In addition to chanting the Maha Mantra, is another service among many, very favorable that you advice offer to offer Sri Krishna?
Sri Prahlada Maharaja mentions nine main devotional services. We find them in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.43
Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu mentions sixty-four.
This most important item in devotional service is declared in the Padma Purana:
smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇuḥ
vismartavyo na jātucit
“We should always remember Lord Viṣṇu,
we should never forget Lord Visnu.”
Srila Prabhupada mentions this verse in his purport to the Srimad-Bhagavatam verse 6.16.53 and 54.
Anything done with the body, the tongue and the mind that makes us remember Krishna is favorable.
The best is chanting Hare Krishna.
nama cintamanih krsnas
caitanya rasa vigraha
purna suddha nitya mukta
abhinnatvad nama naminoh.
“The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.”
This verse also is from the Padma Purana. It is also mentioned in Caitanya Caritamrita Madhyalila 17.33 and in Srimad-Bhagavatam Tenth Canto, Chapter 1.22.
Next in the line of importance is knowledge, jnana-vijnana.
“A sincere devotee must, therefore, be prepared to hear the Vedic literature like the Upaniṣads, Vedānta and other literature left by the previous authorities or Gosvāmīs, for the benefit of his progress. Without hearing such literature, one cannot make actual progress. And without hearing and following the instructions, the show of devotional service becomes worthless and therefore a sort of disturbance on the path of devotional service.”
(Excerpt from the purport to Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 1.2.12)
“Within the past five hundred years, many erudite scholars and acaryas like Jiva Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti, Vallabhacarya, and many other distinguished scholars even after the time of Lord Caitanya made elaborate commentaries on the Bhagavatam. And the serious student would do well to attempt to go through them to better relish the transcendental messages.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.1.1, Srila Prabhupada purport)
Studying is important. If you don’t study not only you wouldn’t be able to preach at the proper standard, but after some time you’ll forget why are you chanting Hare Krishna.
Some may object: “if you just chant mantras, transcendental knowledge will automatically manifest in your heart.”
At this I would say: “so why Srila Vyasadeva and all the great Acarya of our Sampradaya have spent so much time and effort to write so many books? This alone is a correct enough conclusion (siddhanta) as an answer to your objection (purvapaksa)”.
Then Deity worship.
“Simply by worshiping Kṛṣṇa one can easily achieve all the results of heavenly opulence, liberation, supremacy over the planetary systems of the universe, all the opulences of this material world and the mystic power of performing the yoga system.”
By arcanam (worship of the Detities) we develop a personal conception of Krishna. In this way we learn that He is not just an idea or a sound but a person to dress, to cook for etc.
Worshiping Tulasi Devi is particularly important.
Then devotees association.
This is so important…
kaya lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.”
Of course the word sadhu refers to very advanced this devotees, even pure devotees. It is our sacred duty to become pure devotees so that people can benefit from our association.
But even if a devotee is not pure, still can give inspiration.
Then living or visiting Holy Places.
Then respecting Holy days like Janmastami, Ratha Yatra tithi, Ekadasi.
Then offering and respecting prasadam, food offered to Krishna.
We could go on and on
– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
26 dic 2019
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