Learning how to become a devotee of the Lord

July 27, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Here is the  philosophy of how to treat and deal with others-especially Vaisnavas. If we do the following we will be developing  actual and real spiritual consciousness which takes us out of the third class  materialistic devotees mentality and category.
 
Dec 14 1972 letter Tusta krsna
We advise everyone to address one another as Prabhu. Prabhu means master, so how the master should be disobeyed? Others, they are also pure devotees. All of my disciples are pure devotees. Anyone sincerely serving the spiritual master is a pure devotee, it may be Siddhasvarupa or others, a-Siddhasvarupa. This must be very clearly stated. It is not only that your Siddhasvarupa is a pure devotee and not others. Do not try to make a faction. Siddhasvarupa is a good soul. But others should not be misled. Anyone who is surrendered to the spiritual master is a pure devotee, it doesn’t matter if Siddhasvarupa or non-Siddhasvarupa. Amongst ourselves one should respect others as Prabhu, master, one another. As soon as we distinguish here is a pure devotee, here is a non-pure devotee, that means I am a nonsense. Why you only want to be in the spiritual sky with Siddhasvarupa? Why not all? If Siddhasvarupa can go, why not everyone? Siddhasvarupa will go, you will go, Syamasundara will go, all others will go. We will have another ISKCON there. Of course, Mr. Nair must stay.
 
SB 3.29.16-The devotee should regularly see My statues in the temple, touch My lotus feet and offer worshipable paraphernalia and prayer. He should see in the spirit of renunciation, from the mode of goodness, and see every living entity as spiritual.
SB 3.29.22-One who worships the Deity of Godhead in the temples but does not know that the Supreme Lord, as Paramātmā, is situated in every living entity’s heart, must be in ignorance and is compared to one who offers oblations into ashes.
SB3.29.23-One who offers Me respect but is envious of the bodies of others and is therefore a separatist never attains peace of mind, because of his inimical behavior towards other living entities.
SB3.29.24-My dear Mother, even if he worships with proper rituals and paraphernalia, a person who is ignorant of My presence in all living entities never pleases Me by the worship of My Deities in the temple.
SB3.29.25-Performing his prescribed duties, one should worship the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead until one realizes My presence in his own heart and in the hearts of other living entities as well.
SB 3.29.26-As the blazing fire of death, I cause great fear to whoever makes the least discrimination between himself and other living entities because of a differential outlook.
PURPORT-There are bodily differentiations among all varieties of living entities, but a devotee should not distinguish between one living entity and another on such a basis; a devotee’s outlook should be that both the soul and Supersoul are equally present in all varieties of living entities.
 
So these few verses and purports above by Srila Prabhupada should  be teaching us  how to deal with one another and I am talking  devotees here, not the karmis.

 
July 31 1969 letter Hayagriva …
From that book it appears that Lord Jesus Christ lived in intimate relations with the priest order. So as far as possible, you should prepare yourself for future writings that our movement is not against the philosophy of Jesus Christ, but it is in complete collaboration with his line of religiosity. Actuallywe don’t decry any religious way of the world, but we are simply advocating that people should learn to love God by following their religious principles. If one is not fortunate to be learning how to love God, then his religious principles are simply fanaticism, without any value. We are presenting the same thing practically by which one can learn very quickly how to love God, and then his life becomes sublime. So our process is a system, following which any man from any religious sect may come and join and learn how to love God. 
 
In the above letter Srila Prabhupada explains that if one in any religion is not developing love for God, his energy expended is “without any value” and therefore “fanaticism”
 
Dec 8 1969 letter Sucandra
You have already mentioned the exemplary character of Lord Jesus Christ that he sacrificed everything for God. This example should be taken.  The process should be to follow the example, not to imitate the exact activities. … At the present moment we have to preach in an enlightened society. So Krishna Consciousness has got inexhaustible treasure house of philosophy, logic and science to convince people about God-consciousness. So if you are actually serious about following the footsteps of Lord Jesus Christ, you should take advantage of the great philosophical background of this Krishna Consciousness Movement and make people God-conscious, dedicating your life. One should try to make progress. One should not try to remain satisfied at a point which awaits
further advancement.
 
Furthermore, the above and below quotes are very important for devotees to actually practice because knowledge without practical action is pretty much only theoretical
 
1) He should see in the spirit of renunciation, from the mode of goodness,and see every living entity as spiritual.
 
2) One who worships the Deity of Godhead in the temples but does not know that the Supreme Lord, as Paramātmā, is situated in every living entity’s heart, must be in ignorance and is compared to one who offers oblations into ashes.
 
3) One who offers Me respect but is envious of the bodies of others and is therefore a separatist never attains peace of mind, because of his inimical behavior towards other living entities.
 
4) My dear Mother, even if he worships with proper rituals and paraphernalia, a person who is ignorant of My presence in all living entities never pleases Me by the worship of My Deities in the temple.
 
5) Performing his prescribed duties, one should worship the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead until one realizes My presence in his own heartand in the hearts of other living entities as well.
 
6) -As the blazing fire of death, I cause great fear to whoever makes the least discrimination between himself and other living entities because of a differential outlook
 
7) purport to above verse…. but a devotee should not distinguish between one living entity and another on such a basis; a devotee’s outlook should be that both the soul and Supersoul are equally present in all varieties of living entities.
 
Prabhupada says above….”All of my disciples are pure devotees. Anyone sincerely serving the spiritual master is a pure devotee,”. 
And what is the first offense to chanting Hare Krsna mantra?
” To blaspheme or unnecessarily criticize the devotees of the Lord who have dedicated their lives to Krsna.”.  So right off the bat, in our daily lives , without the proper understanding  of all living entities in relations to God-Krsna, due to envy, if we make physical or mental discriminations , this is going against what the Lord Himself  is telling us. 
Prabhupada calls these differences as a “differential outlook”. Prabhupadas says if we say this is a pure devotee and that other one is not a pure devotee , then we are a “nonsense”.
So these things have to be learned otherwise we remain on the materialistic platform by making materialistic distinctions which the Lord Himself does not do. It remains ritualistic materialistic religion.
This is the beginning way of learning how to develop love for God-Krsna. How is this? By understanding what is what and distinguishing maya from Krsna seva. And if we do not develop this love for Krsna then we are just wasting our time.
Here is another good one above...”One should try to make progress. One should not try to remain satisfied at a point which awaits
further advancement.
So if some devotee is experiencing feelings of love for Srila Prabhupada that we do not feel ourselves, why be antagonistic to him? If he is taking a slightly different path to do this, is this not the goal-to learn how to love the spiritual master which develops later into love for Krsna? If this devotee is practicing Krsna Consciousness the way Prabhupada tells us by getting up early in the morning, chanting  all 16 or more rounds, following all 4 regulative principles, worshiping his deity and reading the books and avoiding all bad association, then what is to be faulted here??? Isnt this what Prabhupada and the SB warns us—- not do do?
 
I feel one of the problems here is that people are basically envious of  others and when we see someone developing something we are not getting ourselves, (a taste for chanting) we become a little bit envious of that devotee.
As far as I am concerned, I want that type of devotees association rather than the hundreds and thousands of others who are just so-so devotees, who really dont care about much other than their daily sense gratification and yet still worship their Krsna.
 
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das