“Transcendental loving service for the Supreme Lord is the natural inclination of every living being. The instinct is dormant in everyone, but due to the association of material nature the modes of passion and ignorance cover this from time immemorial. If, by the grace of the Lord and the great-souled devotees of the Lord, a living being becomes fortunate enough to associate with the unadulterated devotees of the Lord and gets a chance to hear the unadulterated glories of the Lord, certainly the flow of devotional service takes place like the flow of a river.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.5.28 Purport)
“I appreciate everything about the bhakti culture. When I first came upon works of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, such as Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Shrimad Bhagavatam, the information was earth-shattering. That is to say the life I was living, the depressing material existence, came to a screeching halt. Everything I previously thought to be true was now revealed to be a lie.
“The conclusion was supported by the highest authority figures. A swami who dedicated his life to glorifying the Almighty and bringing others into the light of transcendence. Teachers appearing prior to him in the same line of disciplic succession, both instructing and showing through personal example.
“Everything made sense to me, though I certainly have not achieved perfection myself. I have a long way to go, but I at least acknowledge the defects in the alternative lifestyles, in assigning anyone other than God top priority for satisfaction, sacrifice and dedication.
“I am one of the lucky ones. No doubt about it. The problem I see is that people will be unwilling to hear the message due to the imagery and associated practices, which are foreign to them. They will consider Krishna to be a ‘Hindu’ god. They will think protecting cows and limiting sex life to be unnecessary, burdensome, and not in line with a loving God, who wants His innumerable children to enjoy.
“How do we bring others into the light? How do we convince them that this is the only true universal brotherhood, wherein everyone carries out their prescribed duties, befitting their internal qualities, while working together for the same goal: pleasing the Supreme Lord?”
The teaching is that Krishna consciousness lies dormant within everyone. Krishna is just one name for addressing the Almighty. There is only one God, and since He is certainly all-attractive, the name of Krishna suits Him well. Though He is never tied down to a single name, devotees choose to address Him in different ways based on His features, activities, and relationships.
A common comparison is to a match. There is already fire within the match. No one has to intentionally add the property or work any magic. The match simply requires striking in a certain way and the fire will manifest.
We see the same with interpersonal dealings. One person is down on the world. They are depressed after hearing the experience that others go through in life. They have decided that they will simply sit on the sidelines. You can’t fail a class that you never enroll in. You can’t get fired from a job that you never accepted.
At the root is distrust, dislike, hatred, or just a general negative opinion of others. Yet the same person can certainly transform. They may one day switch entirely, wherein they love others and appreciate the struggles they go through. That love was always inside of them; it did not need to be created.
In the same way, Krishna consciousness is entirely natural. The material consciousness is unnatural; it is forced and fueled by illusion. When a person comes in contact with real knowledge, they slowly creep out of the darkness. The illusion no longer applies to them, and they can live the natural way, wherein they love God.
This is like watering the roots of the tree. The water applied automatically carries nutrition to the component parts of the tree, such as the leaves and branches. If we love God first, we will naturally extend that feeling towards those connected to God, which include everyone and everything.
Therefore, whether foreign or native, whether inherited from family traditions or going completely against the way of life lived by the ancestors for countless generations, bhakti-yoga is entirely natural. The fortunate who find their way into that culture never look back.
Never looking back,
Since nothing to lack.
Fortunate that I have found,
To bhakti culture bound.
Material life depressing,
Natural love suppressing.
Seeming strange at first it may,
But spontaneous soon the way.