THE PATH OF PURE DEVOTION

the path of pure devotion

The path followed by the pure devotees is the most beneficial path of this material world, this is fearless and is proved by Vedic scriptures. No one should think that a person following path of devotion can not understand Vedas.

Mayavadis claims that the path of devotion can not be followed by females but that is absolutely wrong. All humans should follow great sages who follow the path of devotion. Those who have Bhakti are equivalent to demigods.

If one follows the path of devotion we get free from material nature.

THE SOLUTION OF EXISTENCE

When Parakshit Maharaj saw all the misdeeds of people and sin he was worried about what would be the result of all this, as Vaishnavas get saddened when they see anyone in trouble. Parakshit Maharaj asked Sukadeva Goswami what should we do to save ourselves from sinful reactions and material nature.

Sukadeva Goswami

Sukadeva Goswami replied that Bhakti yoga (Devotion for Lord) is the solution to all this. We should follow the path of great saints who are pure devotees and should always seek the company of devotees.

Those who are in Bhakti are always happy and fearless, whereas others are always fearful and worried for the future. But if we surrender ourselves to the lotus feet of God we would always be fearless. The desire of a devotee is to vanquish all the material desires in his heart. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that the chanting of Hari Naam (Hare Krishna Mahamantra) removes all the impurities from our hearts. In Bhakti Yoga we serve Lord physically, mentally, and financially.

IMPORTANCE OF READING AND HEARING ABOUT LORD

IMPORTANCE OF READING AND HEARING ABOUT LORD

We should read the Vedic scriptures or Granth as it has the Lord’s instructions and the medium through which he directs us. We get the knowledge of Bhakti after taking millions of births. The seed of devotion is nourished by chanting, hearing, and singing of the Lord’s names and to protect this seed we should make a wall around ourselves so that we don’t get in contact with bad people that means we should avoid the company of non-devotees and material natured people.

TYPES OF DEVOTEE ASSOCIATION

We should always be in the company of devotees. There are three types of devotee company

  • One who is more devotional than us
  • Second who are equal to us in devotion
  • Third who are neophytes in devotional life.

Narad Muni says if we get the company of higher devotees we should become happy and we will get to learn something from them, when we are with devotees who are equal to us in devotion we should have a feeling of friendship with them, and when we are with people who are less in devotion than us then we should be compassionate to them.

There are many educational institutes for material knowledge but for spiritual knowledge, there are very less institutes, in India, there are some schools that teach Bhagavad Gita. With spiritual knowledge we can come out of this life and death circle, intelligent people take advantage of this spiritual knowledge.

FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF GOSWAMIS

FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF GOSWAMIS

Bhakti yoga is the greatest path and it is the decision of scriptures. Srila Prabhupad said that the Bhakti yoga path was followed by all the Goswamis (who have control over his senses) and most of these Goswamis were from very high families with all the facilities still they chose to be spiritually sound with no luxury than material luxurious life. Raghunath Goswami was from a very rich family but he left everything as he wanted to serve Krishna only.

When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu chanted he was joined by thousands of people and many Mayavadis turned to Vaishnav by listening to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu announced that one day this Hari Naam will reach each and every corner of this world and declared that soon a soldier will come and spread this mantra to the world and that soldier was Srila Prabhupad who gave us the knowledge of Bhakti, devotion to Krishna.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

There is no limit to devotion, the more you are devoted towards Krishna the happier and delightful you will become. So we learned that we should always follow Bhakti yoga and its principles, this knowledge is obtained by great saints and we should always seek devotees’ company.

Always A Dear Friend

There are 84 lacs species and thus, there are so many different types of bodies in this material world and as per our desire at the time of our death and as per the different activities that a living entity engages in while being alive, he or she obtains the body of that type. The Paramatma or the Supersoul is such a dear friend that he always follows the living entity no matter whichever species this entity goes into. The Paramatma still never leaves the living entity alone in this material world. Generally, we see in this material world during a difficult time even the most dear friend turns away from helping the other friend. But the Paramatma is such a dear friend that he does never hesitates to follow the living entity even in the lower species like dog, cat or other animals, etc.

The Human Life is so important that if in the human form one utilizes his human body as per the scriptures then the Paramatma makes sure that his next life is definitely in the higher form or in the higher planets, even return to the original home, Back to Godhead.

The Paramatma thus observes everything and on the basis of the desire of the living entity he guides. So if a human being develops to be in the Spiritual Path, then the Paramatma does brings him to the Spiritual Path. On the other side, if the living entity wants to enjoy in the material world and become forgetful of the Supreme Lord, The Paramatma also makes sure that the living entity is able to forget Him.

Which should we do first? Chanting or reading?

First is chanting but you should do both. Chanting is most important. But reading is also important. Reading is as necessary as chanting but chanting is more important. One of the biggest problems these days in our congregation devotees is that they don’t read. These books are so sweet. It is said that Bhagavatam became doubly sweet when Sukadeva Goswami recited it and I say that Bhagavatam became triply sweet with Prabhupada’s purports. If we don’t read, we won’t make much advancement, we will just hang in but your surrender will be very restricted. And if that is restricted you won’t get much taste. If you want to develop higher taste you should find time to read.

Krishna’s Formula to Get Peace of Mind

How many of us have peace of mind? We cannot buy peace of mind with money. In fact, the richer one is, the more anxiety one has”. A poor man can go to sleep without keeping ten dogs at the front gate and without ten security men but a rich man has to worry about getting kidnapped; people harming him due to getting envious and therefore, he has to arrange for the security.

How can we get real happiness? Bhagavad-gita says that by serving the Supreme Lord. We need to serve somebody or the other. The scriptures tell us to serve just one master. Currently we have so many masters. If we believe that there is only one master – Krishna – then all the other masters will be automatically served. Bhagavad-gita does not preach inaction. Bhagavad-gita preaches action but action in the service of the Supreme Lord just like Krishna told Arjuna to do his duty and fight but for His pleasure.

Become Krsna Conscious

I request all of you and obviously those who come to ISKCON temples are generally devotees who are interested in bhakti-yoga.  There is no shortage of places of worship; there is no shortage of temples.  We have plenty of temples everywhere. But in ISKCON temples, the environment is such that it promotes the essence of Lord’s teachings which is bhakti-yoga.  The conclusion of Bhagavad-gita is devotional service. Devotional service in essence means that we engage our body, mind and senses in the service of Lord and when we engage in the service of the Lord, we get purified. Many times we hear this and we keep saying, “Yes, I will take to the spiritual life tomorrow”.  And that tomorrow does not come. Our spiritual master gave us a story. There was once a man in Jagannatha Puri. He would bring water every day to the temple, leave it at the gate and go home.  He would say, “Oh! So many people are coming from other places to take darsana. I like Lord Jagannatha. I live here so I can have darsana any time”.  He went on postponing this way and one day he died before he could have darsana.  So we keep postponing our surrender. Surrendering to the Lord is not bitter, it is sweet.

Happiness in goodness is bitter in the beginning and sweet in the end. In the beginning, you have to sacrifice some material thought in favor of finding time to chant; you may have to sacrifice some other activity in favor of finding time to readBhagavad-gita; but spiritual association will give you the strength to develop determination which is the key ingredient to succeed spiritually. So we humbly want to request all of you – the regular devotees and visitors & occasional visitors to please take Krsna consciousness very seriously. This path is open to entire humanity. It is a proven path and it guarantees you full satisfaction if you take on the process seriously.  By chanting Hare Krsna, reading Bhagavad-gita, associating with devotees, observing festivals to worship the Lord in any way that you can, worshipping the Deity and by staying where you are, you will be able to perfect your life.  This chanting of the holy name is the most important activity. Many times I travel around the world and devotees ask me, “What service can I do?”  So I tell everyone that the most wonderful service that you can do is to chant the holy name.  When you chant the holy name, it cleanses the heart and frees it from hatred, lamentation etc. and enables you to experience a higher taste.  So please take to it very seriously and do not waste a minute. A minute wasted cannot be acquired by the wealth of the whole world.  So time is of essence and time and tide as you know, wait for no one.  Use every second in the service of Lord and that would guarantee you real happiness.

Priviledge to Struggle for Krsna

There are mainly eight types of mystic perfection one can possibly realize but Rupa Gosvami points out that a devotee is not interested in any of the eight types of mystic perfection because for a devotee all the mystic perfections are temporary.

Prabhupada struggled for years to establish ISKCON. He could have just used a siddhi to establish ISKCON. A devotee does not want to use the siddhis rather he wants to struggle for Krsna. Once when Prabhupada was coming down the lift in New York, the devotees were telling him, “Prabhupada! Please take rest, you are not feeling well.” Prabhupada’s health was not so good at that time. Prabhupada looked at them and said, “Please don’t take away my privilege to struggle for Krsna.” Struggling for Krsna is actually a privilege. When you do some seva for Krsna, you have to struggle. A devotee does not want an easy shortcut. He is willing to struggle for Krsna because, unlike material struggle which results in ulcers, the spiritual struggle results in determination to execute devotional service. You can attain spiritual bliss only by executing devotional service.