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The Lord Gives Inspiration – 5

Today we will see the explanation by Prabhuji on how service without expectation would please Krishna.

8. Service without expectation would please Krishna: The word inspiration means also ‘sacrifice’. Maharaj made a very subtle link between inspiration and sacrifice. A devotee who wants to remember the lotus feet of the Lord will get inspiration because of his eagerness to do whatever is necessary for devotional service. In Ramayan, Jatayu was a very old vulture bird. When he met Ravana, he was very old. He was the King of the vultures but not very strong that time. He saw that Sita matha was in trouble and she was calling. Jatayu did not hesitate a moment to serve her. Not to save her but to serve her. Maharaj said that Jatayu did not think he could save Sita mata. He wanted to serve her.

There is a difference. We always think that we are saving the satsang program with all our association, but Maharaj says it is good to remember that you are just a servant not a saviour. We cannot do anything for a program except to serve. So Jatayu few off into the sky to fight Ravana because he wanted to serve Lord Rama. He said,”My body is of no value if it is not used in the service of the Lord. The Lord’s most precious mother Sita is being kidnapped. It is my duty to stop this“. So Jatayu fought with Ravana and gave him a good run for his money. He made it so difficult for Ravana for a while and thought that mother Sita is going to be out of this demon king.

But then Ravana’s strength came back. Ravana chopped and chopped and somehow severed the wings and limbs of Jatayu. Jatayu fell in the midst of heap of blood and his life was slowly going away. When his life was going away, Lord Rama and Lakshmana came there. Seeing Jatayu, they thought that he must be the demon who is trying to catch Sita. So they approached with caution. When they saw Jatayu actually dying because of Ravana, Lord Rama’s heart was in pain. Jatayu praised Rama,”My dear Lord please forgive me that I could not execute my service to the best of my ability. I failed in my service. But I tried and I could tell you from my knowledge of shastra, the time in which she is leaving now is an auspicious time. Whatever you have lost in this time, you will gain back“. Jatayu even in that condition tried to serve Lord by uttering sweet words to pacify the Lord. He didn’t have to because he is already dying. Even then he did not think, “My Lord I tried to serve you, now I am dying, what kind of a Lord you are?”

But we will do that. Because we think that if we do something, we must get something back. This is how we approach Bhagavatam. This is how we approach bhakti. Every time when we come to Krishna, Krishna you are very nice but I need this, this, this… Krishna very nice to see you today, this is my list and I will add few more as the day goes by. This is what we think in our prayer to Krishna. But we don’t realise our real prayer to Krishna should never be in that form. It is stated in shastras that Jatayu did a nice service to the Lord Ram, at that point Lord decided to conduct funeral of Jatayu just like he is His father and they are his sons.

Lord Ram with Lakshman did the funeral and as the body of Jatayu was being burnt, Rama said,”Today the loss of Jatayu is more painful to Me than the loss of Sita“. This is how Lord Krishna, Lord Rama values the service of His devotees. And that service was done with eagerness. Jatayu fought like a young man. It was done with devotion and meditation of Lord Rama and the result of that was Jatayu did not die in vain but pacified by the darshan of Rama. How many of us can claim to have darshan of the Lord at the point when we leave our body? We don’t know. But Jatayu had that. So what appeared to be a failure of effort materially is actually a great success spiritually and the reason for that is remembrance of Krishna.

9. When we are not with Krishna, we lose everything: So one who remembers Krishna, he will always be inspired even in death or in life. One who forgets Krishna, he may appear materially very prosperous. Look at Ravana, on the other hand of the scale, he had everything; he had the most chaste wife Mandodari. She was the most beautiful among women in all the three worlds. She possessed all the great characteristics of a woman. Ravana had Lanka full with gold; he was sleeping on a golden bed; and his toothbrush was also gold… So he had everything. But he wanted to have something which didn’t belong to him. Lord Rama asked Ravana even in the battlefield, “By the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead you have everything materially. And yet you forget that the creator has given you everything, you are ungrateful Ravana and because of that you will not get inspiration.” Ravana despite of all his qualifications, he had one large disqualification and that automatically killed him. He did not want to be with the lotus feet of the Lord. He wanted something that he should not have.

10. Don’t blame others for not getting inspiration: When we do that, we lose the inspiration in the programs. We lose the inspiration in bhakti, because there is motive to why we come for a program. There is motive to why we engage in a program. Where there is a motive apart from glorifying Krishna, that motive will destroy our eagerness and it will stop inspiration. So next time when you come for the program and if you feel that you don’t get inspired, then don’t blame the speaker, because that’s the usual thing we do. We will say “speaker is not inspiring that is why I am not inspired”, “prasadam is not inspiring”, “location is very far, so I am not inspired”, “the time is very late, very late and that is why I am not inspired.” The reason is we don’t want to remember the lotus of feet of Krishna with eagerness. We have conditions before we execute pure bhakti. That means the bhakti cannot be pure. So these things must stop. If we don’t stop, then we will become Ravana and not Jatayu. So Jatayu’s marana is very important for us to remember. It shows us, even at the point when death is coming, if we are with Krishna and remembering Krishna, then we will be inspired to perform service.

11.Successful service means remembering Krishna while performing the service: Service doesn’t mean it must be successful. Successful service means, did you remember Krishna when you perform your service? It is not remembering Krishna only after you perform the service. See the difference. Successful service means when you are performing the service how much you remembered Krishna. When we are studying and discussing Bhagavatam how much we are remembering Krishna. To the extent we remember Krishna, to that extent we are inspired. To the extent we just think what could be the success after I perform the activity, to that extent we forget Krishna. So we carry this material baggage into our spiritual life. And that is why we are always suffering. So the verse ends by saying very simply that we must take shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna. Then only inspiration will come. Inspiration equals to eagerness to hear and eagerness to hear can only be satisfied when we are studying Bhagavatam and when we are with Bhagavatam. The royal route to remembering Krishna is to study Bhagavatam.

12.The royal route to remembering Krishna is to study Bhagavatam and attend mangala arati: Bhagavatam tells us very simply “shrnvatah shraddhayaa nityam“, “to those who have faith and always hear Bhagavatam”, to such persons, there is one quality that arises, “grnatash ca sva-ceshtitam“, when we “seriously endeavour to try and study Bhagavatam”, “kaalena naatidirghena“, “in no time at all” – Krishna guarantees us, “bhagavaan vishate hrdi.” It is a beautiful verse, 2.8.4 of Srimad Bhagavatam. It is a guarantee from Sukadeva Goswami. If you want to be inspired in your spiritual life, then Maharaj said to remember this verse. Just have faith in Bhagavatam, hear Bhagavatam, study Bhagavatam and do with your own endeavour, endeavour means you must be prepared to sacrifice.

Jatayu’s life at the end was endeavour. He sweated and sacrificed his life in the service of Lord Ram. Maharaj said, “we are not asking you to die now. We are just asking you to come together and hear Bhagavatam and take Bhagavatam back and seriously study it.” One who does that with his own sweat and blood, he will see Krishna in no time. As a devotee, it is important for us to remember that bhakti means sweat and blood. It is only when something which is very sweet and precious, is struggled for and is the object of our sacrifice, then it truly becomes valuable.

Something which is cheap, we do not have to sacrifice. Srila Prabhupada says, “you are required to sacrifice the things which are more valuable to you.” In your life whatever you have gotten with sweat and blood has always been valuable. Why for bhakti we cannot translate the same principle? That is why for mangala arati we sweat, we somehow struggle and we wake up to please the Lord. We have faith that the moment we hear Bhagavatam with our endeavour to come here, kaalena naatidirghena, “in no time Krishna is in our hearts.” Like a supreme vacuum cleaner, He cleans your heart very nicely and for those who understand that point and the next verse is very nice “pravishtah karna-randhrena”, “that means Krishna enters into the hole of the ear”, this sound incarnation of Bhagavatam enters into the heart of a self realised devotee. So Bhagavatam can only be studied, if it is heard. The best way to hear Bhagavatam, weekends we come to hear, week days we study and hear Prabhupada in his purports. So, “pravishtah karna-randhrena svaanaam bhaava-saroruham dhunoti shamalam krsnah, when we have accepted Krishna into our hearts in this manner then Krishna sits on the loving lotus relationship with His devotee. When He is seated there, all kinds of dust of material association, the dust of material lust, anger, hankering all goes automatically. Then we become inspired. See the direct connection between being inspired and studying Bhagavatam. How wonderful this point is? Inspiration is not something in the air. It is dedicated study, it is a display of your love for the Lord and the devotees by being willing to sacrifice. This is what Jatayu did. Lord Rama did his funeral like his son. It is merely because he eagerly tried to serve Lord’s lotus feet. Bhagavatam is non different from Krishna‘s lotus feet. So please remember these points.

13. We should be unsophisticated devotees: Maharaj says, “we will think inspiration is a material term and we forget that Krishna inspires us from within, but we must be qualified to receive that inspiration. It is not a sentimental thing. It is qualification. Even if you are not pure devotee to be inspired, we should be unsophisticated devotees.” The word Prabhupada uses in Bhagavatam is “unsophisticated.” Unsophisticated devotional service attracts Krishna. Then you will be inspired. Sophisticated devotional service is the motivated devotional service. Then you will forget Krishna. In the programs you will perform material activities. You will approach Bhagavatam for profit and motive. When that happens, the entire yatra will collapse because Krishna is not in the centre. Only maya is in the centre. Many congregations of different denominations degrade into them. We should be very careful to keep Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Caitanya Caritamrta, chanting and loving relationship with each other. If we have this magic formula, Krishna says, “you are inspired and I will bring you back.” Otherwise no inspiration and we will just loose taste for devotional service. That’s the worst thing which can happen.

HG Devakinandan Prabhuji went on to explain how Lord was so kind by narrating the Buddhuram story. The same shall be offered in next mail, Krishna willing.

Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Anuradha devi dasi,
Fujairah, UAE