Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
Life in this material world is a constant struggle for existence. From the most powerful Brahmaji right down to the tiniest ant, every living entity is constantly engaged in the quest to survive. As devotees we are faced with our set of unique problems. Perhaps the most daunting problem is - managing our material activities (work, family, etc. ) with our spiritual lives (chanting, reading, programs, etc.) Many a times we start wondering, how to maintain ourselves while engaging in devotional service.
In this posting we will look at how our beloved Guru Maharaj (HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj), during a phone conversation addressed the above problem and by doing so shed transcendental light on how to remain aloof from the material modes. We will try our best to repeat those sublime words.
Firstly Maharaj put devotional activities into perspective.
1. Maharaj said that devotional programs (chanting, reading, mangla arati, etc) are Krishna Himself.
2. Maharaj mentioned that whenever programs are conducted Krishna appears, and that if there are many programs, then Krishna appears again and again.
Maharaj then shed light on how to balance between material activities and devotional activities. Actually that is how I posed the question, segregating between material and spiritual activities. With the power of Bhagavatam Gurudev blew away that conception of mine.
1. Maharaj said that we cannot balance because we are devotees at temple and materialist at work. Because we are not devotees everywhere we brand our activities as spiritual and material.
2. Wherever we are, we must be in the mode of goodness.
3. Krishna always comes first before anything. Our attraction is naturally towards Krishna.
4. We must ensure that we maintain stability between our work and our Sadhana.
5. Maharaj said that if we lose our job then there is no peace, so we must be expert.
6. If we do all our duties expertly then we will be given the intelligence to manage, if we are lazy then we will always be bewildered.
7. Maharaj also mentioned that we must share our services, this is called expert management. If we are not available to do a service due to work commitment then the service does not stop but carries on through another devotee. Maharaj said that this is also service. It is not about us, but our focus should be that service towards the Lord carries on uninterrupted under any circumstance.This is the balance which takes us out from the modes.
By following these few words, one can be "GUARANTEED" of safety from the modes of material nature. The following verse from Srimad Bhagavtam 7.15.25 proves this fact about Guru.
rajas tamash ca sattvena / sattvam copashamena ca
etat sarvam gurau bhaktyaa / purusho hy anjasaa jayet
"One must conquer the modes of passion and ignorance by developing the mode of goodness, and then one must become detached from the mode of goodness by promoting oneself to the platform of shuddha-sattva. All this can be automatically done if one engages in the service of the spiritual master with faith and devotion. In this way one can conquer the influence of the modes of nature."
Gurudev's words prove the fact of this verse.
Reading all 12 cantos of Bhagavatam without faith gets us nowhere, but following one word of Guru with faith can simply pick us up from the deep rooted waters of material existence and place us into the true path of devotion.
I pray that Gurudev gives us the strength to take each and every word of His as life and soul.
Thank you very much,
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Madan Mohan das,
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