How can we overcome the tendency to take the association of devotees for granted?
Transcription by– Keshavgopal Das & Ambuj Gupta
Question: When we are in the association of devotees the mind make us feel that the devotees are ordinary and when we go away then we value the association of devotees. Then again we come back again we start taking the association of devotees cheaply. How can we stay in association and value that association also?
Answer: Anything that is purpose driven becomes valuable. So purpose driven doesn’t necessarily mean selfish or with some ulterior or utilitarian motive. Purpose driven simply means that we are aware that association of devotees is not just simplistic physical proximity but it is actually more of a spiritual unity. That means we are all united in our purpose of serving Krishna and how we serve Krishna may also vary depending on our nature, our interest, our service. But often we will be able to reach out and we will be able to develop nice relationship with other devotees who also have similar inclinations for service as we have. That means sajatiya aasha snigdha sanga, in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Rupa Goswami says that the association that we have should be affectionate and sajatiya aasha sanga, meaning with those who have same category of desires that we have. For example, if I am interested in deep systematic scripture study and there are other devotees who are also interested in that then that association we can value much more.
yena kena prakarena manah krishna niveshayeta, we want to remember Krishna, we want to serve Krishna that is the primary purpose of everything that we do. If we keep that in mind and try to act in that according to our capacity then we will be able to see everything as properly valuable. The association of devotees will help us in our service, will help us in remembering Krishna and come closer to Krishna and if the association in not there then also you will be able to value. Oh when the association was there I could quickly discuss things, I could share my heart, you could plan and execute things. That way recollection of association that we had in the past will help us to move closer to Krishna again in that way. Therefore either way it is best to focus on the association of devotees for the purpose of serving Krishna. So by keeping the purpose of Krishna central, we will be able to remember and act on the value of everything including the association of devotees.
Off course sometimes when we are with some devotees regularly then writing down in person journal about our experiences with some devotees, writing down how and why we appreciate those devotees, writing down the challenges that we face and how to deal with those challenges that can be helpful if some issues are major road blocks or relationship blocks or if we are introspective and need decent amount of time with ourselves to think properly and see our way through problems. Basically by focusing on service to Krishna we can learn to value the association of devotees. Thank you.