Foundation for Bhakti

Foundation for Bhakti

Sajjana Priya Krishna Das

Dear Prabhujis and Mathajis,

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!

The recent mail from HG Narahari Krishna das is really wonderful to ponder and we should learn scrutinisingly the meaning and purports of Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham for us to apply in our lives or otherwise we are just doing show business in Iskcon with jumping and dancing. Prabhupada says in one of the wonderful purport 1.2.12:

"Devotional service, which is based on the foreground of full knowledge combined with detachment from material association and which is fixed by the aural reception of the Vedanta-sruti, is the only perfect method by which the seriously inquisitive student can realize the Absolute Truth".

The word "foreground of full knowledge" is very important to ponder over. Just like a house built on a solid foundation alone can withstand for a long time. If foundation is not strong, it will collapse anytime. In 2000 the earthquake in Gujarat, so many new buildings collapsed and lot of casualties in Ahmedabad because of poor foundation and construction. In the same way in Devotional service if it is not backed up with full knowledge, we stop our devotional service the moment there are reverses. It is true that as a conditional soul that we may not be able acquire the complete knowledge of the Absolute truth, but it is incumbent on the part of all of us who are in devotional service to aspire to have the foreground of full knowledge. Unless we acquire the basic knowledge ourselves we may not be able to convince others of this supreme Process and the question of realizing the absolute Truth is a far distant object. Prabhupad would not have burnt the midnight oil to write 60 volumes of Vedic literatures to gives us complete knowledge of Absolute Truth and also given us way to apply in our practical day to day lives for us to realize and progress in devotional service. Our Maharaj during his lecture on temple opening in Dwarka 2003 was emphasising that unless a devotee studies atleast Prabhupad literatures with serious attention for 3 hours he may not be performing real devotional service. His devotional service would be only pretentious and may not be 100% successful and can fall down at any time. Prabhupada has written in so many letters to his disciples that they should strictly follow the regulative principles, read his literatures before preaching to others and chant minimum 16 rounds. 

Most of the initiated devotees (including myself) are doing their level best to follow the regulative principles and chant 16 rounds but with regards to reading of Prabhupada literatures or listen to his lectures there is always a big lacuna and therefore the faith in this process dwindles. The dilution of serious process of Krishna consciousness is becoming rampant in the name of sankirtan, dancing, jumping and eating prasadam and conducting big big programs is a serious concern. Even Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was discussing Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita for a long time with various intimate disciples and stressed the importance of acquiring this transcendental knowledge. Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are supreme residing places of the Supreme Lord and until such time we hear, study thoroughly and contemplate on this transcendental instructions we may not be able to continue this devotional process, leave alone getting out of this material world. As our Maharaj says that we have to bury ourselves in Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Chaitanya Cairtamrta and not waste our time in gossiping all other nonsense like a social get together. Prabhupada says that Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita are classes and all of us are students trying to acquire this Supreme Knowledge. Srimad Bhagavatam is called Vairagya Vidya - Knowledge of Renunciation.

In this connection Prabhupada in one of his lectures on August 15 1974 in Los Angeles on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.12 was emphasizing this point of pure devotional service very nicely by quoting the verse from Padyavali 4 as stated in CC Madhya Lila 8.70

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhaavitaa matih 
kriyataam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam 
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate

"Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price--that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.

The greed for pure devotional service will come only if we know about the Supreme Lord, His various energies , His pastimes and His Glories in full and that can be acquired only by the foreground of full knowledge about Him.

It is not correct for me to condemn big big programs but unless we understand that the underlying reason for conducting the programs is for awakening of pure devotional service in the heart of all living entities by sincerely giving the transcendental knowledge given by Prabhupada in his books and thereby the devotees will be performing this transcendental loving service at all times inspite of so many unfavourable circumstances especially when the devotee becomes old and diseased which is inevitable for any conditional soul. 

I pray to the Supreme Lord, Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev to shower their special mercy on this rotten soul so that I do sincere study of shastras given by Srila Prabhupada regularly and thereby I will be able to perform loving devotional service based on the foreground of full knowledge combined with detachment and then preach to others. 

Thank you very much,
Your humble servant trying to be in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Sajjanapriya Krishna Das,