What is your favorite kind of devotional service and why?
My Favourite Kind Of Devotional service is to associate with devotees.
naham tusthami vaikunthe
yoginam hrdayesu va
tatra tisthami narada
yatra gayanti mad bhaktah
In this verse from the Padma Purana, the Lord tells Narada Muni of his address. Well, it's never static! Wherever hisdear devotees come together to glorify him, that is his permanent residence. I find the idea of devotees coming together to discuss about the Lord, sing His glories, and perform acts of loving reciprocation quite enthralling. One reason why I am attracted to this movement time and again, in spite of incessant sensual invitations, is the excitement of being with devotees. From the daily drudgery of corporate gossip and politics, which is based on mostly one principle, envy, it is always a breather to be among those who really care for you and fan the spark of love in your heart instead. No wonder it's my favorite picnic spot too!
(Ranjan Ghosh, Bhagalpur, Bihar)
BHAGAVAD-GITA AND SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM are the book versions of the Lord Himself. They undoubtedly epitomize the Lord. Bhagavad- gita is the statement of Krsna. It is the science of Krsna. Ad Srimad bhagvatam provides a truthful, authoritative, and extensive knowledge abiut the Supreme Lord who is the Creator of all universes and is the cause of all causes.The variegated transcendental pastimes of the Lord contained therein are ever cherishable. As described in the purport to Bhagavad-gita 10.18, any narration or statement concerning Krsna is just like nectar that one never tires of hearing and the reading matter remains forever fresh, despite repeated readings. Therefore, the addiction to the fervent reading of the two sacred books, viz. Bhagavad-gita and Srimad bhagavatam is my favourite type of devotional service.
AS ONE BECOMES 'SENIOR' in devotional service, he becomes familiar with the ptocess and the people. The initial ex ub erance fades away and the childish innocence is lost. Thank K,s"a, I was saved. It started when Caitanya Carana Dasa, the ed itor of The Spiritual Scientist offered me the service of editing his articles. After revising 25-30 articles in a span of one month, my attitude was never the same. I found an identity and purpose for my existence in Srila Prabhupada's movement. My spirits reached even higher, when I then embarked upon transcribing the classified lectures of RadheSyama Prabhu and proofreading the ones which were transcribed. Three more months have passed and now I am running the monthly newsletter of our youth devotee congregation, preparing myself for college preaching, and more importantly the devotees around me are amazed that I am so cheerful unlike in the past.
(Siddhartha, lIT Kharagpur)
MY FAVORITE TYPE OF devotional service is preaching. I have experienced such immense joy in it, which I have not experienced even after trying out so much selfish materialistic enjoyment.
When I am chanting it's not very attentive, when I am hearing lectures my mind dozes, but when I'm preaching to someone, my mind is completely focused on Krsna at least for that time.
By preaching I develop more and more faith in the process. There was this lady, 35 yrs old suffering from terminal cancer. I was giving her painkillers for palliation, but she was always cribbing. One day I talked to her about Krsna and later on I saw such a change in her whole personality. Even though suffering from such a deadly disease she was always happy, hearing about Krsna. She left her body chanting the holy name of the Lord. That incident made a deep impact on my mind.
I know I am useless, having difficulty even with my own sadhana, but I could see the power of the words of the acaryas that made such a difference which no medicine can ever make.
(Dr. Avnish, Mumbai)
OPPORTUNITY OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE during a critical time like an exam is really a test by Krsna for me. My tough physics paper was due after two days, and I heard that Gurudev was coming to Belgaum Ratha-yatra for the first time. I tried hard to concentrate on study, but it was too difficult. Finally I went to Ratha-yatra.
Another time I appeared for Geology-1 exam, went to Pandharpur from Solapur, for my first initiation, and then returned to give Geology-2 paper. By Krsna's arrangement I passed. The phenomenon repeated for B.Sc. first, second, and third years.
Even now tests come, more difficult than previous ones. Many times, I suggest ro other devotees during their exams to concentrate on their study and not come ro the temple. A question arises in mindwhy didn't I do that in the past? One answer comes from my heart: Because associating with devotees is my favorite kind of devotional service"
(Gadadhara Pandita Dasa)
IN THE ADI-LILA OF THE Caitanya-caritamrta, it is described how the spiritual master of Lord Caitanya said to him "My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing sailkirtana in association with devotees.
Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting Krsna-nama. By this process, you will be able to deliver all fallen souls." By the instructions of His spiritual master, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who has come in this Kali yuga as the Golden avatara to deliver us, spread the congregational chanting of holy names all over India.
It makes me blissful and enthusiastic, whenever I hear the beautiful kirtanas. I become more enthusiastic, especially when I see the devotees participating in it, ch anting the holy name very loudly and dancing. I make sure not to miss the Sunday Gaura-arati. Once a month, we have a harinama sankirtana in different areas of Hyderabad. I love to see the reactions on the people's faces. So many smile, some wave their hands and some join the beautiful kirtana dancing very enthusiastically.
(Srinivas Kasthuri, Hyderabad)
HEARING-ONE OF THE nine processes of bhakti-is my favorite devotional service. I first got the opportunity to hear about the Lord from His devotees during the in auguration of Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai, where many of Srila Prabhupada's disciples spoke. After listening to them for more than four hours, I was inspired to take to the process of devotional service.
A few weeks later, I visited the ISKCON temple in Pune, where I again had the opportunity to hear about Krsna for four days, this time from His Holiness Radhanatha Swami.
I left a totally different person. My priorities in life had changed. Now my aim was to please Krsna and His devotees. I started chanting sixteen rounds and followed the four regulative principles sincerely.
My childhood friends, who did not share my hearing experience, were surprised by the sudden change in me. They tried to deter me from my aim, but to no avail.
Later, I read in Srila Prabhupada's books that one who listens to Krsna conscious topics attentively develops taste for the holy name and advances quickly.
(Sameer Talwalkar, Palghar, India)