Gratitude means a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what a person has done to help you. In this material world sometimes, we are faced with lots of problems creating within us lots of stress and anxiety’s like forest fire, earthquake, racial discrimination, economic challenges, job losses, the present epidemic conditions where millions are dying. When we are faced with these kinds of situation, it is the time for us to think of our blessings and be thankful for everything which the Lord or Krishna has bestowed on us. We have beautiful houses with centralized A/C, car, refrigerator, full time power supply. But many of the people in this world are not so fortunate to have things in their life. Many have to live in small houses, tents, with limited power supply, not enough hygienic care and have to suffer mosquito bites and other hazards. When we have all the things sometime, we take things for granted. We are blessed by Krishna that is why we have all these luxuries in our life. We also have this beautiful Krishna Conscious movement given by Srila Prabupada where people of all ages, color, race, ethnicity can come together and practice Krishna consciousness believing that Krishna is situated in everyone’s heart and never differentiate people based on the race and show discrimination. The total outlook of people has changed and everyone gets an opportunity to become attached and attracted to Krishna.
So, we should be very grateful to Srila Prabupad and our spiritual masters and all our Shiksha Gurus and because of them we got an opportunity to know Krishna, to become his devotee and be closer to Krishna. Instead of being thankful and showing gratitude to our family members or to the Lord on special occasions, it is always best for us to show our appreciation to our loved ones and to Krishna each and every moment of our life for everything they are doing for us.
In, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila Verse 95
bhakta-vatsala, kṛtajña, samartha, vadānya
hena kṛṣṇa chāḍi’ paṇḍita nāhi bhaje anya
Translation: Lord Kṛṣṇa is very kind to His devotees. He is always very grateful and magnanimous, and He possesses all abilities. A learned man does not give up Kṛṣṇa to worship anyone else.
The most important words in this verse are “Bhakta-Vatsala” and “Krtajna”. These are the two important qualities of Krishna. Lord Caitanya who is Krishna himself appeared 5000 years ago and demonstrated personally how to become a pure devotee of the Lord by taking the form of a pure devotee. Here in this verse it is said that a learned person does not give up Krishna to worship anyone else. To come to this stage, one has to be convinced about the position of Krishna that Krishna is God. That is why we start our spiritual journey by learning Bhagavad Gita and by reading other Krishna’s book, or by hearing lectures one become convinced that Krishna himself is God. Once we get to that position then we won’t give up Krishna for any person.
In Bhagavad Gita (7,7) Krishna himself says “mattha parataraṁ nānyat”. There is no truth superior to me. God is understood in various religions by different names Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Christ. In Sanskrit the Lord is addressed as Bhagavan, meaning the possessor of all opulence’s. In material world people strive for various opulence’s like beauty, power, wealth. This is not abnormal because we know the force of material nature is so strong and we have the tendency to accumulate these things. But what we have achieved during our lifetimes we are not going to carry with us at any cost, for we will leave everything behind ,once we leave this material world. But what exactly we carry back with us is our Karma. That is why it is important for us to strive hard to go back to Krishna where all the opulence’s mentioned above are in unlimited quantity.
In Bhagavad Gita we find the word “Purushottama” written in several places which means the top most of the transcendental person. We are also a person and we have always existed but in different bodies. Now we have this human body right now. We have to make better choices how we can make utilize this human birth to become a better person, that is by changing ourselves, making right decisions in life. This is the process taught in Krishna consciousness. This can be achieved by following the teachings of beloved spiritual masters, our founder Srila Prabupada so that we will be able to transcend from the cycle of birth and death and go back to God head
How can one be attracted to Krishna?
Srila Prabupad had given us various tool kit which can we be used for one to be attracted to Krishna. The most important thing is Prasadam. Most of the devotees Journey in Krishna consciousness started by the attraction towards Prasadam. Then the second one is melodious Kirtans, then the beautiful Deities, the way they are dressed up, if in this material world the Deities look so attractive to our eyes then what will be the real beauty of Krishna and Radha rani in the spiritual world. We cannot comprehend that. Then comes Srila Prabupad’s books which is the most powerful. There are so many people who personally who did not know about Krishna, and born in different countries, culture and not exposed to any of devotional service to Krishna, just found a book in the library and out of curiosity, happened to read and then committed their entire life in the service of Krishna. Srila prabhupada books are so powerful, it can melt one’s heart and soul. It is like how you build the infrastructure for the road to make your traffic easy, Srila Prabupada built the infrastructure so that we can the climb the uphill part of the journey towards Krishna by practicing and spreading Krishna consciousness.
In Srimad Bhagavatam 10th canto chapter 48, verse 26,
kaḥ paṇḍitas tvad aparaṁ śaraṇaṁ samīyādbhakta-priyād ṛta-giraḥ suhṛdaḥ kṛta-jñātsarvān dadāti suhṛdo bhajato ’bhikāmānātmānam apy upacayāpacayau na yasya
Translation: What learned person would approach anyone but You for shelter, when You are the affectionate, grateful and truthful well-wisher of Your devotees? To those who worship You in sincere friendship You reward everything they desire, even Your own self, yet You never increase or diminish.
Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama meets Akrura in his house after Killing Kamsa. How Akrurua Worship’s Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama by various ways is interesting to read. Akrura considers himself as a fortunate person because he knows the position of Krishna who is the supreme personality of God head, the super soul, whose water of the lotus feet purifies the three world, worshipped by all different kinds of demigods, kings, emperors and other living being, the most affectionate person to his devotees, is visiting his house and he felt his house is purified by Lord’s presence. Akrura says that one who does not take the shelter of lotus feet of the Lord, does not surrender to Krishna, is considered as foolish. Throughout the Vedic literature and in Bhagavad Gita and in Caitanya Caritamrta it is confirmed that Krishna is the dear most friend of all living entity, he is capable of fulfilling the desires of his devotees. We may have only few truthful friends in our life, because our relationship is conditioned in this life time but wealso have got this opportunity to offer our obeisance’s to Krishna, to offer our services at his feet, only thing we have to do is stay on this ship of Krishna and use this opportunity Krishna has bestowed on us. In Sri Caitanya Caritamrta it is said that Krishna is completely capable of fulfilling the desires of his devotees. He is the real friend of everyone. A person who leaves Krishna is considered as a Foolish.
In Gopi Geetha there are 19 verses. Different Gopi’s speak each verse. This is the verse 3.
vṛṣa-mayātmajād viśvato bhayād
ṛṣabha te vayaṁ rakṣitā muhuḥ
Translation: O greatest of personalities, you have repeatedly saved us from all kinds of danger —from poisoned water, from the terrible man-eater Agha, from the great rains, from the wind demon, from the fiery thunderbolt of Indra, from the bull demon and from the son of Maya Dānava
Krishna has disappeared from the rasa dance and the Gopi’s are looking for him and finally congregate at the bank of Yamuna and pour their hearts and cry for Krishna to appear. They felt that Krishna is neglecting them. Gopi’s love is so much they don’t need anything but only their Krishna. Krishna loves the residents of Vrindavana, and he reciprocates to their love. Srila Prabupada says that goal of Krishna conscious is to become one of the Gopi Jana or one of the residents of Vrindavan by always remembering Krishna. In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 and in 13 Krishna always tells Just think of “ME”. If we love someone, we always think of them right, same way we have to think of Krishna always. How Krishna protects the inhabitants of Vrindavan he will surely protect us because he is Bhakta Vatsala.
The moment of death is so crucial. People are generally fearful of death, there is an element of pain, the fear of leaving family members due to attachment towards them. What you have been meditating on, or what you are being thinking about or what you love the most in your life that only you will be thinking at the time of death and that will determine your next life. That is why it is necessary to practice everyday day Krishna conscious like chanting, remembering Krishna everyday so when the time of death come you will be able to think of Krishna. In our pain, fear, anger we think of Krishna then there is a chance we remember Krishna at the time of our last breath. So, it is very necessary to follow the instructions of our Spiritual masters and follow regulative principles so we will develop love for Krishna and in the end without fail we will be able to remember Krishna and go back to his eternal abode.
In Nectar of devotion there are 64 transcendental qualities listed. One is gratefulness. Srila Prabupada says any person who is conscious of his or her friend’s beneficial activities and never forgets is service is considered as grateful. In Mahabharata Krishna says when I was away from Draupadi she cried with the word “Hey Govinda”, this call from her put me in debt and that indebtness gradually increased in my heart. This is an evidence how one can please the Supreme Lord by simply remembering him, chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra calling out to Lord and his energy so the Supreme Lord will be obliged. Krishna will never forget that devotee. Krishna is so grateful and always indebted and obliged to a person who always remember him. When one calls the Lord, he immediately attracts Krishna’s attention, even if we don’t ourselves get attracted to Krishna. In Ramayana Lord Rama was obliged by the service of Jambavan and so in Krishna avatar he showed his obligation by marrying his daughter Jambavati.
So, to conclude one should be very grateful for all what we have in this life, considering that as the blessing from Krishna and be thankful for Srila Prabupada for giving us this process, and do our Sadhana sincerely and aim to become one of the Gopi Jana to serve Krishna.