May 212018

In a talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.13, on May 30, 1972, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada spoke about the qualities of a devotee, and I was struck by the following:

A devotee is sympathetic—and friendly. “Sympathetic. We should be very much sympathetic. If some of our fellow men fall sick, we must take care of them, give help to them. Because after all, we have got this body; sometimes we may fall sick. So, we should be sympathetic. And friendly. Everyone’s friend. As Krishna is friend of everyone, suhrdam sarva-bhutanam [Gita 5.29], so if we are Krishna’s representative: ‘How can I be enemy of anyone? I must be friendly.’ ”

A devotee is grave. “ ‘Grave’ means doesn’t talk nonsense. Don’t talk nonsense. Don’t waste time. If you have got time, chant Hare Krishna. But don’t talk nonsense. That is called gravity. Grave.”

A devotee is satisfied—and surrendered to Krishna. “Satisfied, in any condition. Not that ‘I must have all these things; then I’ll be satisfied. Otherwise, I’m going from the temple.’ No, this is not Vaishnava qualification. You must live with the devotees—even if you are not satisfied. In any condition, you should be satisfied. Because as soon as you leave the company, you become again rogues, again demons. At least you’ll be saved if you keep the company of the devotees. Satam prasangan mama virya-samvidah [SB 3.25.25]. If you give up their company, then you again become rogues and demons. Therefore you must be satisfied, in whatever condition. ‘Whatever Krishna has given, that’s all right.’ Satisfied.

“Surrendered to Krishna. That satisfaction can be achieved only when one is fully surrendered to Krishna. If I have surrendered to Krishna, Krishna has taken my charge. Krishna says, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami [Gita 18.66], then why shall I bother myself? If I am thinking, ‘I am suffering,’ it is also Krishna’s grace. We should take like that. Even if in my consideration I am in a position which is apparently suffering, we must accept it as Krishna’s grace: ‘All right, I have surrendered to Krishna. If Krishna is giving me suffering, that’s all right.’ That is surrender. ‘Oh, I have surrendered to Krishna, and now Krishna is giving me suffering? Oh, leave Krishna consciousness’—that is not surrender. Surrender means in any condition you’ll remain surrendered. That is surrender. Not that I put my own condition, and if you satisfy me, then I shall . . . That is business; that is not surrender. Surrender means in any condition, fully surrendered to Krishna.”

I pray to imbibe Srila Prabhupada instructions—and follow his example.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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