How to become a devotee

Bhagavad Gita

man-manaa bhaava mad-bhakto / mad-yaaji maam namaskuru 
maam evaishyasi yuktvaivam / aatmaanam mat-paraayanaha

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

 The thing is with our mind, however hard we try, we cannot concentrate on anything in this world, what to talk of spiritual matters, which are not really visible to our skin eyes. These are called carma cakshu - eyes of the skin. As it is seen from Srimad Bhagavatam, all that we see with the skin eyes, has no endurance. It cannot continue. I am seeing this hall, I am seeing my house, my wife and children. Whatever I see with my material eyes is nashvaram grhyamaanam ca. What is that verse ?  (SB 11.7.7) yad idam manasaa vaacamanasaa is mind and here in Gita verse Krishna wants us to divert our mind from all these things, to Him alone, His nature. On the other hand, He has described in the pages of Bhagavatam that mind being material, it will always show us the material things. That is definite. If I am gold merchant, I will show you gold. If I am cloth merchant, I will show you cloth. If I own a restaurant, I will give you eatables. What I have, I will give. The mind being material will always present material things in front of you. And everything here is bewildering. That's the fact. 

Unless we come to this conclusion, our mind will never be diverted. And whether we like it or not, the conclusion is fixed. The material things that we are visualising by the mind and other senses - they are nashvaram - very temporary in nature and destructive. Both things are there. It is temporary and nobody can refute this. Not only temporary, it is also destructive. It is already in the path of destruction. Thats why any material situation will not solve your problems which are not very easily solvable. They cannot save you from janma - taking birth. They can never save you from death. We have so much advancement. But there is no injection that can save you from death. Death is certain. As sure as death - in English there is a saying. These problems remain as they are with all our solutions. Mind being engaged in these conditions, cannot see beyond. It only grapples between birth, disease, old-age and death.

These problems (birth,death,old-age, disease) remain as they are with all our solutions. Mind being encaged in these conditions, cannot see beyond. It only grapples between birth, disease, old-age and death. Thats all. Beyond that it refuses to accept anything. And all the worldly situations, being conditioned with these four problems, they have no capacity to make you happy. That is for certain. One who visualises the incapacity of material things to stop the unsolvable problems of birth, death, old age and disease, then he/she may try to find out something beyond this - paaram - something transcendental to this. Fortunately we have the original sources which dissipate this knowledge through the Vedic culture. 

The essence of all the vedas is given in Bhagavad-Gita - "vedaish ca sarvair aham eva vedyo'. Krishna says, "Of all the Vedas, I am to be known." That is the conclusion of Vedas. So our culture has conclusion - vedais ca sarvaih - of whatever you know and don't know, from all these things, aham eva vedyo - you have to only know Me. That's it. vedaanta krd veda vid eva caaham - I am the compiler of the Vedas. And I am the knower of the Vedas. The conclusion is very simple and this is Vedic culture. Veda means knowledge. You have so much knowledge around. vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo - Of all the knowledge I am to be known. Certainly I am to be known. Why ? He gives the reason - vedaanta krd - I am the compiler of the Vedas. So Vedas are not written by conditioned soul who are conditioned by birth, death, disease and old-age. Conditioned soul, cannot present the reality. Conditioned soul can present the conditioned reality. The actual reality has no conditions. Krishna was existing before the creation, with the creation He is there and after annihilation of the whole show, He will also remain there."

 Conditioned soul, cannot present the reality. Conditioned soul can present the conditioned reality. The actual reality has no conditions. Krishna was existing before the creation, with the creation He is there and after annihilation of the whole show, He will also remain there. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.9.33, Lord says to Brahma

aham evaasam evaagre / naanyat yat sat asat param
pashcaad aham yad etac ca / yo 'vasishyeta so 'smyaham

 "Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead."

aham evaasam evaagre - aham eva asam agre..Lord says, "I certainly". He is very definite about it. asam agre - "was existing before the creation. There was nothing else." pashcaad aham yad etac ca - "After annihilation also whatever is remaining, I will be existing." yo 'vasishyeta  - "whatever balance is there", so 'smyaham - "I am in that. It is very clear in Bhagavatam." This is the knowledge and then He leaves us to realise it. He has given the freedom. He has given the original knowledge. Now if we realise this knowledge, put into practice, then we will be happy. Else we will be suffering. To the ratio we put this into practise, to that ratio either you are suffering or enjoying. There is no other way. Thats why our mind,somehow or the other, with the different arguments given by Krishna in the scriptures should be convinced of this point that there is no other way means then we should follow the way which He recommends. Otherwise, suffer. 


As it is we are suffering. The whole world is full of suffering. Full of defeat. paraabhavas taavad abodha jaato (SB 5.5.5) We are born in ignorance and that is why we are always defeated in this world. There is no win in this world. Our Nirmal prabhu has given a nice explanation for world - Walk oRun Lose Definitely. You walk or run, you do the work slowly, silently or you do the work very passionately, but lose definitely. There is no gain in these activities. We may have the argument that there are people who win and they have factories etc. The more material things you have, the more worried you are and all valuable time is allotted to this body. The time which has to be allotted in realising the Absolute Truth is wasted in managing the material things which are very temporary. So winning here in this world is a great loss. Instead, a man who doesn't possess anything is the best wealthy man. Because he don't possess anything, he doesn't waste time at all. And he also eats two chappatis. The rich man may be suffering from diabetes and he will not be able to even eat chappatis. Conditioned eating again. This is the result. You are completely misguided regarding the winning point in this world. Here win means great loss. Loss is alright. He doesn't have anything. He can allocate some time atleast for the spiritual things. If he cannot do that, then this human existence is useless. 

 Except human being, nobody hoards. There are so many species. Pigeons want to eat grains. But they don't carry a bag with them. "Oh, there are some grains here. Let me put them in the bag and fly with it." No. They will just eat and go away. For tomorrow, they don't worry. Cows cannot hoard. Dogs cannot hoard. Nobody has any hoarding capacity, except the man. We are the only greedy pigs. You go and take whatever you need and then again take whatever we can to hoard. These tendencies are driving us away from the reality. We don't understand that Krishna is the cause of all causes - Supreme prime cause. And we have completely overlooked it and because of that we are suffering, unsurpassable miseries."

 We don't understand that Krishna is the cause of all causes - Supreme prime cause. And we have completely overlooked it and because of that we are suffering, unsurpassable miseries.  Why? Because we have not diverted our minds to Krishna. 'man manaa bhava' - He says, "You please get absorbed in Me". 'bhava mad bhakto' - "Become My devotee" Again we might pretend to be devotee. Frankly speaking, we are not devotees. Always we command to Krishna, "Krishna, I have to go to Bombay. Please give me reservation."  So He is only devoted to us. We are not devoted to Him. Then we ask, "Krishna, I want to go to America." Alright and He arranges. So we only want Him to be devoted to us. We don't want to be devotee. 


Devotee doesn't demand anything. We works for His satisfaction. That is devotee. We don't force Him to work for my satisfaction. That is the difference. So there are two types of devotees. Somebody wants Him to be devoted to Their demands. And somebody doesn't ask anything to Him and is only concerned about His satisfaction. And that is real devotee. So we should chalk out our programs in a way that He will be satisfied, and not me. We see  in Bhagavatam - there is a nice verse (SB 4.31.19) on how to satisfy Krishna - tushyaty aashu janaardana. Three things He has given.

dayayaa sarva bhuteshu / santushtyaa yena kena vaa
sarvendriyopasaantyaa ca / tushyaty aashu janaardanah

"By showing mercy to all living entities, being satisfied somehow or other and controlling the senses from sense enjoyment, one can very quickly satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Janardana."

dayayaa sarva bhuteshu  - Be merciful to all living entities ; santushtyaa yena kena vaa - In any situation, you must be satisfied. sarvendriyopasaantyaa - all indiriyas must be under our control, all our senses must be under our control. These three things if we try to achieve, then tushyaty aashu janaardanah. A devotee chalks out His program, according to merciful attitude, complete satisfaction and control of the senses. And if you want to remember these three things - 

Merciful - M

Satisfaction - S

Control of Sense - C

MSC Master of Science. If you remember this MSC, you will never go wrong at all. This is how we have to become a devotee. We have to be devoted to Him. But frankly speaking, we are so very illusioned that we want Him to be devoted to us and we claim that we are devotees. As soon as we come to the real knowledge, then our whole attitude to this material world changes."

 In the material world, we know that our minimum necessities are to be met so that our body and soul are together and are able to realise the Supreme Absolute Truth. Otherwise we don't have any other business here. So that is our freedom. We are completely free from hoarding, from developing economic situations. We don't want. And suppose if something bounds to comes on its own, in our way, then that should be utilised for Krishna in a merciful attitude. This satisfies Krishna. And there are innumerable instructions which help these three things. These three things are main things.


There are innumerable instructions to teach how to be merciful to the living entities, how to be satisfied in any condition, how to control our senses. So many instructions are there. But only three principles are to be cultivated. And whatever argument we are given through the scriptures, we should study these aruguments to develop these three qualities and in the end we will see that the result is Janaradana is satisfied and then we become devotees. His satisfaction should be our Supreme goal. samsiddhir hari toshanam. siddhir - This is perfection. To satisfy Hari is the goal of our existence. 

svanusthitasya dharmasya guna karma vibhaagasah - We might be situated in our own activities. But whatever be it, the end result should be that Hari is satisfied. And I am sure, you will not be short of minimum necessities. Maximum necessities, artificial necessities will make you miserable in this world. Both ways they (artificial necessities) are killing. Your body will not be alright and spiritual life will be destroyed. Artificial necessities, should not be increased. And so far as possible, night work should be completely avoided. Night is not meant for work. Night is only meant for rest. These lights also should be dim. Before night whatever you should do, you should do. Then take your japa mala in hand. No need of seeing. In japa, you don't see anything. Please try to follow these things."

  So many innumerable instructions are there in the scriptures. Everywhere He shows the way how to control the senses. Everywhere He shows the way, how to be merciful to others. Everywhere He shows the way how to be satisfied in any condition of life. These are three main principles we have to follow to satisfy Janardana. The whole Bhagavatam is surrounding these things. Those who try to follow these three things, they are dear to Him. Otherwise they have to suffer for their own actions. These actions which they are following for satisfying Krishna, they don't have any reaction. 

As soon as you control your senses, you speech is completely controlled. Bad words will never come out of your mouth because the mind is pure. First the mind contaminates and then your mouth opens. So don't open your mouth for bad things. Not to even think about the bad things. We have to stop completely thinking about the worldly process. Anyway, we cannot dictate anything in the world. Everything is going on according to the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So why to meddle into Him ? Just speak minimum for material things and maximum should be for Krishna consciousness. Our tongue should only open for Krishna and nothing else. That is the safest way to behave in this world. Nobody can blame you. You are not talking anything else at all. 

  Worldly returns we are not interested in. If you are not interested in worldly returns, then naturally you will not exploit anybody. This exploiting attitude is going on because we want to grab others' possessions. And that's why the exploitation is going on. The exploitation is going on unlimitedly. We want to exploit the situations because we have increased the artificial necessities. So in order to meet the artificial necessities, you have to grab.  

  Again there is a difficulty in family life. You may be simple, but children are prone to be illusioned by the illusory energy. So you cannot control really. So far as possible, you can instruct them to be very simple and go on continue with your things. If you are lucky, your wife will co-operate with you. If you are not lucky, she will not co-operate. So whether there is co-operation or no co-operaion of anybody, we have to die in our own way. So we have to chalk out our own program in the family life also. Because all different mentalities are coming together. Children have different mentalities. Our kinsmen have different mentalities. There are so many relatives here and there. So many friends are there. All different mentalities work in different way. But they should be pointed out to this root thing - And thats why as soon as you know about these things, please put into practice in preaching. Preaching means reaching. Reach to the hearers and tell them what is to be done. It is up to them to do or not. But we have done our duty to the best of our ability. 

  This is how we quote always the essential things from the page of Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagavatam. And that is mad bhakto - bhava mad bhakto. And mad-yaaji - Our whole life is to worship Him. mad yaaji maam namaskuru - Always bow down before Him. Our small children who come, they all first go near the altar and throw themselves. And from childhood if they are trained like this, future generation will be safe. So they should recite from now on some verses in Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagavatam and eventually they will be interested. One boy Kashyap (referring to young devotee child Maharaj said) can chant 16 rounds, can we not chant 32 rounds? Please these things have no limit. But worldly things we have to put a limit. They are limited. All our banks are limited, companies are limited, everything is limited. If the "limited" word is not used then the government does not register the company. So they know that we are all limited. Study of Bhagavad Gita has no limit, study of Bhagavatam has no limit, study and realisation of scriptures has no limit. So no limit is there in the spiritual side. So you please go on endeavoring in this side. If you are really dashing personality, this should be done. Instead we build a multi-storey building and then after one building finishes, we build another. This is how we are wasting our valuable time in things which are not permanent and we are full of miseries. 

  If you are really dashing personality, this should be done. Instead we build a multi-storey building and then after one building finishes, we build another. This is how we are wasting our valuable time in things which are not permanent and we are full of miseries. And then again we think that, "I am successful. I have completed a building, I have sold it, I have so much money.If Krishna willing you have more riches, use it for Krishna. As it is the riches are not going to continue. Everything is changing in this world. Whatever you have today, it will look as if you have, but just by hoarding it, it decreases. The inflation bites it. 

So just by keeping, it reduces. All currency fluctuations are there, gambling is there. So many things are happening in this world in which there is a risk that today may be we have so much money. But tomorrow, we will lose everything. In this age, the safest way is Krishna's service. You have money today, please put it for Krishna. Thats it. Otherwise it is going to vanish. Again there is a risk. I might have so much balance. But I might die today. What is going to happen with the balance? Again somebody will pounce on it. Please, this is the result. And as soon as you put this in practise, then man manaa bhava - Mind should be fixed on Krishna. bhava mad bhakto - Become devotee of Krishna. mad yaaji  Worship Me - maam namaskuru - be humble to Me. If we carry on with these things, He guarantees that, "definitely you will come to Me." maam evaishyasi yuktvaivam - Mind is absorbed in Krishna. Our whole existence is absorbed in devotion. By worship, all our senses are absorbed in Him. And mind is absorbed eventually. As soon as you are absorbed like this, then Krishna says, "definitely you are coming to Me. aatmaanam mat paraayanah - your soul is devoted to Me. Soul is actually part and parcel of Krishna. So it is naturally devoted to Krishna. It is a very tiny particle. Tiny particle has to be devoted to the Supreme particle. The result is when these material facilties are absorbed to Krishna, soul is definitely going to be absorbed. There is no difficulty in that. But many times we force material facilities not to be absorbed in Krishna. So soul is dragged away many times. Soul is passive. Soul is the force behind and the force can be directed to the correct direction or wrong direction. And here the correct direction is given. man-manaa bhaava mad-bhakto / mad-yaaji maam namaskuru  - You should do these four things seriously. Or at least one, if the mind is absorbed in Krishna, then everything will follow. If engine is alright, then car will run. Otherwise if the seats are beautiful, glasses are nice, everything is very good, but engine does not work, then the car will not move. So mind is like the engine. Mind is the controlling sense. As soon as the controlling sense is controlled, everything will be in control. This is the purport. Please read the first line of the purport.


(Devotee read the first line) "In this verse it is clearly indicated that Krishna consciousness is the only means of being delivered from the clutches of this contaminated material world."- What is contamination in the material world ? (One devotee said - Lust ) Yes. Lust is there and because of this lust we are entangled into this - janma mrtyu jaraa vyaadhi is great contamination. We have to accept the material body, we have to grow old, get disease and die. This is great loss. This is great contamination because lust drags you to accepting bodies again and again. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita verse 3.37


shri-bhagavaan uvaaca

kaama esha krodha esha / rajo-guna-samudbhavah
mahaashano mahaa-paapmaa / viddhy enam iha vairinam

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: "It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world."

We should come to our senses. This lust is the contamination and we should remember this one sentence that Krishna consciousness free us from the clutches of material contamination. Please ponder over these points. 

 There should always be unlimited search for the Supreme Absolute Truth. Every moment we are bound to glide down. Again and again we are bound to glide down. But you have to pick it up. In Bhagavad Gita Krishna says in verse 6.26

yato yato nishcalati / manash cancalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad / aatmany evaa vasham nayet

"From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self."

This is the verse regarding the mind. Srila Prabhupada's purport to this verse is very nice. "The nature of the mind is flickering and unsteady. But a self-realized yogi has to control the mind; the mind should not control him. One who controls the mind (and therefore the senses as well) is called gosvami, or svami, and one who is controlled by the mind is called go-dasa, or the servant of the senses. A gosvami knows the standard of sense happiness. In transcendental sense happiness, the senses are engaged in the service of Hrshikesha, or the supreme owner of the senses—Krishna. Serving Krishna with purified senses is called Krishna consciousness. That is the way of bringing the senses under full control. What is more, that is the highest perfection of yoga practice."

This is the point. The verse 9.34 of Gita also goes along with the above verse. It also speaks about man - mind. 'man manaa bhava mad bhakto." So many instructions are there. Even in Rahugana's incident also (Srimad Bhagavatam verse 5.11.17) Jada Bharat instructs as to how to control the mind. 

bhraatrvyam enam tad adabhra-veeryam
upekshayaadhyedhitam apramattah
guror hares caranopaasanaastro 
jahi vyalikam svayam aatma-mosham

"This uncontrolled mind is the greatest enemy of the living entity. If one neglects it or gives it a chance, it will grow more and more powerful and will become victorious. Although it is not factual, it is very strong. It covers the constitutional position of the soul. O King, please try to conquer this mind by the weapon of service to the lotus feet of the spiritual master and of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Do this with great care."

Hare Krishna. Jai Srila Prabhupada ki Jai !"