śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 3 & Year 16, Issue 13
Posted: 24 January, 2011 & 31 January 2024

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Taking Care of God

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

(Photograph of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda)

We have got some independence, but that independence should not be indulged in such a way as to restrict the Master. We are allowed some specific things for our purpose, whereas He has sway over all. Therefore, we must not think of Him as we do about His created beings. When the Absolute wants something, we are morally bound to offer our services to Him and to attend to His needs. If He thinks that He is the Husband, all should be His wives. The soul should attire her body according to the taste of her Husband; she should apparel herself in such a way as to please her Master.

We are not to think that Godhead should be a predominated agent to serve our purpose. We cannot lord it over Him. We are not allowed to do so. We are incapable of doing so. Being infinitesimally small, we have not the power to have Him as our dependent. We ought not to think that He should be our parent and serve us, as we find our worldly parents doing from the beginning of our lives. We should serve and worship Bala Kṛṣṇa, child Kṛṣṇa, as His parents:

“I need not go through the Vedas, I need not read the dharmaśāstra and Mahābhārata for the amelioration of my troubles. Let persons who are too much afraid of worldly troubles read the Vedas and so on. I am not at all afraid of such things. I do not think that the pessimistic trend of my mind should engage me in reading these books. These are lifeless transactions. I want a living thing. I see that Nanda, as father, has got the privilege of nurturing and fostering child Kṛṣṇa from the very beginning. So it is better for me that I should have Nanda as my preceptor instead of these śāstras.”*

* C.f. Padyāvalī (126) or Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 19.96) – “śrutim apare smṛtim itare

The child Kṛṣṇa is found to be crawling in the corridor of Nanda’s house. I am also going to worship Him as His parent servitor. Therefore, the parent servitor should be my preceptor.

I should not ask Him to be my friend, but instead, I should befriend Him. That is, I should render service to Him as a friend. I should also like to be known as His confidential friend, not a reverential friend. Flatterers are used to flattering their masters while posing themselves as friends. I should not be His flattering friend. I should like to be His confidential friend. I won’t hesitate to offer Him any food which I have tasted beforehand just to see whether it is relishable or not.

If I find the food to be nice, then only shall I place it before the Supreme Lord. Our reverential friend would not allow such conduct, which is quite contrary to the ideas of the reverential worshippers of the Lord. Even Śrī Rāmānujācārya followed the rules of reverential worship. But Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya has told us that we should be His confidential friends instead of posing as friends yet maintaining a reverential mood. The reverential mood puts a sort of screen before us.

Śānta-rati is the neutral mood. The Absolute has the right of receiving the different services rendered by His servitors. The Lord says, “I am ever ready to receive service from My servitors in whatever manner it is offered.”

* * *

Ordinary people do not understand what religion is. Most people, excepting the school of devotion, injure the cause of service. Jñānīs want to merge in the Personality of Godhead. Buddhists think that they can get rid of all miseries by annihilating themselves. Heno-theists think that they will, in the long run, reach a state where there is no manifestive or designative feature. Devotees call such people non-devotees, atheists, sceptics, and so on.

There are karmins (those engaged in fruitive acts) or karmavirs (heroic karmins) who are capable of doing many things. They declare that they have a definite object for which they work. Without such an objective they would be called frantic or mad people. They are all wage-earners or contractors, and they do their work in order to get something in return. Agnostics on the other hand do not trouble themselves with such things. They want to lose themselves; they want to commit suicide. These people are not devotees. The conception of a devotee is quite different from the ordinary conceptions of men in general. The devotional school is always looking after the interest of the Absolute. They do not class themselves as karma-kāṇḍīs or jñāna-kāṇḍīs; they do not join these two parties. They are quite different.

Adapted from The Gaudiya Volume 27, Number 5
by the Rays of The Harmonist team

Rays of The Harmonist On-line, Year 3 & Year 16, Issue 13 “Taking Care of God” by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available. You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.