Feeling of Gratitude

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

To perform sincere devotional service our prayers to Krsna should express a genuine sense of gratitude. Prthu Maharaj prays in SB 4.21.44,

guṇāyanaṁ śīla-dhanaṁ kṛta-jñaṁ
vṛddhāśrayaṁ saṁvṛṇate ’nu sampadaḥ
prasīdatāṁ brahma-kulaṁ gavāṁ ca
janārdanaḥ sānucaraś ca mahyam

Whoever acquires the brahminical qualifications, whose only wealth is good behavior, who is grateful and who takes shelter of experienced persons, gets all the opulence of the world. I therefore wish that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His associates be pleased with the brahmana class, with the cows and with me.

Our spiritual master, H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj shared with us recently a very instructive bhajan by a great vaishnava from Saurashtra, Narsingh Mehta that is filled with feelings of gratitude. His bhajans are so full of simple, unalloyed and unmotivated devotion to the Lord and are full of very nice instructions.

Narsingh Mehta prays as follows:

koi no bhār na rakhe morāri, āpe vyaj sathe vanmalī

Lord Murari does not keep any debt with Him. He returns it along with interest. 

In other words, Narsingh Mehta says that the Lord always reciprocates to His devotees more than what they deserve. He then gives a few examples from the shastras to prove this point.

sudama na tandul līdha, tena mehal kanak na kiḍha

Sudama gave only a handful of chipped rice. But in return to that simple token of love, the Lord gave him an opulent golden palace.

draupadi nu āvyu tanu, chir purya chhe navaso navanu
pato bāndhyo ne pīdā te jani, e chhe chīr purya ni endhani

Once when Krsna's finger was injured and it was bleeding, Draupadi, without hesitation, tore a piece of her saree and bandaged Krsna's finger. In return to that small favor, Krsna supplied nine hundred ninety nine sarees and protected her when Dhushasan was trying to strip her saree off in front of everyone.

thoḍu chandan kubajā nu līdhu, enu rūp anupam kīdhu

Kubja, who was a deformed hunch-back, simply served the Lord by giving a little sandalwood paste when He entered Mathura. In return to that insignificant favor, the Lord straightened her hunch-back and made her a beautiful girl.

gowaliye occhav kīdho, vahale kar par govardhan līdho

The vrajavasis only served Krsna in a simple and humble way by listening to his words of offering bhoga to the Govardhan hill. In return, He lifted the Govardhan hill and protected them from the wrath of Indra.

Having quoted the examples, now Narsingh Mehta beautifully paraphrases what Krsna has to reply to this prayer:

jenu līdhu hatu tenu dīdhu, tema paramārth moṭu shu kīdhu
dhanya dhanya narsainya tāri vāni, evu bolyān shārnga pāni

Krsna, the wielder of Shaarnga bow, replies: "Whatever I am receiving from My devotees, I am just reciprocating back to them. What is special in that? Why are you unnecessarily praising Me? All glories to your sweet words.

Maharaj sang this bhajan so beautifully that it was a treat to our ears and hearts. If the meaning of our prayers and our mood are unsophisticated, then they please Krsna. The mood of this bhajan is succinctly put by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to SB 1.16.26, "The Lord feels grateful to His devotees for such unsophisticated, unconditional service and tries to reciprocate it by rendering service, although the devotee also has no such desire in his heart. The transcendental service of the Lord is itself a transcendental benefit for the devotee, and therefore the devotee has nothing to expect from the Lord."

The fact that we have been given a chance to chant His names, hear about Him is itself a great boon which we do not deserve. If we still are looking for something beyond this, then it means we have not yet realized the value of devotional service. I simply pray to the Lord that let me always meditate on what He has given me and be grateful for that, rather than what He has not.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das.