Devotion without Deviation - Part 33

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 titled, "Devotion without Deviation" wherein we were discussing the life of Bharata Maharaja through the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. In the previous offerings we were meditating on the conversation between King Rahugana and the great sage Jada Bharata. Yesterday we saw how Jada Bharata mentioned that by the power of association with pure devotees, by their mercy we would be able to realise the Supreme Lord. In verse 5.12.13 of Srimad Bhagavatam Jada Bharata explains the nature of such pure devotees:

yatrottamaśloka-guṇānuvādaḥ
prastūyate grāmya-kathā-vighātaḥ
niṣevyamāṇo ’nudinaṁ mumukṣor
matiṁ satīṁ yacchati vāsudeve

In an assembly of pure devotees, there is no question of discussing material subjects like politics and sociology. In an assembly of pure devotees, there is discussion only of the qualities, forms and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is praised and worshiped with full attention. In the association of pure devotees, by constantly hearing such topics respectfully, even a person who wants to merge into the existence of the Absolute Truth abandons this idea and gradually becomes attached to the service of Vaasudeva.

The symptoms of pure devotees are nicely mentioned in this verse. They always (anudinaṁ) engage in glorifying the Supreme Lord's name, qualities and forms. There is no room for mundane conversations (grāmya-kathā). grāmya-kathā increases our agitations and anxieties. So pure devotees never engage in such frivolous talks. Krishna also very nicely mentions in the seed verse of Bhagavad Gita 10.9 about how the pure devotees behave. He says, "The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me." If by some good fortune we associate with such pure devotees, then just like how iron gets magnetised when kept in contact with magnet for a long time, we also get attracted to devotional service. The only qualification required is that we hear constantly (anudinaṁ) and with great respect (niṣevyamāṇo). Since we are living in the material world, there is always a danger of being contaminated by the modes of nature. Just like how we take bath daily to keep our body clean, we should take bath daily in the nectar of Krishna katha by listening attentively from pure devotees. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 12.12.48:

saṅkīrtyamāno bhagavān anantaḥ
śrutānubhāvo vyasanaṁ hi puṁsām
praviśya cittaṁ vidhunoty aśeṣaṁ
yathā tamo ’rko ’bhram ivāti-vātaḥ

When people properly glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead or simply hear about His power, the Lord personally enters their hearts and cleanses away every trace of misfortune, just as the sun removes the darkness or as a powerful wind drives away the clouds.

Nārada Muni in his previous birth had the wonderful opportunity of hearing about Krishna from the sages and by their good association he became a great devotee. Srila Prabhupada has mercifully made arrangements for 'nityam bhāgavata sevayā'. And we can see how by his mercy in the form of books, temple and his vani, millions of souls are getting attracted to serve Supreme Lord. So if we also follow their footsteps, then we will be able to nicely do devotional service, without deviations.

Krishna willing we shall continue to hear more from Jada Bharata in the subsequent offering.

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