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Spiritual lessons from a dog – Part 3

Spiritual lessons from a dog – Part 3

Duryodhana internally rejoiced at his great luck but externally
feigned disappointment and said he’d accept his fate. He gleefully
returned home, thanking Arjuna for his ‘foolishness’. But as events
unfolded later, Arjuna’s choice proved fateful, and Pandavas won the
battle, largely due to Krishna’s timely intervention at practically
every aspect of the war. Although Krishna lived up to His promise and
didn’t personally fight the war, yet he orchestrated events to help
Arjuna and the Pandavas.

Srila Prabhupada’s instructions

Dhruva, a five-year-old boy, was determined to get a kingdom greater
than Lord Brahma. He performed severe austerities, and finally, when
the Lord appeared and was willing to offer him anything he desired,
Dhruva did a volte-face- he wanted none of the material wealth but
only God’s love. Remembering the Lord had purified Dhruva of his lower
desires and he now offered prayers that have immortalized the pages of
Srimad Bhagavatam. He declared that in comparison to the Lord’s
personal association which is like a priceless diamond, all other
wishes he nursed for possessions and positions in this world, are like
broken pieces of glass. He only wished Lord’s loving service.

Srila Prabhupada often said that the residents of Vrindavan are
considered as Krishna’s best devotees because they desired nothing
material from Krishna. They only wanted to love Krishna
unconditionally. In one lecture, Srila Prabhupada graphically explains
that when Krishna returned from the pasturing grounds of Vrindavan,
the gopis did not check Krishna’s pockets to see what He has brought
for them. They wanted nothing but Krishna’s pleasure and love.

Becoming Krishna’s dog

Bhakti Vinod Thakur, a nineteenth-century Vaishnava saint from Bengal,
has penned a beautiful song in his book called Saranagati, where he
echoes the mood of a devotee:

“Oh Krishna, now that I have surrendered all I possess, kindly
consider me as your dog. Chain me and maintain me please; I shall
forever remain faithful to you. Whatever remnants your devotees leave
after eating, I will relish that. While sitting or lying down, I shall
always meditate on your lotus feet. Whenever you call me, I shall run
to you and dance in rapture…”

Srila Prabhupada pointed out that a dog’s best quality is his loyalty
to his master. He often drew parallels with the neck beads that
devotees wear, to the chain that a master ties on his pet. We don’t
want to be like an uncared-for street dog that the municipality takes
away. Our neck beads would prevent the town officials – material
energy – from dragging us away to a world of forgetfulness of God.
Krishna’s loving protection keeps us happy and safe in this world of
persistent suffering and repeated birth and death.

Following Srila Prabhupada and our acharyas’ instructions, let’s
happily choose to be Krishna’s dogs and love and serve Krishna
unconditionally.

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