The Open Secret for Spiritual Success - Part 7

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

This is in continuation of the previous offering - "The Open Secret for Spiritual Success" wherein we were meditating on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.1.12. We saw in the  how Khatvanga Maharaj considered brahmanas and brahminical culture dearer than life. Now we shall see further.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 9.9.43 Khatvanga Maharaj says

na bālye ’pi matir mahyam adharme ramate kvacit
nāpaśyam uttamaślokād anyat kiñcana vastv aham

I was never attracted, even in my childhood, by insignificant things or irreligious principles. I did not find anything more substantial than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

We can learn atleast two important qualities from Khatvanga Maharaj in this verse

1. Practise bhakti right from childhood:  We can see here as to how Khatvanga Maharaj was practising devotional service right from childhood. In the previous life of Narada Muni, when he was son of maid-servant, Narada Muni also did not waste his childhood days. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.5.24 he says how he attained mercy of Bhaktivedantas who were being served by his mother. He says "Although they were impartial by nature, those followers of the Vedānta blessed me with their causeless mercy. As far as I was concerned, I was self-controlled and had no attachment for sports, even though I was a boy. In addition, I was not naughty, and I did not speak more than required."

There is a proverb in Tamil that the habits we develop when we are in the cradle, will be with us till we are in grave. So if children are trained in religious principles and are engaged in devotional service right from beginning of life, they will be able to be in the right path throught out their life. This is assured by Prahlad Maharaj in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.1 

śrī-prahrāda uvāca
kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life — in other words, from the tender age of childhood — to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.

2. Krishna is the substance of our life: The second line nāpaśyam uttamaślokād anyat kiñcana vastv aham of verse 9.9.44 is the secret of success for Khatvanga Maharaj. Here Srila Prabhupada translates the word vastu - as substance. Uttamashloka is Krishna. The day we see and realise that other than Krishna nothing else is substantial in our life, then that is our success. As the saying goes, With Krishna we are heroes, without Him we are zeroes. Our spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says that we are all zeroes. Even if we are not alone and have so many friends and family with us, still we are all zeroes. Zeroes have no value as long as it is not prefixed by 1 in the beginning. When we add Krishna to our lives, when we start leading a Krishna centric life, then its like adding 1 before the zeroes. This material body itself - which is very much pampered and protected and decorated by us, loses it value and worth as soon as Krishna who is staying as Parmatma decides to leave us. Khatvanga Muni considered Krishna alone is the substance of His life and thats why not caring for any material benedictions from demigods, he decided to come down to the earth, to absorb his mind completely on Lord Sri Krishna. 

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate more on this topic in the subsequent offering.

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