Govardhana Japa Thoughts IV Nothing

November 13th, 2002


Japa Thoughts IV
Nothing changed today in my routine. I woke up at the same time. I chanted the same. The result, however, was better: my chanting was clearer and substantially more devotional.

Realization: Success cannot come by effort alone. Mercy is required. If we depend solely on our exertion, our chanting will not be in the proper frame of mind. If we chant in a mood of dependence, relying on His mercy, then to some extent we have already received mercy, for our disposition is already imbued with humility and devotion.

Chant, pray, chant, beg for the mercy. Take full shelter at the lotus feet of Govinda. If our chanting does not come to that point, real chanting has not begun. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has therefore warned:

“Make your chanting heart deep, not just lip deep.”

Srila Prabhupada describes the relation between work and mercy in attaining the Lord by referencing Narada Muni’s failure to see Lord again by the same process he had attained His audience before:

“When He pleases, being satisfied with the sincere attempt of devotional service depending completely on the mercy of the Lord, then He may be seen out of His own accord.” (Bhag. 1.6.20)

Japa Thoughts V
I can go deeper in my practices with just a little more surrender and a modest effort, but I don’t. Why? I fear the result. I will become a servant. Servant?! Who wants to become a servant? Just see the nature of the mind and its petty attachments. I am doing the work of spiritual life, but I’m not pulling up the anchor of false ego. It’s just like the story of the wedding party: they row all night, but find themselves in the same place at dawn because no one pulled up the anchor! We militantly keep ourselves independent of Krishna’s will to enjoy whimsically.

What to do? How to go further? Just go on chanting. Hopefully, by nama-bala, the strength of numbers, mercy will come.

Japa Thoughts VI
The prayers of a devotee will certainly be fulfilled when one’s appeal is sincere and favorable because God is the ultimate benefactor of the devotee. While chanting this morning, a desire came. “I want to be free again, free to give, without external impediment, all that I have to give to Srila Prabhupada’s mission.” I looked up at Giriraja and offered my desire spontaneously at His lotus feet.

Later in the morning, a parikrama party of one hundred devotees from Khazakstan came by, led by His Holiness B.B. Govinda Swami–a good friend who served together with me in Vrindaban in the late ’70s. He is a forceful person and powerful devotee, so when he asked me to meet his group in our ashram garden, I agreed. I even more reluctantly agreed when he asked me to speak about Govardhana. After I finished, he begged me to also accompany the party at least up to Govinda-kunda, and when we arrived, he asked me to speak once more. I was then invited to come to Khazakstan for a few weeks and Maharaja offered to pay for my ticket from New York. Hmm, I considered. Is this all Giriraja’s response to my humble entreaty?

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