4th April, 2014, Gurgaon.
I got up a little late today and for some strange reason instead of chanting I first reread the below lecture by HH Bhakti Charu Maharaj which came few days back.
In this lecture Guru Maharaj explained, among many other things, why we have not developed any attraction for the Holy name ( durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ Śikṣāṣṭakam second verse). Guru Maharaj then added that the next verse shows us the qualification of chanting the Holy Name
trinad api sunichena taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [Śikṣāṣṭaka 3].
One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
I could never connect these verses like this. Guru Maharaj says further `We have not been able to become tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā amāninā mānadena. That’s why we are not able to kīrtanya sadā hariḥ.’
After reading the complete lecture I started my chanting but these lines remained somewhat in my mind.
Later, while taking a shower and listening to another lecture, I suddenly connected what HG Shyam Sundar Prabhu ji wrote the other day on service in the right mood (http://www.forthepleasureoflordkrishna.com/?p=992) and what Guru Maharaj spoke in the lecture. I realised that while appreciating the content of the mail HG Shayam Sundar Prabhuji wrote me and listening to so many lectures in the past about humility and serving attitude I never implemented them in practice. It is like I know that I am a soul not a body but still spend all my day in the bodily consciousness.
I rewind my last 3-4 discussions with devotees in last few days and immediately remembered my conversations with Vishal Kapil Prabhu, with Shyam Bihari prabhuji and with Shyam Sundar Prabhuji. I realised that in none of these conversations I had the attitude of serving them as their servant. I spoke politely but I had no attitude that a devotee has called me and I have to think myself as his servant and then do my best to serve him. Rather my fickle mind and poor intelligence was ever ready to give unwanted advice or add my own comments. I never once thought that I have to serve them. When I rewind further back, to my horror, I also realised that in many of my conversations with devotees I have already `judged’ them based on my narrow perception or what I have heard about them. So, not unlike a materialist, I talk to them accordingly and barring a few devotees there is neither love nor a sincere serving attitude in my conversations. Only a paper-thin external humility.
I felt so guilty that I immediately wrote a sms to Shyam Sundar Prabhuji, sharing my realisation and seeking a sincere apology from him. I then thought of calling other devotees as well and seek apology. Better sense prevailed on me, I thought rather than saying sorry to devotees and explaining to each of them over phone on what I realised, it will be better to put `serving as a servant attitude’ in practice first and ask for forgiveness when I meet them in person.
I know it will be a herculean task for me to remember being a servant in every single conversation with each devotee but at least I will be conscious in few conversations where I can remember this realisation from now onwards. I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada to kindly give me memory and intelligence to remember it forever.
All glories to Shyam Sundar Prabhuji.
All glories to Guru Maharaj.
All glories to Srila Prabhuapada.