Wanting to See Krishna
I want the darshana [audience] of God, Sri Krishna. When will He show His grace? I have been chanting for two years, and now I am becoming bored to chant because I am not getting darshana of God. When will He come in front of my eyes and by this I will be free from maya? When will that day come?
In fact, my mind says that chanting is useless, because I am not seeing any love towards God. Will it be possible to see Krishna in this life? Or how much time will it take?
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Our reply: It is good that you are anxious to see Krishna. We must remember, though, that we left Krishna out of envy and have been in the material realm for thousands of lifetimes, sunk in our selfishness. It will take some time to get out of the mode of expecting a quick result for our work. We can’t expect to be purified in a couple of years, as we are covered by all kinds of contamination.
Krishna has given us the process of chanting His glories as the means to clean up the mess in our heart and mind. We must stick to the process even though it may be taking time. Keep being anxious to serve Him. That is the proper attitude that will attract Him to reveal Himself to you.
Krishna is waiting for us to be pure and fixed on pleasing Him, without wanting anything in return. As new devotees just beginning to connect with Him again, we need to go deep inside and find the dirty spots and work on them. This is done while chanting. We are praying; “O Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service. Please accept me.” We have to prove to Krishna that we are willing to serve Him without motive.
As neophytes, we are in a mixed position – doing some for Him and some for us. That is natural. A change of consciousness has to take place, and the process is gradual. It won’t happen overnight.
By the mercy of the guru we will ultimately become free from impurity, so we have to follow the guru’s instructions and pray for his mercy. Keep up the hankering to see Krishna, increase your hearing and chanting, be careful not to commit offenses, and beg for His mercy. Surely He will help you and eventually show Himself to you.
Work or Renunciation?
My wife and I want to devote twenty-four hours a day to chanting and meditating on Krishna. We feel that if we keep working to earn money, we will not be able to see Krishna in this life. We spend our leisure time in reading spiritual books and chanting. But when time comes to go to the office, we feel sad. We fear that if we leave our job, how will we earn our bread and butter? But at the same time we want to devote more time to Krishna. What should we do?
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Our reply: It is nice to hear that you have strong attraction for service to Krishna. You will be able to give up your material obligations when the time is right. Make sure the time is right and that everything is in place to be able to continue serving and keeping body and soul together. You may have to make a plan to gradually “close shop,” in order not to inconvenience other family members and dependents. But if you are free to go, then you should pray to Krishna to help you find a comfortable situation to merge yourselves in Krishna consciousness. It would be good to consult your spiritual master or senior devotees you know at your temple. They will be able to advise you in a more personal way.
Why do we not remember the pain of our birth? I think that if we remembered it always, then we could naturally surrender to God. We forget it, so we don’t give attention to future pains.
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Our reply: Srila Prabhupada explains that the trauma of birth wipes out our remembrance of the pain. Yes, if we could remember, that would be an impetus for taking up spiritual life and getting out of here for good. Krishna also arranges that we forget our past lives as animals and so on. Otherwise, the memory would be too much to handle.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes that the child in the womb, if lucky, will remember at about seven months that he is there again and will have to take another birth. He prays to God and promises that he will do things right this time and not end up in this situation again. Unfortunately, most forget that promise. But the devotees of the Lord try to remind everyone that the goal of life is to serve Krishna. Even if we can’t remember the horror of life in the womb and the pain of birth, the scriptures and devotees tell us that these sufferings are real, and they teach us how to avoid undergoing them again.
Meditation on Krishna’s Feet
In the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is written that one should meditate upon the limbs of Krishna beginning from the feet. It is also stated there that one should not meditate on Krishna above his legs because His smiling face is like the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavatam. Unless one is sufficiently cleansed he should not meditate above the legs of Krishna and also not read more than the first two cantos of the Bhagavatam, which constitute His legs.
Please enlighten me. Should I now forget His smiling face with His flute and so on and just concentrate on His legs?
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Our reply: When we consider all of Prabhupada’s instructions on this point, it seems that the best way to apply this instruction is to begin your meditation at Krishna’s feet and go up from there. Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to meditate on the full form of the Lord, including His face. He gave us the “Govinda Prayers” to sing while viewing the Lord after His dressing. These prayers describe Lord Brahma’s beautiful vision of the Lord’s features. Prabhupada wanted us to see Krishna’s smiling face and His lips playing the flute. But it is proper to start with seeing His feet, and then continue on with respect.
As for reading the Bhagavatam, Prabhupada did want us to start with the first cantos and read progressively. This practice helps us clearly understand the Lord’s position, His incarnations, powers, forms, expansions, and so on – all to fix in our minds that He is the Supreme. With that foundation, we’ll properly understand and respect His intimate pastimes described in the Tenth Canto. Early on, Prabhupada gave us the book Krishna, his summary study of the Tenth Canto. He didn’t know how long he would live, and he wanted to make sure we had access to all of Krishna’s pastimes recounted there. He also wanted to make sure the pastimes were mixed with lots of philosophy, so that we would maintain the proper understanding of Krishna’s position. Prabhupada expected us to read Krishna, and to distribute it to nondevotees as well. So please take advantage of meditating on all the features of the Lord and become captivated by His pastimes in the Bhagavatam.