Becoming Great by Serving the Great

Becoming Great by Serving the Great

Date
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Narahari Krishna Dasa

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva.

Recently I was listening to one of the lectures of Maharaj where he was singing the following verse from Bhagavatam in a very melodious tune. This verse reveals the greatness of Lord Rama and His mercy towards His servants. It is a prayer by Hanumanji glorifying Lord Rama in SB 5.19.7:

na janma nunam mahato na saubhagam
na vaan na buddhir naakrtis tosha-hetuh
tair yad visrshtaan api no vanaukasash
cakaara sakhye bata lakshmanaagrajah

"One cannot establish a friendship with the Supreme Lord Ramacandra on the basis of material qualities such as one's birth in an aristocratic family, one's personal beauty, one's eloquence, one's sharp intelligence or one's superior race or nation. None of these qualifications is actually a prerequisite for friendship with Lord Sri Ramacandra. Otherwise how is it possible that although we uncivilized inhabitants of the forest have not taken noble births, although we have no physical beauty and although we cannot speak like gentlemen, Lord Ramacandra has nevertheless accepted us as friends?"

The above verse reveals that though the monkeys in Rama Lila were not from a high parentage and high education, just by their inclination to serve the Lord they became great and the Lord accepted them as His friends they gained lasting glory in the Ramayana. Same was His reciprocation with the boatman Guha. Inspite of considerations like birth, education, beauty or physical strength or wealth, whoever comes in touch with the Lord through devotion becomes great. For other processes like jnana, yoga, karma one requires some basic qualifications like high parentage, thorough knowledge of scriptures, good physical strength to perform penances etc., Bhakti is the only processes which is beyond all bodily considerations. Arjuna addresses the Lord as 'param brahma' which means the Supreme Brahman. In the vedas the Lord is denoted by the word 'Brahman'. The root of this word is 'Brh' means "One who is great and makes everything great". The word 'Brahman' is defined in the scriptures (Atharvasira Upanishad) as follows.

kasmaad uchyate param brahma yasmaat paramaparam paraayanam ca
brihadbrihatyaa brahmayati tasmaad uchyate param-brahma

"Why the Supreme Lord is called param brahma? Because He is the greatest in terms of time, space and qualities having no equal or superior and He is the supreme shelter. He is exalted and has the nature to exalt everything coming in touch with Him, He is called param brahma."

The Lord demonstrated this quality in the Ramayana. Srila Prabhupada also practically proved this point by bringing people in touch with Lord's service and making them great devotees. Once in an ISKCON temple, a person was lying outside the temple fully drunk. He did not take bath for months and was stinking very much. Srila Prabhupada saw him and asked the devotees, "Why you're not doing anything for him?". The devotees replied, "Prabhupada, he's stinking very much and we can't go near him". Prabhupada said, "Please give him some prasadam and make sure he gets prasadam regularly". The devotees did the same and when the person came to proper consciousness, he was attracted by the devotees, started taking prasadam regularly and by association with Prabhupada became a serious devotee. Then he started distributing books and in a few weeks he became the top scorer in book distribution. All the other devotees were astonished by this and became curious to know how he is distributing books.

Once they followed him and watched him from a distance. That devotee was holding the books high in his hands and said, "I was living in very bad condition and stinking almost like a pig. This person who wrote these books saved my life. Please take these books. He'll save your life too". Because he was saying this with firm conviction people were moved by this and buying books with great interest. This is the power of the Lord and His pure devotee. Whoever comes in touch with them becomes exalted irrespective of his material qualifications.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna Dasa
Chennai.