The process of devotional service, is to soften the hard heart towards Krishna.

to appreciate the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, on the spiritual platform… actually when we hear these pastimes, our heart should be melting. But our heart is sometimes so hard that it doesn’t melt. Because, for someone may mentally may think, “Oh, this this is very nice.” But actually, it should touch us in the heart. But our heart becomes hard, due to several reasons. Sometimes due to being proud. Our performing a little austerity, we become hard hearted. Sometimes, due to attachment to sense gratification we become hard hearted. Sometimes, due to offenses, against the devotees of the Lord, we become hardhearted. So, we hear the Hare Krishna Mahamantra being chanted, when we hear the pastimes of the Lord, when actually our heart should be melting, we should be immediately experiencing full ecstasies, instead, something less dynamic or less world-shaking happens.

That means, when somebody, hears the pastimes, or hears the holy name, hears the chanting of the Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy name, and tears don’t fill his eyes, his hairs don’t stand on end, then his heart must be as hard as a stone. So, of course, devotees find themselves in the hard hearted conditions sometimes. And this is a great worry because in this hard hearted condition, that means that they are more susceptible to Maya. And then our devotional service becomes more dry because somehow or another, the juice is not able to penetrate our hard heart. So, process of devotional service is actually to soften the heart. In the Nectar of Devotion, it is described that the heart can be described as gold or as butter …. as butter or cotton wool… different descriptions are given, or ghee. So as gold, The gold heart is someone is very grave, very learned, very sattvika – in the mode of goodness. But somehow, in their aloof position. In their, almost proud position, their very pure and grave position, their heart is also sometimes hard. Just like gold. It’s somewhat hard. It’s a metal. Not as hard as iron or rock. But hard. Pure but hard. So, therefore, such people, they have intellectual appreciation of Krishna. They have some faith in Krishna but somehow, they don’t always melt. They are not so enthusiastic in their service to Krishna. As someone whose heart is like ghee. Where there is… or like cotton. Where there is some lightest contact with Krishna’s glories, immediately their heart starts to flutter. It starts to become melted. And one becomes, just like a flow of the Ganges, it just starts to flow, his entire mentality and energy towards Krishna. So, actually process of devotional service, is to soften the heart towards Krishna.

His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj

1984, 18th Sep, SB class @ New Orleans, USA