Improving the Quality of our Bhakti

Improving the Quality of our Bhakti

Kalacakra Krsna das

Dear Vaishnavas,

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

In yesterday's mail we saw how kind and merciful the Lord is to His devotees, especially those who are ekanta-bhaktas. As a sequel to that point, we will see to what extent He can go to fulfill His promise that He will save His devotees from all dangers.

The episode of the Doorkeepers of Vaikunta - Jaya and Vijaya being cursed by the Sanatkumara sages reveals this glory of the Lord. When the Sanatkumaras went to Vaikunta, the two doorkeepers stopped them from entering. Being enraged at this audacious behavior of the doorkeepers, the sages cursed them to go down to the material world. At this time, the Supreme Lord sensing that something wrong is going on, immediately rushes to the entrance. On seeing the transcendental beauty of the Lord and the aroma of the tulsi leaves from His garland, the sages were completely in bliss. Though they realized that they cursed the doorkeepers out of undue anger, still the Lord goes out of the way to seek forgiveness from the sages for the doorkeepers' offense. He said, "Please forgive Me for whatever offense My servants have done to you." The following verse spoken by the Supreme Lord at this point (SB 3.16.6) reveals to what extent the Lord is willing to go to protect His devotees.

sadyah punaati jagad aashvapacaad vikuntah
so 'ham bhavadbhya upalabdha-sutirtha-kirtis
chindyaam sva-baahum api vah pratikula vrttim

"Anyone in the entire world, even down to the candala, who lives by cooking and eating the flesh of the dog, is immediately purified if he takes bath in hearing through the ear the glorification of My name, fame, etc. Now you have realized Me without doubt; therefore I will not hesitate to lop off My own arm if its conduct is found hostile to you."

There are two parts to this verse. The first part tell us what we should do. The second part tells us what Krishna will do to us in return.

1. What we should do? We should daily take bath in the hearing of the uncontaminated nectarean glories of the Lord's name, fame etc.

2. What Krishna will do? If we purify ourselves in this way, the Lord will protect us at any cost.

It is absolutely unfathomable as to what extreme the Lord can go to protect His devotees. As He says, He is willing to cut off His own arms if it is disturbing to His devotees. In other words, He says that His devotees are more dear to Him than His own body. Where can we get a Lord so merciful and so loving as Him?

But for Him to love us like that, we need to understand the first part of the verse above because that is specifically meant for us. We need to purify ourselves completely of the material contamination by bathing in hearing of Krsna-katha and Krsna-nama sankirtana - amrta-amala-yashah-sravanaanugaahah. 'Bathing' means we should completely immerse ourselves. It may be that we are occupied in our day to day prescribed duties and responsibilities, but even if we can keep away a small portion of everyday's time to chanting Krishna's names, Bhagavatam and Bhagavat-gita, with full intensity and concentration, that is as good as performing bhakti for the whole day. If we organize ourselves with quality chanting and study, then definitely the Lord will protect us like He has mentioned in His extra-ordinary statement above.

So, let us not blame the Lord even after coming to the path of Krishna consciousness that He is not protecting us from danger, He is partial etc. Unless we perform quality bhakti, we do not deserve to be protected by the Lord (even though the merciful Lord is already protecting us in so many ways). Hence let us take the powerful message from the above verse and improve the quality of our bhakti constantly.

Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das