Been serving for so long but still… not even the aroma of Krishna?
Been serving for so long but still… not even the aroma of Krishna?
BB Govinda Swami: Sometimes devotees say: “Oh, He has forgotten us. Oh, I’ve been chanting Hare Krishna for five years, so much sincere service I’m doing, but still…. not even the aroma of Krishna. What to speak of seeing Krishna! Has He forgotten us? Is He hard-hearted? Is He indifferent? Why doesn’t he respond? Why doesn’t He reciprocate with us?
«Even when it’s cold in Almaty we get up and we go to Mangala Arati!… when Maharaja is there…. [audience laughs] … the rest of the time we just sleep till seven and think ‘Oooh, no one will ever find out….’ [audience laughs] «We’re making so much tapasya! Virabhadra, he is going out on the street and he is saying ‘Pojaluysta [eng. please], take this book!’ And they are saying, ‘Aaaah! Useless person! Oh, parasite! Ohhhh, donkey! Oh get a job! Aaaaghgh! [audience laughs] I’m gonna give you something!’ [sound of punching] «So much tapasya! So much austerity! And Krishna is not hearing. Krishna is not reciprocating.» And maybe it’s not even you that feel that way.
One time when Srimati Radhika was feeling separation from Krishna her heart was burning in separation and then bzzzzz…. Bumblebee came, she looked at the bumblebee and said: “I know who you are! I know who you are… You are an unreliable servant of an unreliable master. I know, I know about your master! We have heard from Purnamasi about your master, in the previous life we know that he cut the nose of a woman, had her ears cut off, we know that he mercilessly killed monkeys. Cruel person. So cruel and heartless! We know who your master is!”
It’s not even us. Sometimes the great devotees they speak in that way also. They do it in the madness of love. We do it just because we’re mad.
And Krishna, you don’t think He hears? Of course He hears. What does Krishna think, He is thinking: “My God… they don’t understand. The only reason I’m not showing Myself to them is because their love has not become ripe yet. And if I keep myself away from them, they’ll hanker for me more and more and by that hankering then their love will become ripe. And then I can show myself. They don’t understand that I’m doing it for their benefit. And then they’re speaking bad about me when actually I just want to be with them. But I can’t be with them now because they’re not ready. So I have to do this! I have to do this!”
Like sometimes when I was a boy my father would bring his stick and he would look and me and he would say: “Boy… this hurts me more than it’s gonna hurt you” [audience laughs] Krishna is actually saying “It hurts me more than it hurts them, cause I want to be with them, but they’re not ripe, their love has not become ripe. So I have to do this to them. And they’re cursing me when I just try to do good for them. Oh my situation is so horrible!” But actually He is the most compassionate.
It’s a lesson! It’s a lesson!
When you read Srimad Bhagavatam: what is the first lila of Bhagavatam? Narada Muni. And what happened to Narada Muni?… and then? For a fraction of a second the Lord appeared in his heart. And then the Lord disappeared. And what did Narada do? He went mad, isn’t it? And the rest of his life: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna! Krishna Krishna Hare Hare! Hare Rama Hare Rama! Rama Rama Hare Hare!!”
And finally by his intense chanting (!) and by his intense hankering (!) Krishna revealed Himself. First Lila of Bhagavatam.
It happened to Narada Muni – so don’t feel bad it happens to you. And don’t curse Krishna. Don’t complain. Because He is just making our love become ripe. Because He wants us to come to Him. He wants so that we can serve in that atmosphere. He wants that we can love in that atmosphere.
Love in this atmosphere is not so good. Because we try to manifest love through the body that’s made of material modes. And we try to show love through the body that has lust inside – and it’s always a little nasty. It doesn’t work. Bad feelings come.
It’s not that we’re loving because we don’t want anything in return, but we want something in return and that’s not love. That’s lust. But on that platform they don’t have bodies like this, they have spiritual bodies. No material modes. Therefore the transfer of love is pure. The devotee doesn’t ant anything in return from Krishna. And Krishna doesn’t want anything in return from His devotee. It is like competition.
Caitanya Caritamrita describes this. Ramananda Ray tells Lord Caitanya: “In the highest position there’s so much competition to love that their identities become lost. And the only conception that exists is ananda. Again, in that highest level of transcendental exchange there is so much ecstasy of love that one doesn’t even think “I’m a servant”, one doesn’t think “I’m the master”, but the only conception that exists is ananda or bliss. Transcendental joy. This is what Krishna wants.
This is what Krishna wants. So don’t criticize Krishna. Don’t criticize Krishna that after 5 years, or 10 years, or 20 years or 30 years you’re still not seeing. That you have not even caught His aroma. But understand that Krishna is purifying us, so we would become qualified to meet him.
And we should always have the great transcendental hope, that if we will always stay on the path, despite whatever may happen, just stay on the path. And Krishna will give His mercy.
This is called asha-bandha. Bandha means bound, asha means hope. And the sincere devotee, his life becomes bound by the transcendental hope: “Surely one day Krishna will give me His mercy. He will give me His mercy and He will bring me to Him. And He will give me direct service”. Direct meaning to serve the servant of the servant of the servant on the transcendental level.
So we should become bound by that hope. The path may go like this. Sometimes the curve, it may be too sharp. And we may start go “Aaaaaah!” But keep your feet on the path. Even if it’s just like one toe. Keep connected by that one toe and always come back. And just keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
Just like Prabhupada, he had his mantra. Prabhupada would always go “Come on”. Prabhupada during the initiation ceremony, hold out the beads and say “Come on. Come on.” Prabhupada would always say: “Come on. Don’t get off the path. Come on. Little further. Little further, little further. Just keep going across the path like that. Bound by the hope that Krishna will give us His mercy.”
Poor people of this world are bound by the hope that matter will make them happy. If I get the right woman I’ll become happy. If I get the right man I’ll become happy. If I get the money in the bank I’ll become happy. If I get the new Pentium III computer I’ll be happy. If I get sons I’ll be happy. If I get daughters I’ll be happy. If I get all these things I’ll be happy. Things can never make us happy. We become bound by hope.
Surely one day Krishna will give us His mercy. Bound by that hope we chant the Holy Names and we cross the path back to Godhead.
The Name becomes our food that we eat on the journey, The Name becomes the best association that we keep on the path. And the Name, it becomes the beautiful garden that we take rest in while we’re on the path. The Name becomes the association of saints on the path. The Name becomes the means of attainment and the Name becomes the end. The Name is the means, the Name is the end when we become bound by that strong hope that surely one day He will give His mercy.