Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I have the choice to either approach God with love or fear. Many mainstream religions promote this fear of God. Fear God so that you'll follow the rules and then achieve a paradise. Fear of God also comes in handy when people in power need to achieve a nefarious plan and of course, when people are afraid, they perform acts which otherwise they would not do.
I want love of God. But what is love of God? Today I read something that made me want to cry, but because my heart is made of stone, the tears did not come. In the Ramayan, the Lord descends as Lord Ramacandra. Lord Ram plays the part of a human. His father Dasarath longed for a successor in his kingdom, but was unable to produce a child. Finally, after performing a great sacrifice, he had four sons who are the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Ram was the eldest and most virtuous in every way. The Lord revealed Himself as the perfect human being.
The time came to make Ram Prince Regent. Due to the Demigods intervention and Kaikeyi"s (one of the queens of Dasarath) polluted desire, Ram was to be sent to the forest for fourteen years. He would wear bark from trees, eat roots and fruits and turn His beautiful hair into dreadlocks. Ram, being the perfect son, graciously left so that his father would not have to fight Kaikeyi and perhaps lose his reputation.
Before leaving, Ram went to His mother and received permission to leave. He next went to His wife named Sita. He told her that He was being banished to the forest. She should stay at the palace and serve Ram's parents.
After hearing from her husband, Sita spoke: "I am enjoined by ancient religious codes to enter the forest along with You, dearest Ram. I cannot possibly remain in Ayodhya. If You leave today for the forest, I shall walk before You, clearing away the sharp grasses and thorns on the path."
Lord Ram told Sita of the dangers of going to live in the forest. Snakes, tigers, scarce food, hard living, etc. He wanted her to be happy at the palace. She could only think of serving Ram and nothing else. No matter the conditions.
This is real love of God. Love is UNCONDITIONAL! In this material world, love is conditional, which makes it lust rather than love. Lust is about you giving me pleasure, i give you pleasure and when something gets in the way of our pleasure we end our deal and move on. Love of God is so elevated that the servant of God does not think about the conditions. That devotee loves God and serves God no matter what's happening. Sita could have stayed in the palace waiting for Ram to return and then served Him at the palace, but she wanted to be with Ram and serve Him even if it meant suffering in the forest with nothing!
The gopis also display this same unconditional love. When Krishna had a fever, Narada Muni traveled around the universe searching for a devotee who give their foot dust to cure Krishna. Krishna told Narada that that was the only remedy. He went everywhere and couldn't find one devotee who would put their dust on Krishna's head. You see this is a great offense, we want to have the dust of Krishna, but to put our dust on His head would be sinful. Narada approached the gopis. Immediately they started scraping their feet to get the dust. Narada asked, "Aren't you afraid you'll have to suffer in hell?"
They replied,"Then let us suffer. We only want Krishna to be better so if we have to suffer then let us suffer. We only want Krishna to be happy."
I look at my comfortable life and realize that I have yet to achieve any love for God. I want to serve but if the conditions aren't right then I shrink back into the palace waiting so I have the chance to serve God without compromising my sense gratification. I pray for the mercy of my Guru and the devotees so that I may one day become unconditional..............

1 comment:

Bhakta Dave said...

I just listened to a class by His Holiness Candramauli Swami in which he described the four motivations for service. (I believe Bhaktivinoda Thakura originally described these motivations). They are: (1) service out of fear, (2) service out of a desire for happiness, (3) service out of duty, and (4) service out of love. Service out of fear is the lowest type of service, and (as you described), is used by mainstream religions to promote service to God. The type of service you are describing is the highest, to serve out of love, completely free from conditions.
As Lord Caitanya says in the final Sri Siksastaka prayer:
“I know no one but Krsna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.”