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Devotional Service and Worship of Kṛṣṇa

Posted: 12 Jul 2012 11:28 AM PDT

…Pure devotees concentrate their minds in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in full devotional service; therefore they are always situated in the transcendental position. Devotional service and worship of Kṛṣṇa are very clearly indicated in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad-gita verses eight to eleven. That is the way of pure devotional service.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 10, Text 8-11

The Opulence of the Absolute

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

For full text and purports

Text 8
ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

aham—I; sarvasya—of all; prabhavaḥ—source of generation; mattaḥ—from Me; sarvam—everything; pravartate—emanates; iti—thus; matvā—knowing; bhajante—becomes devoted; mām—unto Me; budhāḥ—learned; bhāva-samanvitāḥ—with great attention.

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

Purport
A learned scholar who has studied the Vedas perfectly and has information from authorities like Lord Caitanya and who knows how to apply these teachings can understand that Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything in both the material and spiritual worlds, and because he knows this perfectly he becomes firmly fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord. He can never be deviated by any amount of nonsensical commentaries or by fools. All Vedic literature agrees that Kṛṣṇa is the source of Brahmā, Śiva and all other demigods. In the Atharva-veda it is said, "yo brahmāṇaṁ vidadhāti: pūrvaṁ yo vai vedāṁś ca gāpayati sma kṛṣṇaḥ." "It was Kṛṣṇa who in the beginning instructed Brahmā in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past." Then again it is said, "atha puruṣo ha vai nārāyaṇo 'kāmayata prajāḥ sṛjeya ity upakramya." "Then the Supreme Personality Nārāyaṇa desired to create living entities." Again it is said:

nārāyaṇād brahmā jāyate, nārāyaṇād prajāpatiḥ prajāyate, nārāyaṇād indro jāyate, nārāyaṇād aṣṭau vasavo jāyante, nārāyaṇād ekādaśa rudrā jāyante, nārāyaṇād dvādaśādityāḥ.

"From Nārāyaṇa, Brahmā is born, and from Nārāyaṇa, the patriarchs are also born. From Nārāyaṇa, Indra is born, from Nārāyaṇa the eight Vasus are born, from Nārāyaṇa the eleven Rudras are born, from Nārāyaṇa the twelve Ādityas are born."

It is said in the same Vedas: brahmaṇyo devakī-putraḥ: "The son of Devakī, Kṛṣṇa, is the Supreme Personality." Then it is said:

eko vai nārāyaṇa āsīn na brahmā na īśāno nāpo nāgni samau neme
dyāv-āpṛthivī na nakṣatrāṇi na sūryaḥ sa ekākī na ramate tasya
dhyānāntaḥ sthasya yatra chāndogaiḥ kriyamāṇāṣṭakādi-saṁjñakā
stuti-stomaḥ stomam ucyate.

"In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Nārāyaṇa. There was no Brahmā, no Śiva, no fire, no moon, no stars in the sky, no sun. There was only Kṛṣṇa, who creates all and enjoys all."

In the many Purāṇas it is said that Lord Śiva was born from the highest, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, and the Vedas say that it is the Supreme Lord, the creator of Brahmā and Śiva, who is to be worshiped. In the Mokṣa-dharma Kṛṣṇa also says, prajāpatiṁ ca rudraṁ cāpy aham eva sṛjāmi vai tau hi māṁ na vijānīto mama māyā-vimohitau. "The patriarchs, Śiva and others are created by Me, though they do not know that they are created by Me because they are deluded by My illusory energy." In Varāha Purāṇa it is also said, nārāyaṇaḥ paro devas tasmāj jātaś caturmukhaḥ tasmād rudro 'bhavad devaḥ sa ca sarvajñatāṁ gataḥ. "Nārāyaṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and from Him Brahmā was born, from whom Śiva was born."

Lord Kṛṣṇa is the source of all generations, and He is called the most efficient cause of everything. He says that because "everything is born of Me, I am the original source of all. Everything is under Me; no one is above Me." There is no supreme controller other than Kṛṣṇa. One who understands Kṛṣṇa in such a way from a bona fide spiritual master and from Vedic literature, who engages all his energy in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becomes a truly learned man. In comparison to him, all others, who do not know Kṛṣṇa properly, are but fools. Only a fool would consider Kṛṣṇa to be an ordinary man. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person should not be bewildered by fools; he should avoid all unauthorized commentaries and interpretations on Bhagavad-gītā and proceed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness with determination and firmness.

Text 9
mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā
bodhayantaḥ parasparam
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

mat-cittāḥ—minds fully engaged in Me; mat-gata-prāṇāḥ—lives devoted to the service of Kṛṣṇa; bodhayantaḥ—preaching; parasparam—among themselves; kathayantaḥ ca—talking also; mām—about Me; nityam—perpetually; tuṣyanti—are pleased; ca—also; ramanti—enjoy transcendental bliss; ca—also.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

Purport
Pure devotees, whose characteristics are mentioned here, engage themselves fully in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Their minds cannot be diverted from the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Their talks are solely on the transcendental subjects. The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Their hearts and souls are constantly submerged in Kṛṣṇa, and they take pleasure in discussing Him with other devotees.

In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode. Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana, the supreme planet of Kṛṣṇa. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord.

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also full of such narration about the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His devotees; therefore the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is very dear to the devotees. In this narration there is nothing about material activities, sense gratification or liberation. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the only narration in which the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and His devotees is fully described. Thus the realized souls in Kṛṣṇa consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcendental literatures, just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association.

Text 10
teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

teṣām—unto them; satata-yuktānām—always engaged; bhajatām—in devotional service; prīti-pūrvakam—in loving ecstasy; dadāmi—I give; buddhi-yogam—real intelligence; tam—that; yena—by which; mām—unto Me; upayānti—come; te—they.

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Purport
In this verse the word buddhi-yogam is very significant. We may remember that in the Second Chapter the Lord, instructing Arjuna, said that He had spoken to him of many things and that He would instruct him in the way of buddhi-yoga. Now buddhi-yoga is explained. Buddhi-yogam itself is action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; that is the highest intelligence. Buddhi means intelligence, and yogam means mystic activities or mystic elevation. When one tries to go back home, back to Godhead, and takes fully to Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service, his action is called buddhi-yogam. In other words, buddhi-yogam is the process by which one gets out of the entanglement of this material world. The ultimate goal of progress is Kṛṣṇa. People do not know this; therefore the association of devotees and a bona fide spiritual master are important. One should know that the goal is Kṛṣṇa, and when the goal is assigned, then the path is slowly but progressively traversed, and the ultimate goal is achieved.

When a person knows the goal of life but is addicted to the fruits of activities, he is acting in karma-yoga. When he knows that the goal is Kṛṣṇa, but he takes pleasure in mental speculations to understand Kṛṣṇa, he is acting in jñāna-yoga. And when he knows the goal and seeks Kṛṣṇa completely in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service, he is acting in bhakti-yoga, or buddhi-yoga, which is the complete yoga. This complete yoga is the highest perfectional stage of life.

A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Kṛṣṇa from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Kṛṣṇa, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is intelligent enough, he will make progress on the path of self-realization. If one is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.

Text 11
teṣām evānukampārtham
aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho
jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā

teṣām—for them; eva—certainly; anukampā-artham—to show special mercy; aham—I; ajñāna-jam—due to ignorance; tamaḥ—darkness; nāśayāmi—dispel; ātma—within; bhāvasthaḥ—themselves; jñāna—of knowledge; dīpena—with the lamp; bhāsvatā—glowing.

Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

Purport
When Lord Caitanya was in Benares promulgating the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, thousands of people were following Him. Prakāśānanda, a very influential and learned scholar in Benares at that time, derided Lord Caitanya for being a sentimentalist. Sometimes philosophers criticize the devotees because they think that most of the devotees are in the darkness of ignorance and are philosophically naive sentimentalists. Actually that is not the fact. There are very, very learned scholars who have put forward the philosophy of devotion, but even if a devotee does not take advantage of their literatures or of his spiritual master, if he is sincere in his devotional service he is helped by Kṛṣṇa Himself within his heart. So the sincere devotee engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be without knowledge. The only qualification is that one carry out devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

The modern philosophers think that without discriminating one cannot have pure knowledge. For them this answer is given by the Supreme Lord: those who are engaged in pure devotional service, even though they be without sufficient education and even without sufficient knowledge of the Vedic principles, are still helped by the Supreme God, as stated in this verse.

The Lord tells Arjuna that basically there is no possibility of understanding the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, simply by speculating, for the Supreme Truth is so great that it is not possible to understand Him or to achieve Him simply by making a mental effort. Man can go on speculating for several millions of years, and if he is not devoted, if he is not a lover of the Supreme Truth, he will never understand Kṛṣṇa or the Supreme Truth. Only by devotional service is the Supreme Truth, Kṛṣṇa, pleased, and by His inconceivable energy He can reveal Himself to the heart of the pure devotee. The pure devotee always has Kṛṣṇa within his heart; therefore he is just like the sun that dissipates the darkness of ignorance. This is the special mercy rendered to the pure devotee by Kṛṣṇa.

Due to the contamination of material association, through many, many millions of births, one's heart is always covered with the dust of materialism, but when one engages in devotional service and constantly chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, the dust quickly clears, and one is elevated to the platform of pure knowledge. The ultimate goal of Viṣṇu can be attained only by this chant and by devotional service, and not by mental speculation or argument. The pure devotee does not have to worry about the necessities of life; he need not be anxious because when he removes the darkness from his heart, everything is provided automatically by the Supreme Lord, for He is pleased by the loving devotional service of the devotee. This is the essence of the Gītā's teachings. By studying Bhagavad-gītā, one can become a completely surrendered soul to the Supreme Lord and engage himself in pure devotional service. As the Lord takes charge, one becomes completely free from all kinds of materialistic endeavors.


Amit Teli

Amit Teli is the man behind the Chant Hare Krishna Blog.

He likes ISKCON, Pure Vegan Food and Devotes to Almighty Lord Sri Krishna who is his spiritual Master.

In his free time he mostly blogs, prays to the lord and sleeps.

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