Sitting in my first Bhagavatam class of 2012 – given by a very senior devotee, Bhakta Prabhu. Feels so fresh as usual. These were his main points today on SB 1.5.38 :
1. Real love is all we need
2. We can see God through His handiwork – both which seem beautiful and ugly to us. He has created everything. All religions have prayers that depicts this understanding.
3. Krishna gives you a taste of Him through the chanting of His name
4. Be mindful and analyse your chanting and your connection with Krishna.
5. Chanting is more captivating than other meditational processes because it helps one develop real love.
6. To be given the Maha Mantra through the parampara system is such a powerful matter. It brings you closer to Krishna.
7. What you are saying in essence during initiation is, “I love you, Krishna”.
8. Deity worship is important. Acharyas have compiled this with great care and attention. Prabhupad in BG 12.5 says that it’s difficult for a conditioned soul to experience that he is not the body. Hence, it’s easy to connect with the deity form as the beginner can easily connect to a bodily form. But deity worship is not idol worship. It’s an incarnation. This is the highlight of our devotee stage, to be able to render personal service to the lord. It’s honourable.
9. Hearing the glories of the lord, having prasadam, deity worship, chanting, festivals etc increases our affection for the lord. Others look at it and they get energised as well.
10. Our daily interaction with people all around us is to experience love. In material world, it’s seen as lust or sentiment. A child that receives love from parents grows to be a wonderful person. They need to be hugged, kissed, stroked etc. Similarly, adults also need such expressions of love. This is seen in marriages. In hospitals, patients receive so much love from nurses. Love can help one perform miracles.
11. In devotional life, besides a fleeting friendship, you should develop deep friendship with 1- 2 devotees with whom you can share your heart. This is very important and healthy for your devotional life.
12. When Haridas thakur chanted his rounds with deep love of Krishna and his expression of friendship with the prostitute, that she had a full change of heart and became a devotee. This is the power of love.
13. In our society, we do have lonely devotees because they have isolated themselves. This is sad and within our movement we must have devotees develop deep relationship with one another. You must help them with great compassion and friendship. We cannot eliminate such connections with others. It’s important and vital.
15. If one cannot develop deep loving relationships with other devotees, it becomes almost impossible to develop a relationship with the deity form.
16. We must make sure that when we are in a public setting like a temple, we must speak in a language amongst one another that can be understood by everyone. If a newcomer cannot understand what is being said amongst strangers, they will feel alien and may leave never to come back.
17. Make sure you give best wishes card and gifts to the Lord. Develop your connection.
In conclusion, for a devotee, there is no difficulty in approaching, in rendering and falling in love with the lord. Just do it. What is the difficulty?