Repugnance to the service of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and his devotees, carried throughout innumerable previous births, is the root cause of nescience i.e. ignorance. Ignorance is the cause of misidentification of self. Thus, inheritance of the false ego related to subtle and gross bodies is the main reason why we have been kept devoid of our actual goal—the attainment of the Absolute, Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.
Without forfeiting the false ego, we cannot take absolute shelter of the lotus feet of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. And, if we do so, then it will not be an unconditional submission. Without transcending the barrier of the external material energy (maya), we cannot attain Absolute Spiritual Bliss. After the advent of true love and longing for Goloka Vrindavana, the Holy Abode of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, attraction and a sense of duty towards material objects will automatically vanish. I am the eternal servant of the Supreme Lord and when this proud feeling engulfs the heart then transcendental love for Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and His personal associates (pure devotees) and all things associated with them, will appear naturally in the heart. Serving Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and His personal associates with the cognizance and realization of our eternal relationship with Them, constitutes chanting of the Lord’s Holy Name (Hari-bhajana).
Without manifesting our eternal relationship with the Lord, we can perform impure and alloyed devotional service but pure and unalloyed devotional service cannot be achieved. Although it is very difficult to achieve the state of a pure devotee, still our sole aim should be to attain it. All the material practices are quite attractive and appealing but they do not constitute pure devotion. The bottom line is that without achieving the state of self-realization, pure devotional service cannot be attained. It would not be a wise move on our part to waste our invaluable time trying to accomplish menial tasks, as has been the tradition. In fact, we should try to make the best of a bad bargain. I am glad to see that all of you are chanting the Holy Name. All the scriptures and all our previous Spiritual Masters have encoded the pertinence of chanting, while giving up material acts, material knowledge, meditation, sacrifice, fasts and penance. As the scriptures suggest:
harer-nama harer-nama harer-namaiva kevalamTherefore, without meandering to other forms of devotion, we should chant with one pointed focus while firmly believing in the oneness of the Name and Form of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. If we can do so then there is no greater form of devotion that can provide us the promised results so quickly. There are thousands of different forms of devotion but chanting the Lord’s Name is the highest and foremost. Chanting of the Lord’s Name is the quintessence of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings. Pretending to worship Supreme Lord Sri Krishna while having somebody or something else in mind does not constitute the pure form of chanting (Hari-bhajana). On the contrary, it is an offence unto the lotus feet of the Holy Name. All of you should continue your humble submission unto the lotus feet of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. I would feel very happy and deeply obliged if you would continue to serve Supreme Lord Sri Krishna with absolute and unconditional submission unto his lotus feet.
kalau nasty-eva nasty-eva nasty-eva gatir anyatha
‘Harinama (chanting of the Lord’s Name), Harinama, Harinama is the only and foremost means to achieve emancipation. There is no other way, no other way, no other way in this age of Kali (Kaliyuga-the Black Age or Iron Age)’
When we sincerely try to chant the Holy Name, the agents and subordinates of the illusory energy of the Lord try to create problems and obstacles in our spiritual progress. But even after facing the toughest of problems—a completely surrendered devotee of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, is not the least bit bothered or the least bit affected. In fact, all these hurdles propel their devotion and devotional fame to greater heights. The Supreme Lord is the cause of all causes and the actual source of all energy. He (Supreme Lord Sri Krishna) is the one and only Truth. Those who serve Him, solely for His (Supreme Lord Sri Krishna’s) pleasure, are never troubled by the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord. Those who lack spiritual knowledge and have an inclination towards the mundane world, always face immense problems in their life and are ever prone to fear; whereas the pure devotee or the wise man knows and firmly believes that the controller of all the creations is Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. That is why the devotees of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna never ever fear anything or anyone, as there could never be any cause for them to fear i.e. they know that the real cause behind all that has happened, what is now happening and what will happen, is Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. The illusory energy of the Lord affects the individual souls with shock, pain and fear due to their ignorance of Him. This energy penetrates the minds of human beings in proportion to the extent of their averseness to Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. There is a huge difference between practicing pure devotional service to the Lord and its pretence i.e. practicing devotional service to fulfill one’s sensual desire.
Practicing everything according to the sweet will of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, alone constitutes pure devotion. We should try regularly to achieve this objective. When a devotee surrenders completely to Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, the Lord reciprocates. You have to be vigilant, making sure you are not diverted due to attraction or attachment to material and temporary religious practices. If you carefully analyze the character and living habits of those who are disrupting your attempt towards devotional service, you will find that they are leading their lives deeply engrossed in activities that are totally averse to Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Moreover, the views of such people (enslaved souls) and that of a pure devotee can never be similar. The difference in their views is natural and must necessarily be so. The most intelligent people (pure devotees) are adept in preserving their devotion to the Supreme while they deal with the outside world. Only those activities that are against the principles of pure devotion need to be abandoned. There is no need to abandon material and social activities that are not averse to the path of pure devotion to the Lord. I do not see why householder devotees should give up their routine social activities. You should cooperate with or help your relations at the time of functions such as marriages and so on, however, eating remnants of food offered to demigods and non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited.
For instance, if no one from your family or from the society you live in were highly educated, then taking this plea, would you also wish to remain uneducated? Similar is the case with spiritual knowledge. No wise man on this planet will advise you to keep yourself devoid of such invaluable spiritual knowledge. Just because your near and dear one’s are devoid of it, does not constitute a reason for you to be like them. On the contrary, your true well wishers will advise and instruct you to become a leader and practically set an example, working for the betterment of yourself and society by dint of your ideal character. So, do not waste your precious spiritual life just to enjoy these mundane benefits. You should think deeply about what and how much you could do to achieve some real benefit and also how to please others with consideration of how much they might be benefited and for how long? A human being may die any moment. How much will your sympathy towards such people benefit them after your death and vice versa? Just remember, when the death knell sounds, at that very moment, all our bodily connections and associations will cease to exist and, we the souls (human beings) will have to go far away from our near and dear ones. Do not try to please people who are completely elusive, those who cannot differentiate between good and bad and people who are completely immersed in the heinous vices of anger and lust. Supreme Lord Sri Krishna is the preserver and protector of all living beings. Do not waste your invaluable and tender devotional life blindly following some helpless and hapless foolish people (who cannot even think about their own betterment, what to speak of others) because without inspiration, we cannot progress in any direction (spiritual or material). We should try to chant the Holy Name as much as possible. Absolved of all kind of offences (as illustrated in the scriptures) we should continuously and regularly chant the ‘Hare Krishna Mahamantra’ (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) on our beads in a determinate number.
We should consider ourselves as the property of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. This feeling will automatically subdue all desires for enjoyment of the material senses. Supreme Lord Sri Krishna is the embodiment of all transcendental mellows (rasas) so he is competent to accept the prayers of devotees of any of the different mellows. Absolved of all kinds of material desires, whoever worships Supreme Lord Sri Krishna will surely get the opportunity to savor the highest order of the mellow of the transcendental sportive pastimes of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. In whichever transcendental mellow a devotee serves Him, Supreme Lord Sri Krishna reciprocates (with as much and with the same love as his devotee). Supreme Lord Sri Krishna can be attained only be adopting the devotional path because only devotion is competent to do so. For this to happen we will have to sacrifice all our material comforts and material inclinations. It is useless to sacrifice one’s own self (body, heart, speech) for the happiness of worldly people who are averse to Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. It will only be appropriate to offer the gift of sacrifice to Almighty Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Who is Ever Existent, All Knowledge and All Bliss.
Go on chanting the Holy Name of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna without apprehensions. He will definitely absolve you of all your shortcomings.
Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava
Goswami Maharaja Page