This Is the Beginning

    tat-paratvena nirmalam
    hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
    sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
    (CC Madhya 19.170)

[Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and, simply by being employed in the service of the Lord, one's senses are purified.]

Because we are now designated, therefore in, in exchange of our service, we expect some profit. But when we shall be liberated, when we shall be pure soul, then there is no question of exchange. It is a service of love.

Just like mother. There are some good examples in the material world, world, like the father and mother render service to the son. Just like here immediately you see the father is taking his son in a perambulator (baby carriage). It is rendering service. But there is no remuneration. It is duty. Because the father is expected to serve. Otherwise, the son will not survive. So this is a service of love. Similarly, even in this material, this service of love, there is a question of gain. Because sometimes the father thinks that "When the son will be grown up, I'll be happy, I'll get some remuneration," like that... There is some prospect. But actually, when we render service to the Supreme, there is not a single idea like that, "I shall be rewarded by..."

But it, that kind of service, is rewarded very highly. Very highly. The relation, the natural relation between God and ourself, is so sweet that a pure living entity is always trying to render service to the Lord without any material profit and the Lord is trying to serve the devotee. He's also finding out the opportunity, how to serve His devotee. So this is spiritual exchange of love. But that will be experienced when we are actually liberated from these designation, designated life. But we can begin, even in this designated life, we can begin just like an apprentice, this devotional service...

And the beginning is to devote some time. You have got twenty-four hours time. You can find out, you can pick up at least one hour, two hours, three hours, four hours. As much as you can, you devote yourself to this service of chanting "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare" and then gradually you'll be free, free from the designation, and you'll realize yourself what you are and what is your position, and how you are making progress.

So this is the beginning. We are originally, our function is to render service, and where the service is to be rendered? To the Supreme. That is our natural position. Now, under designation, we are rendering the same service to so many things. That function is already there. Because... Just like the water. Water is liquid always, either black water, or green water or yellow water, or white water, it is always liquid. Because the water has become black, it does not mean the liquidity is lost. Similarly, because we are now in contact with material designation, so our services atti..., service attitude is not lost. That is there. But it is being rendered in a different way. So we have to clear out the pure water out of all designations, and...

Just like Arjuna. Arjuna, he was under the impression of this material existence. Therefore he refused to render service to the Lord. Lord Kṛṣṇa wanted that he should fight. He refused, "No, I am not going to fight." But when he understood his position by, by the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, he agreed, "Yes, I shall fight." So this is spiritual.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, July 20, 1966)

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