Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hankering for God / Perceiving Krishna by Service

Notes for my lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.22:

"[The Lord told Narada Muni,] O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires"

1. The Lord wants to benefit the devotee

a. We may appear to suffer initially, but by Krishna's grace we will be happy beyond our dreams.

2. Hankering for Krishna frees one from lust.

a. Example of the "new" gopis who were restrained by their superiors from running to Krishna in the dead of night, and who thus burned up in the fire of their anxiety to see Krishna, all their remaining material desires.

b. "Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted" (SB 1.2.17).

3. How we can increase our hankering for Krishna?

a. "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva" (SB 1.2.17)

b. "The holy name, character, pastimes and activities of Krishna are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidya [ignorance] cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that simply by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root" (NOI, verse 7).

4. "A living being cannot be vacant of desires."

a. "Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment" (Bg. 3.5).

b. Mayavadis think they can avoid reactions by being inactive by Krishna does not accept this in Bhagavad-gita 3.4.

5. "The more a person is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, the more he acquires a hankering for it." How is that?

a. By his service, he becomes purified and can then appreciate devotional service on a deeper level, thus becomes even more attracted to Krishna!

b. His experiences Krishna's sweet reciprocation, and thus he is inspired to render more service.

6. His service and His person are identical

a. This is nicely described in the verse (b) and purport (c,d) to SB 1.6.33:

b. "The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities."

c. "As soon as a pure devotee engages himself in the pure devotional service of hearing, chanting and remembering the name, fame and activities of the Lord, at once He becomes visible to the transcendental eyes of the pure devotee by reflecting Himself on the mirror of the heart by spiritual television. Therefore a pure devotee who is related with the Lord in loving transcendental service can experience the presence of the Lord at every moment."

d. "Since He is absolute, He can appear Himself in the picture of His glorification, the two things being identical.

7. Realizations of the Lord's presence

a. Krishna-kripa Dasa: During nama-hatta harinamas (nagara-sankirtana) in Navadvipa Dham, when we take out the Gaura-Nitai Deities and we have a hundred devotees enthusiastically participating, it feels so ecstatic it as if we were living 500 hundred years ago and we are personally going out with Lord Caitanya and His associates on sankirtana.

b. Bhaktin Kim: Doing some casting work for the Philadelphia Jagannatha Deities, I have to meditate carefully on each and every curve of Lord Jagannatha's face, and by doing that was surprised how blissful it made me feel. [I mentioned to her how the form of the Lord is stated in the scripture to be beyond the happiness and distress of this world.]

c. Jitamitra Dasi (Kalakantha Prabhu's wife): When I moved to Gainesville, I considered giving up my evening dressing of Radha-Shyamasundara, thinking the half-hour drive each way to be too much, but I notice now that I feel so happy dressing the Deities, the inconvenience is truly insignificant.