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Sankirtana Forum


Intense Desire


Devotee: How do we develop an intense desire to do san­klrtana7.

Harikesa Swami: You just have to meditate on it. Sometimes people think that mystic yoga is full of meditation and Krsna consciousness is devoid ot meditation, but that is not true. We do a lot of meditation. The difference is what we meditate on. We meditate on the spiritual master. For example, we medi­tate on how Shrila Prabhupada wrote these books with great difficulty and published the first books with great austerity, how he built up this Krsna consciousness movement based on these books, how he encouraged everyone to distribute books, and how he said that our entire disciplic succession is happy when we distribute these books.The spiritual masters in ISKCON are all followers of Shrila l labhupaua, anu they all nave an intense desire to please Shrila Prabhupada by distributing as many books as possible. Therefore by distributing books, we meditate on pleasing our spiritual master: "Through the mercy of my spiritual master,I can attain the mercy of Krsna. When I please my spiritual master, Krsna is pleased. When Krsna is pleased, I become recognized by Him. When I become recognized by Krsna, that's the perfection of life and there is nothing more to attain." We should meditate just as any yogi in yogic practice would, fixing our minds on pleasing the spiritual master with one-nomreci concentration.


The temple can be upside down, but we still concentrate on our services. Temple activities are diverse; there is cooking, cleaing, deity worship ,and distribution porgramme. sankirtan devotees know that hanging around the temple may divert their meditation from their service, so they like to travel in vans. In the van, sitting on a pile of books, there is nothing else but book distribution to meditate on. Devotee: What is the factor that can elevate the prakrta-bhakta to the higher stages of devotional service? Harikesa Swami: Prakrta-bhaktas can be elevated immediately by taking up the preaching mission. I prefer not to initiate anyone who has not done sankirtana, preaching, or produc­tion of Shrila Prabhupada's books. I personally feel that if you haven't done these things, you cannot feel mercy toward other living beings. You grow up crooked and twisted, think­ing that life is meant for getting nice food to eat and a nice place to live.


You can develop the proper, higher consciousness by being put into circumstances that force you to act in such a way that understanding gradually comes. You must act in higher consciousness to develop it. You may repeatedly hear how you should act, but if you refuse to act accordingly, the desire to preach will never develop, and the desire to preach distin­guishes the devotees on the higher stages of devotional service from the prakrta-bhaktas. When a new devotee constantly hears that one should preach and distribute Krsna conscious­ness, then the desire awakens within him and slowly develops in to a burning desire. This desire develops by hearing ,seeing the example of others, and acting accordingly. Finally he will say, "I'm sick of sitting around in the temple all day in this bhakta program. Let me out of here!"