Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
In 9.9.12 of Bhagavatam, Prabhupada in his purport to the verse reminds us that it is the mercy of the Lord that allows us to serve Him through the bhakti process:
"Mother Ganges is worshiped by the water of the Ganges; a devotee takes a little water from the Ganges and offers it back to the Ganges. When the devotee takes the water, mother Ganges does not lose anything, and when the water is offered back, mother Ganges does not increase, but in this way the worshipper of Ganga is benefited."
Using this point, Srila Prabhupada now reminds us as aspiring devotees what we are in reality doing everyday of our lives when we try and render devotional service to the Lord.
"Similarly, a devotee of the Lord offers the Lord patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ - a leaf, flower, fruit and water - in great devotion, but everything, including the leaf, flower, fruit and water, belongs to the Lord, and therefore there is nothing to renounce or to accept." Srila Prabhupada ends the purport by revealing to us the practical import the above stated powerful statement - that we have nothing - either to renounce or to accept. The only thing we can do is as follows:
"One must simply take advantage of the bhakti process because by following this process one does not lose anything but one gains the favor of the Supreme Person." So the next time a devotee picks up his japa mala, or arises for mangala arati or reads Srimad Bhagavatam, or does nice kirtan, he should remember:
(a) the Lord does not lose or gain by the devotee's bhakti
(b) the devotee himself does not lose anything - not time, not sleep, not rest not money, because everything - time, sleep, rest, and money already belong to Krsna.
(c) when he realises this, the devotee becomes humble and realises he is not making any great sacrifice such as sleep, time, effort, money as a service to the Lord, because the same things the devotee is giving to the Lord already belongs to Him.
(d) the devotee should simply see his activities as an advantage offered by the Lord to the devotee so that he can gain His mercy and favour.
When I was young, my mother would give me pocket money everyday. Often, out of love and affection, I would buy her a present - a sweet etc, but it would be from the very same money that mother gave me. Mother did not stand to gain or lose anything with my offering to her - she was just giving me a chance to express my love and gratefulness to her, and it made me gain her favour - by her getting me more toys!
So, let's awake tomorrow morning and take ADVANTAGE of this bhakti that Krsna has actually presented us with!
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