Today Krishnapath was at Temple University distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and as we were driving away on the side of the road I saw one big billboard saying simply: “opportunities aren’t given their made”.
It was an advertisement for the school we were just at.
I thought about this for some time… and I realized that this is so true in so many ways!
In our Krishna Consciousness, Krishna and Srila Prabhupada do not drag us out of maya, we eventually get sick of being kicked around by maya and take the initiative to do some service for Srila Prabhupada’s sankirtana mission.
None of us mudha’s came out of the USA and approached Srila Prabhupada and offered him money and facility to come to America. No. He took the initiative, He made the opportunity to get the credit of doing the preaching work by coming to America and saving all of us. As a result he is now world famous and loved. and what is that “saving all of us” mean? It means he made it possible (by giving us the books for our guidance and daily inspiration, establishing temples all over the world, seting standards that – if we follow we will make spiritual advancement to the platform of Krishna Prema etc.) for us to in turn take the responsiblity for our own progress in our own spiritual life. the books will not be Krishna conscious for us. The temples will not go back to the spiritual world for us and our japa beads will not chant sudha-Nama (pure divine name where Krishna is fully present dancing on our tongue and tears of love flow from our eyes etc – as opposed to Nama-basa where we are pronouncing the name “Krishna” but Krishna is not fully present due to offenses and thus we do not melt in ecstasy by the chanting) for us. No. we must take the initiative. Then we will reap the result
I have lived in India before and I have heard so many times especially there in my preaching efforts people say, “when krishna wants me to surrender I will” as if Krishna is going to force us to do something but that is not how Krishna works he gives us our free will and lets us use it as we like. We can choose to be a devotee or a nonsense. We must take the initiative! We must be proactive in our spiritual life.
Spiritual life is not a spectator sport. We must be independently thoughtful and create the opportunities to do service for Krishna not just wait till someone may (or may not) ask us to do service for Krishna.
Just think… If you are in a relationship with someone, lets say you only give flowers to your wife if she asks you to, or you only tell her you love her and hug her or take her out on a date if she asks you too.
Think of how she will feel if she has to ask you for these things that you should be doing on your own initiative out of love and appreciation for her.
Do you think that that relationship will even last? If it does, what will be the quality of that relationship?
So similarly the relationship we have with Krishna is eternal and even more intimate and close. How much more should we be self motivated and eager to make opportunities to please Krishna and his pure devotee Srila Prabhupada.
So just like with our wife’s and children we must make the opportunity to appreciate them and serve them and do things for them that express our love for them. So we must make opportunities to serve Krishna and Prabhupada and not wait to be told too.
Krishna says in His Bhagavad-gita 4.11
“ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
manusyah partha sarvasah”
“All of them – as they surrender unto Me – I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.”
Just like we find when we serve our families, they reciprocate with us and do nice things for us too, out of love, that is just a reflection of the spiritual energy, if we take the initiative and make opportunities to serve Krishna and Prabhupada then guess what?
They will make opportunities to help us too!
Gradually as we continue to be self motivated to serve Krishna and Prabhupada more and more it becomes something done spontaneously, with no expectation of reward. Then that is real love. Selfless unalloyed love.