A devotee should always try to hear about spiritual matters and should always utilize his time in chanting the holy name of the Lord. His behavior should always be straightforward and simple, and although he is not envious but friendly to everyone, he should avoid the company of persons who are not spiritually advanced. Well, this is a very nice verse which tells the devotees what the priorities are for dancing in spiritual life. This type of very useful, good, instructions are found throughout the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Bhagvat Gita. They are given for being a practical guideline on how should act. We should try to follow this guidelines given by the Srimad Bhagavatam. Devotee is not someone who merely has a sentiment. That he is a devotee but doesn’t try to follow the scriptures. One should actually try to implement this guidelines given by the Srimad Bhagavatam. Here it is advised that we should always try to hear about spiritual matters. it is said that the symptoms of pure devotional service is when we spontaneously we find that our consciousness in fixed as soon as there is a glorification of Krishna and His devotees. When our mind doesn’t wander away but it remains fixed hearing those transcendental vibrations. Now that is a perfectional stage symptom. Now here it tells us, that even if we are not in that stage, where our consciousness is spontaneously attracted to hearing about Krishna, still we should always try to hear about spiritual matters. It may be that spontaneously when hears the news broadcast or the sees a newspaper, one is attracted and one would like to read for one hour or half hour all of the flickering news, and when it’s time for the Bhagavat Gita or the Bhagavatam class or when it is time to seat and read the scriptures you find that your mind is wandering away to different directions. May be found that such reverse symptoms are there. Nonetheless than one should make a conscious effort to try to hear spiritual matters. Just as in the Vedas it is said that we should read subasyam sigram. We should do the auspicious thing today, and those thing that are ashuba, inauspicious, we should do that tomorrow, we should do that later. So we should always prefer to take up our spiritual duties, and then after that if we have to do any other type of duty, then we do that subsequently. So know here that again and again, the scriptures tell us how we should try to do things. Sometimes we hear people say… you ask them, “Why don’t you come to the temple?”, the say, “If the Lord ah… takes me then I will go.” “Why don’t you come to class?” “Well if I get dragged to class then I will go.” No its not… we should try. By the law of karma, you will be dragged to death. By the law of Karma you will be dragged here and there, to fulfil your various material desires. That will happen automatically, but by the law of karma no one is dragged to Krishna. One has to desire to go to Krishna. You have to consciously will to engage in spiritual life, and then you can counteract karma. Otherwise if you are waiting for the flow to take you, you will probably find it will not take you to Krishna, it will take you to where your previous births have dictated that you should be taken. The only exception in this case is that sometimes by the prayers, desires, good wishes of a devotee of Krishna, one is brought to Krishna, even though one should not have the opportunity according to one’s karma. Similarly by rendering out some devotional service in the past, one may again and again given some opportunity to render devotional service. We should take it up. We should try for it. We shouldn’t, when the opportunity comes knocking at our doors, we shouldn’t take some kind of abstract impersonal viewpoint. We should personally take up, try and be Krishna conscious.
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1985, 26th Sep, SB class @ Bangalore, India