Bhaktin Vrinda: What can be more enlivening than to collect flowers for Krishna and His pure devotees and make beautiful garlands and bouquets of them with love and devotion? Radhanatha Swami explains in his lecture (Krishna accepts flowers 20.5.2009) that so simple service as making a garland for Krishna can give us the highest perfection if we do it purely. He tells that every flower that we string on the mala should be an offering of our love, our devotion to Krishna. Not that we will collect flowers and make garlands mechanically or with impure thoughts, but we should give our whole heart for the process. Our only purpose should be to give pleasure for Krishna just like Krishna’s close associates are doing in Goloka Vrindavan. Srimati Radharani, the most beloved associate of Lord Sri Krishna, is picking flowers and making garlands for Lord Krishna every day for all of eternity. Who can love Krishna so much than Radharani? Our love is nothing compared to that, but still by the mercy of Lord Krishna and His pure devotees, Krishna can accept our sincere efforts to serve Him, and on that way give us the greatest benediction. It is stated in The Teachings of Lord Caitanya (7.12) that ‘’When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves KášášŁáša, dresses Him in nice garments and gives Him a flower, KášášŁáša smiles. If you can get KášášŁáša to smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulfilled.’’ Flowers are indeed often said to be the smile of the Lord.
In his lecture Radhanatha Swami nicely compares devotees with the garland flowers. Just like all flowers are unique, all devotees are also unique. Just like all flowers are precious, all devotees are also precious. All flowers have their special fragrance, color, and form, and all have their own place and role in the garland. All devotees also have their special places and roles in the service of the Lord. Not that some devotees are better or more important than others in absolute terms. No. Everybody is important and everybody appreciates and supports the value and greatness of others. That is what is pleasing Krishna. Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan mission is like a universal garland, which reconnect all living beings in the service and glorification of Lord. It helps everybody to get reconnected with the Lord and become His pure devotees. Lord Caitanya taught in His ĹikášŁÄášŁášaka (3) the pure method of chanting: ‘’One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others." This mood will give sankirtan garland the utmost color and flavor.
Satsvarupa Maharaja writes in his article ’’Wild Flowers’’ (23.3.2010) that many wild flowers are growing in Vrindavana, and some of them, like kadambas and karnikara, are unique only for Goloka (more about Vedic flowers: http://www.flowersofindia.net/mythology.html). Satsvarupa Maharaja points out that all flowers remain always fresh and sweet smelling in Vraja, and that this distinguishes them from the flowers in the material world. This is an important remark, because everything in this material world is temporary and is destined to suffer from the threefold miseries. In other words the miseries arising from the body and the mind, miseries arising from dealings with other living entities, and miseries arising from natural disturbances. Just like human beings, also flowers are destined to suffer these kinds of miseries. One can feel sorry for plucking flowers. They may be much happier in their natural environment, or they may feel pain when they are cut or plucked with their roots. Anyway all flowers that are collected for Krishna are very fortunate, because on that way they can best serve Krishna in their material constitution. Out of many millions flowers, just those flowers that are collected, can get this kind of benediction. Once one devotee, Sanka Das, asked from Srila Prabhupada, "What benefit will all these flowers get when they're are offered to you?" Srila Prabhupada replied, "Every flower that you offer to Krishna or the spiritual master, the plant that produced the flower becomes a human being in his next life.’’ (The Prabhupada Connection, memories #75). This proves how auspicious it is even for flowers to serve Guru and Krishna, what to speak about us. Collecting and offering flowers to Guru and Krishna can be compared to our surrendering to Guru and Krishna. First it can feel painful due to our deep material roots and attachments, but eventually everything is for our ultimate happiness and ultimate happiness of Krishna.