Should we have expectations while practicing bhakti?
Transcribed by: Sudeep Naik
Time: 3 minutes 06 seconds
Question: Should we have expectations while practicing bhakti?
Answer: Expectations are not the problem, attachment to expectations is the problem.
It is a normal human tendency to have expectations. If we go to meet someone, its normal to expect that other person should greet and speak nicely. If they do not do it we feel little bad about it, and that is natural. If our service is to go and meet people and people do not speak nicely with us, we sometimes give up that service. Such an attitude suggests that we are becoming attached to our expectations. We can have expectation but we do not make our service tied down to the fulfillment of that expectation.
Srila Prabhupada was serving in India trying to share Krishna’s message but people did not respond. However, Prabhupada still kept doing his service. Eventually when he realized that his expectations will not be met, he decided to go to America.
If our expectations are not met it does not mean that we keep doing same thing again and again. This is like beating our head against the wall. We may have to change our practical approach like Prabhupada. Prabhupada did not change the purpose – to glorify Krishna and get people connected to Krishna. However, he changed the process he used and the arena in which he spoke.
If our expectations are getting frustrated then we need to introspect. However, our purpose should remain the same. For example, if we are studying to have a career and we are not doing well in exams, then we need to introspect. Are my ways of study not appropriate? Is my interest in a different subject?
To summarize, not to have any expectations is like denying our humanity. It is natural to have expectations. However, if we become attached to our expectations, then we will not be able to persevere in our purpose. We should stay fixed on our purpose. Depending on the kind of reciprocation we get, we can adjust our approach to achieve our purpose.