“Being very much delighted and satisfied, those monkeys enthusiastic to see you arrived at the northern shore of the ocean.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.68)
विन्ध्यादुत्थाय सम्प्राप्ता स्सागरस्यान्तमुत्तरम्।
त्वद्धर्शनकृतोत्साहा हृष्टास्तुष्टाः प्लवङ्गमाः।।
vindhyādutthāya samprāptā ssāgarasyāntamuttaram।
tvaddharśanakṛtotsāhā hṛṣṭāstuṣṭāḥ plavaṅgamāḥ।।
“I know that one of the qualifications in devotional service is utsaha. This is enthusiasm. We should not follow spiritual life out of fear, out of concern over the afterlife, out of need for money, out of hoping distress will go away, and so forth.
“Granted, those might be valid entry points. We might find our way to God after we are deeply disturbed by a situation in life. We might have no other recourse than to pray, than to look to the heavens for assistance.
“As every saint has a past, it is not so important how a person finds their way towards service to the Almighty, but certain distinctions set the devotee apart moving forward. There should be love and attachment. This is natural; it is part of the dharma of the individual.
“The stipulation for enthusiasm makes sense, but what if I don’t find a particular type of worship to be appealing? For instance, I know that the acharyas recommend the sankirtana-yajna for this age. Chant with others the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“This implies some sort of public face. You are chanting together, with other people, who sometimes might be foreign to the culture. The chanting is a way to attract others. It is also for internal purification, as the holy name is nondifferent from the person it represents.
“Let’s be honest, though. If I don’t have enthusiasm for this kind of worship, am I out of luck? Is there something wrong with me? I get more pleasure from reading books. I like to hear the glories of God the person, as described in the Puranas and Ramayana. Is my lack of enthusiasm in one area a disqualification for achieving the highest destination, param-gatim?”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that, “Vaishnavas are very much enthusiastic to describe on paper the glories of Lord Krishna and Krishna Consciousness.” This is obviously a different activity from the one described above. It is not chanting together. It is not moving about in public and putting on a sort of exhibition in worship, for others to witness and take notice.
Yet glorification of God is also kirtana. If it takes place on paper or a digital medium, the interaction is the same. There is a connection to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is linking of the individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness.
We can infer that another kind of activity qualifies as worship. If you are enthusiastic to describe God’s glories, you are practicing yoga. You are equally as eligible for reaching the highest destination as someone who is enthusiastic in a different, but related endeavor.
The enthusiasm might even be in something non-traditional, with respect to worship. In the Ramayana, Hanuman describes how the Vanaras from Kishkindha are enthusiastic to see Sita Devi, the wife of Shri Rama. They are neither chanting mantras nor writing articles and books. They are desperately searching the world for a missing princess.
They have not met Sita prior. They are enthusiastically carrying out the work for the benefit of Shri Rama, who is nondifferent from Krishna. This means that they are within the devotional discipline, and due to their enthusiasm and selfless sacrifice, they are more dear to Rama than words can describe.
Many Vaishnavas are known for their exceptional ability in devotional writing. Some authored great works without putting their name to it; they wrote anonymously. Sometimes, this can provide more freedom in the expression of devotional love. There are less boundaries and lowered inhibitions.
If there is enthusiasm, a person should continue forward. Man is gifted with ability, after all. The secret is to simply shift the beneficiary of the ability. Instead of working for the senses, work for Vishnu. Make His satisfaction the top priority, and in that endeavor there will be continuing enthusiasm, which has an eternally renewing lease, lifetime after lifetime.
An eternally renewing lease,
Where enthusiasm to increase.
Such that as eager than before,
Wanting to serve more and more.
Not single way forced,
Like Vanaras of different course.
Where the entire earth to scour,
Dedicated for Rama their power.