There are six principles favourable to the execution of pure devotional service. First, be enthusiastic. What is the meaning? We should be enthusiastic to chant harināma, to hear pure hari-kathā, to be in high-class association. If we will do all these things, we will always be happy. Yayātmā samprasīdati. So we should be enthusiastic. We should not be very loose-minded, loose-bodied, and we should never be idle.
Then second, endeavouring with confidence. What confidence? “Oh, surely one day, very soon we will achieve this nectar of pure bhakti. Surely we will have the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and the service of Mahāprabhu. Surely we will get it.” This confidence should be there. If you have no confidence, how you can advance?
There was a devotee who was always chanting, “Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa. O Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa! Oṁ Kṛṣṇāya Vāsudevāya.” For so many thousands of years he was chanting like this. One day he saw Nārada and asked him where he was going. “Oh, I am going to Vaikuṇṭha to meet Nārāyaṇa.”
“Oh, please be merciful to me. You should inquire from Nārāyaṇa for me. For thousands of years I have been chanting ‘Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa’. I want to know when He will give me His darśana.”
Nārada reached Vaikuṇṭha. There he met with Nārāyaṇa and told Him, “There is a devotee who has been chanting Your name for so many years. He has asked when You will give him darśana.” Nārāyaṇa asked, “In what process he is chanting?” “He is sitting under a tamarind tree and chanting.”
“There are so many branches and so many leaves on that tree. No one can count how many leaves there are. I will give him darśana after as many births as there are leaves on that tamarind tree.” Nārada became very disappointed. “How can I tell that devotee this? He will die.”
When Nārada returned, he tried to avoid that devotee, and hid from his view, but there was only one path. That devotee was waiting and waiting for Nārada to come with Nārāyaṇa’s answer. Finally, when Nārada could no longer avoid him, he approached him and told him, “Very sad thing, very sad thing.”
“Nārāyaṇa has said that as there are unlimited leaves on the tamarind tree, after that many lifetimes He will give you darśana.”
Oh, that devotee began to dance and sing, “Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa! Up till now, I had no confidence that I would ever get Nārāyaṇa’s darśana, but now I have confidence that Nārāyaṇa must come and give me His darśana, even after thousands and thousands of births. No harm, but eventually I will see Him.” And he continued to dance.
At once Nārāyaṇa came—in a moment! Nārada was so surprised and asked Him, “Oh, why have You gone against Your word? You said that after lākhas of lives You would come. So why have You come just now?”
“At first he was doing bhajana in what process? He was following a slow process, doing general bhajana with no eagerness. But now he is chanting Nārāyaṇa, always absorbed. He is not thinking about his food or anything else. So how can I stay away? I thought, ‘I must come.’” If one is chanting in a methodical way, no harm. But if one is chanting with confidence, oh, Kṛṣṇa must come. And third, being patient. What is the meaning? “Today śuddha sattva has not come in my heart and I want to see Radha-Kṛṣṇa conjugal.” But we are not seeing Them, so we think it is better to try something else. No. Have patience. It will come, but in its own time. For whom have these instructions been told? For those with utsāha, who are initiated, who have some taste in chanting name, hearing hari-kathā, and serving guru and Vaiṣṇavas. This verse has been told not only for beginners. Be patient. If after thousands and thousands of births, you have reached this rati, then very soon bhakti will come. Don’t be weak. Act according to regulative principles, such as śravaṇaṁ, kīrtanaṁ, viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ, all these, and especially sādhu-saṅga, nāma-kīrtana, bhagavat-śravaṇa, mathurā-vāsa and śrī-mūrtīra śraddhayā sevā. If we have not made any offenses, we can achieve our goal very quickly, even in thousands of births. Oh, even a few thousand births can be considered a very short time, because we are coming from where? From the beginning of the creation! No one can calculate how many yugas and how many Brahmās have passed—so many thousands and lākhas and uncountable Brahmās have been changed. So, if bhakti comes after hundreds and thousands of lākhas of births, oh, no harm. Do not try to jump. Pray for the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, the Vaiṣṇavas and guru especially.
Avoid the association of non-devotees, and follow in the foot-steps of the previous ācāryas. What is the meaning? How they maintained their lives—this I should follow. Gṛhasthas should be like the gṛhastha-bhaktas, and those who are renounced should be like the renounced devotees. Renounced persons should follow how Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī maintained his life. And gṛhasthas should live like Śrīvāsa paṇḍita, Bhavānanda Rāya and the Pāṇḍavas. If you are in the renounced order, but are not following properly and are involved with so many factories and taking shares in the Ford Company, what will be the outcome? You will be destroyed. Gṛhastha-bhaktas can do something for their maintenance, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised. For the Pāṇḍavas, Kṛṣṇa told, “You should fight against your opponents.” But for Uddhava, for Nārada, Vyāsa and Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he never said this; they were all present at that time. So we should practice all these things, and then pure nectar will come.
Try to follow these instructions up to this point. Do not think that I am your enemy. I have not come to make you my enemy. I want you to be pure, my dear children, and be rid of all ignorance. I want to put you in the fire and then with a hammer, I want to hammer you to make you pure. If you are willing to undergo this, then come to me as a disciple. Otherwise, you should be very, very far away from me. I do not want to make any problems for you. So you should try to realize all these things and be pure for Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
―Śrīla Bhaktivedanta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja
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