Srila Bhaktivinoda recommends that we move like a person climbing a ladder

Srila Bhaktivinoda recommends that we move like a person climbing a ladder
By Vaisesika Das 

Question: What if I can only chant Hare Krsna right now, but I can’t do much service? Answer: Chanting Hare Krsna is service.

However, when you are chanting “Hare Krsna,” you are also requesting service. After chanting, don’t be surprised when you are awarded more service. And then when Krsna gives you service, there may be a question about how much service you should take. On the one hand, Krsna advises in the Gita (18.66) that we simply surrender to Him. And this is actually the main business of a devotee. On the other hand, Krsna tells Uddhava in the Srimad-bhagavatam, sve sve adhikari ya nistah … “It is a good quality to take service according to one’s Adhikari, or current capacity.” (SB 11.21.2)

Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Sri Caitanya Siksamrita, explains how to reconcile these two sides through vigilant introspection.

He says, If we are ready for more service, but hesitate to take it, our devotional service will slacken. Or, if we aren’t fixed in the service we have now, and we hastily take more than we are qualified for, we may fall down.

To advance, therefore, Srila Bhaktivinoda recommends that we move like a person climbing a ladder, who moves from a lower rung to a higher one only after finding a secure footing. In our devotional service, we should similarly gain a solid footing in whatever service we have now and then grasp for the next highest level of service when we can actually reach it. Our gaining solid footing and our looking for the next higher rung should go on simultaneously, he says.

“If we are in too much in a hurry to climb to a higher step, we may slip and be forced to step down. Or, if we don’t try to take the higher step when we are actually ready, our progress will stop. Therefore, considering both haste and hesitancy as obstacles, we should rise up by becoming fixed on the rung of advancement we have achieved and then reach for the next higher step. Many express sorrow about not getting devotion to Krishna; but the fact is that they do not try their best to rise up to the steps leading to advanced devotion to Krishna.” (Adapted from Caitanya Siksamrta; p 112. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

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Arjuna and Karna in the Battle of Kurukshetra

Arjuna and Karna in the Battle of Kurukshetra

While the Battle of Kurukshetra was at its peak, Arjuna and Karna were fighting each other. It was a battle to witness, a flurry of arrows was being exchanged, and even Gods were witnessing this epic battle between the 2 warriors. 

Arjuna would shoot his arrows and the impact of these arrows would be so much that Karna’s chariot would go back by 25-30 feet. People who witnessed this were amazed by the skills of Arjuna.

Karna was no less. When he shot arrows, Arjuna’s chariot would also shake and go back by 3-4 feet. More than everyone, Krishna would applaud Karna every time his arrow hit Arjuna’s chariot. But not once did He applaud Arjuna’s skills!

At the end of the day, Arjuna asked Krishna: “Oh Lord, I have shot so many arrows at Karna’s chariot, it was being displaced like a feather in wind, but not once did you appreciate me. Rather, you would appreciate his skill despite his arrows just displacing my chariot a little”.

Krishna smiled and replied, “Oh, Arjuna, remember, your chariot is protected by Hanuman at the top on your flag, Me as your charioteer in the front and by Sheshnag at its wheels, yet the whole chariot would still sway and displace whenever the valiant Karna hit us with his arrows”.

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Srimati Radharani- The Origin of the Sankirtan Movement

By Samapriya dasi

How can one understand the esoteric personality of Srimati Radharani? She is the principal inspiration for the Lord, and only confidentially revealed in the Vedic scriptures.

Yet, She takes shelter within the deepest realizations of pure hearted bhakti yogis. Lord Sri Krsna is bewildered by the profound brilliance of Her transcendental qualities and thus awakens a yearning within Himself to exhibit, absorb and experience Her divine nature. The influence and presence of Srimati Radharani, the embodiment of the Lord’s hladini shakti, is expanded in the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. For the benefit of all living beings Lord Caitanya expresses the mood of Srimati Radharani in His SriSiksastika.

SiksastikaI

“Because Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is very difficult to approach Him. But the devotees, taking advantage of His compassionate nature, which is represented by Radharani, always pray to Radharani for Krsna’s compassion.” (Nectar of Devotion).

“Srimati Radharani takes Her first bath in the shower of the nectar of compassion and She takes Her second bath in the nectar of youth.” (CC Madhya 8.167) In the purport Srila Prabhupada writes, “She takes Her bath in the water of mercy.”

When the Lord desires to realize the devotional service of Srimati Radharani by assuming Her compassionate nature, the prime benediction for humanity at large comes into existence. Therefore Srimati Radharani is the origin of the Sankitan Movement, for it is an exhibition of Her supreme compassionate, and merciful nature. The essence of the Sankirtan Movement is to glorify Krsna and give love of God to the conditioned souls. It is for all living entities and no one is barred. Within its center is the precious seed of the Holy Name. When this seed sprouts in the heart, love of God begins to grow.

“The result of chanting is that one awakens his love for Krsna and tastes transcendental bliss. Ultimately, one attains the association of Krsna and engages in His devotional service, as if immersing himself in a great ocean of love.” (CC Antya 20.14) This is the mercy of Srimati Radharani.

Siksastika II

The Lord has invested all His transcendental potencies in His Holy Names. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names and He has made them easily available. He has millions of names to facilitate the desires of all living entities.

“Srimati Radharani’s earrings are the name, fame and qualities of Lord Krsna.” (CC Madhya 8.179)

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