Dhanurdhara Swami September 30th, 2002
The Five Most Potent Items of Devotional Service
Bhurijana Prabhu told me that, for him, a good class is one where he learns at least one thing. Today I hope we can realize the priority of panca-anga bhakti, the five most potent items of devotional service: Worshiping the Deity, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, serving a devotee, residing in Mathura, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Srila Rupa Gosvami explains that if any one of these items is practiced without offense, even by one with meager attachment to Krishna, bhava-bhakti, devotional ecstasy, will arise. My favorite example of the power of panca-anga bhakti illustrates the potency of worshiping the Deity. Many of you may have heard this story before.
Fifteen years ago Shlomo–a squat, simple, and elderly kibbutznick from Israel with children well into their 20s–was sightseeing on his own in India, with no plan to visit Vrindaban, and innocently walked into our temple for an unexpected darshan of the incomparably stunning Sri Sri Radha-Shyamsundar. Love is the inherent attraction between two sentient beings. Shlomo inexplicably felt intensely and spontaneously drawn to the Lord. Overwhelmed with devotional love, a flood of joyous tears poured from his eyes. He then and there decided to stay in Vrindaban to serve Their Lordships, despite the protests of his family. To this day his life is dedicated to the devotional ecstasy experienced by his offenseless worship of the Lord.
Message: If an invaluable treasure is selling for a meager price, purchase it without delay.