Check Your Desires

11th Aug 2010
Vinayasheela devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6 Sri Suta Goswami answers the first question of the sages of Naimisharanya. The sages had asked him to summarize the whole range of revealed scriptures and present the most essential part so that fallen people or the people in general might easily take it up.

sa vai pumsaam paro dharmo / yato bhaktir adhokshaje
ahaituky apratihataa / yayaatma supraseedati

"The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."

This is a very important verse as it teaches us, how the devotional service should be carried out and with what mood and attitude. Yes, Just superficially carrying out devotional service without having “bhaav” in it or loving feelings in it is as futile as preparing a meal without salt. Will a meal without salt taste good? Similarly, will a devotional service without right attitude and loving feeling do any good to the self? The answer is very obvious. NO.

Then how do we improve our devotional service to include most important ingredient LOVE in it ?

Answer is 2 A’s in above verse –

a - ahaituki [Causeless]and
a - apratihata [Unbroken]

Srila Prabhupada explains it to be uninterrupted and unmotivated. His Divine grace Srila Prabhupada in his purports has made it so clear by explaining that devotional service should be performed without any tinge of unnecessary desire, fruitive action and philosophical speculation. Not a single desire for material gain should crop up in our mind while performing devotional service.Even at subtle level if we expect someone to appreciate us or recognize us when we do even a simple menial service or outstanding service for Lord or His devotees, the appreciation goes against us, by increasing our false ego thus taking us away from Krishna. Furthur we start doing service just to get recognized among others and get fame. So we should be very very careful while performing devotional service. If at subtle level, a small expectation of getting appreciation can take us away from Krishna then what to speak of desires like name and fame, big bungalow or big car? They will definitely take us away from Krishna.

Devotional service to the Lord must be pure in quality. Our beloved Gurudev, HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj compares devotional service to a fabric. In market if fabric is rough then its cost is low, but if the fabric is fine then cost is high. Similarly if devotional fabric is without love then there is no bhakti bhaav. But if devotional fabric is full of understanding, with feeling and devotional attitude then it is fine.

Now one might say, how is it possible to get rid of desires altogether being in this age of Kali with so many disturbances around? Well then Prahlad Maharaj, the emperor of bhaktas, answers this question. He teaches us through his action. Prahlad Maharaj says in Vishnu Puraan

naatha yoni-sahasreshu / yeshu yeshu bhramaamy aham
tatra tatraacyutaa bhaktir / acyutaastu dridhaa tvayi

O Achyuta, In whichever of the thousands of species I may be forced to wonder, Please let me always have unflinching devotion unto you.

This is what a pure devotee desires. Its true that its very difficult to stop desiring altogether. Then we should redirect our desires to be spiritual. Just like the path of a river is rerouted to serve the ultimate purpose, similarly the ever flowing desires from our mind should be rerouted to achieve the ultimate goal Krishna. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, also prays in similar manner.

keeta-janma hau yatha tuwa dasa
bahir-mukha brahma-janme nahi asha

May I be born again even as a worm, as long as I remain Your devotee. I have no desire to be born as a Brahma averse to You.

Let us all today learn from above verse and our acharyas and pray that no matter what comes across, we will never ask anything material from Krishna. Let us all pray to Krishna to give us more and more opportunities to serve Him eternally. I pray at the lotus feet of Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna so that we perform devotional service in a uninterrupted manner and un-motivated by any material filth.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vinayasheela devi dasi,