Devotional Service Never Goes in Vain - Part 4

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

This is in conclusion of the previous emails sharing a few points from the Srimad Bhagavatam class by HG Svayam Sphurathy Prabhuji on the occasion of Vamana Jayanti on 9-9-2011 in Abu Dhabi. In the last mail we saw that from the three verses in which Kashyapa muni speaks to Aditi, we learn a few things. In this offering, we shall see the other things we learn.

5. Devotional service purifies every one: We can see that everyone can serve Krishna even if he or she has a very contaminated heart. Here we can see that Aditi had so much contamination in her heart. It is okay that she wanted the kingdom back for her sons and it is okay that she wanted the enemies to be defeated. But she wanted to see the wives of the demons lamenting for the death of their husbands when these demons are killed in battle by the demigods. This is in complete contrast to the behavior of Draupadi. When Asvatthaama, the killer of her young sons was brought before Draupadi for being punished, Draupadi could not tolerate to see him bound by ropes and in SB 1.7.47, she speaks

mā rodīd asya jananī gautamī pati-devatā
yathāhaṁ mṛta-vatsārtā rodimy aśru-mukhī muhuḥ

My Lord, do not make the wife of Dronaacaarya cry like me. I am aggrieved for the death of my sons. She need not cry constantly like me.

In spite of so much contamination in Aditi’s heart, Krishna appeared before her after she performed the Payovrata worship. That is the power of devotional service. More importantly, it is the power of devotional service performed under the directions and shelter of an exalted spiritual master. The sincerity with which we follow the instructions of the spiritual master pleases Krishna more than anything else. Here Aditi very submissively heard from Kashyapa muni about the process of worship and she followed his instructions very sincerely. Krishna is very much pleased with this submission to the spiritual master. This is revealed in verse 8.17.18, where the Lord says:

You have prayed to Me and properly worshiped Me by performing the great payo-vrata ceremony for the sake of protecting your sons. Because of Kashyapa Muni’s austerities, I shall agree to become your son and thus protect your other sons.

When thus sincerely engaged in devotional service under the shelter of a pure devotee, all the contaminations in the heart are gradually purified. We see from the sixth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam that Diti, another wife of Kashyapa muni and the mother of the demons became envious of the demigods because Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha were killed by Vishnu favoring Indra. She was eager to have a son who could kill Indra. At that time, she requested Kashyapa mini for a son to kill Indra. Kashyapa Muni advised her to follow the Vaishnava ritualistic ceremonies to purify herself. When Diti, following the instructions of Kashyapa, engaged in devotional service, Indra could understand the purpose and he began observing all her activities. One day, Indra had the opportunity to see her deviation from devotional service and he entered her womb and cut her son into 49 parts. Because Diti had performed devotional service, all the sons were saved and they became Vaishnavas. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 6.18.71, "If one develops a devotional attitude and becomes purified by worshiping the Supreme Lord, all the good qualities are certainly manifested in his body. Because of being touched by worship of Vishnu, both Diti and Indra were purified."

6. Everything and every situation should be utilized to make a person Krishna conscious: In Nectar of Instruction, Srila Prabhupada writes "Endeavor executed with intelligence in Krishna consciousness is called utsaaha, or enthusiasm. The devotees find the correct means by which everything can be utilized in the service of the Lord." It does not mean engaging the gross material objects alone in the service of Krishna. It means engaging even the subtle things in the service of Krishna. Here we see how Kashyapa muni encouraged Aditi who was of envious nature to kill the demons, to be engaged in devotional service. In the same way, as we saw in the previous point, Diti became envious and at that time also Kashyapa muni engaged her in the service of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 6.18.19: "Apparently even demons can be elevated to positions as demigods when their atheistic character is reformed. Even the demons can be transformed into demigods. That is why preaching is essential especially to those who are engaged in obnoxious activities. That is the reason Srila Prabhupada went all the way to America and preached the message to those who were leading an abominable life. As long as we have the energy and the resources and the time everything should be engaged in preaching."

7. Devotional service never goes in vain: Aditi worshiped the Lord according to the instructions of Kashyapa muni and the Lord appeared before her. She offered nice prayers to the Lord and the Lord revealed her heart by making a complete diagnosis and then the Lord said in SB 8.17.16: "O mother of the demigods, in My opinion almost all the chiefs of the demons are now unconquerable, for they are being protected by brahmanas, whom the Supreme Lord always favors. Thus the use of power against them now will not at all be a source of happiness." When the Lord Himself says that the demons are unconquerable, we become bewildered as to what is the solution now. But the Lord does not stop by saying that they are unconquerable. He goes on to speak the following powerful verse SB 8.17.17:

athāpy upāyo mama devi cintyaḥ
santoṣitasya vrata-caryayā te
mamārcanaṁ nārhati gantum anyathā
śraddhānurūpaṁ phala-hetukatvāt

Yet because I have been satisfied by the activities of your vow, O goddess Aditi, I must find some means to favor you, for worship of Me never goes in vain but certainly gives the desired result according to what one deserves.

Here we see the determination of the Lord to find some means to favor the devotee and this simply melts our heart. The demons are protected by brahmanas whom the Supreme Lord favors and hence they are unconquerable. But Krishna cannot allow His worship to go in vain and hence He has to show His favor to Aditi. How can the situation be adjusted? Srila Prabhupada very nicely states in his purport to 8.17.12: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being situated in everyone’s heart, and especially in the hearts of His devotees, is always ready to help devotees in adversity. Since He knows everything, He knows how things are to be adjusted, and He does the needful to relieve the suffering of His devotee."

We do not believe in Krishna’s adjustment. We are always trying to adjust with our wife, children, husband, relatives, office, boss, and so on but ultimately we find that nothing is adjusted. The best thing is to leave everything up to Krishna who is the best adjustor and engage in His devotionals service because we should always remember that:

a) Devotional service to Krishna is infallible. (amogha bhagavad bhaktih)
b) Any method other than devotional service is useless.
c) Worship of Krishna never goes in vain but certainly gives the desired result according to what one deserves (mamaarcanam naarhati gantum anyathaa shraddhaanurupam phala-hetukatvaat).

Our heartfelt thanks to H G Svayam Sphuraty Prabhuji for revealing such wonderful practical instructions from this nectarean pastime narrated in Srimad Bhagavatam.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.