A nice meditation for distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books

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By Prabhupada priya dd

Dear Devotees,

PAMHO. AGTSP.

Hare Krishna. I read an article by Satyaraja prabhu about Sankirtan. He was saying that, at least in the past, many sankirtan devotees were driven by not-so-transcendental desires like being number one, or appearing clever, or like some kind of hero or something, and that this fact has given him somewhat of a negative view of sankirtan. I was thinking about this and I was wondering if it is actually possible for someone to continue doing book distribution year after year for a long time on the strength of such motivations.

Anyways, I liked the article because it made me think of my own motivations for doing sankirtan, which was probably the intention of the author. Now this is my 14th year of book distribution, and each year my motivation becomes stronger and clearer. Now I have 2 children of my own and as a parent I always have to try to protect them from dangerous situations. If they are in the road and a car comes I have to run and put them to the side. If they pick up a knife or lighter or something like that I have to take it away. There are so many dangerous situations they need to be protected from because they don’t know anything. They don’t know that the knife may cut them. So they need to be taught all these things so that they will not suffer due to their own ignorance.

Sankirtan is like this. I see the people like children. They are ignorant. They don’t know what to do and what not to do. And therefore they are doing so many things wrong without even knowing that it is wrong, and they are suffering the reaction. Most people do not know that there is anything wrong with eating meat, or drinking alcohol, or having illicit sex or gambling. That’s just what they’ve seen everyone do since they were born. It’s all just part of life and they just go along with it. And they are suffering so much, just like everyone else.

In one sense we can see them like this: they’re demons, lusty, sinful, envious rascals, and they are suffering because they deserve it. That is certainly true, but one who holds this view will have difficulty finding inspiration to preach.

Another way of seeing them is like this: they are pure spirit souls, eternal servants of Krishna, who have become severely degraded due to bad association and who are being tossed about by the modes of material nature. They are looking for happiness but due to their ignorance, all their attempts at achieving happiness are only bringing more and more suffering. So, as a parent will give knowledge to her ignorant child so that he will not suffer, we also must give knowledge to the people in general so they can change their lives, to stop doing those things which only bring pain and anguish, and to do those activities which will actually bring eternal transcendental happiness.

This is a very basic principle. It is not an esoteric meditation. It is very down-to-earth. The love that a mother has for her child - Srila Prabhupada says this is the highest love that can be achieved on the material plane. Because it is selfless; it is unconditional. Why do we love our children? They give us so much trouble! Still we would risk our lives for them. Even the “demons” would do it, even the animals do it. And how did Srila Prabhupada refer to his disciples? As his sons and daughters! Of course, most of them were young at the time and practically like children, but that doesn’t matter. Even old ladies and men who could be my grandparents I see as my children. They are just like ignorant children. They need instruction.

Who will not steer a small child away from a fire? Any sane person will do it, even if he is a complete stranger. No one will just sit there and watch him get burnt, especially not someone who considers himself religious. So who will not jump up to steer these ignorant people away from hell. It is so easy; just give them a book, some prasada, the holy name. Engage them in some devotional service - knowingly or unknowingly. That will save them; that will give them a start on the right path, the bhakti-marg. And if they follow through on that path they will finally get what they were looking for all along, eternal happiness at the lotus feet of Krishna.

Hare Krishna!

Your servant,
Prabhupada priya dd

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1 Unregistered

Hare Krishna,
Thank you for sharing that wonderful peice on how to remian motivated for distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. I would like to add a spin on how we can remain motivated in devotional service in general. I have been a devotee for almost 17 years , and I have always found great joy ( and still do find great joy ) in performing devotional service. In reflecting on my own practice, I have always ( yes for all those years) prayed to the Lord and Srila Prabhupada to “please firmly plant within the core of my heart , FULL ACCEPTANCE of the FACT that I am an eternal spirit soul , and eternal servant of Krishna”. I suspect that by the Lord’s mercy, this may have become a little bit ” rooted ” in me. Once this becomes our core , and unwaivering motivation the willingness to perform devotional service seems to be quite easy. As I mature more I find that I desire to pray for a clear indication of the particular service that will fully satisfy my present psychophysical nature.

In closing I would like to add that, If we arrive at the point of actually accepting the fact that we are Krishna’s eternal servitors , how can we not help but serve?

Comment posted by Mithuna Das on August 29th, 2006
2 Unregistered

An additional comment about remaining motivated in Krishna Consciousness.

I would like to share the following few points as an addition to the previous comment that I made. Very often we experience the mind as a source of distraction; despite what is apparent ,it is the heart festering material desires that is the real source of even the mind’s distraction. As we serve more steadily and aslo with greater purity ( ie: with a proper understanding of who is the real beneficiary of our devotional endeavors), we experience a sublime ( and sometimes obvious ) and deepening satisfaction of our heart. As a corollary , our senses ( including the genitals ) becomes quiet , and the mind loses its proclivity to send us ” hither and tither ” in search of “happiness”. With a quietened mind we can be deeply attentive to assocaiating with the Lord in the form of The Holy Name. Soon motivation to perform devotional service begins to fester in our heart.

Mithuna Das

Comment posted by Mithuna Das on August 30th, 2006

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