Six principles favorable to Devotional Service
  • May 2004
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    All Glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga!
    by Sankarshan Das Adhikari


    ______
    Would you like to cross over the ocean of all miseries? If
    you achieve spiritual perfection you will become completely
    transcendental to all the sufferings of this material
    existence. That perfectional stage of consciousness is
    known as "Krishna consciousness." This is stage in which
    you are 100% absorbed in loving and serving God with every
    thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and
    circumstances.



    There are six principles favorable to successfully
    mastering the system of Krishna consciousness. They are
    stated as follows in the Nectar of Instruction, Text 3:

    utsahan niscayad dhairyat
    tat-tat-karma-pravartanat
    sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh
    sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati


    __
    (1) Being enthusiastic.

    (2) Endeavoring with confidence.

    (3) Being patient.

    (4) Acting according to regulative principles [such as
    sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam - hearing about, chanting
    about and remembering Lord Krishna],

    (5) Abandoning the association of non-devotees, and

    (6) Following in the footsteps of the previous acharyas.
    ___


    These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete
    success of pure devotional service.



    My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
    Swami Prabhupada, personally told me, "Continue
    enthusiastically as you are doing and surely Krishna will
    bless you." Because of this personal instruction the
    principle of enthusiasm has always been of primordial
    importance in my spiritual life. In the above list by Srila
    Rupa Goswami we see that it is the very first item on the
    list. Enthusiasm is essential for spiritual progress. We
    must always remain enthusiastic. If we are not enthusiastic
    for spiritual realization we will be enthusiastic for
    material sense gratification. Enthusiasm will be there, one
    way or the other. Therefore we must be enthusiastic for
    Krishna consciousness.

    The next principle is to always remain confident of our
    ultimate success. We should not doubt for a minute that
    through this process of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra we
    will attain the highest perfection of pure devotion to Lord
    Krishna. Through it we will completely transcend all the
    ignorance and misery of this temporary material existence.
    How can we be so confident? It is not difficult. Krishna
    consciousness is our original nature. It is only through
    contact with the material atmosphere that it has now become
    covered over with material consciousness. Through this
    simple process of purification the layers and layers of
    contamination will gradually be removed, and our original
    pure state will again be fully manifest.

    Patience is required. If we expect immediate results we
    are sure to be disappointed. How patient do we have to be
    to earn a university degree? It takes many years to
    accomplish this. Any good thing requires patience. Things
    that come cheaply and easily are generally not that
    worthwhile. When a woman gets married she cannot expect to
    have a baby immediately. She must first have sex with her
    husband and get pregnant. And then she will have to wait
    for nine months for the baby to come out of her womb.

    It is absolutely essential to act according to regulative
    principles. These are the practices that cleanse our
    consciousness. Especially we must hear and chant the Hare
    Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds daily on japa beads,
    remember Lord Krishna throughout the day, and give up
    sinful activities. The devotee relishes these regulative
    principles. He does not find them to a restriction on his
    freedom. Rather he experiences them as the very means of
    achieving unlimited freedom.

    As we advance more and more in Krishna consciousness we
    are naturally more and more inclined to associate with
    others on the path of Krishna consciousness, and we lose
    interest with associating with those who are not. Of
    course, for the purpose of spreading Krishna consciousness
    to those who are in illusion we are extremely eager to
    associate with everyone. However, when it comes to the
    point of whose association we want to take shelter of, that
    is only the devotees, not others. This is a good thing
    because our consciousness is developed according to our
    association. We become like that with which we associate.

    The final principle is to follow the pathway chalked out
    by the great saintly teachers since the days of antiquity.
    There is no need to re-invent the wheel. The self-
    realization process, Krishna consciousness, was perfectly
    explained thousands and thousands of years ago by Lord
    Krishna Himself. His exact words are accurately recorded in
    the Bhagavad-gita. Through the ages great saintly teachers
    have fully surrendered themselves unto those teachings.
    These teachers have also left behind great transcendental
    literatures to help us understand in the deepest and most
    thorough manner the science of surrender
    to God. By Krishna's grace there are living spiritual
    masters on this planet right now who are coming in that
    unbroken lineage of devotion to Lord Krishna. If we can
    seek out such a living master and fully take shelter of him
    our spiritual perfection will quickly become manifest.
    ______



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