Jan 23: The greatest devotee

23 Jan

About 14 families joined the satsang. Sri Arvindji and Smt Geethaji from Orlando lead the NamaSankirtan. We are indeed fortunate to allocate a little time every week to think and chant the Lord’s Names in spite of our tight schedule. The weekly satsangs are prayer meetings. Narayananji mentioned how we think of God only during tough times. When we are happy, we fail to realize that it because of the Lord’s compassion that we are indeed happy. To express gratitude to the lord is Bhakti. And the simplest and easiest path for showing gratitude is to chant the Divine Names of the Lord.

Sri Ramaniji from Los Angeles told a story illustrating the compassion of the Lord.

We all know that the greatest devotee is Lord Narada, who is also a great sage. One day, he was contemplating as to who was the great devotee of the Lord. He thought that he was indeed him as he was incessantly chanting the names of the Lord. In order to confirm this, he went to Lord Vishnu and put forth his question. He also mentioned that he knew who the great devotee was and happily told the Lord that it was indeed him. In reply to his question, Lord Vishnu and Lord Narada disguised as humans, descended to the earth.

They went to a small village. They saw a small hut which housed a big family. The breadwinner of the house saw these guests and invited them to his house. The guests happily accepted the invitation and went to his house. He was a farmer and all he knew was only farming. At that time his wife was preparing gruel and bread for dinner for her family. Since there was not too much food available, they first served the bread to the guests and retained the gruel for their kids. However Lord Vishnu, who was one of the guests, was not satiated after his dinner and so they gave the gruel as well to him. When they went to retire for the day, the farmer’s son asked him as to why he gave the gruel as well to the guests. In reply, the farmer mentioned that serving the guests is equal to serving the Lord Vishnu. The next day, the guests asked the farmer if they could also join him to the farm fields. He happily agreed and Lord Vishnu in the farm asked the farmer as to how many times he remembers the Lord in a day. The farmer was immediately humbled and said that he utters the Divine Names few times when he ploughs the land, when watering the plants etc. Hearing this Lord Narada was convinced that his initial statement still stood! The guests thanked the farmer and set out in another direction.

When they left, Lord Narada asked Lord Vishnu as to why they had come there. . Lord Vishnu bought a pot filled with oil and asked him to keep that pot on top of Narada’s head and requested him to go over the field without spilling it. Lord Narada accepted the challenge as he was confident he will be able to do it. He had that confidence because he was chanting the Divine Names of the Lord day in and out and thought that the Lord’s grace will help in win the challenge.

With utmost attention, Lord Narada went over the fields successfully without spilling the oil. On his successful completion, Lord Vishnu commended his job and asked Lord Narada as to how many times he chanted the Names of the Lord when he was going around the fields. Lord Narada replied that he didn’t chant His Name and that he was much focused not to spill the oil.

At this juncture, Lord Vishnu commented on how the life is coupled with sorrows and turmoil and how difficult it is to lead a life. In that crucial situation it is very difficult to utter the Name of the Lord. But the farmer who had so many children and who was in a very poor condition uttered the divine Names of the Lord in the morning and evening and whenever he got a breather.

Lord Narada then realized that it was very easy to chant the Divine Names sitting at one place and not doing any work, while it is very difficult to think of the Lord when one is born in this mundane world. He accepted his defeat and from then on he never came up with the question as to who was the great devotee of the Lord.

Following this lecture, Sri Aravindji shared some of his Nama Anubhava.
1. Grace in ways one can’t imagine
2. The banyan tree shade

Following this Sriramji from Houston gave a summary of the first Srimad Bhagavatam Study Circle that they conducted in Houston. Sri Sankarji from San Jose announced about the third Srimad Bhagavatam study circle.

The satsang wrapped up with Namasankirtan.


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