When a person renders devotional service without hearing and chanting, that is basically what karma yoga is. Doing some service, of course karma yoga, maybe that one is working and giving the fruits of the labor. If it is doing something which is specifically ordered by the guru then of course it comes more under bhakti. The problem without chanting and hearing is that the consciousness does not become purified. The power of purification in this kali yuga is in the chanting of Hare Krishna. Just like in every age, there is a yuga dharma. So in general, devotional service is to be performed. But in this age, just like in the other age meditation was the system, then sacrifice, and temple worship. So this age the system to purify the consciousness is hearing and chanting, sankirtan. If a person renders devotional service without hearing and chanting, then the danger is that the person’s getting spiritual credit, but the desire to engage in spiritual activity may not be counteractive. That desire, that seed is there in our heart to engage in materialistic activity and to counteract that we need the mercy of Nityananda. We need to fill our hearts with spiritual happiness, you see. So rendering devotional service is sensitive, we are still a bit too covered up to fully relish the real benefit of the service that he is doing at that time. And so the danger is that the person can become misled again into material activities. It’s like when you are on a battleship which is firing but it does not have its radar, the defenses. It’s only doing something but it does not have any defense. The chanting is both defense as well as offence both, but it actually protects us and gives us the opportunity, that ability to relish. It gives us the spiritual realization For just the service alone, in this particular age, it’s difficult for one to actually be able to experience the transcendental happiness and transcendental realization just by their service.
H.H. Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1982, Dec, 15 SB @ Honolulu, Hawaii.