Four Times We Remember Krishna

[Krishna with fruit]“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.65)

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मन्मना भव मद्भ‍क्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु ।
मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ॥

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ’si me

The acharyas give the recommendation. It is the cornerstone of the entire discipline. There are also the rules and regulations. No pain, no gain. You can’t expect success without a little sacrifice. We wouldn’t be approaching them for assistance if we had everything together already.

The premise is that we are supposed to remember Krishna. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is our greatest well-wisher. He is loved and adored, especially by Shrimati Radharani. He is the most special person to travelling saints like Narada Muni. He is the subject matter for the extraordinary literary output from Vyasadeva.

Accepting the recommendation is the first step, but how do I actually proceed? What does remembering Krishna look like? What is the exact method of implementation? How do I know that I am following the path properly, so that I am closer to reaching transcendence and completing this lifetime successfully?

1. When chanting His name

“There is something about the maha-mantra. You cannot deny it. Sit down for a little bit and listen to the repeating sequence of words: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

“After a while, you can’t help but join in. It is a blissful engagement. No one had to program you to develop a taste. Since these are the names of God, the attraction was always there. It is in the nature of the soul to love God. That is the meaning to dharma.

“What about me? What do I think of while chanting? For sure, my mind tends to wander here and there. When I am focused, I concentrate on the name itself. Then I am able to remember Krishna. It just happens. It is an amazing experience.”

2. When thinking of how we can please Him with some service

“He is such a wonderful person. He is indeed a person, purusha, but of a different category. He has done so much for me. I don’t need evidence in terms of a certification or a sworn attestation. I just know.

अहमस्यावरो भ्राता गुणैर्दास्यमुपागतः
कृतज्ञस्य बहुज्ञस्य लक्ष्मणो नाम नामतः

ahamasyāvaro bhrātā guṇairdāsyamupāgataḥ
kṛtajñasya bahujñasya lakṣmaṇo nāma nāmataḥ

“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 about Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.12)

“Therefore, I want to do something in return. In the Ramayana, Lakshmana remarks how he follows Shri Rama. One of the reasons is that Rama is grateful. He forgets not a single deed done in His honor. Well, I want to do as many good things for Him as a I can. In such contemplation, I end up remembering the Supreme Lord.”

3. When reading literature about Him

“What better way to remember than to hear directly from the source? Bhagavad-gita has Shri Krishna’s words, preserved for all of time. It is like accessing a tape recording. The code of the Sanskrit language creates the mechanism for reproducing what was spoken on the battlefield of Kurukshetra some five thousand years ago.

[Krishna with fruit]“A single verse or passage is enough to keep the mind blissfully occupied throughout the day. For instance, I recently read about the exchange between Krishna and the fruit vendor. He was a small child at the time. In imitating the adults, He passed along some payment to the vendor. It was not nearly enough, but the pure devotion on the other side reciprocated with a sufficient quantity of fruit.

फलविक्रयिणी तस्य च्युतधान्यकरद्वयम् ।
फलैरपूरयद् रत्नै: फलभाण्डमपूरि च ॥

phala-vikrayiṇī tasya
phalair apūrayad ratnaiḥ
phala-bhāṇḍam apūri ca

“While Krishna was going to the fruit vendor very hastily, most of the grains He was holding fell. Nonetheless, the fruit vendor filled Krishna’s hands with fruits, and her fruit basket was immediately filled with jewels and gold.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.11.11)

“The fruit vendor then noticed that the fruit in her basket was magically transformed into valuable jewels. This means that the devotee is never in a losing proposition. Though they are officially undergoing sacrifice, yajna, there is only infinite gain on the other side.”

4. When speaking about Him

“I could speak about Him for hours and hours. Days and days. Many years have gone by, and I am still not tired from the process. This is why it is accurate to say that Krishna is inexhaustible. He is Ananta because there is no end to His glories.

[Shri Krishna]“Just by describing Him to others, I am able to remember. Remembering is blissful, and therefore I continue to describe. I look forward to it. Even though I lack ability and artistic expression, I push through the embarrassment and try my best. I do it more for myself than for others, but I know the benefits go in every direction.”

In Closing:

Though in written projection,
Benefits in every direction.

Since about Krishna speaking,
Only His pleasure seeking.

Remembering also when chanting,
Like cherished wish granting.

This bhakti-yoga gift,
Soaring spirits to lift.

Categories: the four

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