"Pada Seva means to serve the lotus feet of Guru and Krishna.You cannot serve Krishna without Guru, or serve just Guru without serving Krishna. They must be served or offered pada seva simultaneously." - Srila Prabhupada

Boon or Curse



Some times we find people complaining about the hard phase of life they undergo even though they take on to Krishna Bhakti. Many suggest the Vaishnavas to go for worshiping demigods because according to them, demigods are extremely merciful.

All this confusion happens because we are not understanding the benediction we get from Krishna.

Every one of us has heard the episode of Bali Maharaj who was humbled by Krishna in the form of Vamana Dev. Bali Maharaj was the grandson of Prahlad Maharaj. And so he was still having that devotion in his consciousness and was the knower of scriptural injunctions.

However just a moment ago Bali Maharaj was the ruler of Lower Planetary Systems and Planet Earth, he was about to perform the last yagna which would have empowered him to take on the higher planetary systems, so he was at the peak of material possession and now he had lost everything to Vamanadev he had or could have possessed. 

All the sages and demigods were happy and rejoicing for Bali Maharaj was cheated by Lord.

However, Bali Maharaj was humble. Neither was he repentant nor was he depressed, never for once did he question Lord that "my Lord, I would have surrendered everything to you easily for I know everything belongs to you. Why did you have to disguise?"

Rather, he said "My dear Lord, you are the greatest deceiver. For the world, for the demigods, for the sages, it seems you have supported Indra and demigods. But in reality, you have cheated them. You have just given Indra the toy of Material World to play with. But to me, you have given me the humble opportunity to surrender myself to you. You have gifted me by placing your lotus feet on my head thereby restoring my constitutional position of your eternal servants."

We must understand the mood of Bali Maharaj
"... Greatly appreciating the transcendental qualities of the Lord, Bali Maharaja offered everything at His lotus feet. His purpose, however, was not to gain anything material, but to become a pure devotee."
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.24.19

Indeed the Bali Maharaj was blessed by Lord. Lord was so touched by the devotion of Bali Maharaj that, He made Bali Maharaj the emperor of Sutala Loka (where there is a million times more material enjoyment than Swarga). Lord didn't stop at just this. He, the Owner the Proprietor of the entire creation, offered Himself to be a doorkeeper at the Palace of Bali Maharaj.

So we must take a great lesson from this incident.

I know this devotee who was in Switzerland for 2 years. He worked extremely hard and his clients were too happy with him. They tried to pull him to their company. He used to visit Zurich ISKCON and used to pray Krishna intensely to be merciful and may he get an opportunity to stay back there. But things didn't happen that way, for his company policies and his visa permit didn't allow that. He had to return to India after his visa was expired. He was sad and heartbroken for Krishna didn't listen to his prayers. In few months events so happened that he came in touch with ISKCON Kolkata & was warmly welcomed in the family of devotees. Today he realizes how merciful Krishna actually was on him.

Krishna's mercy is not in the material wealth, for these leads to bondage and these are temporary. The real wealth Krishna gives is a chance to perform devotional services in the association of His devotees under the guidance of a bonafied guru.

We must not be foolish like Indra & demigods.
"Alas, how pitiable it is for Indra, the King of heaven, that although he is very learned and powerful and although he chose Brhaspati as his prime minister to instruct him, he is completely ignorant concerning spiritual advancement. Brhaspati is also unintelligent because he did not properly instruct his disciple Indra. Lord Vamanadeva was standing at Indra’s door, but King Indra, instead of begging Him for an opportunity to render transcendental loving service, engaged Him in asking me for alms to gain the three worlds for his sense gratification. Sovereignty over the three worlds is very insignificant because whatever material opulence one may possess lasts only for an age of Manu, which is but a tiny fraction of endless time."
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.24.24

We must rely on Krishna. If we are chanting, trying to honestly follow His orders that we receive through our seniors and not following our mind, we must understand that our life is controlled by Krishna's will.

The apparent misery and distress is nothing compared to the benediction of getting a chance to serve for the pleasure of devotees, guru and Krishna.

 ***

Thank you for reading this article. 

If You have liked it, then please share it with everyone and contribute to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission of spreading The Holy Name. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please feel free to mention them below.

Hare Krishna!
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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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