9 Important Items of Devotional Service‏

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By Damaghosa das

Hare Krsna

Below we have a few important things that any devotee should want to know about:

1.How to work without sinful reaction-no karma
2.Devotee is imperceptibly liberated
3.How to overcome the 4 defects-imperfect senses, illusion, mistakes and cheating
4.How to be Krsna Conscious- and then again be in maya —
5 One knows his eternal relationship with Krsna only- after liberation
6.Don’t talk of liberation until after we become transcendental to the three modes of nature
7.If we are not pleasing our spiritual master, then we are giving pain to the Lord in the heart”
8.Srila Prabhupada explains who is his disciple and who is above and who is within the modes of nature.
9. He explains how one can be a pure devotee- even as a neophyte



How to work without sinful reaction-no karma

Śrī Īśopaniṣad, mantra 2-4
Los Angeles, May 6, 1970
Prabhupāda: Again from the beginning. (devotees repeat) Again. (devotees repeat) This is very important verse. evamtvayinānyathe…, nānyathā ato asti na karma lipyate nare. If you know it that everything belongs to Krsna, in this way if you live for hundreds of years and do your duties, there will be no reaction. The very thing is confirmed in theBhagavad-gita: yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]Except working for Krsna, any work will bind you, good or bad. If you do good work, you’ll have to enjoy, so-called enjoyment. And if you do bad work, then you have to suffer. But if you work for Krsna, there is no such reaction. Na karma lipyate nare. All right. .
Devotee is imperceptibly liberated

SB 3.25.36 purport
There are three divisions of devotees—first-class, second-class and third-classEven third-class devotees are liberated souls. It is explained in this verse that although they do not have knowledge, simply by seeing the beautiful decoration of the Deity in the temple, the devotee is absorbed in thought of Him and loses all other consciousness. Simply by fixing oneself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, engaging the senses in the service of the Lord, one isimperceptibly liberated This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Simply by discharging uncontaminated devotional service as prescribed in the scriptures, one becomes equal to Brahman. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said, brahmabhūyāya kalpate. This means that the living entity in his original state is Brahman because he is part and parcel of the Supreme Brahman. But simply because of his forgetfulness of his real nature as an eternal servitor of the Lord, he is overwhelmed and captured by māyā. His forgetfulness of his real constitutional position is māyā. Otherwise he is eternally Brahman.
When one is trained to become conscious of his position, he understands that he is the servitor of the Lord. “Brahman” refers to a state of self-realization. Even third-class devotee—who is not advanced in knowledge of the Absolute Truth but simply offers obeisances with great devotion, thinks of the Lord, sees the Lord in the temple and brings forth flowers and fruits to offer to the Deity—becomes imperceptibly liberated. Śraddhayānvitāḥ: with great devotion thedevotees offer worshipful respects and paraphernalia to the Deity. The Deities of Rādhā and KṛṣṇaLakṣmī and Nārāyaṇa, and Rāmaand Sītā are very attractive to devotees, so much so that when they see the statue decorated in the temple of the Lord they become fully absorbed in thought of the Lord. That is the state of liberation.
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SB 4.23.9 purport
Actually, one who is self-realized engages himself in the service of the Lord perpetually, both in this life and in the next. Indeed, for devotees there is no difference between this life and the next. In this life a neophyte devotee is trained to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and in the next life he approaches that Supreme Person inVaikuṇṭha and renders the same devotional serviceEven for the neophyte devotee, devotional service is considered brahmabhūyāyakalpate. Devotional service to the Lord is never considered a material activity. Since he is acting on the brahmabhūta platform, a devotee is already liberated. He therefore has no need to practice any other type of yoga in order to approach the brahmabhūta stage. If a devotee adheres to the orders of the spiritual master, follows the rules and regulations and chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, it should be concluded that he is already at the brahmabhūta stage, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.26):One who is engaged in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.”

How to overcome the 4 defects-imperfect senses, illusion, mistakes and cheating

SB 3.24.12Purport- Brahmā praises Kardama because he carried out the orders of the spiritual master in toto and without cheating. A conditioned soul in the material world has the disqualification of cheating. He has four disqualifications: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to be illusioned, he is prone to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. But if one carries out the order of the spiritual master by disciplic succession, or the paramparā system, he overcomes the four defects. Therefore, knowledge received from the bona fide spiritual master is not cheating. Any other knowledge which is manufactured by the conditioned soul is cheating only



How to be Krsna Conscious- and then again be  in maya --


71-11-12 Letter to Nityananda
An example of summary punishment is this: If you are sentenced to be hanged but instead you are given a simple pinprick, that is very nice. Krishna minimizes the devotee’s suffering to the lowest. So long as one is engaged in devotional service, he is immune to the reactions of his past sinful activities, but if he chooses to give up this devotional service, then he has to undergo all these reactions.

For all devotees chanting, attending arati ceremony, taking prasadam and attending classes is compulsory. If it is possible, everyone may go on sankirtana.

Philosophy discussions with Hayagrive Plotinus
Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice. Anyone who takes it seriously, he becomes immediately liberated, because liberation means to be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. This is liberation. We are engaged in māyā’s service. That is our bondage. But service we have to render. We are servant—either māyā’s servant or Kṛṣṇa’s servant. Servant is our constitutional position. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109],
Caitanya Mahāprabhu says. Our real identity is eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. So even if he is…, are in this material body, if you are engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, that is liberation. Hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. When we give up our otherwise life… “Otherwise life” means to be engaged in māyā’s service—as the head of the family, head of the community, head or member of this and… We have designated in so many ways. So that is our conditional life. And the same service, when we render to Kṛṣṇa cent percent, we are liberated. Sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. That is mukti. When his senses are completely engaged in the service of Hṛṣīkeśa-Hṛṣīkeśa is another name of Kṛṣṇa—that is called bhakti. Bhakti means the activities of liberated life. One may understand or not understand; if he is actually engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, under the direction of spiritual master, he is liberated. But if he voluntarily accepts again māyā’s service, then he is become conditioned. This is the secret

One knows his eternal relationship with Krsna only- after liberation

1970 Edition : NoD 40: Reverential Devotion of Sons and Other Subordinates :

No one should claim his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa unless he is liberated. In the conditioned state of life, the devotees have to execute the prescribed duties as recommended in the codes of devotional service. When one is mature in devotional service and is a realized soul, he can know his own eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa. One should not artificially try to establish some relationship. In the premature stage it is sometimes found that a lusty, conditioned person will artificially try to establish some relationship with Kṛṣṇa in conjugal love. The result of this is that one becomes prakṛta-sahajiyā, or one who takes everything very cheaply. Although such persons may be very anxious to establish a relationship with Kṛṣṇa in conjugal love, their conditioned life in the material world is still most abominable. A person who has actually established his relationship with Kṛṣṇa can no longer act on the material plane, and his personal character cannot be criticized



Dont talk of liberation until after we become transcendental to the three modes of nature
721001SB.LA
So these three qualities are there within this material world. And one has to transcend these three qualities. And that can be done… Anyone can do that. Krsna does not say that only the person who is in goodness, who has the brahminical  platform, he can be engaged. Actually, he can be engaged, not in the passion. But if you be engaged in devotional service, then immediately you transcend all the qualities. You become more than brāhmaṇaVaiṣṇavaVaiṣṇava means he is transcendental to the brahminical qualities also. But if you do not maintain even brahminical qualities, then where you are a Vaiṣṇava? So to become a Vaiṣṇava is not so easy thing, because it is transcendental to the brahminical quality.But it is very easy. LordCaitanya has made it easy, provided you stick to the principles. If you simply chant regularly Hare Kṛṣṇa… This is the special facility for the people in this age. You can remain steady in transcendental position.Ceto-darpaṇamārjanaṁ bhavamahādāvāgninirvāpaṇam [Cc.Antya 20.12]. As soon as you remain in the offenseless chanting platform, immediately you become transcendental to these material qualities. Very simple.

If we are not pleasing our spiritual master, then we are giving pain to the Lord in the heart”

lecture Hawaii March 5 1969
– We are suffering, we are manufacturing so many philosophical ways, but actual position is–that is the statement of Bhagavad-gita–that we are part and parcel of Krsna, God. We are not working according to our particular duty. Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body. It has got a particular duty: to serve the whole body. When it is unable to do it, it is painful, the physician or the surgeon says that “This finger should be amputated. Otherwise it will create disturbance to the whole body.” Similarly, we are all part and parcel of the supreme whole, but not surrendering unto Him, misusing our independence, we are giving pain to the Supreme. Therefore He comes, that “You surrender. Don’t give Me pain. You just abide by My order. That will give Me pleasure. You will be happy.” That state of consciousness, to abide by the order of Krsna  is Krsna consciousness. That’s all.

Srila Prabhupada explains who is his disciple, and who is above, and who is within the modes of nature

Det June 13 1976
devotee (2):devotional service is transcendental to the modes of material nature. That’s from the very moment that one first begins to render devotional service? Or gradually? From the first very moment?

Prabhupāda: Yes. [break]

Devotee (2): …of devotional service in the modes of material nature, there’s no such thing.

Prabhupāda: No. Means if you do not follow the regulative principles, then it is mixed.

Satsvarūpa: Sometimes devotees think that in the Śrīmad-Bhagavatam, when Lord Kapila teaches there is devotional service in ignorance and in passion and in goodness, that that may mean your own disciples too. But then some devotees say “No, we’re above that designation. It’s not mixed devotional service, even though we’re neophytes.”

Prabhupāda: If you voluntarily do not follow, then you fall down. That is in ignorance.

Devotee (2): So where that is described in the Third Canto, Part Four, where it is described about devotional service in ignorance, passion, and goodness, and so forth, that has nothing to do with your disciples then?

Prabhupāda: Who is my disciple? First of all let him follow strictly the disciplined rules.

Devotee (2): As long as one is following, then he is…

Prabhupāda: Then he is all right.

Devotee (2):above those lower levels.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Otherwise, why there is need of regulative principles? He is immediately liberated. If he thinks that “Because I have taken to, I am liberated,” then why the rules and regulations?

Devotee (2): But as long as he follows the rules and regulations.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (2): [break] …the brahma bhuta platform, brahma bhuta prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54], immediately?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Bhagavad-gita it is said mam ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa [Bg. 14.26], unalloyed. Bhakti yogena sevate, then he’s liberated. If it is vyabhicarena, sometimes falls down, sometimes…, then it is within sattva guna, rajo guna, tamo-guna. The word is mam ca yah avyaabhicarena bhakti yogena, pure bhakti.

Hari sauri: Without any falldown.

Devotee (2): Falldown means deviation from the orders of the spiritual master.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is vyabhicarena, that is not avyabhicarena. If you are subjected to the attraction of maya, that is vyabhicarena.

Devotee (2): If somebody is following the instructions, but if there’s attraction for maya…

Prabhupāda: That cannot be. Maybe in the beginning due to past habits, but that must be nil very soon. Otherwise he’s not following. Just like fan switched off may move for a little, but not that it will go on moving. Must stop. Switch is off. And if it is going on, then the switch is not yet off. [break]

Devotee (2): A devotee is sometimes subject to hankering or lamentation. That is material though, isn’t it?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (2): In other words, if, at that moment, if he desires something other than Krsna, that’s a material desire.

Prabhupāda: Then he has to learn it. So long one is not competent in that position, he’s subjected, he may fall down. …..

Srila Prabhupada explains how even a neophyte can be a pure devotee

Det June 14 1976
Makhanlāl: There are many different levels of pure devotional service?

Prabhupāda: Pure devotional service is one. So long you are not on the pure platform, there are many. [break]

Makhanlāl: …between the neophyte devotee who is following the principles.

Prabhupāda: Neophyte devotee is not on the topmost platform. He’s learning. (loud foghorn blowing in background)

Makhanlāl: So a neophyte devotee who’s following the principles of sahdana-bhakti is still considered pure devotee?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Makhanlāl: So at different levels of advancement of pure devotional service.

Satsvarūpa: Prabhupāda once gave the example of a mango, that when the mango is raw, it’s still a mango. Then it becomes ripe—also a mango. So pure devotional service is different when we begin.

Prabhupāda: So raw condition and ripe condition is not the same. The mango is the same.

Makhanlāl: In the Sixth Canto of the Bhagavatam you made a statement that if a devotee chants the holy name even once inoffensively, this protects him eternally. Is it possible for a devotee...

Prabhupāda: Why you take advantage of chants one only? Why not sixteen? Opportunist. (laughter) Not devotee.

Makhanlāl: If one has even a small amount…

Prabhupāda: This material calculation is not made by a devotee. When one is devotee, he’ll chant more and more. He’ll aspire, “If I could get millions of tongues and trillions of ear, then I could finish. That is devotee. And one is thinking how to finish it by chanting once, he’s not devotee. That is neophyte stage. Therefore the regulation is you must chant sixteen rounds at least. Because he’ll simply try to avoid it by his so-called intelligence.

Makhanlāl: It’s possible for even a neophyte to chant offenselessly?

Prabhupāda: Not possible, but he has to do it. This is offense, to think that “I have chanted once; my all sinful activities are now neutralized.” This is offense. Nāmno balād yasya hi papa-buddhih. This is the offense. [break]

Makhanlāl: Chanting, following the orders of the spiritual master...

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. No calculation.

Makhanlāl: Is that considered offenseless chanting?

Prabhupāda: Hmm? Yes. You follow strictly the instructions. If you commit offense, how it is offenseless?

Makhanlāl: It’s considered offenseless if, chanting, if one follows the orders of the spiritual master carefully?

Prabhupāda: There may be offense. You should go on chanting. That will be adjusted as you advance in chanting. Harer nama Harer nama, harer nama eva kevalam [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. Simply go on chanting. We shall see later on what is offense and not offense. (laughter) Chanting Hare Krsna mantra, not for any profit. But go on serving Him. That’s all. Material calculation, “Now, this much I have profited…” [break] ….

 

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