“For iron to be attracted by a magnet is natural. Similarly, for all living entities to be attracted toward Krishna is natural, and therefore the Lord’s real name is Krishna, meaning He who attracts everyone and everything.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.14 Purport)
Friend1: What if someone is not attracted to Krishna?
Friend2: How is that determination made? Declining after someone makes the “sales pitch”, so to speak?
Friend1: Sure, or after they have visited a temple or something. They are just not feeling it. They may be intrigued by the imagery. They may have a level of respect. They appreciate the beautiful decorations. They find the songs pleasing to the ear.
Friend2: But if someone advises to worship Krishna, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such a person is not spontaneously attracted.
Friend1: There you go. They are not feeling the sentiment; not yet anyway. What can be done?
Friend2: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that the attraction is natural. While the situation you describe seems to paint an opposing picture, the principle is not invalidated.
Friend1: How so?
Friend2: Well, does every professional tennis player have a positive experience of their first time on the court? Did the faculty head of the physics department at the university love the science when they first came upon it?
Friend1: Sometimes people do have a natural attraction, starting from birth. But I see what you mean. Tastes can be acquired.
Friend2: Devotional service, bhakti-yoga, is the highest taste.
रस-वर्जं रसो ऽप्य् अस्य
परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते
rasa-varjaṁ raso ‘py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
“The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.59)
Friend1: That is the sell, then? Just keep at it. Visit the temple. Read the books. Chant the holy names. Eventually, you will be attracted.
Friend2: Oh, there is no doubt about it. You forgot about the regulative principles. Follow those in conjunction with the other activities and there will surely be some attraction.
Friend1: How can you be sure?
Friend2: Because Krishna relates to every person in some way. Even the atheist can find something to appreciate. Krishna once stopped the tradition of Indra-yajna and created an alternative.
Friend1: Govardhana Puja.
Friend2: Which makes the Supreme Lord somewhat of an iconoclast. Square that one in your mind.
Friend1: You have a lot of confidence. Much more than I have.
Friend2: It is from the acharyas. They teach that devotional service is natural. It is like the iron attracted to the magnet. This is what scares people sometimes, too.
Friend1: How so?
Friend2: They have a feeling deep inside that if they stay with bhakti-yoga long enough, they will lose interest in other things. They will automatically let go of life in illusion and instead dedicate everything to the all-attractive one.
Friend1: Hmm, I could see that. Change is always risky; there’s an element of uncertainty.
Friend2: What is there to lose? Dedicate some time to hearing. Listen to the principles about the identity of the individual. Learn about the distinction between matter and spirit, the travels of the individual soul, the law of action and reaction, repeated births, the miseries of a material existence, and much more.
Friend1: The philosophy is interesting, at the very least.
Friend2: Then hear about how God is different, how He has a spiritual form, how He is the best friend to every person, regardless of their inherited faith or country of origin. It’s a tradition timeless in both its passage through the generations and the experience itself. Bhakti-yoga is joyfully performed, especially in the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Why not this path choose?
What have you got to lose?
Dedicate some time to hear,
To the truth coming near.
And proper place understand,
How soul in this realm to land.
Then attraction guaranteed to form,
Towards Supreme Lord to warm.