Dhanurdhara Swami October 2nd, 2002
Vasant Falls, New York
Serving a Devotee
Our process of self-realization is to continuously chant and hear about Krishna; it’s not an easy thing. In several places in Srimad Bhagavatam this process is outlined in detail, the most prominent being Suta Goswami’s analysis in the First Canto. After strongly affirming that the best way of enlightenment is to “always (nityada) and with one-pointed attention (ekena manasa) hear about, glorify, remember, and worship the Personality of Godhead” (Bhag. 1.2.14), Suta Goswami raises a doubt. If our process of self-realization requires such a profound attraction for chanting, won’t such a demand discourage people from taking up the process–even many devotees? If one has no taste, then how to attain one? He immediately responds to this query:
Serve the devotees!
“O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely free from vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva.” (Bhag. 1.2.16)
Our process is so nice. It allows us to advance from our current stage of spiritual life, provided that we are humble, take shelter of devotees, and seek their guidance. Let me share with you just a few sentences from Srila Prabhupada’s purport on this verse.
“The servants of God come to propagate God consciousness and intelligent people should cooperate with them in every respect. By serving the servants of God one can please God more that by directly serving the Lord. The Lord is more pleased when He sees that His servants are properly respected because such servants risk everything for the service of the Lord and so are very dear to the Lord. The Lord declares in the Bhagavad-gita that no one is dearer to Him than one who risks everything to preach His glory. By serving the servants of the Lord, one gradually gets the quality of such servants, and thus one becomes qualified to hear the glories of God. The eagerness to hear about God is the first qualification of a devotee eligible for entering the kingdom of God [emphasis added].”
Message: Our advancement is marked by our attraction to hearing the Lord’s glories. One qualifies to hear by serving the devotees. We are fortunate that Srila Prabhupada gave us a mission to serve.