Becoming Great by Serving the Great
Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
Recently I was listening to one of the lectures of Maharaj where he was singing the following verse from Bhagavatam
in a very melodious tune. This verse reveals the greatness of Lord Rama and His mercy towards His servants. It is a
prayer by Hanumanji glorifying Lord Rama in SB 5.19.7:
na janma nūnaṁ mahato na saubhagaṁ
na vāṅ na buddhir nākṛtis toṣa-hetuḥ
tair yad visṛṣṭān api no vanaukasaś
cakāra sakhye bata lakṣmaṇāgrajaḥ
One cannot establish a friendship with the Supreme Lord Ramacandra on the basis of material qualities
such as one’s birth in an aristocratic family, one’s personal beauty, one’s eloquence, one’s sharp
intelligence or one’s superior race or nation. None of these qualifications is actually a prerequisite for
friendship with Lord Sri Ramacandra. Otherwise how is it possible that although we uncivilized
inhabitants of the forest have not taken noble births, although we have no physical beauty and although
we cannot speak like gentlemen, Lord Ramacandra has nevertheless accepted us as friends?
The above verse reveals that though the monkeys in Rama Lila were not from a high parentage and high education,
just by their inclination to serve the Lord they became great and the Lord accepted them as His friends they gained
lasting glory in the Ramayana. Same was His reciprocation with the boatman Guha. Inspite of considerations like birth,
education, beauty or physical strength or wealth, whoever comes in touch with the Lord through devotion becomes
great. For other processes like jnana, yoga, karma one requires some basic qualifications like high parentage, thorough
knowledge of scriptures, good physical strength to perform penances etc., Bhakti is the only processes which is beyond
all bodily considerations. Arjuna addresses the Lord as ‘param brahma’ which means the Supreme Brahman. In the
vedas the Lord is denoted by the word ‘Brahman’. The root of this word is ‘Brh’ means “One who is great and makes
everything great”. The word ‘Brahman’ is defined in the scriptures (Atharvasira Upanishad) as follows.
kasmād ucyate paraṁ brahma yasmāt param aparaṁ parāyaṇaṁ ca bṛhad
bṛhatyā brahmayati tasmād ucyate paraṁ brahma
Why the Supreme Lord is called param brahma? Because He is the greatest in terms of time, space and
qualities having no equal or superior and He is the supreme shelter. He is exalted and has the nature to
exalt everything coming in touch with Him, He is called param brahma.
The Lord demonstrated this quality in the Ramayana. Srila Prabhupada also practically proved this point by bringing
people in touch with Lord’s service and making them great devotees. Once in an ISKCON temple, a person was lying
outside the temple fully drunk. He did not take bath for months and was stinking very much. Srila Prabhupada saw him
and asked the devotees, “Why you’re not doing anything for him?”. The devotees replied, “Prabhupada, he’s stinking
very much and we can’t go near him”. Prabhupada said, “Please give him some prasadam and make sure he gets
prasadam regularly”. The devotees did the same and when the person came to proper consciousness, he was attracted
by the devotees, started taking prasadam regularly and by association with Prabhupada became a serious devotee.
Then he started distributing books and in a few weeks he became the top scorer in book distribution. All the other
devotees were astonished by this and became curious to know how he is distributing books.
Once they followed him and watched him from a distance. That devotee was holding the books high in his hands and
said, “I was living in very bad condition and stinking almost like a pig. This person who wrote these books saved my
life. Please take these books. He’ll save your life too”. Because he was saying this with firm conviction people were
moved by this and buying books with great interest. This is the power of the Lord and His pure devotee. Whoever
Date: 2006-12-21 Author: Narahari Krishna das
comes in touch with them becomes exalted irrespective of his material qualifications.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das
Becoming Great by Serving the Great