Tag Archives: devotional service

Devotional Service daily

Some time back we had done a play with kids, It was more of an exercise for children to understand how we can practise bhakti on a daily basis.

What happens is though the philosophy is clear to us, we don’t really know how to practise. So this was a small exercise as to how to really practise bhakti.

The response was good. This was a musical play and the children actually enjoyed presenting it and later on some of the kids came and told that now we have actually understood how life should be. Needless to say the satisfaction that I got that day was immeasurable.

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Actor 1: Devotional service do they say….but how to do that; do tell me. They are so many things to do, how do I do it in a day…

Actor 2: So many?? They are just 9, you forgot or what? Prahlad Maharaj said:

             śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam 

So easy..

Actor1: I know, I know But how to do that in a day. How do I do that in a simple way??

( All together moving in circle Hmm, hmmm)

Actor 3: Sravanam…. Means listening. I can listen carefully to what matajis say. I can attend lectures in temples too.

Actor 4: We can read devotional books and listen to  each other’s notes on it

(All together hmmm)

Actor 4:Kirtanam thats singing. Thats easy. Hare Krishna, hare Krishna ( all together singing maha mantra moving here and there)

Actor 5: We can sing in school, at temple and at home too. Hare Krishna, hare Krishna….

(all together)

Actor 5: Vishnu smaranam…….always remembering Vishnu. How to follow that in a day?? Remembering the Lord in every way…., how do I do that?

(All thinking….how to do that, how to do that)

Actor 6: I know I know Vishnu Smaranam means remembering Him always, right?

Actor 3: Say then: How will you do that?

Actor 6: ‘Get up in the  morning, Go to the altar and say; ‘Thank you for this wonderful day Krishna’

(All together: Thank you, Thank you)

Have your bath and then say thank you Krishna for I have water and a nice place to take bath in

(All together: Thank you, Thank you)

Before having your breakfast thank the Lord for the yummy food that you got

(All together: Thank you, Thank you)

Before going to school Thank the Lord, for because of Him, you can go to school

(All together: Thank you, Thank you)

Actor 7: Hmmm So in this way we can remember Him always

Actor 6: Yes, Yes

(All together: Thank you, Thank you)

Actor 1: Pada Sevanam. How do I serve Lord’s lotus feet when I have not met Krishna yet

(All together . Hmm)

Actor 7; I know I know. Parents, Grand Parents, teachers aren’t they our well wishers and in a way God for us

Actor 3: yes of course

Actor 7: So we can help them, we can serve them…

Actor 4: ( Clapping) And we can do even Pada Sevanam to them

( We can do that, we can do that)

Actor 2: Arcanam…Deity worship…how can we do that

Actor 8 ; You know I have a laddoo gopal. I dress him up and care for him, I serve him food and clean His altar. He is my best friend and He brightens up my day

(  In Background Serve the deities, yes serve the deities)

Actor 9: Vandanam means singing nice prayers to the Lord. I know how to do that

(All together: How, how)

I have made a nice prayer, would you like to listen to that.

(All together: Yes, Yes)

Oh my Lord, Oh my beautiful Lord

You are my sunshine, you are my breathe

You are my inspiration,

You are my best friend

With you to guide me, with you by my side

I am a happy person and so very confident too

so Be with me

( All together Be with us, be with us)

Actor 10 ; Dasyam, Sakhyam; servitorshio, friendship how to do that. Neither am I Arjuna who has Lord besides Him always. Neither am I Hanuman that I can serve Him firsthand. So how do I follow that, how do I do that?

( How do we do that, how do we do that)

Actor 11: I know I know

(how how)

Like a friend follows his friends advice, like a servant follows his masters orders; we can follow what Krishna has said in the Bhagvad Gita. For he is my dearest friend and he is my beloved Master

(Oh yes, Oh yes)

Actor 12: Atma nivedanam…how do we do that

Actor 13. Oh that. That is easy. When he is our dearest friend and when he is our beloved Master then what is the problem to Surrender to Him. Whatever I do… whatever I say is everything for Him

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare hare.


The whole play was enacted with the help of various instruments like keyboard, cymbals and mrdanga. The audience of young children was enraptured

Hope the children remember the lesson throughout their lives

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How to perform Bhakti?

Devotional service has to be accompanied with transcendental knowledge. Just devotional service may weaken you, you may get lost somewhere. So devotees should be engaged in hearing about Krishna…that is the beginning of practice.
But then hear from where? Hear from proper source. Knowledge from disciplic succession as it means that they pass on the original message of Krishna. No plus and no minus.
There are four sampradayas ; The Kumar sampradaya is the one in which the knowledge was given by the Supreme Lord to the four Kumaras (sons of Brahma). The Shree Sampradaya, the founder of which is Shree or Laxmi. The Rudra Sampradaya or the one which is led by Shiva and the Brahma Sampradaya or the Sampradaya led by Brahma. So Brahma was given knowledge by the Lord, then he gave it to Narada, from Narada it was passed on to Vyasadev and so on.
So when you have to hear, hear from someone who follows one of the sampradayas and not just anybody.
To understand the truth follow in the footsteps of Mahajanas. Speculations and arguments won’t bring any conclusion. Just don’t follow anyone.  Just the 12 mahaajan. Who are the Mahaajans. Mahaajans are the ideal devotees. Mahajan know the science of truth. Who are they? They are: Brahma, Narada,  Shambu,  Kumaras, Devahutis son  Kapila, the Manus, Prahlad,  Janak, Bhishhma,  Bali, Sukadev, Yamaraj. How to recognise Mahaajanas? They must come in parampara-disciplic succession.
This is the age of Sankirtan. So develop your bhakti, devotional service by sankirtan The power of bhakti  is such that it can transform anyone.

api ced asi papebhyah sarvebhyah papa-krttamah sarvam jnana-plavenaiva vrjinam santarisyasi (Bhagvad Gita 4.36)

Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.

Remember every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.

Remember that Valmiki was previously a robber who became a saint just by chanting the holy name Rama. And then he Lord is merciful too. There were two sinners Jagai and Madhai who though born in a high-class family were fallen and had done all that is not to be done. But then Lord Caitanya at the insistence of Nityanand forgave them and they became first class devotees.
Devotion is so powerful. we just have to see how to awaken  that potency. Just by hearing one can attain perfection. But there should have absorption in hearing like Parikshit.  Parkishit sat listening for seven days without eating- sleeping. Shravanam(hearing),  kirtanam(reciting) and then smaranam(remembering). remembering will come naturally when you hear and recite. Srila Prabhupad says everything depends on attitude of devotees. So have the right attitude and you will succeed.
Material world is full of misery.  It is like a blazing forest fire. We can cross if we have a boat of transcendental knowledge.  If we have a boat we should have a captain. Who is captain ……our spiritual master.
Lastly remember that Knowledge is like water in a clay pot. If you don’t use it, it will dry up, the more you give, the more you get.
Excerpts from the lecture of His Holiness Bhakti Vighna Vinasa Narasimha Maharaj on 16th Janary 2015 at Bahrain

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The ABCD’s of Spirituality

The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal.  It can’t be organized or regulated.  It isn’t true that everybody should follow one path.  Listen to your own truth. Ram Dass.

When I got this quote in my Good Morning mail from a very dear friend, I felt good. But then Spirituality is not for the weak and the lazy. It is a structured science which requires effort and discipline. It is not that you will sit in one corner contemplating and suddenly you will be illumined. It requires an inclination and I repeat EFFORT. Here is a simple way to help one in the spiritual path. Haven’t  you learned A…B…C…D.. in school? Similarly there is an ABCD in  spirituality too

A: A stands for association. Haven’t you heard a man is known by the company he keeps and that the Birds of the same feather flock together. Similarly it is essential that you associate yourself with people of similar taste. Staying with such a group helps you in being steadfast and march towards your goal.

B:B is for Books. yes, we have all been encouraged to read books. Reading is good to increase knowledge and vocabulary. Here Books means scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvada Gita, Bhagvatham. The books which will satisfy your spiritual quest and aid you in your spiritual path.

C: C is for chanting. Every Yuga has a definite Yuga Dharma. For Sat yuga it was meditating. Life span of a human used to be around 1000000 years and people could spend ample time in meditation. For Treta the Yuga Dharma was Yajna. A lot of sacrifices were made. The average life span was around 10000 years and so yajnas were performed for hundreds of years. In Dwapara life span reduced to only 1000 years and during this yuga the dharma was to build temples and maintain them. The daily routine of people revolved around temples. When it comes to Kali; the life span is only 100 years and so we have a short cut formula. Just chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

and make your life sublime hara or Hare means the divine energy, the pleasure potency of the Lord- Srimati Radharani Krishna is the Lord and the word means ‘all attractive’ Rama is another name of Lord and means reservoir of eternal pleasure So this maha mantra means

O all attractive, all pleasing Lord, o energy of Lord, please engage me in your loving devotional service.

So when we chant we beg for devotional service and connect in that way directly to the Lord.

D;D is for devotional service. It can be as simple as eating Krishna prasad or as dificult as composing beautiful prayers praising the Lord.  Navamedh Bhakti or the nine processes of bhakti outlines nine ways to approach the Lord. You can understand more about this in this story.

Let these ABCDs be the starting points of your spiritual journey. Hope you enjoyed this post.

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Pleasure and Pain

There was a happy hullabaloo going on around. It was my nephew’s birthday and some guests had been invited for dinner.

As they were leaving, one asked, ‘So you are not working’.

‘No’, I said, ‘ I want part-time options which I am not getting’.

There was silence for some time. I was waiting for the usual ‘but you are wasting your education’.

But she said, ‘Aren’t you bored sitting at home’.

I heaved a sigh. It is so easily assumed that women sitting at home have nothing to do. But then I enlightened her.

I told her how we do everything ourselves without relying on a maid. Cooking everything from snacks to powders to the routine meals is all done at home. And then I told her about the temple activities, the bhakti vrikshas, the weekly programs, the children classes etc.

My mother being my mother decided to pitch in. ‘Oh you should see her rolling chappathis. She is so fast. no doubt because of all that seva in the temple’.

“Then you must be very tired with all the physical work’, she said knowing my low stamina levels.

‘No, I said, ‘when we work for the Lord there is no tiredness. Like the people who walk all the 4000 steps to the Temple at Thirumala don’t feel any fatigue likewise anything for the Lord does not give any tiredness’.

Haridasa Thakur was beaten in 22 market places but there were no bruises on his body and neither any pain. For all the bruises were on Lord Chaitanya’s body.

Such is devotional service, the pain is all HIS we are left with only pleasure

 

 

 

 

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