by HH Devamrita Swami
Krishna's devotees the ultimate yogis, are one another's life and soul. When we want to push past the neophyte level, cherishing the association of devotees, despite differences and even disagreements, is an essential ingredient of spiritual advancement. Just an effort in this department yields so much benefit.
So how do the oldest devotees relate? I'll try to feed you a tasty illustration later in this note. But first . . . more urging.
In our Vaishnava dealings sometimes disappointments and crises afflict us. But at least any quarrels or debates center, more or less, upon serving
Observe the world of material relationships—whether family, friendship, or romance. Though full of letdowns and mirages, still, who wants to go it alone? Are hermits everywhere?
In both material and spiritual societies, humans are indeed social creatures, judged by the company they keep, tolerating differences.
My advice to you: keep trying to increase your intimacy with Vaishnavas, through thick and thin.
In case you're curious, here's an example, from my own efforts to execute what I recommend to you.
For the occasion of the vyasa-puja of my Godbrother His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, I sent this letter, glorifying his spiritual exertion despite a stroke that debilitated part of his physical capacity.
Dear Jayapataka Swami,
Please accept my obesiances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
For the celebration of your most auspicious appearance day, let me offer an accurate record of a conversation among three of your Godbrothers, mid-March 2012, in
Bali, as they discussed the glories of Srila Prabhupada's devotees.
"Can you fathom Jayapataka Maharaja's bhakti determination!"
"During the Navadvipa parikrama, he visited all seven parties, sometimes eating and sleeping in a car."
"Devotees in the Russian parikrama parties would shed tears upon his arrival, feeling his immense determination to share Mayapur-dhama with them, despite his physical condition."
"I watched him take a full 15 minute just to get out of a car, what to speak of go up some stairs.
Yet, after the intensity of such labored efforts, when his devotee team finally got him to the top of the stairs, where I already was, the first words out of his mouth were: 'How are you feeling? How is your health? Is everything ok for you here in Mayapur?'"
"How soft his heart is, tenderized by genuine love and concern for all!"
In this way Niranjana Swami, Kavicandra Swami, and my lowly self tasted the nectar of devotion.
Then Jayapataka Maharaja surprised me, by having his assistant transcribe a letter to me, sent from his mobile phone. Prepare for a shower of nectar pouring from the heart of an all-weather Vaisnava, whose service never ceases, no matter the circumstances.
My Dear Godbrother Devamrita Maharaj,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a great general (sena-pati) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He spread Krishna Consciousness to every continent of the world.
In 1968 Srila Prabhupada told me to be a member of Lord Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu's army. I joined this transcendental army. I got wounded but in spite of this I am still serving in Lord Krishna Caitanya's army, under Srila Prabhupada. We don't use weapons of violence. We should try to give out the mercy of Nitai-Gaurasundar.
I am trying to do this in spite of physical impediments. It would be great spiritual bliss to be able to do anything in service to guru and Gauranga.
You have qualified [commended] me but I can't do anything without blessings of Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. If I do anything, it is only due to their mercy.
I take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt obeisances to you. I am very grateful you remember me. I hope I can have your prayers and blessings to serve our spiritual father with every breath until I breathe my last in this body.
I hope this finds you healthy & blissful in Krishna Consciousness.