Last week, I posted this article “Caring for Every Devotees By: HH Radhanatha Swami. As I was trying to submit this article to another domain, the devotee in charged of that site asked me for any authenticity proof regarding the article in order to avoid any conflict. It could either be a permission from the author itself, or a URL from which where the article was first posted. Since it’s impossible for me to get the first one, I settle for the later. I managed to find the URL, and I feel relieved. I would like to thank the kind mataji who informed me about this authenticity matter. What a lesson learned!
The article posted below is only an excerpt from the whole original article. To read its entirety , please click here.
I recieved this article from my aunt in New Zealand, and I couldn’t help but share it. While I was reading it, I remember a phrase I’ve heard from one of Ravindra Svarup prabhu’s lectures. It may not be the exact words, but the meaning and contents are the same:
“When we become a devotee, we work hard to become a perfect devotee. But, what’s next after we become a perfect devotee? That is we should work hard to become a human being.”
Remembering this, made me realize that most of the time we forgot that we’re also human beings who are working on the path of self-realization. Along that path, we’ll make mistakes and make progress, and along that path we forgot compassion because we’re too focused with our “philosophical” pursuits.
Caring for Every Devotees
By: HH Radhanatha Swami
How to apply these principles today, in our society of devotees, is a great challenge. But it is essential, because without it so many problems will play havoc in our society. For a society to be strong, all members must know their duties, and everyone should care for each other. Care means personal attention in serving each devotee. This is the one of the greatest needs of our society. We are preaching the most personal theology in the world: Krishna is a person and every living being is also a person. Everyone has an eternal relationship with God; every one has an eternal relationship with His part and parcels. As Krishna says: “You cannot show love for Me unless you show love for My devotees, and even show love to those who forgot that they are My devotees.” Sometimes in our society we become so highly philosophical that we forget that we are people.
Devotees need encouragement and basic facilities to be happy and serve
Krishna throughout their life.
A devotee has given his whole life to serve this mission, and then he becomes very sick. He needs help. He lays sick on the floor “I can’t do my service.” And we say, “You are in maya. You are not the body.” “Thank you. Philosophically it’s true: I am not this body and I am in maya, but I need your help to get out of maya and transcend this body. I need the love, support and care of a Vaisnava to take me through this.”
Srila Prabhupada was so caring to his devotees. On the first Gaura Purnima festival the only existing building was not yet finished. The first night that the devotees were there Srila Prabhupada got up in the middle of the night to look in each room to see if each devotee was properly taken care of, to see if everyone had a mosquito net. He would also ensure that there was prasadam for all of them and when they were getting sick he was very concerned about their health.
In Vrindavana, during his last months on the planet, Srila Prabhupada was so sick that he couldn’t even walk. When he had to go upstairs two British devotees would pick him up and would carry him in his chair. One of these devotees had a boil in his foot, and once, while he was carrying Srila Prabhupada, something hit the boil. The devotee said “Oh!” and tried to hide it, but Srila Prabhupada understood. Srila Prabhupada could not eat for months and had lost so much weight. His body was only bones. In these state most people would think about themselves. What was a little boil for a big, strong, young devotee, in comparison with Srila Prabhupada’s condition? Still, Srila Prabhupada asked: “What is your problem?” “No problem, Srila Prabhupada, no problem” said the disciple. But Srila Prabhupada insisted: “No, no, please, tell me”, and then he saw the boil and told him exactly what medicine to put. He told him to take the leaf of a certain tree, put it in mustard oil, boil it, and apply this at least three times a day. The next day, when that devotee was carrying Srila Prabhupada upstairs, Srila Prabhupada asked: “How is your foot? Let me see.” And for the next several days, until the boil was completely cured, Srila Prabhupada would inquire with attention and concern. How much do you think this increased the love of that devotee for Srila Prabhupada? He felt: “Srila Prabhupada is so concerned with such an insignificant disciple like myself. I am not a big preacher or anything like that.” This is bhakti. When devotees have physical or mental difficulties it’s an opportunity for us to express our love for them. It’s an opportunity to express our love for Krishna through serving a Vaisnava.
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