HOW A DEVOTEE SHOULD TREAT KRISHNA AND HIS DEVOTEES?
(1) TREATING KRISHNA:
I think that these THREE golden Rules will help you to know how to treat Krishna. Let me explain them through the words of ISKCON’s Spritual Masters (and) Srila Prabhupada:
WE MUST TREAT KRISHNA WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATIONS FROM HIM AND CONDITIONS FOR HIM AND JUST TO PLEASE KRISHNA.
H.H.JAYAPATAKA SWAMI SAYS:
(1) The Lord comes in a different form or partial form in order to deliver his devotees and generally he is always telling us how to surrender and how to serve him. If one directly serves the Lord with no condition, unconditionally “I am serving you Lord for Your pleasure, I want me to do what you want me to do”. If we do things in that way the amazing thing is that the Lord becomes very pleased with us. The Supreme Lord has given us everything, what can we do for him? When we appreciate how great he is and feel grateful, that is the beginning of pure devotion. Pure devotion should be the goal of our life.
(2) Krishna will be very pleased, if you follow your vows for Him. We hope that people will take it very seriously.
(3) A devotee should live according to the situation that, he is put in, they have to live, some may be in a wealthy situation, some may be in poverty, some may be in middle, whatever situation we may be, we should be very responsible to be Krishna conscious. Krishna doesn’t recognize us because we are poor or rich. He recognises us how we are engaging in Krishna’s service.
A DEVOTEE SHOULD TREAT KRISHNA LIKE SRI CAITANYA MAHA PRABHU TREATED HIM
H.H.JAYAPATAKA SWAMI AGAIN SAYS:
“Once Srila Prabhupada was teaching, how to appreciate the mercy of Lord Gaura Nitai. The mercy is so great that even the rocks melt, even the birds and the animals they crying in separation. After hearing all the philosophy and after everything is explained, of course one can theoretically understand, but still, to really understand, what is love of Krishna? One has to taste it. One can explain what is mango? its, Vitamin-C content, fat content, protein content, carbohydrate content, this vitamin, that vitamin, this fibre, this type of skin, this thickness of skin, this colour, you can get all the details but even you can say this much sugar content this everything, but still it doesn’t tell you how it taste like? If you taste it, then you will get another level of understanding what it the mango. What is devotional service has been explained by Rupa Goswami here in Caitanya Caritamrita, but to really understand we need to taste it, even a drop of it and that is possible only by the mercy of Gaura-Nitai because they are so much absorbed in love of Krishna.”
TREAT A DEVOTEE IF YOU LIKE TO TREAT KRISHNA
H.H.RADHANATH SWAMI SAYS:
(1) As you treat a devotee you treat Krishna and accordingly you get results. (Thus,treating the devotees of Krishna is treating the Lord.)
(2) Devotee is ready to take risk of accepting responsibility based on faith on Krishna.
(3) We have a burning propensity to give love and to be loved. A Vaishnava’s role is to represent and access Krishna’s Affection.
(4) A devotee’s only desire is to please Krishna and nothing else but Krishna’s pleasure. Hence Krishna, in order to please his devotees, shows his pleasure.
SRILA PRABHUPADA SAYS:
(1) Any devotee who has developed genuine love for Krishna can also explain the truth about Krishna because Krishna helps such sincere devotee seated in his heart.
(2) Krishna takes a special appreciation for His devotees who are engaged in risking for His preaching work and He will give you special care and guidance at all times because you are sincerely trying to serve Him in this way.
SRI SUTA GOSVAMI SAYS:
“This is the divinity of the Personality of Godhead: He is not affected by the qualities of material nature, even though he is in contact with them. Similarly, the devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord do not become influenced by the material qualities.”
So, The relation between Krishna and His devotees is natural one as we are athma and our NATURAL ORIENTATION is towards Paramathma (Krishna) only. However, Krishna sent us to this material world just because, we wished for that. So, we are leading an unnatural life on this material world sacreficing natural relation Krishna.
So, the moment when we realize that we are athma and our position is TO SERVE KRISHNA AND NOTHING ELSE, we are liberated on this earth itself. When we start to chant Hare Krishna, we re-establish our connections with Krishna, that is called YOGA.
Most importantly, one should not try to mingle with Krishna as ONE. He must always wish to serve Him in many ways that he likes. He should not forget that Krishna is our source and we are not quantitatively equal to Krishna in status. However, we are qualitatively equal to Krishna, but, in small – tiny magnitude.
And, our association with Krishna should be with Love, not just as a custom or formality.
Ok, I have decided to associate with krishna. How can I do that?
A devotee can associate with Krishna in the following relationships:
AS A NEUTRAL DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA.
AS A SERVANT OF KRISHNA.
AS A FRIEND OF KRISHNA.
AS A PARENT OF KRISHNA.
AS A LOVER OF KRISHNA.
Review yourself. In which mood you find pleasure and satisfaction. Select that mood and get connected with Krishna. But, let it be for serving Him, not to mingle as one.
This is the facility only in Krishna Consciousness.
(ii) TREATING OTHER DEVOTEES
Actually, Lord will be pleased if you treat His devotees with honours. And, if one ill-treats (or) blasphems (or) cheats Lord’s devotee, Lord will never tolerate it. In fact, Lord will not forgive us if we accuse/ ill treat/ cheat other devotees. We can escape from that offence only if the concerned / affected devotee forgives us and we can not directly get excuse form Krishna if we ill treat His devotees. So, one should be very humble with the devotees of Krishna and treat them with all honours.
(A) H.H. JAYAPATAKA SWAMI SAYS:
(1) If the devotee feels that, “I can be Krishna Conscious without the association of devotees.” it is very dangerous situation. More we separate from devotees, more we bounded by the attacks of Maya. The material world is designed to struggle to exist. So, Srila Prabhupada made the situation minimum by having Krishna conscious temples, communities and farm projects, so devotees can live in association with devotees.
(2) When we expose ourselves to severe vaisnava-aparadha, it is like pulling our devotional creeper out from the root. It doesn’t get the nourishment then we systematically dry out, then we lose the taste for chanting, reading, deity worship, book distribution, what could be worse! We lose devotional service ultimately.
(B) MALE & FEMALE DEVOTEES SHOULD MAINTAIN A LIMIT IN MINGLING WITH EACH OTHER:
H.H.BAKTHI VIKAS SWAMI SAYS:
“The quest for spiritual advancement is disturbed when men and women come in contact, then the tendency is they become mutually attracted to each other and then the focus on spiritual advancement becomes distorted.”
So, If we love Krishna and hate His devotees, there will be no use in such a devotion. A true devotee of Krishna will love all the other devotees.
A vaishnava is to be treated as we treat Krishna. Krishna Himself says that He feels more happy when His devotees are honoured. But, a TRUE DEVOTEE will never say that he is Krishna (or) equal to Krishna (or) beyond Krishna. Thus, there is a beautiful competition between Krishna and His devotees in treating each other with full honours.
Krishna glorifies His devotees! His devotees glorify Krishna!
How beautiful this relation is! No material relation is greater than this! They are very inferior and time bound.
Whereas, relation with Krishna is eternal and blissful.