In the 10th chapter of Gita Lord Sri Krishna tells us
kathayantaś ca māḿ nityaḿ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca
mat-cittāḥ — their minds fully engaged in Me; mat-gata-prāṇāḥ — their lives devoted to Me; bodhayantaḥ — preaching;parasparam — among themselves; kathayantaḥ — talking; ca — also; mām — about Me; nityam — perpetually; tuṣyanti — become pleased; ca — also; ramanti — enjoy transcendental bliss; ca — also.
The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.
Pure devotees, whose characteristics are mentioned here, engage themselves fully in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Their minds cannot be diverted from the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Their talks are solely on the transcendental subjects. The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Their hearts and souls are constantly submerged inKṛṣṇa, and they take pleasure in discussing Him with other devotees.
In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode. Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called GolokaVṛndāvana, the supreme planet of Kṛṣṇa. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta(Madhya-līlā, Chapter Nineteen). It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord.
The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also full of such narrations about the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His devotees; therefore the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is very dear to the devotees, as stated in the Bhāgavatam itself (12.13.18).Śrīmad-bhāgavataḿ purāṇam amalaḿ yad vaiṣṇavānāḿ priyam. In this narration there is nothing about material activities, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the only narration in which the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and His devotees is fully described. Thus the realized souls in Kṛṣṇa consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcendental literatures, just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association.
Nature of love, how Krishna is pleased
“My devotees take great joy, they find immense pleasure in coming together to chant My glories.”
Vaishnava association or the association of devotees is meant for this purpose alone, the Supreme Lord, to please the Supreme Lord. Today I received a phone call from New Vrindavan and devotees were telling me about recent interfaith conference. There were Vaishnavas of Krishna consciousness , there were Christians , Muslims, Buddhists, various other religions and there were several hundred who were gathered together and how everyone together were dancing, were chanting, praising the one Supreme Godhead, who is the merciful father and friend of all living beings . You see, the kirtan of holy name, the glorification of God, is the universal principle of all religions. But Krishna says in the Gita that the greatest form of glorification which pleases Him is to please His devotees. There is no greater way to glorify Krishna than pleasing His devotees. Because why do we glorify? We glorify only to please Him, no other reason. Because in glorification we can show our love. And just like tonight is Anuradha’s birthday and if any one gives her something or say something nice to her to make her smile, Vishwarup and Aditi will be very happy, much happier than anything we can give them, because that is the nature of love. Today is also Sri Keshavji’s birthday. Keshavji prabhu ki jay. Haribol. And anything, anyone gives to Keshavji as an offering of love, any words that make him happy, make him smile will be…those persons will melt the heart of Srinathji prabhu, mataji and Namamrita and that mysterious person who is dwelling within her, because that is the nature of love. When we love someone there is no greater offering than glorifying the person who that person loves. And why is that nature within our hearts? Because it is within Krishna’s heart. All of the attributes that are within our lives are also reflections of what is in Krishna. So therefore Krishna tells us
mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (SB 11.19.21)
“That the greatest worship of Me is to please My devotees. The greatest sacrifice you can make for My pleasure is to satisfy My devotees.”
Need based service. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s service
And the more we satisfy the more the heart of Krishna is attracted by our service. It is not a mechanical process. We were explaining in Barasana Dham that the greater the need, the greater the service. If you give a person, water, that is not such a great service, but if you give a person who is starving for water, whose mouth is parched, that giving of water is great service. Because you’re really pleasing, satisfying that person because he is in need. So what is the greatest need of all human beings? The need is for Krishna consciousness. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed us that the greatest service, the greatest charity, the greatest welfare work is to distribute the glories of holy name to the people of this world. Coz people are spiritually starving. This is the greatest need. Therefore this is the greatest act of love. And therefore Krishna says in the Gita , “The one who preaches My glories and especially one who broadcasts the glories of My name to those people who are My devotees”, ultimately everyone is Krishna’s devotee, some remember and some have forgotten, “such a person” Krishna says, “there is no one more dear to Me than him. And never will there ever be anyone more dear to Me.”
Sweet rasa between Krishna & Vrajavasis. Serving Vrajavasis
So it is in giving, it is in serving, those who are loved by Krishna that we can purify our hearts and attract the love of Krishna into our lives. And in the Srimad Bhagavatam we find how Krishna continuouly praises the glories of residents of Vrindavan, how much He loved the residents of Vrindavan. To the rest of the world He is the Almighty God, but in Vrindavan when the gopis would clap their hands, Krishna as a baby child would dance. Why would He dance? For them. He would dance simply to make them laugh, simply to make them happy. He was like a puppet. They would sing, He would dance. They would stop He would stop. They would clap, He would dance. They would stop, He would stop. He was like a little puppet. Whatever you want Me to do, I will do for you, because I love you. Why do I love you? Because you love Me so much, that I’m a slave of your love. I’m a puppet in hands of My devotee’s love. Only in Vrindavan do we find such a sweet rasa between Krishna and His devotees. And those persons who have taken birth in Vrindavan dham, whether we can understand or not we must accept, according to sastra, that they are very dear to Krishna.
Vrajavasi’s simplicity. Qualifications to enter Vrindavan.
And actually if we enter superficially it may appear that some of them are very materialistic and everything else. And if you go deeper down under the layer we find something sublime, some sublime love, devotion for Krishna they have within their hearts. But they are generally so simple and ordinary, that they do not even like to show it [aah?].When Uddhava came to Vrindavan the first thing he noticed was these people, these Vrajavasis, they are really, they are not very sophisticated at all, they really don’t have any sophistication at all in their culture. They talk crude, they act crude [aah?]. Because after all they are with the cows and they are with the bulls, the oxen growing the fields. They don’t have time to learn about high society or culture. But deep down inside all they know is Krishna . So, as it is explained, that no one can enter into Vrajadham, save and except one who gets special mercy of Sri Radharani, Who is Vrindavaneshwari, the queen of Vrindavan. And entering into Vrindavan, so many millions of people come every year, they take their parikram, they have their darshan and some purification is there, some very good fortune takes place in their lives. But is there really a change of heart ? Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakur, it is his appearance day tomorrow, very auspicious day, our param guru, he has said, “Do not try to see Krishna but try to serve Krishna so that He wants to see you.”
Serving Varajavasis is not ordinary philanthrophy
Now there is no difference between Krishna and Vrindavan. Actually the whole land of Vrajabhumi is the expansion of Krishna Himself personally. Krishna’s first expansion is Balaramji. And it is described in the sastra, Kaviraj Goswami explains in Caitanya Caritamrita that the whole land of Vrajabhumi is an expansion of Balaram Himself. So, Vrindavan is Krishna and Krishna is Vrindavan. There is no difference between the name, the dham, the qualities, the past times, the devotees of the Lord. So, so many millions go to Vrindavan to see the holy dham. They are very fortunate. But how infinitely more fortunate are those who Sri Radharani allows the ultimate benediction of serving the dham ?[aah?] Serving the dham means serving the residents of Vrindavan. And as you have all witnessed these people, their greatest aspiration in life is simply to see the darshan of Sri Krishna. But because of the problems of their eyes they are not seeing Krishna, how Krishna wants to see them and how Krishna wants to be seen by them[aah?]. So there is a great need, great need, great service. So this is not ordinary philanthropy.
Service to Vrajavasis is a privilege, results in blessings.
What all of you have done, whether you know it or not, is you are helping Krishna’s dear Vrajavasis. You are allowed by the causeless mercy of Sri Radharani to facilitate for them to see their beloved Krishna and Krishna to be enjoyed…. to Krishna to enjoy, being seen by them.
And how happy they were? I was simply struck with the wonder, the last day, when they were being dispatched. Many of the Vrajavasis and some of them were mataji’s were embracing our girls our matajis, saying, “I wish I had another cataract, so I wouldn’t have to go. We love you people so much.”And from their hearts they were praying, “May may Radharani always give you her greatest love and mercy.” The blessing of the Vrajavasi were showering like monsoon upon all of these devotees, every one of you. And anyone who, in any way, was connected with this wonderful camp, certainly was bestowed with very intimate, special love of Sri Radharani’s beloved devotees. And therefore we should feel grateful and we should feel most fortunate that out of Her causeless mercy, we were allowed this service. A devotee is most grateful to give. A materialistic person when he gives, he wants others to be grateful. Just what I have given you, you should be grateful. That is material thought. But a devotee is grateful for the opportunity to give, his heart melts in thankfulness that I am being allowed to render some service. How fortunate.
Prioritizing service over personal comforts pleases Guru and Krishna
So this mood was really prominent in this eye camp and when devotees are willing to put aside their personality conflicts which is always there in this material world, put aside their own false egos, put aside their own likes and dislikes, comforts and discomforts, to work together as one unit, to render service, there is nothing more pleasing to Krishna than this. There is nothing more pleasing to guru than this. Prabhupada said, “You can show your love for me by how much you love one another”. And love one another means to serve together, to glorify Krishna together in the holy kirtan of the holy name. And in our execution of devotional activities we all have our independent thoughts and when put them aside and work together, what is the result? The result is a monsoon rain of Sri Radha and Krishna’s mercy upon us coming through guru’s kripa.
Prabhupada’s mood in Vrindavan, Mayapur an Mumbai
And Srila Prabhupada, let us face it, he was a Vrindavan man. He was the supreme most Vrajavasi[hmm?] How much he loved Vrindavan? When he was in Los Angeles in a big, big, multi-million dollar temple with all luxuries and comforts and opulences. “You know my room in Radha Damodar, near the seva kunj in Vraja. I am simply longing to be there. But for me to go there would be sense gratification. Because my Gurudev want me serving here.” But Srila Prabhupada’s heart was always in Vrindavan. His mission was to keep Vrindavan always in his heart and to distribute Vrindavan to the world. He established NewVrindavan for that purpose alone, to bring Vrindavan to the western world. And every temple that he opened, and everywhere he spoke and every where he stepped his lotus feet, he was bringing Vrindavan to the world. How much he loved Vrindavan. And, when, I remember in 1971 when I was living in Vrindavan when Srila Prabhupada came there after being away for many years, how, so many of his friends, Godbrothers, Vrajavasis were coming to meet him, and how he was embracing them, laughing with them, joking with them, crying with them talking with them, just everything and anything you can do . It was mostly Bengali and Hindi. I could only experience the bliss of their hearts which was filling the whole earth.
And I can say I never saw Prabhupada in that mood anywhere else in the world. I saw him at many other places. But when he was in Vrindavan, Prabhupada said,”Vrindavam is my home, Mayapur is my place of worship, Bombay is my office”. We are all his office clerks here. But sometimes by his mercy we get to visit his home. But when a person goes to a place of worship it’s a formal place. Place of worship you get dressed nicely and you go and you worship. And the office is a place where there is a lot of official business that you have to deal with. But when you are home, you simply relax [aah?]And that’s the way Prabhupada was in Vrindavan. He was in different mood all together. We saw him in New York, we saw him in Bombay, we saw him in New Vrindavan, many places. But in Vrindavan he was just… Haribol. You can sit with him all day, people coming in, embracing, loving exchanges, that’s all there was. And Prabhupada put so much time and energy to that beautiful temple and called all people from all corners of the world to take shelter of the holy land of Vrindavan.
Aspiring to fulfill Prabhupada’s desire-pleasing Vrajavasis.
So when the devotee is…. Prabhupada is so deeply concerned always, that his disciples, his grand disciples, his followers, would make an impression upon the residents of Vrindavan, that they would feel love for his movement. Prabhupada’s movement is non-different than Prabhupada. And how much he loved everyone in Vrindavan we cannot understand. And how much he wanted his movement to be loved by Vrindavan. In India there is nowhere more dear to Srila Prabhupada than the Vrindavan. That is the place he chose to leave this world. And there is nothing that will win the heart of Prabhupada more than making his movement, and his Guru Maharaj’s name, loved by residents of Vrindavan. There is nothing you can do greater than that. Simply aspiring for all of the Prabhupada’s desire to be fulfilled.
Unified service of devotees creates an impression
So all of you have performed that service in such a wonderful and glorious way and it could not have been done by any one of us. Every part of the machine is equal to the functioning of the entire machine. Therefore for those who were cleaning the toilet, those who were carrying the bodies of the patients, those who were performing the operations, those who were injecting the anesthesia, those who were cooking, those who were serving the Prasad, those who were putting the bandages and everything, whatever, every part is equally accepted by Sri Krishna and it was that unified endeavor, that unified sacrifice that has really won the hearts of Vrajavasis and really won the hearts of our Gurudev.
Vrindavan is where devotees serve in unity. Bring that spirit everywhere.
And I want to thank you all very much. And my prayer is that we may never lose that spirit that was so benevolently rewarded upon us, not rewarded, so benevolently and causelessly bestowed upon us by Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. And I’ll tell you something else. Wherever that spirit is, that place will become Vrindavan. And to bring that spirit of Vrindavan to the city of Bombay and to every town and village of the world is our Guru’s mission. And it is only this spirit of love and trust and sacrifice, in the unity of devotees that can accomplish this great mission.
Exchange of gifts within devotees is an exchange of love
So Vishwarup wants offer you all nice gifts, what is a gift? A gift is just an expression of hearts love whatever it may be. Krishna says:
patraḿ puṣpaḿ phalaḿ toyaḿ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
“If you offer me a leaf, a flower, twig, water, I will accept it, if its offered with love.”
So if Vishwarup offers T-shirt or a bag, has very little monitory value, but if it is offered with love, it should be received with love. And this exchange of love amongst devotees is most pleasing to Guru and Gauranga
Thank you very much