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Bhakti Vriksha Program Notes

March 3, 2001

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Review of Bhakti Vriksha Program

March 3, 2001

On this evening we had the great fortune to have Chandrashakara Maharaj host our program. He spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam First Canto, chapter two, verses fifteen through nineteen. He based his talk on the questions composed by Narottama Prabhu. The discussion went as follows. 

Two of the nine processes of devotional service as outlined in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu are remembering and serving. Remembering Krishna and serving his lotus feet are two of the ways in which we can always keep ourselves engaged and to aid in cutting through the binding knots of karma. Hearing the message of Krishna, as in hearing the Bhagavatam, helps us to minimize some of our conditioning that has been accumulating millennium after millennium.

As devotees on the path of sadhana bhakti, we can serve Krishna by serving his devotees. Particularly by serving advanced devotees and surrounding ourselves with their association we can begin to please them, and in turn, to please Krishna. We can begin to analyze our spiritual lives by seeing how much we have the desire to hear about Krishna constantly. This is one test to evaluate the level of our advancement. Serving the devotees and desiring to hear about Krishna will come in succession. Our service creates and enforces our need to hear about Krishna. It is a cyclical process. Crossing over material desires also comes along with serving Krishna's devotees. Krishna sees our desire to serve and He helps to cleanse our hearts of material desires.

The very famous verse, (Bhag. 2.2.18) says that "By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all  that is troublesome to the heart is completely destroyed…

nasta-prayesv abhadresu/nityam bhagavata-sevaya/bhagavaty
uttama-sloke/bhaktir bhavati naisthiki

What is troublesome to the heart lies in material desires that create a mass of unnecessary anxieties and perplexities in our lives. Greed, anger, lust, lamentation, hankering, etc., these are all troublesome to the heart. Through the bhakti-yoga process, we have the topmost method by which to cross over some of these barriers to our true spiritual natures. The scripture Bhagavata assists us in realizing that there is a tradition and a system for devotional service. The devotee Bhagavata helps us to understand the scriptures and how to execute the instructions given therein. The devotional process consists of the following: to approach a bona fide spiritual master, to surrender to a spiritual master, to ask submissive questions of him and to render service unto him.

By engaging in the bhakti-yoga process, we can hopefully situate ourselves in the mode of goodness. In the mode of goodness one can become completely happy because there is less influence by the modes of passion and ignorance which push us into feeling greed, lust, anger, hankering, laziness, indifference and so many things that hinder our spiritual growth. The mode of goodness can abolish our anxieties and keep us peaceful in Krishna's service. By taking shelter of the Holy Name we can keep our consciousness in the mode of goodness. The mode of goodness is still a bit binding, because it is one of the modes of material nature, but of the three this is certainly the best. In the spiritual world, these modes do not even exist but here in this realm we must learn to transcend them.

Thank you for your attention to this report. Please excuse the delay, we have been slightly off schedule. We are now in the process of restructuring our group. There will be some changes in the near future. Hare Krishna.


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