Wednesday, 22 May 2013

How to discharge Devotional Service-NOD

Hare Krsna to all
All glories to Srila  Prabhupada
Today while I was digging in my gardens,and pulling out the seemingly unlimited amount of weeds, I was thinking about this subject-
It states in the Caitanya Caritamrta that after chanting the Lords holy names, the reactional signs of
tears in the eyes and hairs standing on end should become evident.
So I asked my self-
self--why isn't this happening? What immediately came to mind was the below purport in the
Nectar of Devotion book.
NoD 6             How to Discharge Devotional Service   

   Srila Rupa Gosvami states that his elder brother (Sanatana Gosvami)
has compiled Hari-bhakti-vilasa for the guidance of the Vaisnavas and
therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the
Vaisnavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and Srila
Rupa Gosvami will now mention these very important items for our
benefit. The purport of this statement is that Srila Rupa Gosvami
proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a
basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly
how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered
a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his
spiritual master and that instruction is different from the
instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed
information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual
master is good everywhere, although the details may be different.
Srila Rupa Gosvami does not wish to enter into details here, but wants
to place before us only the principles.
   He mentions the basic principles as follows: (1) accepting the
shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, (2)
becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to
discharge devotional service from him, (3) obeying the orders of the
spiritual master with faith and devotion, (4) following in the
footsteps of great acaryas (teachers) under the direction of the
spiritual master, (5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to
advance in Krsna consciousness, (6) being prepared to give up anything
material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Sri Krsna (this means that when we are engaged in the devotional
service of Krsna, we must be prepared to give up something which we
may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we
may not like to accept), (7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage
like Dvaraka or Vrndavana, (8) accepting only what is necessary, or
dealing with the material world only as far as necessary, (9)
observing the fasting day on Ekadasi and (10) worshiping sacred trees
like the banyan tree.
   These ten items are preliminary necessities for beginning the
discharge of devotional service in regulative principles. In the
beginning, if a neophyte devotee observes the above-mentioned ten
principles, surely he will quickly make good advancement in Krsna
consciousness.   The next set of instructions is listed as follows: (1) One should
rigidly give up the company of nondevotees. (2) One should not
instruct a person who is not desirous of accepting devotional service.
(3) One should not be very enthusiastic about constructing costly
temples or monasteries. (4) One should not try to read too many books,
nor should one develop the idea of earning his livelihood by lecturing
on or professionally reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita. (5)
One should not be neglectful in ordinary dealings. (6) One should not
be under the spell of lamentation in loss or jubilation in gain. (7)
One should not disrespect the demigods. (8) One should not give
unnecessary trouble to any living entity. (9) One should carefully
avoid the various offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord or in
worshiping the Deity in the temple
. (10) One should be very intolerant
toward the blasphemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, or
His devotees.
   Without following the above-mentioned ten principles, one cannot
properly elevate himself to the platform of sadhana-bhakti, or
devotional service in practice.
Altogether, Srila Rupa Gosvami
mentions twenty items, and all of them are very important. Out of the
twenty, the first three--namely accepting the shelter of a bona fide
spiritual master, taking initiation from him and serving him with
respect and reverence--are the most important.
So after reading the above, my limited brain substance allowed me to ask this question:
If I am not avoiding ALL 10 of the offenses to chanting the Holy Name, then I am not
really even at the platform of sadhana bhakti-devotional service in practice.
I may say I am avoiding all 10 of the nama aparadhas, but what is the actual proof that
I am?
Here is what Srila Prabhupada writes:
 SB 2.3.24 P   . If there is no such change, the heart must be
considered steel-framed, for it is not melted even when there is
chanting of the holy name of the Lord. We must always remember that
hearing and chanting are the basic principles of discharging
devotional duties, and if they are properly performed there will
follow the reactional ecstasy with signs of tears in the eyes and
standing of the hairs on the body. These are natural consequences and
are the preliminary symptoms of the bhava stage, which occurs before
one reaches the perfectional stage of prema, love of Godhead.
   If the reaction does not take place, even after continuous hearing
and chanting of the holy name of the Lord, it may be considered to be
due to offenses only. That is the opinion of the Sandarbha. In the
beginning of chanting of the holy name of the Lord, if the devotee has
not been very careful about evading the ten kinds of offenses at the
feet of the holy name, certainly the reaction of feelings of
separation will not be visible by tears in the eyes and standing of
the hair on end.
One Conclusion:
Back to the basics of having the mentality of a beginning bhakta who just moves into the temple, is
always a good place to begin  and continue bhakti yoga.
Hare Krsna
Damaghosa das

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