Or not – I’m just thinking about difference between sankirtana devotees and Mother Yashoda.
I’m still on Damodara lila, that hasn’t changed. I don’t think there will be a pot of gold at the end of the Kartika but with only a week to go I see the end to this pastime soon.
So, the notable difference between sankirtana and Mother Yashoda is that she didn’t know Krishna was God and we do. Sounds trivial but this difference leads to a huge gap in experience.
At worst Mother Yashoda was perplexed why all the ropes in the house were not enough to tie up a little child. She had not idea of the two fingers principle, she didn’t know she had to try to surrender to her son first. If her love was tested she had no clue what was going on. Her love for Krishna was the defining part of her being, for her there was simply no concept of her life without love for Krishna. Testing for it was similar to testing for breath and heartbeat.
We, on the other hand, know too much and love too little. We know everything we should do – humbly surrender and wait for mercy, but we can’t actually do it. As a result we become frustrated and angry to the point of blaming Krishna for all our woes. Effectively giving Him a finger.
Now that might sound too far out – no devotee in his right mind would blame Krishna for anything, it’s against our basic philosophy, we know the laws of karma and such. Looking deeper, however, Krishna never presents to us personally, He appears in the form of our guru and in the form of His devotees, and He is far more sensitive to offenses against them than to offenses against Himself.
Keeping that in mind we can find plenty of examples of devotees blaming everyone else for their troubles – GBC, ISKCON, even their own gurus. This is actually worse than blaming Krishna Himself. Then they go search for enlightenment elsewhere, Gaudiya mathas, Radha Kund, traditional parivars and so on. This is bloody ridiculous, but since they make a big show of their newly found “devotion” we might forget what it is actually based on – enmity towards vaishnavas and Krishna’s mercy.
They might deny blaming Krishna but this is what they actually do, they simply do not see Him when He comes in the form of guru and devotees.
Anyways, I think anybody who has tried to distribute books knows how it feels when things are not going nicely. Mind becomes so agitated and ready to blow at any moment, we can hardly contain anger and frustration. It is actually very painful and punishment for failure is doubly severe.
This is what makes us different from Mother Yashoda. We might try to do the same thing and follow the same principles but outcomes are vastly different.
If we keep on trying, however, then at the end Krishna notices our efforts and calls the material nature off and we get our reward of serving Him in more or less pure consciousness. For most of us it never lasts but once you tried that taste you’ll never accept anything else seriously.
Today I’ve dug up 1991 sankirtana seminar by HG Navina Nirada Prabhu. He started it with asking devotees why they go distribute books. There were many reasons given and all were approved by Navina Nirada but I think one crucial reason was still missing – we distribute books because it forms the very core of our existence. Real question is why we ever bother with anything else and when we will finally stop wasting our time.
That understanding would bring us on the same team as Mother Yashoda – seeing ourselves in terms of service we render and not seeing any other reasons for our being outside of our service.
Hmm, I think this thought turned our quite nicely, maybe Krishna was pleased with it, so all credit goes to Him, and, of course, Navina Nirada and other stalwart sankirtana devotees.