B H A K T I (Devotional Service). part 1.


There are six characteristics of pure devotional service, which are as follows:

(1) Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress.
(2) Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness.
(3) Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure.
(4) Pure devotional service is rarely achieved.
(5) Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation.
(6) Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

It is stated in the Padma Purāṇa that there are four kinds of effects
due to sinful activities, which are listed as follows:

(1) the effect which is not yet fructified,
(2) the effect which is lying as seed,
(3) the effect which is already mature
and (4) the effect which is almost mature.

It is also stated that all these four effects become immediately vanquished for those who surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and become engaged in His devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

In the Padma Purāṇa it is stated as follows:
“A person who is engaged in devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to be understood to be doing the best service to the whole world and to be pleasing everyone in the world. In addition to human society, he is pleasing even the trees and animals, because they also become attracted by such a movement.”

A practical example of this was shown by Lord Caitanya when He was traveling through the forests of Jhārikhaṇḍa in central India for spreading His sańkīrtana movement. The tigers, the elephants, the deer and all the other wild animals joined Him and were participating, in their own ways, by dancing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has analyzed the different sources of happiness.
He has divided happiness into three categories, which are
(1) happiness derived from material enjoyment,
(2) happiness derived by identifying oneself with the Supreme Brahman and
(3) happiness derived from Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

In the tantra-śāstra Lord Śiva speaks to his wife, Satī, in this way:
“My dear wife, a person who has surrendered himself at the lotus feet of Govinda and who has thus developed pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be very easily awarded all the perfections desired by the impersonalists; and beyond this, he can enjoy the happiness achieved by the pure devotees.”

Happiness derived from pure devotional service is the highest, because it is eternal. The happiness derived from material perfection or understanding oneself to be Brahman is inferior because it is temporary. There is no preventing one’s falling down from material happiness, and there is even every chance of falling down from the spiritual happiness derived out of identifying oneself with the impersonal Brahman.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

In the Padma Purāṇa it is stated as follows:

“Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest enlightenment,
and when such enlightenment is there, it is just like a blazing forest fire, killing all the inauspicious snakes of desire.”

Even one drop of happiness in Kṛṣṇa consciousness stands beyond comparison with an ocean of happiness derived from any other activity. Thus, any person who has developed even a little quantity of pure devotional service can very easily kick out all the other kinds of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

It is stated in the tantra-sāstra, where Lord Siva says to Satī,
“My dear Satī, if one is a very fine philosopher, analyzing the different processes of knowledge, he can achieve liberation from the material entanglement. By performance of the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas one can be elevated to the platform of pious activities and thereby enjoy the material comforts of life to the fullest extent. But all such endeavours can hardly offer anyone devotional service to the Lord, not even if one tries for it by such processes for many, many thousands of births.”

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has stated that devotional service attracts even Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa attracts everyone, but devotional service attracts Kṛṣṇa. The symbol of devotional service in the highest degree is Rādhārāṇī. Kṛṣṇa is called Madana-mohana, which means that He is so attractive that He can defeat the attraction of thousands of Cupids. But Rādhārāṇī is still more attractive, for She can even attract Kṛṣṇa. Therefore devotees call Her Madana-mohana-mohinī — the attractor of the attractor of Cupid.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Rādhārāṇī,
and devotees in Vṛndāvana put themselves under the care of Rādhārāṇī
in order to achieve perfection in their devotional service.                                         In other words, devotional service is not an activity of the material world; it is directly under the control of Rādhārāṇī. In Bhagavad-gītā it is confirmed that the mahātmās, or great souls, are under the protection of daivī prakṛti, the internal energy — Rādhārāṇī. So, being directly under the control of the internal potency of Kṛṣṇa, devotional service attracts even Kṛṣṇa Himself.
(The Nectar of Devotion).

bhave bhave yathā bhaktiḥ
pādayos tava jāyate
tathā kuruṣva deveśa
nāthas tvaḿ no yataḥ prabho

O Lord of lords, O master, please grant us pure devotional service at Your lotus feet, life after life.

nāma-sańkīrtanaḿ yasya
sarva-pāpa praṇāśanam
praṇāmo duḥkha-śamanas
taḿ namāmi hariḿ param

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisances unto whom relieves all material suffering.

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