Qualification for Devotional Service - Part 2

Qualification for Devotional Service - Part 2

Date
Author
Narahari Krishna Das

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

This is in continuation of the previous topic titled, "Qualification for Devotional service", wherein we saw how devotional service alone can satisfy the Lord and even if a devotee does not have material qualifications, he can satisfy the Lord by devotional service. 

1. Occupation:- It is not required that one has to do a very high end occupation to please the Lord. The Varaha purana talks about the life of a hunter by name Dharmavyadha. He was a hunter by birth and he was taught that profession by his elders. But still he could become a successful devotee of Lord Vishnu and he composed the famous Vishnu Stuti (Prayer to Lord Vishnu) which is recorded in the Varaha purana. 

2. Age:- Dhruva Maharaja attained the Lord's vision just at the age of 5 years. Usually people say the spiritual life is meant only for old people. Dhruva Maharaj and Prahlada Maharaja proved that age is not a qualification for bhakti. Dhruva Maharaj also had mixed motives in performing his bhakti and he just followed the instructions of Narada Muni (his spiritual master) and within 6 months he could see the Lord in person and be touched by His conch shell to attain transcendental knowledge. 

3. Knowledge:- Gajendra (elephant) did not have any material knowledge. But by the dint of his devotional service in his previous life as King Indradyumna, He was blessed by the Lord to recollect the prayers he learnt in his previous life and he chanted it with sincerity and the Lord came in person and awarded him a spiritual body. 

4. Physical beauty:- Kubja was a lady living in Mathura and she used to prepare sandalwood paste for Kamsa. Since her body was bent she was called Trivakra (one who had three bends in her body) and was ugly looking due to these bends. When Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama entered the city of Mathura, they asked her to give sandalwood paste for them. She gave the best sandalwood paste and the Lord applied it on His body. He was very pleased with this offering and freed her body from the ugly bends.

5. Wealth:- Sudama (Kuchela) was quiet learned in the Vedas but he was materially very poor and was struggling to maintain his family. But the Lord blessed Sudama washed his feet and proclaimed to the world that Sudama is His dear friend.

6. Aristocratic birth:- Vidura was born to a maid servant by the blessings of Vyasadeva. He was constantly insulted by Duryodhana as dasi-putra (son of a maid servant). But when Lord Krishna came to Hastinapura as the messenger for the Pandavas, He went to the house of Vidura (please by the devotion of Vidura) and accepted the food offered by him and He refused to take food in the palace of Duryodhana. 

7. Physical prowess:- Ugrasena was imprisoned by Kamsa and he could not fight with Kamsa due to his lack of physical prowess and advanced age. But he was eagerly waiting for Lord Krishna's appearance in this world. The Lord appeard in this world, killed Kamsa and released Ugrasena from prison. In addition, the Lord made him the King again and served him as his minister without considering his lack of prowess. 

All the above devotees attained the Lord's mercy in spite of their material disqualification since they had sincere devotion. Now the next question is what is the qualification to attain sincere devotion? If we say by material qualification one can attain devotion, then it would mean that only those who have these qualifications are eligible for bhakti and others are not. This would in turn mean that the Lord is partial and accessible to those who have those qualifications and not to others. This will make bhakti a material activity which requires material qualifications. The acharyas state and explain the only qualification needed for bhakti and Krishna willing we will see that in the next offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna Dasa,
Chennai.