Unmotivated Devotional Service
Siksashtakam 1 says that the holy names of Lord Krishna cleanse the heart of impurities accumulated since many lives. However, if we chant Hare Krishna daily with the intention of cleaning our heart and mind, will it not be against the principle of ahaituki bhakti (un-motivated devotional service)? Similarly, it is recommended by the Vaishnava acharyas that one should perform any activity only for the pleasure of Lord Krishna and not for our own pleasure. I often chant because I enjoy it. Does this chanting also contradict the principle of ahaituki bhakti?
Our reply: Most world religions talk about God as the supreme powerful personality who can fulfill all our desires if appeased properly. While such a conception increases awareness of God’s greatness, it also surreptitiously increases the conception of His being an order-supplier. The Srimad-bhagavatam hits out at all such conceptions of fruitive worship of God aimed at fulfilling our comforts. It teaches us ahaituki bhakti, which motivates us to go beyond such petty desires either through material or spiritual means, to act, think and speak only in the capacity of an honest servant wanting to sincerely serve the master for the master’s pleasure only.
The living entity can never become desireless. He can choose between spiritual desires and material desires. Ahaituki bhakti means ‘without any material desire.’ We need not give up spiritual desires aimed at pleasing the Supreme Lord and His devotees.
If we wish to cleanse our mind to facilitate more and better service to the Supreme Lord, such a wish qualifies to be termed as spiritual desire and thus comes under the purview of ahaituki bhakti. However, if we wish to cleanse our hearts for any other purpose, say to become a hero and thus attract a following, then it violates the principle of ahaituki bhakti. Similarly, the desire to chant Hare Krishna for one’s own pleasure also contradicts the principle of ahaituki bhakti.
Krishna or Vishnu:
I am fairly a new devotee, reading BTG regularly. I have one major question that has been hindering my further involvement. According to Bg.11.1 purport” Krishna is not an incarnation. He is the source of all incarnations.”But Lord Krishna is known as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. If Krishna is an incarnation, then why should we consider Him God?
Our reply: We will quote the entire paragraph from Bg. 11.1 – This chapter reveals Krishna as the cause of all causes. He is even the cause of the Maha-visnu, from whom the material universes emanate. Krishna is not an incarnation; He is the source of all incarnations. That has been completely explained in the last chapter.
As is clear from the above quote, the basis for Lord Krishna being the origin of all incarnations is the Bhagavad-gita itself (chapter 10). Apart from this, we have references from Srimad-bhagavatam(1.3.28) and Brahma-samhita(5.48) and other Vedic literature as mentioned in purport to Bg 10.8 in Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
For a detailed analysis of this topic, you may also visit the following link to an article that originally appeared in BTG May 2009.
We are regular readers of BTG. Please accept our sincere and hearty congratulations and best wishes for producing one of the best spiritual magazines. We have found that all articles in every issue are providing us a great message and illuminate our hearts.
Dr.Heeteshkumar Joshi, Rajkot, Gujarat
Replies to the above letters were writen by Nanda Dulal Dasa.
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