Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is the concluding part of the previous mails under the same heading "Lord Krishna is the Only Shelter", posting the message from wonderful lecture of our beloved Godbrother H G Devakinandan prabhuji, in Abu Dhabi during the second week of March 2010. He spoke on the Srimad Bhagavatam verse 8.2.33:
yah kashcanesho balino antakoragaat
pracanda-vegad abhidhaavato bhrsham
bheetam prapannam paripaati yad-bhayaan
mrtyuh pradhaavaty aranam tam imahi
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is certainly not known to everyone, but He is very powerful and influential. Therefore, although the serpent of eternal time, which is fearful in force, endlessly chases everyone, ready to swallow him, if one who fears this serpent seeks shelter of the Lord, the Lord gives him protection, for even death runs away in fear of the Lord. I therefore surrender unto Him, the great and powerful supreme authority who is the actual shelter of everyone".
2.3.17 of Srimad Bhagavatam says
aayur harati vai pumsaam / udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kshano neeta / uttama-sloka-vaartayaa
"Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead".
We have to come to the program to glorify Krishna. We should not go to the programs just for having prasadam or thinking that it is pious activity. We should not judge the success of the program based on crowd. When Prabhupada was asking commentary about the program, one prabhu said that the program was a failure because only 6 people attended. But Prabhupada said that "it is a total success because we just glorified Krishna and we don't care how many people come. You don't know that Narada Muni was here, Brahmaji was here and all the demigods were here. Thats why Krishna arranged that all the people could not fill the seats because the seats are to be kept for them only". But we are so foolish in our devotional service. Krishna says abandon all varieties of religion. Religion simply means rituals. Don't make the devotional service a ritual. Whatever we do, do it with the pleasing attitude to Krishna. Prabhupada writes in the last sentence of this purport that "A devotee of the Lord is guaranteed eternal life. A devotee's old age or disease in the present life is but an impetus to such guaranteed eternal life".
When Maharaj was winding up his pastimes, when we were reading this verse in Nasik, Maharaj alerted to me to this last line. He said "This is my position now. My Lord is giving me impetus that if He wants, I can just wind up everything". One time in Singapore, Maharaj was sitting on the bench near the beach. It was a beautiful day with nice breeze. Maharaj went to lie down on the bench. We all sat down around him and he closed his eyes and said see how nice is the creation of Krishna. He said if sleeping is so nice because for a while we become peaceful, just think how many days to sleep for ever. How wonderful to sleep just away from all these material existence and be with Krishna eternally. And again this year after so many years he said that oldage and disease is impetus to such guaranteed eternal life. This time only I could understand what Maharaj was saying. Finally the devotee is not afraid of death. But he is afraid of not remembering Krishna at the point of death. That fear is good fear. Because it is a fear that will always make him to turn to Krishna, his Supreme Father for protection. If we have the mood that only Krishna can save us, then death will actually assist us. Yamaraj becomes our good friend because he is Mahajan, he is not our enemy. We don't embrace death in difficulties, we don't embrace calamities in difficulties. We must be very clear about only observing the devotional service the way our acharyas has given us. We should not mix with funny funny rituals and ideas. Gajendra became very fixed. He renounced everything because he wanted to come to Krishna and Krishna gave him the facility to renounce everything. So finally everything in devotional service comes in one point, Do we desire? If we desire enough to serve Krishna, then why won't Krishna send acharyas, why won't He send Bhakthi Devi to come and assist us to get us on the path to serve Him. The only impediment is our speculation and our ritualistic behaviour.
We had a lecture in university, just before I left. One person asked what is the meaning of religion because Krishna says abandon all varieties of religion but He speaks in Bhagavad Gita so much about religion and at the end he tells Arjuna to abandon. Why did he waste his time. I explained with the story what Maharaj told me. Once there was wedding. One young boy's sister was getting married. The poojari kept all the items. There were many items. 90% of the time we don't know what they are and why they are. And after a while when everything was ready and they were going to start, one cat started running around all the paraphernalia. Poojari got scared that it is going to drop everything and it is going to become impure. So he found a basket and he put it on the cat and put it aside. Then wedding ceremony went well. Years later this boy was going to get married. He saw all the paraphernalia and he got the poojari and just before going to start the marriage, he told poojari one item you have forgotten. Poojari said everything is here and I know what is required. He said no, you forgot to keep a cat under the basket. This item is missing he said.
Maharaj says when pure devotional service and principle come to us, we concoct and add. We put other things into it. And after that we package it and say this is our bhakthi. That package is what killing us actually. That is what Krishna says at the end "You please abandon the varieties of speculation of your rituals". If you want to do chanting as a ritual please abandon it. If you want to do Bhagavatam study as a ritual please abandon it. But the point is after abandoning this ritual, you then seriously study Bhagavatam. That is surrender. That is the essence of what Gajendra did when he was finally faced with the crisis.
Thankyou very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Anuradha devi dasi,
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