our lives and put the blame on Krishna for all our failures. I was with one of my good friend in San Diego who is an accomplished professor as well as a very nice devotee.
As long as a living entity is in this dark material world, he is in conditional life, but as soon as he reaches the spiritual sky by cutting through the false, perverted tree of this material world, he becomes liberated. Then there is no chance of his coming back here.
First make your life perfect. Then try to teach others. Quite often, we find ourselves advising others at various instances but dont follow the same ourselves. In this context there is a story. Once upon a time, a man was crying bitterly in front of his sons dead body. At that moment, a sadhu, who was passing by, came there and tried to console him.
We can see that this is the way of the advanced devotees. They do not focus too much on the faults of the living entities, but they see that some how or the other, this living entity is engaged in the service of the Lord. In this way they try to encourage and protect our devotional service and thus pave the way for our purification in course of time.
This material world is called the world of death. One should examine the fact that his father or his father's father has already died, and that he himself is therefore also sure to die, and similarly, his children, who are the would be fathers of their children, will also die in due course.
Mind becomes agitated easily by adhyaatmic and adhibhautik miseries. We must never give time for the mind to brood over what others have said or will say in future etc. We practicaly gain nothing by brooding over these things. Rather we loose our physical and mental peace.
Due to curse of the Brahmin boy, Parikshit Maharaj knew that he would die within the next 7 days and when he met Sukadeva Goswami, he inquired him humbly about how best he could spend these 7 days. In reply to his queries, the merciful spiritual master, Sukadev Goswami assured Maharaj Parikshit that there is nothing to worry about lifespan being decreased.
In our life, we engage ourselves in so many different types of activities. Beginning is one thing - but continuing the same is another. Even in spiritual terms, it is indeed good to start doing some kind of devotional service. But to progress in that service with firm determination is more important.
People in general have a common thought why sholud we do krishna conciousness in the young age? youth is for enjoying materially and Bhagavat-gita and Bhagavatam are for the old people who got retired. But we don't know when we are going to face the death.We may die before becoming old.
A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krsna from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty.
Sometimes we think that reaching and attaining Krishna is not possible in this birth. This is because of our poor determination. If we are determined, then in one second we will be able to reach Him. Srimad Bhagavatam gives us the wonderful example of Dhruva Maharaj who by his undeviated and determined devotional service was able to meet the Lord in person within a short span of time.