I was scheduled to give three afternoon sessions of around three hours each on "The False Ego - Our Constant Companion and Troublemaker", which was very well attended by around 300 practicing and very eager devotees.
It was a great pleasure to once again churn the topic, and devotees got a lot out of it.
Within Krsna consciousness we can very easily feed and increase our false ego instead of subduing and dissolving it. Since it is so subtle it often goes on undetected and even passes as devotional service. The instruction is there in the principle of developing a selfless service attitude. If our service is performed with the desire to gratify our false ego, then it is not selfless. Instead we are running after this ego satisfaction and might even think that this is the taste which pure devotional service gives. But it is a very different flavor. Therefore a devotee has to become a very expert gardener - able to distinguish between the deep satisfaction which Krsna gives in reciprocation to our pure desire to serve, and the false ego satisfaction.
A Vaisnava does not like to be glorified. He will block his ears and run away when somebody tries to glorify him. This gives us a nice indication how much we have cultivated a pure Vaisnava mood. Do we feel like blocking our ears and running away, or are we happily lapping up the glorification, thinking to ourselves: "Finally they are recognising my greatness...!"
The bigger the audience is when we are being appreciated, the more it will feed our false ego. I personally prefer to express my gratitude and appreciation for a devotee's service directly and personally to him/her by thanking the person for their dedicated service and emphasizing how meaningful it has been to me. I find such kind of glorification or appreciation comes as a rule with more sincerity and touches the heart more deeply than the "standard" kind of appreciation with great applause, etc. When personally offered, we can balance the appreciation also with a little correction for improvement. And when we correct, then we should do the same - balance the correction with appreciation and gratitude. Giving young and talented devotees too quickly power and position can also feed their false ego and almost spoil their spiritual development.
One morning we drove to the nearby nama hatta community of Sona Gaon, and we had a very vribant program there, discussing Prabhupada's position as Founder Acarya. Devotees were so eager to hear and get to know more about Srila Prabhupada! Again, we concluded by distributing lots of books to the audience, even several boxes with volumes of four cantoes of Srimad Bhagavatam. My usual trick is that I offer to write some good wishes inside the book, which always inspires devotees to receive the special gift of Srila Prabhupada's books.
The nama hatta leader offered me a wrapped up gift. As I opened it I found to my great delight a very beautiful picture of Srila Prabhupada - nicely framed! My heart was moved as I felt a special reciprocation with Srila Prabhupada......
On the 22nd of March we flew out to India.....
Your servant, Devaki dd