Our Aim is to Serve the Lord
by Çré Çrémad Bhaktivedänta Trivikrama Gosvämé Mahäräja
[NOTE: This page uses Balarama font
(available here) for better transliteration of Sanskrit into English. Click here for a version without Balarama font.]
We are trying to attain which thing? What is our aim? Are we trying to attain God or service to God? We do not want God, but service to Him. Why is this? We cannot engage God. This is the kingdom of devotion, not of enjoyment. It is only by devotion that service to God can be attained. It is not available to us by our efforts to enjoy.
It is necessary for us to practice devotion, by devoting whatever we have to Him for His enjoyment. The more we will devote ourselves to Him the more we will proceed towards Him. This is the main point. But how is such devotion possible? One who does not devote himself to God cannot attain Him. We all want to enjoy everything. There are religions in this world in which the people are always praying for enjoyment, peace or salvation, but none of this is devotion. They may offer something for His service, for His pleasure, such as sweetmeats, flowers or garlands, but their main objective is to get something from Him in return. By this process God’s pleasure cannot be attained; His service cannot be attained.
kåñëa yadi chuöe bhakte bhukti mukti diyä
kabhu prema-bhakti nä dena räkhena lukäiyä
Çré Caitanya-caritämåta (Ädi 8.18)
If a devotee wants liberation or material sense gratification from the Lord, Kåñëa immediately delivers it, but pure devotional service He keeps hidden. This is the statement of the wise men, the devotees.
We are trying to devote everything, but it is difficult to do so by our own effort. It is very difficult to devote everything. It is only possible in the company of devotees.
bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-saìgena parijäyate
sat-saìgaù präpyate puàbhiù sukåtaiù pürva-saïcitaiù
Båhan-näradéya Puräëa (4.33)
Bhakti is awakened when one associates with bhaktas of Çré Bhagavän. Association with çuddha-bhaktas is attained only by the accumulation of transcendental pious activities performed over many lifetimes.
Devotion is attainable by keeping the company of the pure devotees. The person who possesses devotion can manifest it in the heart of every soul. Unless and until we get the association of such a devotee this is not possible.
But such a devotee is very rare in this world – very rare. And we can get his association by our good works. What does “good works” mean? It means work that renders service to Him and His devotees. This is what is meant by “good”. Sukåti – good works. Kåti means “activity”; su means “good”. What is that good activity? We currently think that service to man is service to God, but this is only a partial truth.
ye ’py anya-devatä-bhaktä / yajante çraddhayänvitäù
te ’pi mäm eva kaunteya / yajanty avidhi-pürvakam
O Kaunteya, those who worship other demigods with
faith actually worship Me alone, but in a way that is
This is stated by our Lord Kåñëa – “Service to any demigods is service to Me.” Though it can be called this, such service is not rendered properly; it is not appropriate. This is not the proper law. “To serve man is to serve God.” Most of us in this present time think that service to man is service to God, but it is only a partial truth. Man is nothing without the position of God. He is a very small fraction of the spiritual subject.
mamaiväàço jéva-loke / jéva-bhütaù sanätanaù
manaù-ñañöhänéndriyäëi / prakåti-sthäni karñati
The eternal jévas in this material world are certainly
My separated parts and parcels. Bound by material
nature, they are attracted by the six senses including
Although the word “fraction” has been used here, it does not mean the fraction of the subject possessing all varieties of qualities and potencies. Rather, aàça refers to the fraction of the potency – mamaiväàço – not of the possessor of the potency. The possessor of potency is God, Lord Viñëu. So this is such a great difference. A part of the potency cannot be equal to the possessor of the potency. This is the main point that we should always remember. A potency always serves its master, the possessor. We are the potency of Lord Kåñëa, and our relationship with Him is based on service to Him only.
In our present condition, however, we are doing the opposite, and instead of serving Him, we are serving our senses. How can this problem be removed?
kåñëa-bahirmukha haïä bhoga-väïchä kare
nikaöa-stha mäyä täre jäpaöiyä dhare
Our current way of thinking occurred only by the influence of mäyä. Why is mäyä influencing us? Who is to blame, mäyä or us? Is mäyä doing wrong or are we? In the past, it is we who have done the wrong. We have forgotten Kåñëa and our relationship with Him. This has occurred because of our minute independence. When this independence is again used in service to Him we may attain
real service, a real connection or relationship.How can we be relieved from the influence of mäyä ? Our religious scriptures give instructions on this. It is only possible when we are able to get the association of a devotee who himself is free from mäyä.
This is of utmost importance – to have the association of such a person who is free from mäyä. But not only that, as freedom is not our goal. The true religion, or true relationship between Kåñëa and us, is not available by freedom alone. If a person who is free from mäyä does not possess love for Kåñëa then that source of freedom is not the best thing for him. Although it is better to become free, we are not very successful unless and until we attain a true connection in service to Him. That service is the best thing.
We do not want to enjoy Kåñëa, but we are always eager to see Kåñëa, to get something from Him, and to have His company. What then is our main objective? Is it to serve Him or enjoy Him? Why are we trying to enjoy Him? We are trying to enjoy Him because this is our character. By the influence of mäyä we try to enjoy even when we serve. That is not devotion. We should give up that sense of enjoyment. Why are we trying to see Him? He is very beautiful, so we desire to see Him. But the devotee does not wish to see Him to enjoy His beauty; he wishes to serve Him. We cannot imagine what this is like. At present, our character is to enjoy, having turned towards that which is not in a pure condition. Hare Kåñëa.
Trikakrama Maharaja Page