bhakti utsahit das: hare krishna prabhu !
bspd: Goes up & down. My situation is precarious as I have no devotee association. :(
bud: Jai! I am sure Krishna will inspire you. Do you read Srila Prabhupada books regularly?
bspd: Prabhu keeps fluctuating as I have no devotee association.
bspd: It's too far. Moreover I don't have devotee association to keep me enthused and accompany me.
bud: Hmmm... You may read Srila Prabhupada buks at home & hear lectures. These activities give a lot of enthusiasm.
bspd: But prabhu, you know naa... without devotee association it is so difficult to continue these things. I wish I had devotee association. I would be diving deep in the ocean of bhakti.
bud: I have heard from senior vaishnavas that when one gets devotee association,one should safely assume, Krishna is pleased.
bspd: What do you mean? Krishna is not pleased with me...?
bud: Not like that. But you can please him more by chanting more.Like. How many rounds are you chanting?
bspd: What to say? No devotee associaiton naa....
bud (fearing the worst): Prabhu, pls do not avoid the question. Pls tell me honestly.
bspd: Zero. :(
A particular situation forced me into contemplation and I realised myself stuck in the same web. May be a different set of complexities. But nonetheless somewhere in the little corner of my heart I was hoping for Krishna to work, without putting the much needed effort myself. Guilty as charged. Perhaps even now I am not completely rid of that sentiment.
For ease of my own understanding I thought that the first step to overcome any obstacle is:
Accepting our fallen position. Accepting that our heart is full of anarthas, pride of being a high class devotee being the foremost. Accepting that it is our own doing that we have landed in this position, where progressing in spiritual life is a big challenge.
The Sri Shikshashtakam v2 perfectly describes this sentiment.
nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgah
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
The verse says that Krishna has left no stone unturned to facilitate our success. That it is our own Misfortune that we are not able to encash on Krishna's freely available mercy. This Acceptance & Acknowledgement naturally leads to HUMILITY. A natural progression to the above verse in Shikshashtakam that emulates Humility
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā harih
One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
Amar jivan sada paperata, nahi ko punyera lesha....
This very humility leads us to kirtaniya sada harih..incessant chanting of the holy names of Lord Hari.
But Acharyas do not leave it at this. They recommend us something. What is that ? Rupa Goswami's Nectar of Instruction verse 3. lists the six items which help us advance in Krishna Consciousness. This includes the final step we can take to overcome the obstacles.
atyanta durlabha prema koribare danabhakti-anukula-matra karyera svikarabhakti-pratkula-bhava varjanangikarasad-anga saranagati hoibe jaharatahara prarthana sune sri-nanda-kumara