Unconditional Service

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

When we are conscious that we are running the programs or managing the temple, we will be always in anxiety. We start calculating about the future expenses and become very bewildered. We keep calculating the no. of devotees attending every program and become anxious. These kind of material calculations come in the way of our devotional service and our faith and surrender to the Supreme Lord dwindles gradually due to our 'I am the doer' mentality. But when we serve the deities with faith and love, and remembering the truth that They are the ones who are running the temple, then Krishna reciprocates to that surrender and loving service and ensures that there is no interruption in service. In Bhagavad Gita verse 9.26 Lord Krishna says,

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

 If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

In his wonderful purport to above verse Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions, "Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. He does not want any kind of offering from a non-devotee. He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is self-sufficient, and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection. To develop Krishna consciousness is the highest perfection of life. Bhakti is mentioned twice in this verse in order to declare more emphatically that bhakti, or devotional service, is the only means to approach Krishna."

Few days ago we heard from a senior devotee about a real incident which happened in a temple in Switzerland. The temple was running out of funds. Whatever funds they had in hand would last only for two months, if they spend it very economically. After that they would have to close down the temple. The temple president and the devotees were worried as to how to continue with the services to Their Lordships. They could not find out any way to sort out the issue. Then the devotees thought, "Anyway we have to close the temple in 2 months, So why not use the existing funds nicely to give the best offerings to the Lord?" The devotees knew that they would have to close the temple earlier than 2 months, if they do so. But still, with mood of serving the Lord nicely to the best of their ability, in the available opportunity, they started to do render nice opulent worship to the deities. To their surprise, on the last day when their funds were running out, they found a cheque of fifty thousand euros in the donation-box, dropped by some anonymous donor. And from that time, till date, their funds kept growing and there was no interruption in the service to their Lordships.

From the above incident we can see how Lord Krishna is not looking for the opulent worship, but He was pleased by the sincere desire and the eagerness of the devotees to serve Him nicely and so by His own mystic way ensured that their service continues. Lord is bhāva-grāhī-janārdana and He simply looks for the loving mood in our service. Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj used to quote the below verse from Gautamiya-tantra, the Hari-bhakti-vilasa:

tulasī-dala-mātreṇa jalasya culukena vā
vikrīṇīte svam ātmānaṁ bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ

Sri Krishna, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasi leaf and a palmful of water.

The Supreme Lord is very much present in the deity form and so when we serve Him we should always remember that the deity indeed is accepting every little service we are doing to Him based on the mood of our service. He does not worry about what we offer, but He is concerned about how we offer - are we offering with a mood of devotion and surrender? Are we conscious of the fact that unless He sanctions, we will not be able to serve Him? Lord being omniscient and omnipresent is always watching and observing us - So the mood in which we serve Him is immediately know to Him and He reciprocates accordingly.

May we always remember that we are not the doers, but simply have the eagerness to serve the Lord to the best of our ability. Then if He desires, He will choose us to be useful instruments in His service.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.