Is This The Thanks I Get

[Lord Rama]“Whereas other masters become furious at merely hearing about the offenses of their servants, Shri Rama, seeing the offenses Himself, never keeps them in His heart.” (Dohavali, 47)

sāhiba hota saro।sa sevaka ko aparādha suni |
apane dekhe do।sa sapanehu rāma na ura dhare ||

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You’re very excited. Since your husband took this new job, you hardly see him. Though you didn’t like the idea of him working so far from home, you both decided it was okay in the short term due to the substantial increase in pay. Though he was supposed to come home every weekend, in the past few weeks he had to work straight through. A new project took higher priority, but never mind as now he’s coming home for a full week.

[mac and cheese]To prepare, you arrange the whole house very nicely. You know his favorite dishes, so you’ve decided that you’re going to cook them for dinner. Each night will feature a different one. On the first night macaroni and cheese is served. You like eating this too, and you don’t mind patting yourself on the back for how well it came out. The next night you make bean and cheese burritos. During dinner your husband is a little upset since there isn’t any sauce in the burrito. In your excitement, you forgot to add it.

The next few nights everything goes well. You even got him tickets to see his favorite baseball team. The last night of his stay, you both go over the past week. You ask him if everything went well, if he was happy to be home. He says that he was, but that he couldn’t forget the error with the burritos on the second night. He chastises you for forgetting something he considered to be so important. You are flabbergasted. Here you barely get to see him, and when he comes home you go all out to make him happy. He doesn’t remember the good things. He doesn’t commend you for the extra effort. He instead points to one little flaw. You immediately go to the other room and start crying.

In this situation, the wife must wonder why she even makes the effort. What is the point to working so hard? Is this the thanks she gets? Indeed, this is the defect in service in material affairs. The senses are such that they are never satisfied. The more one tries, the harder it becomes to satisfy them. The master-servant relationship is also riddled with defects. The person giving the orders or the one accepting the service can become upset over a tiny flaw. They need only hear about this; they won’t have to see it directly.

In devotional service, however, the situation is different. The beneficiary is God. He is generous, magnanimous, kind, and extremely grateful. To be grateful means to appreciate a kind act done for your benefit. It means always remembering that act and not focusing on the negative instead. Shri Rama, the Supreme Lord in His personal form of a handsome warrior prince, is indeed grateful, as His younger brother Lakshmana describes.

“I am His younger brother, Lakshmana by name. Due to His transcendental qualities, I have taken up service to Him, as He is grateful and very knowledgeable.” (Lakshmana speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.12)

[Lord Rama]Since He is grateful, work for Rama always pays off. If you chant the holy names for His benefit, He will be pleased. He will remember your struggle in keeping up the routine. He will appreciate how you tried your best to hear each name as you pronounced it: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. He will not remember the slip ups you made along the way. He will not hold your faults against you. He is a loving God, after all, so why would He look to punish. It takes many lifetimes before one even attempts devotional service to try to know God. Such a soul is rare.

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante

jñānavān māṁ prapadyate

vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti

sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ

“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.19)

That soul is fortunate because they get help from Rama. He is the best person to serve because He can help any person succeed. He has the tools to make that happen. Success in bhakti is God’s association, and since He is omnipresent, He can appear anywhere. He appreciates the efforts of His devotees, which makes the devotees more attached to Him.

In Closing:

For another doing so much,

But appreciation from them not a touch.


To go to such effort why?

Better if not even to try.


Rama grateful for any effort made,

Increased devotion the reward then paid.


Not to hold against you a single fault,

To tuck them away, sealed in a vault.

Categories: dohavali 41-80

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