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Kartik Inspirations 2018 - Day 14

Through the Eyes of Devotion

By Sacinandana Swami

Yesterday I went on Govardhan parikram. It was a chilly morning. I started very early in the dark and arrived at Govinda-kund at around 7 o’clock. Right at the banks of this little lake is a temple I am very fond of – the temple of Gopal. I was about to pay my obeisances when I saw five big monkeys sitting on the threshold between Gopal and the place where the pilgrims have their darshan. As I bent down I thought, ‘Oh, no. I have high-quality coconut water in my red bag. Surely, they will jump onto me and plunder my bag when I’m on the ground.’

However, they were not interested in my bag, so I continued on my journey, when suddenly a devotee shouted: “Here is Sacinandana Swami!”, held video recorder in front of my face and said: “You have to tell us in one sentence, who is the sacred mountain Govardhan for you?” After giving my answer, I continued on the parikaram and a couple of moments later found myself surrounded by 30 – 40 other pilgrims talking about many different things.

All of these encounters started influencing me. I thought; ‘Here I am: afraid of the monkeys, not able to hide from the world with everyone recognizing me and now I’m surrounded by gossiping people.’ I was a little disturbed. Then everything changed.

With great emotion a devotee sitting before the Govardhan mountain called out: “Dina-dayal!” This means: “Krishna, o friend of the fallen!” I looked at him – his eyes were full of light and he smiled from Vraja to Germany and back. He must also have had his encounters with external disturbances, but I could see that he was situated in Krishna consciousness. Everything was ok for him, he saw the Lord within everything.

In that moment my whole experience changed. I no longer saw the monkeys as enemies, and although I sometimes passed by people who recognized me and made a big commotion about it, I was no longer influenced by these disturbances. This was because the moment our heart is filled with devotion, everything else doesn’t matter any longer.

The Srimad Bhagavatam (11.14.23) points out that devotion or bhakti can purify and transform everything:

“If one’s hairs do not stand on end, how can the heart melt?
And if the heart does not melt, how can tears of love flow from the eyes? If one does not cry in spiritual happiness how can one render loving service to the Lord? And without such service, how can the consciousness be purified?”

In a text from the 11th Canto Krishna points out:

“In Krishna consciousness you need the bhava (emotion) of bhakti. Do anything to get this mood. The safest place where you can find it is in the association of good devotees, who are full of this bhava – this loving devotional emotion.”

This emotion will place everything into the fire of bhakti and change your whole experience – so that monkeys and other people won’t disturb you. When you see with the eyes of devotion, you will behold everything in connection with Krishna.

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