As we struggle in our practise of Krishna consciousness, we’d be immensely benefitted if we express our heartfelt gratitude to God.
But have you ever wondered how God feels, and thinks as we attempt to serve Him?
He too feels enormously obliged to a devotee who chooses Him over the illusory distractions and temptations of this world.
The scriptures explain that when the soul returns back to the kingdom of God, Krishna would embrace us, and acknowledge with tears of affection, our efforts to please Him. He would turn to His friends and tearfully exclaim, “See this friend of mine; he went through so much struggle and suffering simply to serve me, and come back to me”
As I struggle to remain awake during my chanting session, I would sometimes think it’s a hopeless case. But I now derive hope knowing that my effort to say ‘yes’ to Krishna by chanting my prescribed rounds is the way I am showing my sincerity to Him. As I get up and chant, and then again sit and then again rise and walk while chanting my minimum quota of sixteen rounds, and as I try to be attentive, I derive strength from that fact that Krishna is happy and grateful that I am going through this entire struggle just to please Him.
Recently we had been to Mayapur as part of our annual yatra, and it was freezing cold. When I discovered that our guest house had no hot water facility, I panicked thinking how the women, children and the older members of our group would take bath. Just then three young men, also part of our group came forward and assured me, “tomorrow morning we will ensure that each of our fifty members of the yatra get hot water. We have got some extra buckets, electric immersion rods, and shall soon figure out other ways” And true to their words, the boys woke up early each morning and served all the other members happily. After the five days I spent some time with the families asking them their realizations during the yatra. All of them expressed profuse gratitude to the boys for happily serving them, despite all inconveniences. “They didn’t care for their comforts; they were more interested to see we are happy” was a unanimous expression.
If we ordinary mortals can feel touched by someone’s struggle to serve us, how would the most tender-hearted, all loving Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna feel when He sees we are happily struggling and cooperating with each other to serve Him. Surely He would feel a trillion times more grateful to see our sincere mood to serve Him.
We shouldn’t be discouraged when despite our sincere endeavour it’s such a battle with the mind to remember Krishna. We may also go through some pain in our relationships, and services. Yet it’s all worth it because Krishna notices each of our internal conflicts and confusions, and feels grateful that we repeatedly choose Him and have taken up inconveniences only to please Him.
The Mahabharata explains that When Draupadi helplessly called out, “he Govinda”, Krishna felt indebted that she cried with feeling. This proves how if we sincerely call out to Krishna, we could please Him. The Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu also describes that being grateful is one of Krishna’s sixty four transcendental qualities. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains,
“The Maha Mantra (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ) is also simply an address to the Lord and His energy. So to anyone who is constantly engaged in addressing the Lord and His energy, we can imagine how much the Supreme Lord is obliged. It is impossible for the Lord to ever forget such a devotee. It is clearly stated in this verse that anyone who addresses the Lord immediately attracts the attention of the Lord, who always remains obliged to him.” (Srila Prabhupada in Nectar of Devotion, chapter 21)
A person who doesn’t forget his friend’s favour and reciprocates with his kindness is considered grateful. When Jambavan, a hero of the Ramayana rendered selfless service to Lord Rama, the Lord acknowledged his service and in the incarnation of Krishna, He reciprocated by marrying Jambavan’s daughter. Srila Prabhupada describes that any honest person would never forget any service done to him. And how can Krishna who is the supremely honest person forget any service rendered to Him by a sincere devotee?
These statements are hope giving to us as time and again life throws up real and unexpected challenges.
Next time I am faced with temptations or distractions, I could offer this silent prayer, “Krishna, I love you, and I am saying ‘no’ to this only to please You. Please accept this as my sincere attempt to attract your attention, and kindly be pleased upon me”
I can now see Krishna consciousness is a very hopeful process; I wish to forever remain thankful and happy to know that Krishna is the most grateful person.