Serving those who serve the Supreme

Serving the servant of God is even more powerful than serving God directly…

This morning, very early, before 4AM, I was driving three souls to the Hare Krishna temple.

As I drove on the nearly empty roads, the car was filled with a buzz, and not just the hum of the tires cruising on the asphalt or the sound of the engine. It was my car-load of chanters…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Three voices, chanting this mantra in their own cadence, with their own sweet lilting speciality chanted, some softer than others, some slower than others, but all chanted.

The words of one mantra being chanted by one soul blended with another, it was impossible to clearly tell where the mantra started and where the mantra ended. But I was very happy to hear the mantra in this way, like the buzzing of bees.

Even though I had sacrificed my own chanting to drive, I was very satisfied that I was serving three very exalted souls, while I drove, they could chant. They were all chanting very sincerely. They were tasting the sweetness of the Holy Names of God.

Just by hearing them all, I was feeling very happy. So I resolved to try and serve anyone who was serving the Supreme, in any possible way, small or big.

By serving those who serve the Supreme, we serve the Supreme also. But even more importantly, we serve the souls who are dear to the Supreme.

ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha
na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ
mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās
te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ

“[Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:] ‘Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu quotes this verse from the Ādi Purāṇa. The verse is also included in the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (2.6).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/11/28/

Simple formula, find a servant of God, be their servant. Your own service will be that much sweeter, and God will be pleased with you.

Try it. Even if for a little bit.

Love of God – the ultimate variety

Some Fear God though God Loves Everyone… But what about our Love for God? Infinite Variety! Read on…

We discussed how, for a beginner who does not yet really know God or is not following the instructions of God, Fear of God is a powerful motivator.

On one beautiful afternoon, during a long walk with one of my brothers in Christ, Steve, we discussed both Fear of God, and Love. He is very much in the stage of feeling Fear of God, but I urged him to go deeper into Love instead of staying on in fear. He then said that in the Bible, these types of love are described…

  • Eros – sensual, or romantic love
  • Storge – familial love, parents and children, brothers and sister…
  • Philia – brotherly love – usually between those of faith
  • Agape (prounounced uh-gaap-eh) – God’s love, or Love of God – immeasurable and incomparable to other types of love

I brought up how our spiritual masters teach us that everything that exists in the material world is a perverted reflection of everything pure that exists in the spiritual world.

So every relationship in the material world, which is, more often than not, selfish and in fact, more lust than love, is simply a perverted reflection of the original relationships that exist in the spiritual realm.

When “Agape” that pure love of God is fully and perfectly reciprocated back towards God by the living entities, then it manifests as the following five types of mellows (called “rasas”) of relationship with God.

  • Shanta – the mood of neutrality
    • I know you’re God, but I’m over here, not actively interacting or serving You, even though I’m in the spiritual world
  • Dasya – the mood of servitude
    • actively serving, often in the mood of great awe and reverence
  • Sakhya – the mood of friendship
    • see God as a Friend, no awe and reverence
  • Vatsalya – the mood of parental love
    • see God as a Son, actually subordinate to yourself, feel protective, and feel that God is your dependent
  • Madhurya – the mood of conjugal love
    • this is the most nuanced and complex of them all, but basically seeing God as your husband or lover

In addition to these, there are the following seven secondary rasas, or mellows…

  • laughing
  • astonishment
  • chivalry
  • compassion
  • anger
  • dread
  • ghastliness

When these five primary mellows combine with each other and with the seven secondary mellows, an unlimited variety of mellows is generated, and these wonderful mellows are relished by those who are purely reflecting the Pure Love of God back to God.

Some combinations of mellows are incompatible of course, whereas others are perfectly compatible. This is an intricate science, this knowledge of rasa (mellow) and rasabhaas (the pretense of a mellow).

These mellows of loving devotional service cannot be imitated. They are manifested by perfectly pure devotees only, those who have not the slightest tinge of material attachment or material inebriety. Not to be imitated or artificially put on. If a soul who is not fully and completely in perfect spiritual consciousness tries to artificially force themselves into an advanced mellow of personal relationship, such as person is known as an offender against God.

One great saint, Srila Rupa Goswami, in the 16th Century AD, combed through vast volumes of Vedic Literature and extracted the essence of all Vedic Literature, among his incredible contributions, left behind for us a delightful text called the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (The Ocean of the Unending and Unlimited Nectar of Pure Devotion to God).

Another great modern-day saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote a summary study of Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, calling it the Nectar of Devotion.

This subject matter is very vast, and very deep. And to be honest, I am not qualified to delve into most aspects of this subject.

However, I’d like to bring out a few of my appreciations for how the theology from different traditions connects and expands our understanding of God The Supremely All-Attractive One. Even though one scripture, say from the Abrahamic traditions may not contain all this detail that is mentioned in another scripture, say, from the Vedic tradition, it must be understood that all genuine scriptures talk about the same One Supreme Absolute Truth. And genuine saintly souls, advanced in their understanding of their own scripture, will understand, accept, and relish this.

As for the others, the analogy is “stay on the tree”, which refers to how a sour mango on a branch of a mango tree reputed for giving sweet mangoes, just by staying on the branch, becomes sweet. In other words, someone who cannot appreciate higher aspects of our tradition or other traditions should, instead of blaspheming other traditions, seek inward purification and consequent broader and deeper understanding from God about His Glories.

More on purely spiritual relationships in future posts, but the important takeway is that spiritual life doesn’t mean negation of relationships, it means harmonizing all relationships through perfecting that one very special relationship each of us has, with our eternal emanator. In fact, the very raison-de’etre for our existence is so that the Supreme can enjoy these relationships with us.

Yes, the taste of an individual soul’s relationship is absolutely unique, no two souls can give the exact same taste to God. Even though there are unlimited millions, billions, trillions of us in this Universe and in other Universes.

Not just those in “human” forms, but every single living entity has a unique irreplaceable relationship with Krishna.

Would you not like to awaken your personal relationship with your best well-wisher and friend? Try this mantra, if you really want to get in…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

If you want to go deeper, then best to cultivate being a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant…. (ad inifinitum) God – easier said than done! Leave a comment or contact me.

Why are there no temples dedicated solely to Arjuna?

While there are so many temples dedicated to Hanuman, who is a servitor of Rama, why are there no temples dedicated to Arjuna who is so close to Krishna?

KV Rao, 13th December 2013

Hare Krishna dear devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All Glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All Glories to your devotional service!

I hope you all had a blissful Gita Jayanti. While reading Bg Chapter 1 verse 20, the following question came to mind. Could you enlighten me, please?

Hanuman and Arjuna are devotees of the Lord. Hanuman has temples and people worship Hanuman, whereas Arjuna has no temples and people do not worship him (Arjuna). Why?

Haribol!

your servant,
Rao

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th December 2013

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Any temple where Hanuman, the eternal servitor of Lord Ramachandra is worshipped but His eternal Lord and master Lord Rama is not worshipped is an aberration, it is not bona fide. If you want to please someone, we aim to do what they want done. Hanuman has never asked anyone to worship him, in fact, he always worships Lord Rama and is very happy when others worship Lord Rama.

If a servitor is glorified more than the master, if the servitor is not a traitor to the master, he feels embarrassment, and passes it all up to his master. Sri Hanuman does take everything and pass it up to Lord Ramachandra, but would rather have him spoken of as a servant, not lord.

So while it is appropriate to have on an altar Sri Hanuman in his usual position as an associate of Lord Ramachandra along with Sri Lakshman and Srimati Sitadevi, it is not appropriate to worship Hanuman alone in exclusion as is commonly done in temples not authorized by any Paramnpara or disciplic succession. Of course, materialists who are after some good muscles, strength in celibacy, and some other material benedictions will worship “avidhipurvakam” – in a wrong way, as stated by Sri Krishna in BG 9.23 “Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way.”.

We are very happy that Sri Arjuna is not being embarrassed in the same way that Sri Hanuman is.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Hari Katha Das, 28th December 2013

Hari bol! Very convincing answer!

Sincerely,
Hari Katha Das
Haladhar Das, 30th December 2013

Hare Krsna !

Jai Srila Gurudeva
Jai Srila Prabhupada

I totally agree to what Mahabhagavat prabhu ji has mentioned. A devotee one and only desire is to always hear the glories of his worshipable Lord and similarly the Lord is also very pleased when His devotee is glorified.

A almost similar topic was discussed earlier in this group. Arjuna is worshipped with Lord Krsna as Nar-Narayana Rishi. Details of earlier discussion are included herein below. Please see the details,

Also as clarified by Mahabhagavat prabhu mail, we have to understand that people generally worship different different demigods/people/ghosts etc according to their so called whims and desires. So what they will get from Arjuna, nobody would like to face what Arjuna and his brothers (the pandavas) faced as they cannot appreciate what they had, Lord Krsna Himself as their eternal companion.

Moreover as we know this universe is not all in all, and even we dont know much about this universe itself where we are living, so how can we know about others. There are some villages in India where people worship Dryodhana, Ravana etc. Even the area from where I am (Uttranchal, North India), in most of the villages people do glorify the pandavas brothers for almost continuous 14 days by celebrating pandav leela (pastimes of pandavas). It is a very popular festival being celebrated since many generations in the hills of Uttranchal.

thank you.

your servant
Haladhar Das

Details of earlier discussion :

Bhakta David :

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.
All Glories to Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandra.

Hare Krishna
Arjuna is always so close to Krishna, so much that Krishna chose him to explain Bhagavad Gita to. So my question is, is Arjuna a jiva? Or is he a demigod?

your servant
Bhakta David

Haladhar Das :

Hare Krsna Prabhu !
How do you differentiate between a jiva and a demigod. Isn’t a pure devotee better situated than any demigod, as he is eternally liberated as well as eternally associated with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srimad Bhagvatam purport 3.5.51
The demigods are amongst the conditioned souls who have developed this pure consciousness of service to the Lord but who at the same time continue to desire to lord it over the material energy. Such mixed consciousness puts a conditioned soul in the position of managing the affairs of this creation. The demigods are entrusted leaders of the conditioned souls. As some of the old prisoners in government jails are entrusted with some responsible work of prison management, so the demigods are improved conditioned souls acting as representatives of the Lord in the material creation. Such demigods are devotees of the Lord in the material world, and when completely free from all material desire to lord it over the material energy they become pure devotees and have no desire but to serve the Lord.
The demigods are entrusted by the Lord to create different species of living entities according to their past deeds. They are herein asking the favor of the Lord for the intelligence and power to carry out their task. Similarly, any conditioned soul may also engage in the service of the Lord under the guidance of an expert spiritual master and thus gradually become freed from the entanglement of material existence.

Srimad Bhagvatam 4.1.59
tav imau vai bhagvato
harer amsav ihagatau
bhara-vyayaya ca bhuvah
krishnau yadu-kurudvahau

TRANSLATION
That Nara-Narayana Rishi, who is a partial expansion of Krsna, has now appeared in the dynasties of Yadu and Kuru, in the forms of Krsna and Arjuna respectively, to mitigate the burden of the world.

PURPORT
Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Nara is a part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Thus the energy and the energetic together are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Maitreya informed Vidura that Nara, the portion of Narayana, had appeared in the family of the Kurus and that Narayana, the plenary expansion of Krsna, had come as Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with the purpose of delivering suffering humanity from the pangs of material burdens. In other words, Narayana Rishi was now present in the world in the forms of Krsna and Arjuna.

your servant
Haladhar Das

Rathin Mandal :

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Be it a soul living in planet earth or any other heavenly kingdom, he is always a jivas. Demigods are also jivas. The following words were said to Arjuna by Sri Krishna:
BG 4.5: The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

In the purport of this verse Arjuna is referred as a pure devotee and a jiva part and parcel of Supreme Personality of Godhead. But as the jiva living in the material world gets affected by modes of material nature, he cannot remember his past life. Even we can see that in this kalpa the knowledge was first given by Sri Krishna to  Sun-God, Vivasvān. Vivasvān being a demigod administering Sun may have knew teaching of Bhagavat Gita in his past life but in the beginning of this era he was again given the knowledge so that it can be passed from one generation to another.

In the following two verses also Sri Krishna address Arjuna as his pure devotee and distinguished him from demigods. Sri Krishna said to Arjuna that My Universal Form seen by you as a devotee but the demigods are just hoping to see this form.
BG 11.49: You have been perturbed and bewildered by seeing this horrible feature of Mine. Now let it be finished. My devotee, be free again from all disturbances. With a peaceful mind you can now see the form you desire.

BG 11.52: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, this form of Mine you are now seeing is very difficult to behold. Even the demigods are ever seeking the opportunity to see this form, which is so dear.

By the above verses we can also say that a pure devotee is even higher than Demigods, because they are blessed with opportunity to associate personally with Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such opportunity is not available to demigod. Arjuna been pure devotee of Lord was given the opportunity to see Universal Form of Sri Krishna. But said this one should never imitate the position of pure devotees like Arjuna, Mata Kunti, Nanda Maharaj, Mother Yasodha or all the cowherd boys and Gopis of Vrindavan.

your Servant
Rathin

 

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