Our Aim is to Serve the Lord

by r rmad Bhaktivednta Trivikrama Gosvm Mahrja

 

[NOTE: This page uses Balarama font (available here) for better transliteration of Sanskrit into English. Click here for a version without Balarama font.]

 

Spoken on 2nd November 1996 at r Keavaj Gauya Maha, Mathura

 

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 Gods pleasure cannot be attained; His service cannot be attained.

 

ka yadi chue bhakte bhukti mukti diy

kabhu prema-bhakti n dena rkhena lukiy

 

r Caitanya-caritmta (di 8.18)

 

If a devotee wants liberation or material sense gratification from the Lord, Ka 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-sagena parijyate

sat-saga prpyate pubhi suktai prva-sacitai

 

Bhan-nradya Pura (4.33)

 

Bhakti is awakened when one associates with bhaktas of r Bhagavn. Association with uddha-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. Sukti good works. Kti 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-devat-bhakt / yajante raddhaynvit

te pi mm eva kaunteya / yajanty avidhi-prvakam

 

Bhagavad-gta (9.23)

 

O Kaunteya, those who worship other demigods with

faith actually worship Me alone, but in a way that is

unauthorised.

 

This is stated by our Lord Ka 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.

 

mamaivo jva-loke / jva-bhta santana

mana-ahnndriyi / prakti-sthni karati

 

Bhagavad-gta (15.7)

 

The eternal jvas in this material world are certainly

My separated parts and parcels. Bound by material

nature, they are attracted by the six senses including

the mind.

 

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, aa refers to the fraction of the potency mamaivo not of the possessor of the potency. The possessor of potency is God, Lord Viu. 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 Ka, 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?

 

ka-bahirmukha ha bhoga-vch kare

nikaa-stha my tre jpaiy dhare

 

r Prema-vivarta

 

Our current way of thinking occurred only by the influence of my. Why is my influencing us? Who is to blame, my or us? Is my doing wrong or are we? In the past, it is we who have done the wrong. We have forgotten Ka 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 my ? 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 my.

 

This is of utmost importance to have the association of such a person who is free from my. But not only that, as freedom is not our goal. The true religion, or true relationship between Ka and us, is not available by freedom alone. If a person who is free from my does not possess love for Ka 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 Ka, but we are always eager to see Ka, 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 my 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 Ka.

 


(A lecture delivered at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, 2 November 1996)
Transcribed and edited by the Rays of The Harmonist team
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 12 Gaura-purnima 2003



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