Spiritual Bank Balance

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

It was an inspiring mail from HG Vaijayantimala mataji regarding the hari nāma yajna by the devotees in Abu Dhabi. Mataji also mentioned about the spiritual bank balance which is the safest account. The Lord is much more anxious to increase our spiritual bank balance and take us back to his eternal service than us. In the Īśopaniṣad there is a prayer by the devotee which requests the Lord to remember all the spiritual activities performed by him.

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vāyur anilam amṛtam athedaṁ bhasmāntaṁ śarīram
oṁ krato smara kṛtaṁ smara krato smara kṛtaṁ smara

Let this temporary body be burnt to ashes, and let the air of life be merged with the totality of air. Now, O my Lord, please remember all my sacrifices, and because You are the ultimate beneficiary, please remember all that I have done for You.

In this regard Madhvacharya states ,"There is no need to pray to the Lord to remember our spiritual activities as He is all knowing. So in the verse it actually implies "simply praying for the Lord's mercy". Srila Prabhupada also states that, "The Lord is more anxious to take us back than we're interested to approach Him". In performing material activities to increase our karmic balance (to increase our punya), one should really work hard and perform pious activities and to the extent of his pious activities only his karmic balance will build up. However, in devotional service, as the Lord's mercy plays the vital role, even little and indirect spiritual activities are also acknowledged by the Lord and rewarded amply by Him. There is an interesting story in Mahabharata to attest this fact. 

We all know that Aśvatthāmā killed the sons of the Pandavas while they were sleeping and was punished by Arjuna and Sri Krishna for this heinous act. However from the scriptures we learn that he will be taking the post of Vyasadeva in the next millennium for the compilation of Vedic scriptures. Also he is blessed with the boon of having a long life (chiranjīvi). How come it is possible for a person who murdered innocent children to get such an exalted post? One of the senior devotees and disciple of Srila Prabhupada explained this point very nicely. During his childhood, Aśvatthāmā was responsible for feeding the Pandavas and Kauravas who were studying under Dronacharya. Dronacharya always gave very challenging tasks and jobs to Arjuna as he was the best. The tasks were so tough that Arjuna could not complete them before sunset. And he would instruct Aśvatthāmā not to feed Arjuna if he comes to the house after sunset. Arjuna would return alone from the forest after sunset, when it was completely dark, completely tired and hungry. However Aśvatthāmā was very kind and affectionate towards Arjuna. And since Aśvatthāmā was having the jewel on his head which would light the whole ashram, with that light he would feed Arjuna and make him very comfortable. Dronacarya chastised Aśvatthāmā for this and he replied, "I'm not disobeying you father. As you've instructed, I'm neither using sunlight/moonlight/fire to light this hut. The jewel in my head always keeps this hut bright. In this light I'm feeding Arjuna". In this way, he nicely served Arjuna who is a great devotee. This devotional service to a great devotee like Arjuna was increasing his spiritual bank balance and the Lord was very happy with him. And the Lord squared his sin of killing the children by cutting off his jewel and blessed him with the privilege of taking the post of Vyasa for compiling the Vedic scriptures in the next millennium. 

This incident shows that the Lord's judgement of our devotional service is very liberal and He is waiting for an opportunity to increase our spiritual bank balance. So even slight endeavors from our side can give great results in the path of devotion. 

I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva so that I'll make at least small endeavors to advance spiritually from now on. 

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva, 
Narahari Krishna das