25th December, 2015. Gurgaon
It is simply amazing what incredible result our simple prayers can produce. We need nothing but a sincere cry from our heart. Let me share a recent experience.
I was fortunate to get the association of a very senior devotee sometime back. After meeting this devotee a couple of times my heart longed to get some opportunity to serve this amazing devotee. There didn’t seem to be any chance for me as the needs of this particular devotee are very few and on top of that this devotee is being served very well by a set of senior devotees. Still, I would pray regularly for some chance of service.
Few days back, after some gap, I again got an opportunity to meet this devotee. Before leaving home I prayed with all my heart in front of my altar, begging Lord to grant me some opportunity to serve this amazing devotee. I have Jagannath and Gopal deities at home and I literally rubbed my nose on the ground praying to Them. The chances, as I mentioned, were bleak if not nil, still the desire in my heart to serve this devotee remained very strong, in fact it only grew stronger with the passage of time.
So I met this devotee and after our meeting was over, this devotee asked a senior devotee and myself to stay back for 5 minutes. As everyone left and the words came out of the mouth this devotee my jaw dropped! I was getting a service!! And that too a service which I could not even dream about! This devotee was observing my face and asked me why I suddenly have this strange look on my face. I shared how I have been praying to get some service and today I prayed with a little more heart and here I am receiving one! It was nothing short of a miracle for me. I was over the moon, I thought I had suddenly developed two wings!
The point I wish to emphasize here is that our prayers to Lord have huge potency. The power is not in us but it is in the prayer itself. So many times we hear devotees say ‘Prabhuji please pray for me’, the point is how much we are praying for our own self? We should not think that other devotee’s prayers have more power ( they have their own place) so let me request others where as Krishna will not hear my own prayers. This is not the case.
It doesn’t matter whether we are a neophyte or a senior devotee, initiated or not initiated, what matters is the sincerity of our prayer. Looking at my own self I would even dare add that even a contaminated heart is no disqualification, rather by the mercy of Gaura Nitai, this very disqualification has become our qualification to seek mercy from the Supreme Lord.
I will share another experience. During the recent Kartik, at one of the home programs I would stress the need to pray almost in every single class. Then after Kartik I requested all the devotees to share their experience of Kartik. One devotee, who attends all the classes diligently, shared how his chanting actually went down during this period, I was very surprised. Then I asked the Prabhuji did he pray before or even during the Kartik to help him chant better or help him overcome whatever challenge he was facing due to which he could not get time to chant, the reply … No.
This is our condition, rather this is my own condition, and not some just some ordinary condition but an unfortunate condition.
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragaha
Lord, and His devotees, have given us so many ways to approach and seek help yet I am so unfortunate that I do not have time to pray and seek their intervention. Actually my condition is very fortunate because having come into Krishna consciousness there are so many means and methods but I am myself making my condition unfortunate by ignoring most of them.
As I looked back I could suddenly see so many means by which Krishna, and His devotees, are willing to help me but I am so unfortunate that I am completely blind to them. In my case, many a times, I am even uttering these prayers or verses but with no understanding or heart in it, this is my ‘durdaivam’.
I am copying some examples, which come to my mind right now, and the benedictions associated with them in Q&A format, along with the reference, from which everyone take benefit.
1. Do I have a desire to attain eternal residence in Vrindavan?
Daily recite Sri Vrinda-devi Ashtakam to Tulasi Maharani
Whoever hears or recites these eight prayers in glorification of Sri Vrinda Devi, becoming just like a bumble bee that is always anxious to taste the sweet nectarine lotus feet of the Divine Couple (the Lords of Vrindavan) – such a person verily attains eternal residence in Vrindavan. Having finally achieved the supreme goal of life, one thus remains situated in the ecstatic loving service of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha- Madhava. — Vrindashtakam verse 9
2. Do I have a desire to realise what is Love of God?
Read chapter 23 of CC Madhya lila regularly.
Whoever hears these instructions given to Sanātana Gosvāmī by the Lord comes very soon to realize love of God, Kṛṣṇa. — verse 126 CC Madhya 23
3. Am I facing obstacles on the path of bhakti?
Take shelter of the six goswamis (and by sincerely reading Sri Shad Gosvamy Ashtaka daily).
ei chay gosai kori carana vandan
jaha hoite bighna-nas abhista-puran
(I offer my obeisances to the feet of these six Gosvamis. By offering them obeisances all obstacles to devotion are destroyed and spiritual desires are fulfilled)
4. Do I have a sincere desire to understand the confidential truth of Sri Caitnaya Mahaprabhu?
Read chapter 8 of CC madhya lila regularly.
The author requests every reader to hear these talks with faith and without argument. By studying them in this way, one will be able to understand the confidential truth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
— verse 308 CC Madhya lila chapter 8
5. Do I even have a remote desire to one day serve Sri Radha Krishna directly?
Here is one clue:
These eleven excellent instructions to the mind grant all spiritual benedictions. A person who stays with the devotees, follows Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and with a sweet voice loudly sings these eleven verses will attain the matchless jewel of direct service to Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in the forest of Gokula. — verse 12 Sri Manah Shiksha
I am sure that there are hundreds of others benedictions given by our acharayas which may be relevant to us at different stages of our spiritual journey. What is really needed for us is to sincerely seek them, understand their essence by carefully studying them (by always taking shelter of a senior devotee) and finally serve these prayers by reciting them sincerely from our heart.
As an aspiring devotee it will be very beneficial for us if we inculcate a prayerful mood. It will produce miraculous results.
I will grateful if devotees can share their own experience of results of their own prayers to Krishna or having taken shelter of a particular prayer. I will be very happy to share it on this blog or keep it private, whatever way you may desire. Please mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
All glories to Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.