Hare Krishna Temple of Austin

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

FOUNDER-ACHARYA HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C.BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA


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Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18: Conclusion- The Perfect of Renunciation: Verse 66

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Translation: Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

On the battle field of Kurukshetra Arjuna sees his teachers, and his relatives, is overcome with great grief and tells Krishna, that he does not need any victory nor pleasure nor kingdom by killing all his kinsmen in the battle.  Arjuna is worried about the consequences of the war.

 One side it is Arjuna’ s Kula Dharma or duty as a Kshatriya to fight the wrong doers, so that peace will prevail in the society and on other side he has to protect his relatives too. For example, just imagine you are holding a position as a police officer and there is a communal riot going on and you are asked to take in charge of the situation. You reach there on the spot and find that some of your relatives are also involved. So, now what is your duty here. Is it to support your relatives by ignoring their wrong doings or save the civilians and prevent great havoc? As a relative you will definitely try to stop them from their wrong doing and still they are not listening to you. Same time your prime duty or job is to give protection to the civilians, and maintain peace and order in the society. And your job demands to shoot them then you have to do it ignoring the sentiments and attachments towards them. 

This is the same ethical conflict Arjuna faced. Arjuna was not afraid of dying in the battle field. He was afraid what he going to do is irreligious, adharmic and will incur sin. He thought that he will be the instrument of killing thousands of men in the dynasty, and women and children will be unprotected, there will be up serge of unwanted progeny in the world and will create havoc. He wanted to leave the battle field, does not need a kingdom soaked in the blood of his cousins his teacher Dhrona and Bhisma Pitamaha his grandfather. Here if we see Arjuna is thinking from the material world of view, due to the covering of Yogamaya. And not knowing how to resolve his conflict Arjuna was perplexed. So Arjuna is telling Krishna unless I solve this I cannot fight.

Earlier the Lord had explained various process of attaining Bhakti and liberation like knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, knowledge of the Super soul, knowledge of the different types of orders and statuses of social life, knowledge of the renounced order of life, knowledge of nonattachment, sense and mind control, meditation. But now here the Lord who is the protector of all Dharma, establisher of Dharma says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him earlier and just simply surrender to me. Krishna resolves Arjuna’s conflict by reminding him we may play different roles in our life, sometimes we are professional, sometimes we are family members, sometimes we are citizens, have a social life and so when there is conflict among the roles we have to go beyond the roles to the essence of whom we are.  He also explains to Arjuna that he is not a member of a Kuru dynasty, nor a Kshatriya but a soul and as a soul, you are meant to serve the whole and that whole is Krishna, and now it is his duty at that particular moment to serve as the Lord as a Kshatriya and fight, and in the process of doing duty towards me you think that fighting against your relatives and killing them you incur sin I will free you from all the sins, for the Lord personally promises to protect him. 

In the Eleventh Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, eleventh chapter, verse 32, in which the Lord says to Uddhava, “My dear Uddhava, any person who takes shelter of Me in complete surrender and follows My instructions, giving up all occupational duties, is to be considered the first-class man. He even tells to Uddhava, like a how a blazing fire kills everything the sin of a person is burned to ashes by doing devotional service. So, the point here is not to reject dharma and not to accept adharma but to raise us to summit of dharma. Our Dharma is to love and serve god and act in this world in the mood of loving service.

So how can one surrender to the Supreme Personality of God head?

By showing Uttamā Bhakti, or Unalloyed devotion unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unalloyed love means love that is not tinged by desire for material benefit, for mere philosophical understanding, mental speculation nor for fruitive results and it should be favorably fixed on Krishna.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura has elaborated on the wordsharanam. In his collection of songs titled Saranagati(“The Goal of Surrender”), he gives us a conceptual orientation of what pure surrender looks like and how we can practice to achieve the status of a sharanagata, a fully surrendered devotee. 

He describes the six practices of those serious about dedicating their lives to Krishna: 

  • Accepting things favorable to devotional service
  • Rejecting things unfavorable to devotional service
  • Accepting that Krishna is our only maintainer
  • Accepting that Krishna is our only protector
  • Developing a deep sense of humility
  • Fully giving ourselves for the purpose of Guru and Krishna.

1. Accepting things Favorable: 

Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanam (CC Madhya 22.100). 

Things favorable for devotional service are Chanting, association with devotees, Following regulative principles

Beginning of devotional life, it is difficult for us to distinguish what will help us in devotional process or what are the hindrances for our spiritual advancement. We need some guidance, which will help us to proceed forward, help us understand what is favorable for us and what isn’t. It is best to read scriptures like Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita and all, hear lectures from bonafied devotees or spiritual masters, associate with devotees so you get a foundational understanding. Once you have the foundational understanding, it is up to you to make choices that will help you advance in the path of Krishna consciousness, because Krishna has given us the free will, it is up to decide which path to choose materialistic or spiritual. 

  1. Chanting:

Cleanses the heart from all the internal enemies of lust, anger, greed, pride, jealousy, delusion, ego. When one chants the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. In the first stanza of His Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ.Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Ṭhākura used to say that unless one chants at least sixty-four rounds of japa (one hundred thousand names), he is considered fallen (patita). Srila Prabupada is so merciful he has asked us to Chant 16 rounds. It is said that If one hears a person say even once the word ‘Kṛṣṇa,’ that person should be accepted as the best man out of the common group. When we chant all good qualities manifest in us like the virtues of forgiveness, calmness, disinterestedness, charity, benevolence, control of mind and body, ego lessness. Not only is the chanter of the mahā-mantra purified, but the heart of anyone who happens to hear the transcendental vibration of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is also cleansed. Chanting of the holy names is so powerful that even if one chants in the remotest parts of the jungle, the trees and animals will advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness simply by hearing the vibration.

2. Association with devotees:  

Devotees are generally very compassionate, merciful, trust worthy. They stand by you in tough situations in your life, and always try to bring the best out of you and guide you to take best decisions in life. They always guide you in your devotional service to Krishna and help you to understand the scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and books of Srila Prabupad like The Nectar of Devotion, The Nectar of Instruction and apply that in your life.

3. 4 regulative principles 

The 4 regulated principles are considered as Gate Keepers. There are four pillars upon which human society rests. These pillars are: mercy, truthfulness, austerity and cleanliness.

No meat eating, fish, eggs: Krishna says all living entities are his sons and daughters. If we kill them, it means we are killing our brothers and sisters. Killing destroys the quality of mercy. These foods are the in the mood of ignorance, and cannot be offered to the Lord and these foods are hindrances to one’s spiritual practices

Gambling: Truthfulness is destroyed. It can put one in to a state of anxiety, greed, envy, and anger

No use of intoxicants like tea, coffee, drugs, alcohol, any drink containing caffeine: This destroys the principle of austerity. These things are physically, mentally and spiritually detrimental making impossible to follow the principles of Bhakti yoga.

No illicit Sex: Cleanliness is destroyed by illicit sex. The scriptures teach that sex is the most powerful force binding us to the material world. Anyone serious about advancing in Krsna consciousness should therefore abstain from or regulate sexual activity according to the scriptures. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krsna says that sexual union for conceiving a child to be raised in God consciousness is an act of devotion to Him.

For example) while we travel by flight, we all have to go through security checking. They ask us to open our bag, remove our shoes, ties, all personnel belongings. It is really a discomfort. But why do they do this, for a higher purpose to make your destiny smoother, and there is no hindrance in your path. Same way these regulative priciples are not to intimidate you but they are there to elevate you to a superior platform.  Together with chanting Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, one gets a higher taste and leave material desires behind.

2. Rejecting things unfavorable to devotional service:

Pride, lust, Greed, Anger, Envy, association with non-devotees, material conditioning, and the dualities of happiness and suffering are all impediments to the surrendering process or weapons of Maya Devi. The practitioner of devotional service must practice with care in order to gradually abandon the unfavorable characteristics listed by Krishna. 

Srila Prabhupada has said sense gratification is like salt. We need a little, but not too much. Similarly, some renunciation and detachment can help us advance, especially in the beginning of our spiritual journey.

3. Accepting that Krishna is our only maintainer

Faith is a central piece of surrender. In the early stages of Bhakti, one develops faith in Krishna by reading the stories or past times of Krishna from the scriptures. These scriptures show Krishna’s commitment to provide for all his devotees needs and those who have developed deep faith in this principle are released from much anxiety. 

This can be explained by a story of Narada Muni and Hunter Mrigari. When Narada Muni approached the hunter Mrigari, Narada asked him to give up his sinful habit of half killing animals and leaving them to die. He enlightened the hunter about karma, telling him all the animals he killed and have given unnecessary pain will kill him in his next life he would have to suffer a fate similar to that of the poor creatures he was torturing.

 After the hunter had developed some faith in Narada Muni as his spiritual guide, Narada asked him to break his bow. Mrigari hesitated, wondering how he and his family would survive if he gave up his means of livelihood. Narada assured him that if he took to the devotional path, Krishna would provide for all his needs. The hunter complied with Narada’s request, breaking his bow and taking up the spiritual practice of chanting Krishna’s holy names. Many of Mrigari’s neighbors became aware of his transformation and began to honor him as a saintly person. Every day they would bring food to him and his family. In fact, the quantity of food far exceeded his needs, and he had to ask that the amount be reduced. 

If one understands what sin is, he should give it up with sincerity and regret and surrender unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through His agent, the pure devotee. In this way, one can be freed from the reactions of sin and make progress in devotional service

However, if one continues committing sins after making some atonement, he will not be saved. In the sastras, such atonement is compared to an elephant’s bathing. An elephant takes a very good bath and cleanses its body very nicely, but as soon as it comes out of the water, it picks up some dust on the shore and throws it all over its body. The hunter first admitted his sinful activity before the saintly person Narada and then asked how he could be saved. When a person takes to Krsna consciousness, there is no need to care for material necessities. Krsna says that He personally carries all the necessities to His devotees. In BG 9.22 it is said that Those who worship Me with love and devotion, meditating on My transcendental form-to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.” (Bg. 9.22)

One day, while speaking to his friend Parvata Muni, Narada Muni requested him to go with him to see his disciple the hunter. Seeing the ants, on the path of his spiritual master, the hunter waited patiently for the ants to go way. After that he fell down flat to offer his obeisances. When the hunter chanted the Hare Krsna maha-mantra before his spiritual master, his body trembled, and tears welled in his eyes. Filled with ecstatic love, he raised his hands and began to dance, waving his garments up and down. “When Parvata Muni saw the ecstatic loving symptoms of the hunter, he called Narada Muni a touchstone, when a touch stone touches iron, it turns iron in to gold, because by his touch the hunter, who was lowest among men, became an elevated and perfect Vaishnava. By true devotee’s mercy, even a lowborn person like this hunter can immediately become attached to Lord Krsna.  

4. Accepting that Krishna is our only protector

All living entities within this material world are under the control of mahā-māyā, whose business is to subject them to the influence of threefold miseries: adhidaivika-kleśa (sufferings caused by the demigods, such as droughts, earthquakes and storms), adhibautika-kleśa (sufferings caused by other living entities like insects or enemies), and adhyātmika-kleśa (sufferings caused by one’s own body and mind, such as mental and physical infirmities).Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at every step and there is birth, old age, disease and death. The less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that the resultant actions will make them happy.

  If we see when Krishna was in Vrindavana there were lots of threatening situations that followed one after the other but these situations did not scare the residents of Vrindavana but only their love and dependency on Krishna increased in fact they even believed that if a demon comes Krishna will protect them. Without knowledge and faith in Krishna, there is no shelter from suffering. 

Same way we don’t purposely put ourselves in harm’s way. For example, there is a warning of a Tornado in your city and all the citizens are required to take necessary shelter. You don’t go out in middle of Tornado and say Krishna will protect me. In fact, we take that warning of tornado as a way Krishna is guiding us to take shelter so as to protect us, so we act intelligently. Other, example is chanting while driving a car. This can put your life or your loved one’s life in danger. You have to remember Krishna 24/7 which everyone agrees, but while driving instead of chanting you can listen to Srila Prabupad lectures, listen to Krishna Bhajans etc. So, you mind is occupied thinking of Krishna

Sometimes protection does not mean it is not always the body, but our soul as well.  While living a life dedicated to making spiritual progress, we may confront a dangerous situation. Example shooting in temples where devotees gets killed. So, protection means, it may not always mean protection for our body, but rather, our soul, is always protected, and if Krishna desires that we leave our present circumstance, we will never lose whatever spiritual attainment we have. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that in this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.” Although a fallen devotee may take his next birth in a low family, his devotional service will nonetheless resume from where it left off. Devotional service is ahaituky apratihatā; it is not the effect of any mundane cause, nor can it be terminated by any mundane cause or permanently curtailed by any material interruption.

5. Developing a deep sense of humility

The next principle of surrender is humility, very essential for spiritual progress. Srila Prabhupada says that without humility we cannot gain knowledge. Real humility is accepting the whole truth: that if I have this possessions of wealth, quality, beauty, ability to remember him always in good and bad times, determination to keep my promises it is all by the grace of God, it is gift from Krishna out of pure love not because I deserve them. He can give and He can take away. He can make a man from rags to riches or riches to rags. Surrender comes from realizing we can’t do anything without the mercy and help of the Lord (Example: difference between a paralyzed or handicapped man and a normal man). Never one should be proud of your accomplishments. 

  1. Humility allows us to let Krishna take the lead in our lives. It allows us to open our hearts to His instructions and to serve Him through His representatives in the material world. 
  2. To reinstate our spiritual consciousness, we need to practice giving and serving. 

In this material world we will always find people who always praise you for your ability, talents, respect you. If you have humility you will never be a victim of false pride. Lord Caitanya says, “A person with all good qualities is bent down with humility, like a tree full of fruit.

6. Fully giving ourselves for the purpose of Guru and Krishna.

Sharanagati is to fully give ourselves-body, mind, and heart-to the Lord’s service. This means we no longer have any interest separate from Krishna’s. Practice this principle, through Deity worship, congregational chanting, honoring Krishnaprasadam, associating with likeminded devotees, hearing and reciting scriptures like Srimad- Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, and searching for Krishna like a child crying for its mother we should serve advanced Vaishnavas, love them, respect them, accept the positive and negative criticisms and share Krishna consciousness with others. By doing this we will know whether we are fully surrendered to Krishna, what are the material attachments holding us back, and with the guidance of senior devotees and other Vaishnavas we can slowly strive forward and make progress in Krishna consciousness. 

What are the six principles favorable to the execution of devotional service?

In Nectar of Instruction it says that 

utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt

tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt

saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ

ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati

There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam – hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛishna ], (5) abandoning the association of non-devotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous Acharya’s. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.11), has defined devotional service as follows:

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

Let’s take one by one in detail

  1. Be enthusiastic

 Enthusiasm means, action. Without enthusiasm, one cannot be successful in this material world. One has to be very enthusiastic in his particular field of activity in order to become successful. A student, businessman, artist or anyone else who wants success in his line must be enthusiastic. Similarly, one has to be very enthusiastic in devotional service. Here the Enthusiasm or action should be dovetailing all our actions in the service of Krishna and the endeavor executed with intelligence in Kṛishna consciousness is called Utsaha. In this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement there are four basic regulative principles, forbidding illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī therefore recommends, tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt: “One must strictly follow the regulative principles. In addition to these four prohibitions (yama), there are positive regulative principles (niyama), such as the daily chanting of sixteen rounds on japa-mālā beads. These regulative activities must be faithfully performed with enthusiasm.

No enthusiasm= boredom

2. Endeavoring with confidence

In Devotional service surrender means that one has to become confident. The devotee thinks, avaśya rakṣibe kṛṣṇa: “Kṛṣṇa will surely protect me and give me help for the successful execution of devotional service.” This is called confidence. A devotee of the Lord is FEARLESS because he has Confidence in Krishna’s words, in Guru, Sadhu and Shastra. One should not be idle but practice devotional service in strict confidence. Anyone, who practices devotional service in strict confidence has nothing to lose, for he is giving the greatest service to the family. Because in relationship with him, his father, mother, anyone, they will be liberated

3. Be patient

Patience, confidence and determination are needed in devotional service. Never one should be Impatient. In the beginning of practicing Krishna consciousness some neophyte devotees will have doubts whether any transformation is occurring, whether there is really any change of heart, but determined practice over years will surely bear fruit. One should take instructions from the Spiritual master, Shiksha Gurus, and execute them with patience with a belief that perfection is guaranteed in Krishna consciousness. Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet

4. Acting according to regulative principles

Sri Prahlada Maharaja recommends:

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

The nine processes of devotional service and examples of devotees who followed are as follows:

  1. Hearing: Sravanam: Maharaja Parikshit

  2. Chanting His glories: Kirtanam: Sukadeva Goswami

  3. Remembering the Lord: Visnu smaranam: Prahalada Maharaja

  4. Serving the Lord’s feet: Pada sevanam: Lakshmi Devi

  5. Worshiping the Deity: Arcanam: Maharaja Prthu

  6. Offering obeisance’s unto the Lord: Akrura

  7. Acting as the Lord’s servant: Dasyam: Hanuman

  8. Making friends with the Lord: Sakyam: Arjuna

  9. Surrendering oneself fully to the Lord: Atma nivedanam: Bali Maharaja

King Ambarīṣa practiced all the 9 types of devotional service to the Lord.

King Ambarīṣa first of all concentrated his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa and then engaged his speech in describing the pastimes and activities of the Lord. He engaged his hands in washing the temple of the Lord. He engaged his ears in hearing of the transcendental glories of the Lord. He engaged his eyes in seeing the beautiful Deity in the temple. He engaged his body in associating with the pure devotees of the Lord. [When you associate with someone you have to sit down together, eat together, etc.-and in this way the touch of your body with their body is inevitable. Ambarīṣa Mahārāj made his association only with pure devotees and did not allow his body to be touched by anyone else.] He engaged his nostrils in smelling the flowers and tulasī offered to Kṛṣṇa, and he engaged his tongue in tasting Kṛṣṇaprasādam [food prepared specifically for offering to the Lord, the remnants of which are taken by the devotees]. Mahārāj Ambarīṣa was able to offer very nice prasādam to Kṛṣṇa because he was a king and had no scarcity of finance. He used to offer Kṛṣṇa the most royal dishes and would then taste the remnants as Kṛṣṇa-prasādam. There was no scarcity in his royal style, because he had a very beautiful temple wherein the Deity of the Lord was decorated with costly paraphernalia and offered high grade food. So, everything was available, and his engagement was always completely in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” The idea is that we should follow in the footsteps of great devotees. If we are unable to execute all the different items of devotional service, we must try to execute at least one of them, as exemplified by previous ācāryas. If we are engaged in the execution of all the items of devotional service, as was Mahārāj Ambarīṣa, then the perfection of devotional service is guaranteed from each one of these items. One becomes automatically detached from material contamination, and liberation becomes the maidservant of the devotee. This idea is confirmed by Bilvamaṅgala Thākur: If one develops unalloyed devotion to the Lord, liberation will follow the devotee as his maidservant. 

5.Abandoning the association of non-devotees:
Avoid association with Māyāvādīs, who simply blaspheme Vaiṣṇavas (devotees). Bhukti-kāmīs, who are interested in material happiness, mukti-kāmīs, who desire liberation by merging in the existence of the formless Absolute (Brahman), and siddhi-kāmīs, who desire the perfection of mystic yoga practice, are classified as atyāhārīs. Desires to expand the mind by perfecting mystic yoga, to merge into the existence of Brahman, or to attain whimsical material prosperity are all included within the category of greed. In order to be successful in devotional service one must give up the association of undesirable people. This includes karmīs, jñānīs, yogisand other non-devotees. One has to live in the company of pure devotees and execute the regulative principles laid down by the previous Acharya’s. Pure devotees can implant Bhaktilatha bheej, the seed of devotion. Material desires are like weed. By hearing, chanting, practicing and association with good devotee, will kill those weeds which are hindrance to spiritual progress.

What happens if one associate with non-devotees is unnecessary talking (prajalpa) topics related to television, newspapers, magazines, novels, about games, movies. We are actually wasting our time and valuable energy discussing this because these talks are not related to Krishna. Intelligent persons never engage themselves with non-devotees. One should strictly avoid such association (ana-sanga).

If we associate with devotees, if you have a problem, if you are confused, worried don’t know what to do they are there to help you out. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has therefore advised us to live only in the association of Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees (bhakta-sane vāsa). One should always engage in the service of the Lord in the association of the Lord’s devotees.  If we do that, there is little chance of associating with non- devotees and on the transcendental platform there is no contamination by the three modes of material nature. This is called viśuddha-sattva,the platform of pure goodness, or goodness free from contamination by the qualities of passion and ignorance

6. Following in the footsteps of the previous Acharya’s:  One should follow the footsteps of previous Acharya’s like the Six Gosvāmīs namely, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī and Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Srila Prabupada etc. Knowledge should be acquired from the Parampara or disciplic succession. One should not give aural reception to unauthorized persons, but should approach the proper person, as recommended the Bhagavad-Gita (4.34):

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”

We have to follow the instructions of a spiritual master with complete surrender. Nor should one accept a spiritual master just to make a fashionable show of spiritual life or to ask questions relating to general mundane subject matter of this material world. One must be jijñāsu, very much inquisitive to learn from the bona fide spiritual master. The inquiries one makes should strictly pertain to transcendental science (jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam). The word uttamam refers to that which is above material knowledge. Tamameans “the darkness of this material world,” and utmeans “transcendental.”

What happens when one render transcendental loving service to Krishna?

By rendering transcendental service to Kṛṣṇa, one automatically performs all subsidiary activities.

  1. Faith:

 Faith in the process will slowly increase by chanting, association with devotees, reading and hearing scriptures, by doing various devotional service in the temple  

2. Acceptance of the words from scriptures like Bhagavad- Gita and spiritual masters:

There will be acceptance of the words of Bhagavad-Gita and the spiritual masters without any interpretations and sincerely following their authoritative instructions. This was the way Arjuna accepted Bhagavad Gita. After hearing Gita, Arjuna told Kṛṣṇa: sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yan māṁ vadasi keśava. “O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me.” (BG.10.14). This is the correct way of understanding Gita, and this is called śraddhā. It is not that one accepts a portion of Bhagavad Gita according to his own whimsical interpretations and then rejects another portion.: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja. “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” When one becomes completely faithful in regard to this instruction, one’s strong faith becomes the basis for advancing in spiritual life. Firm faith or Sraddha increase and one automatically get detached from all material contamination and liberation becomes the maid servant of a devotee. 

3. One realizes his true identity:

When one fully faithfully engages in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, he gradually realizes his own spiritual identity. Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself: sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. (BRS. 1.2.234) We cannot realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead by any artificial means. We must engage faithfully in the service of the Lord. Such service begins with the tongue (sevonmukhe hi jihvādau), which means that we should always chant the holy names of the Lord and accept kṛṣṇa-prasāda. We should not chant or accept anything else. When this process is faithfully followed, the Supreme Lord reveals Himself to the devotee.

4. Control of senses: 

One can control the urges of speech, mind, anger, tongue, belly and genitals through regulative principles. And one who has perfect control of these senses is called as Goswami. Swami means master, and Goswami means master of the go, or senses. After taking to devotional service under the regulative principles, a person may come to the platform of spontaneous love of Godhead, following in the footsteps of great devotees like Nārada and Sanaka and Santana. The Supreme Personality of Godhead then recognizes him to be superior.

5. Understand the true purpose of religion

The true purpose of religion is to understand the laws of God and follow it, unfortunately in this present world people accept religion for material prosperity, because of atyahara or an excessive desire for material prosperity.

6. Accept the scriptural rules and regulations

One who is interest in Krishna consciousness accepts the rules and regulation for advancement in Krishna consciousness and not for any material or economic advancement, that is called niyama-āgraha, and neglecting the rules and regulations of the śāstras, which are meant for spiritual development, is called niyama-agraha. The word āgraha means “eagerness to accept,” and agraha means “failure to accept.” They should strictly follow the regulative principles by avoiding illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication and avoid bad association. 

7. Does not discriminate anyone based on their caste, creed or color

Fight based on the religion, caste, color, place of birth, color, born in good family are the cause conflict. Krishna says in 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam that one who identifies himself with the body, his possessions, his place of birth which he considers as worship able is a foolish person because they cannot treat everyone based on soul. Any service for lord with no refence to Shruti, Smriti, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam is simply disturbance to the society, this world need Krishna consciousness more than ever. So, we don’t differentiate people based on color and place they are born. In ISKCON we see many people of different color, nations chant together happily. They have come out of the bodily conception of life.

8. Free from materialistic desires:

Free from all internal enemies of heart like greed, pride, anger, envy, dualities, judging things and people in the world based on our senses.

9. Be happy and contended

A Krishna conscious person belief that the wealth of the world actually belongs to Kṛṣṇa, and every living entity, man and animal, has the birthright to use God’s property for his maintenance. When one takes more than his maintenance requires, he is considered as a thief, and as such he is liable to be punished by the laws of nature.

Example) If a bag of rice is placed in a public place, birds will come to eat a few grains and go away. A human being, however, will take away the whole bag. He will eat all his stomach can hold and then try to keep the rest in storage. According to scriptures, this collecting of more than necessary (atyāhāra) is prohibited. When human beings adapt this situation then all problems of economic or political maladjustment and instability will be solved and a spiritual community is established by bringing peaceful condition in the 

10. Fearless: A devotee become fearless: in Bhagavad Gita (2.40) Kṛṣṇa says:

nehābhikrama-nāśo ’sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

“In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear. “Example) Maharaj Parikshit. A snake his coming to him as death personified but he is fearless but he is listening to the glories of Sri Krishna by Suka Goswami. Krishna lotus feet is like a boat. Hear his glories and become pious

11. All the good qualities of the demigods manifest progressively in one who has developed pure devotional service: The virtues of forgiveness, calmness, disinterestedness, charity, benevolence, control of mind and body, ego lessness. Because a devotee is not interested in any material activity, he does not become materially contaminated. He is immediately situated on the platform of transcendental life (Srimad Bhagavatam (5.18.12)

It is said that only some fortunate soul, who are sincere may receive the seed of bhakti-latā, the creeper of devotional service. This is all by the grace of Guru and Krishna.” They actually want us to be free from the confinement of this world of conditional happiness, and prevent the transmigrate of our soul from one species of life to another and from one planet to another. 

It is also confirmed in Bhagavad Gita in many places that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, takes a special interest in His devotees and declares emphatically that nothing can cause His devotees to fall down. He is always protecting them. He takes compassion for the devotee’s accidental mistake and corrects him from within.” But even if circumstantially there is some falldown, the Vaiṣṇava have nothing to do with the prāyaścitta, the ritualistic ceremony for purification. Example is Krishna is sending Sudarshan chakra to Durvasa muni because he tried to insult Ambarish Maharaj, a great devotee of the Lord.

By the time we are born we are indebted to the demigods, to the forefathers, to the sages, to the animals and to society in general. It is our duty to repay them all by proper discharge of service. But by the one stroke of devotional service, if someone gives up all obligations and simply surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is no longer a debtor nor obliged to any other source of benefit.

If one sincerely wants to achieve peace of mind, tranquility and friendly relations between men and nations one should always keep company with devotees, observe the regulative devotional principles, follow in the footsteps of the ācāryas and in full obedience carry out the orders of the spiritual master. In this way we shall be able to develop our devotional service and awaken our dormant Krishna consciousness. If there is any conflict with devotees rather than surrendering to one’s emotions it is always best to approach higher authority because Krishna does not tolerate offences done to his devotees. As, this verse says by simply surrendering to Krishna one is freed from all sinful reactions and so we don’t have be fearful, just trust Krishna’s words and do your duties of this material world sincerely by putting him in the center.

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