For a devotee-sadhaka Is the desire to go BTG desirable or should one just desire service?
Transcribed by: Geetanjali Nath
Question: Is the desire to go back to Godhead desirable or not for the devotee sadhaka, Prabhupada, there is a past time, Prabhupada : one devotee told him that , Prabhupada I want to serve you life time after life time.So Prabhupada said, ” don’t make me come back here life time after life time to accept your service”.
Answer: So in general at our level the desire for serving Krishna life time after life time, without seeking liberation, without wanting or striving for liberation, that may be more of like a empty sentiment or empty imitation of a lofty sentiment than a genuine sentiment of ourselves. It sounds very impressive , because unless we develop actually a realization of how entangling and dangerous the material world is, we don’t get a strong desire to get out of it, and unless we have developed pure love , strong love for Krishna, we will not stay safe in the material world. So over all the desiring to go back to Krishna , desiring to go back to the spiritual world, is not necessarily an undesirable desire. Initially at least Rupa Gosswami says that, yena kena prakerena, mana Krishna nevashet….., then of-course he later says that anukulya Krishna…………, . So some times trying to go to that level prematurely, trying to serve Krishna only for His pleasure, that seem so abstract and lofty for us that it discourages us in our service to Krishna only. So it is more important to serve Krishna and if we keep serving Krishna, than the selfless devotional mood will come . See its like you know , pure devotional service, that is , there is one noun and there are adjectives. So generally noun is he primary describer and the adjectives , enhance what is being described. If we see also int he twelvelth chapter, Krishna talks about different levels, 12;8 to 12, so He says that if you can’t do this, this , this, so one of the things He says is , “work for me”, so that means at the lowest level , we do service. As we continue on , then, it becomes, devotional service. and then as we continue on , then it will become pure devotional service. But if right in the beginning only we can have the aspiration for pure devotional service, but if we try to focus on that alone at this stage, in the sense that ,”I will work only for Krishna’s pleasure “, but sometimes that can become so difficult to connect to it , that in the sense that sometimes “I may feel that because i want to do something for Krishna’s pleasure , so if something I like to do in Krishna’s service I will not do, because I may be doing it for my own pleasure”, and then that way if I don’t do that , than I become, demotivated in my devotional service. So therefore the important principle is that at our level , we do cultivate desire that are anukul to bhakti, So at the highest level, we can say that event the desire for going back to Godhead is not necessarily anukul, we should just desire to serve Krishna. But at our level just desiring to become , to go back to Godhead, is anukul desire, because it gives us a tangible direction for our endeavor in bhakti, and eventually even that desire for purification or the desire for liberation can also become selfless, in the sense that, although a devotee desires to be purified and liberated , ie so that purification liberation, enable greater service to to Krishna. So even the desire for liberation for a devotee doesn’t have to be necessarily selfishly motivated, beyond liberation initially it may be so that , “I don’t continue suffering in the material existence, or I want purification so that I am not tormented by impure desire, but as we move forward, it can also be because when I am pure or when I am liberated, then I can serve Krishna better, so that way, even the doing a desire for going back to Godhead can be made desirable in our spiritual journey.