Choose a verse from Srımad-Bhagavatam and explain why it inspires you.

sri-bhagavan uvaca
aham bhakta-paradhino
hy asvatantra iva dvija
sadhubhir grasta-hrdayo
bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyah

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brahmana: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.4.63)

I am inspired by the declaration of the Supreme Personality of Godhead

that He is completely under the control of His devotees. Durvasa Muni, whom the Lord is addressing in this verse, had committed an offense against the great devotee Ambarisa Maharaja. Since the Lord cannot tolerate an offense committed against His devotees, He Himself came under the subordination of Ambarisa.

But then, Ambarisa was not a solitary example; the Lord became the servitor of other devotees as well. He served Yudhisthira as his messenger in the court of Hastinapur and served Arjuna as a charioteer in the Kurukshetra war. He was under the beck and call of Draupadi.

I feel all the more inspired to see how ISKCON has captured the philosophy of this verse. With its team of dedicated spiritual masters who are initiating new disciples, ISKCON is creating devotees of devotees, who are very dear to the Lord.

Rasa Purusa Dasa Mumbai

tat te ’nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

“My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words, and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8)

I look upon this verse as a ray of sunshine.

It never fails to instill new hope in me. It warms my heart and strengthens my faith in the process of devotional service. As a deeply conditioned soul, far from spontaneous attraction for Krishna, I derive great solace from this verse, which promises that in order to inherit his father’s property, a son simply has to remain alive; in the same way, we only have to remain alive in Krishna consciousness to achieve our goal.

If somehow I can remain on the path, in the right consciousness, and not be inclined to deviate, then I will surely reach my destination. In a nutshell this verse offers me the simple and perfect way by which I can steer my life clear of obstacles and pitfalls, provided I stick to the formula.

Vrndadevi Dasi Rugby, Warwickshire, UK

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihata
yayatma suprasidati

“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.” (Srimad- Bhagavatam 1.2.6)

This verse inspires me because it gives a very universal idea of religion

that can bring all the faithful people in the world together under the banner of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord. It also gives the secret to satisfying our soul unmotivated and uninterrupted service to the Lord. If we are dissatisfied, we can ask ourselves, “Is there some motivation behind my devotional service? Is there some interruption in my devotional service?” By removing the interruptions and false motives in our devotional service to the Lord, who is called Krishna because He is all-attractive, we can attain the eternal satisfaction of the soul that we all desire.

Krishna-krpa Dasa Gainesville, Florida, USA

kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krishnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.51)

The average life span of human beings in Satya-yuga is 100,000 years,

in Treta-yuga it is 10,000 years, in Dvapara-yuga it is 1,000 years, and in Kali-yuga it is 100 years at most. It is further stated in the Srimad- Bhagavatam (12.3.52) that whatever result was obtained through meditating for thousands of years in Satya-yuga, performing sacrifices for thousands of years in Treta-yuga, or serving the lotus feet of the Lord for hundreds of years in Dvapara-yuga can be achieved by simply chanting the maha-mantra in Kali-yuga. Since we are in Kali-yuga presently, we should grab this rare opportunity to free ourselves from material bondage and go to Krishna-loka by chanting the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Vaikunthesvara Balaji Dasa Austin, Texas, USA