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Serving Krishna without worrying about success or failure

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Serving Krishna without worrying about success of failure

Serving Krishna should be the primary focus of our life, but that service should be done with right consciousness and without worrying about success or failure. Whatever activities we do in our life, we should do it for the pleasure of Krishna.

For example, I like to write. Whether people like my writing or not, whether my article gets published or not, I want to make a habit of writing daily for Krishna. But it is easy said than done. Because there are days when I do not write. It is not because of lack of ideas. After reading spiritual literatures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita there are so many topics on which I can write.

But still there are days when I do not write at all. And guess what, at the end of the day before going to bed, I feel terribly frustrated.

So, I often question myself that if want to write then why I do no write daily. Is it because of lack of time? Sometimes it could be. But even if time is a luxury still, I do not forget to eat my food or take a bath.

And by Krishna’s mercy and devotees’ mercy, two Krishna Conscious activity I do daily – chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra and Mangala arati.

The day I decided that I will chant 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra daily I have continued doing it whether I like it or not. Also, once in Mayapur I decided to do Mangala arati daily and by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy I have been doing it daily since last few years.

Mangala arati daily

I remember, once when I was in Mayapur attending Mangala arati at 4:30 am, I felt so nice, so blissful. I thought how nice it would be if I can attend morning arati daily in Mayapur at 4:30 am. But I knew that it won’t be possible because I do not stay in Mayapur.

Also, in whichever city, I may be, my work will not allow me to come to any Iskcon temple at 4:30 am. I thought what devotees do during Mangala arati. They sing prayers and worship the Lord with different items. I can do this at home too. I will get the same experience.

So, from that day I decided to do Mangala arati daily. I am not sure that how much devotion and love I have for Krishna. But I experience that after chanting & Mangala arati I feel satisfied. There are three stages of doing bhakti – out of fear, out of duty, out of love. I am mostly at the stage of fear and sometime at the stage of duty.

Not writing daily for Krishna

Now coming back to the point of writing daily. Once I decided that I will be serving Krishna by writing for him daily. So, I know I should write but still there is some force withing me which is not allowing me to understand the importance of writing Krishna Conscious article daily at least for 2 hours.

Intellectually I know that after writing for couple of hours I will feel happy. But during the process of writing, I do not experience that happiness. And so, when I begin writing my mind takes me in different directions. Sometimes I do not find motivation to open even my laptop and start writing. Sometimes although I start but after few minutes, I lose interest. So, I start browsing internet or watch some videos. After couple of hours, I realize that I wasted my time. Frustration and regret follow. Sometimes I wonder how wonderful it would have been if I would have enjoyed writing for the pleasure of Krishna.

I have read and heard about many successful persons that they hardly bothered about the end result They just enjoyed the process and the result followed.

A Story: You cannot become a painter

I read a story of a great painter. I do not recollect his name. Once a person came to the great painter and told him that he also wants to be a painter.

The acclaimed painter said, “Great. Carry on. What you want from me?”

The aspiring painter said, “But I am not sure if I will ever become a painter or not. So, can you see my painting and tell if I have the capability to become a great painter or not?”

The great painter said, “sure, bring your painting tomorrow morning.”

The aspirant came next morning with his painting. The great painter asked him to leave his painting and come in the evening.

The aspiring painter came in the evening to know the answer. He was nervous.

When the great painter saw him, he said, “I am sorry I was busy whole day, did not get time to see your painting. By the way, what did you do whole day?

The man, still nervous, said, “I was waiting for the evening. I wanted to know your opinion.” 

The painter said, “You can take away your painting. You do not have the quality of becoming a painter.”

The man with his head down took his painting and left.

Someone asked the painter, “You did not even see his painting and said that he cannot become a painter.

The great painter said, “He wants to paint for others not for himself. He wants others approval for his craft. He does not like painting. He wants others to like his painting. If you like to paint just paint, why bother what others are saying or thinking.

What a wonderful lesson!

If you love it, do it

So, if one wants to write for Krishna, one should just write.

If one wants to make a YouTube video for Krishna then just make it.

If one wants to sing for Krishna then sing for Krishna.

If one wants to cook for Krishna then cook for Krishna.

If one wants to do any service for Krishna then just do it. Why bother about others opinion?

Whatever we love to do, we should do it. Because if we do not do it, we will be frustrated.

This is the best way of serving Krishna.

From the life of Srila Prabhupada, we see that he wanted to preach the message of Krishna all over the world and he did it. Initially he faced so many obstacles, criticism, failures, discouragement but nothing could stop him. Why? Because he loved what he was doing. He loved Krishna and he wanted everyone to love Krishna. He enjoyed serving Krishna. So, he tried his best to engage everyone in serving Krishna. It is so simple. If we love doing something, we just do it.

Yes, it is true that while doing any activity there will be challenges and failures. If we study the life of great devotees of Krishna, we will find they too faced challenges.

Challenges while serving Krishna

I am not sure about your challenges but if I observe my life, I find that my biggest challenge is my escapist mentality. Because of wrong conditioning I run away from hard work.

Writing is a tedious task because it also involves lots of reading. Sometimes one gets stuck while writing. Thoughts stop flowing. It’s called writer’s block. Even famous writers go through it.  But when one is able to smash this writer’s block then one is able to write an incredible story.

Whatever we write, everyone is not going to like it.  It’s a fact and we should live with it. So, we should not be bothered what others say about our work. Our Krishna Conscious article is our offering to Krishna. Even if no one likes what we have written but if we have put in our best efforts to write a good article for Krishna then the Supreme Lord will surely accept it. To please Krishna is the purpose of all our efforts.

Dealing with failure while serving Krishna

What kinds of failure, we may encounter?

  • Very few people will read my article on my website.
  • My article may not get published in Iskcon’s “Back To Godhead” magazine.
  • If I write a book then it may not become a best seller.

These are external failures. External success and external failures are not in our hand. Only endeavour is in our hands.

In Bhagavad Gita 8.7, Krishna to Arjuna, “Think about me and fight.”

“Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.” Bhagavad Gita 8.7

Krishna does not say, “Think about me and become victorious.” The Supreme Lord is asking Arjuna to focus on his duty not on his result. Many times, external failure does not matter because what may appear as failure may not be a failure.

Victory in Defeat

For example, soldiers while fighting die on the battlefield. So, one may say that death is defeat, a failure. But in true sense that soldier in spite of dying for the country has achieved great victory.  In Ramayana Jatayu died while saving Mother Sita. Although he was defeated by Ravana but Lord Rama was very much pleased by Jatayu.

The Supreme Lord gave him the designation of a father and personally performed his last rites. So, if we are doing our service nicely with dedication and determination for Krishna then we will always be victorious. So called external success or failure does not matter much.

It is between me and Krishna

And why to bother too much about external success? Whatever service we do, it is for Krishna, then why to bring any third person there.

For example, when we chant the names of Krishna then we do it for the pleasure of Krishna and not for the pleasure of others. Many times, when I chant at home no one is around. No one is seeing me chanting. Chanting is just between me and Krishna. We chant because this is a vow we have taken in front of our spiritual master, in front of Krishna. Many great devotees chant because they love chanting the names of Krishna. None of us get any reward for chanting. No one comes and glorifies us that we are great chanter. 

So, why should I expect others to glorify me for my writing. Or for any other Krishna conscious service.

It is easy said than done. But if we develop this mindset of doing Krishna Conscious service for the pleasure of Krishna then we will never be frustrated in any Krishna Conscious activity. Also, if we have taken up service then we should it whether we like it or not.

I have experienced that if in the day all the time is utilized in the service of Krishna, in office work and I do not do any sense gratification then at the end of the day I feel lots of joy within. And that happiness cannot be expressed in words.

That is the beauty of serving Krishna without worrying about success or failure.

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