What kind of devotee do I want to be?


I’m focusing on one verse for the moment:

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

teṣām — unto them; satatayuktānām — always engaged; bhajatām — in rendering devotional service; prītipūrvakam — in loving ecstasy; dadāmi — I give; buddhiyogam — real intelligence; tam — that; yena — by which; mām — unto Me; upayānti — come; te — they.

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Bhagavad-gita 10.10

Why do one have to be constantly devoted to be given understanding?

I don’t think it’s true that Krishna only give the understanding to those that are constantly devoted. We have been taught that if we give one percent, then Krishna will help us with one percent as well (does anybody have a reference to this?).

But it also begs the question: What kind of devotee do I want to be? How do I want to be devoted?

“Do I want to be a devotee “is a  yes or no kind of question which gives no information. But the “how” on the other hand  can say a lot about me, where I’m at.

Cows are sacred for us, and they are truly beautiful. But I don’t want to live in a temple, shuffling cow shit or cooking prasadam with my lousy cooking skills. Most devotees have mystic interests and go to healers and shamans and the likes. I consider many (if not all) of the healers etc. to be crooks and have no interests of it.

I like to travel, but I’m not a person who want to do any kind of distribution work, talking to people about Krishna.

I love the association with devotees, as long as I can go home to my own privacy. It’ so easy to define what I don’t want. There is a kind of an expectation of what devotees should be like, always ready for service, whatever that service may be. Then I look at myself and see that I don’t comply to this image of a devotee.

I love quietness, being out in the nature. I would have loved to be payed for studying the sastra. That Didi said that I should share my realizations everywhere, was a true blessing because that’s what I try to do on this blog. It doesn’t mean I represent didi or this tradition (or even Gurudeva). Sharing my journey means I also share my tough times, my struggles, doubts, the conditioned being that I am, my incompleteness which may result in realizations over time.

I love writing all of these things down.

I would like to be a person who takes care of my beautiful deities and work on my japa.

Who I am now is not a “constantly” devoted anything, but the “hows” above is the way I want to approach devotedness.

This begs the next question: How is this service to Gurudeva?

It may be service indirectly. All of my wants is tailored to my nature and not neccessarily to what Gurudeva wants. But how do I know what Gurudeva wants from me? I don’t and I’m not sure that I would be able to fulfill what he wants from me either. So therefore the answer of what kind of devotee I want to be, tells a story of how I want to enjoy devotion.

And truly, I want to enjoy being a devotee. I want to celebrate being a devotee with quietness,  being in nature, studying, chanting, writing, deity care and association.

I used to think that we shouldn’t enjoy being devotees, but now I disagree with myself. I think we should embrace the enjoyment of it fully. The enjoyment indicates we have gotten closer to our true nature.

2 thoughts on “What kind of devotee do I want to be?

  1. Regarding the word satatam, this commentary by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is to another verse, but applies to a basic level understanding of BG 10.10 as well:

    “Because all rules are dependent upon remembrance of Vishnu. if one remembers Vishnu, what is instructed in all the other rules is accomplished. And because all prohibitions such as killing cows and brahmanas are also included in the rule in the rule to remember Vishnu, if one forgets Vishnu, that person should be considered to have accrued unlimited sins produced by committing all the prohibited acts. Satatam means “every day” not “every second”, since continuous remembrance would be impossible to do (in sadhana-bhakti). This would produce loss of faith in the rules of bhakti, because they would be impossible to follow.”

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