Since the devotees had already started to implement a mentoring system, the seminar came just at the right time and offered further ideas how to fine-tune the present structure for their community. The Temple leaders, senior devotees and key players participated in the course, which is always a promising sign for further development.
No matter what we do in spiritual practice-whether we are chanting, sweeping the floor or dressing the Deities, we are meant to do it with great endeavor, to our utmost capacity. We are meant to give our heart and soul in service. This is the required service mood. The heart has to be involved by giving our very best in trying to please Krishna and His devotees. We can give the analogy of a muscle which we want to train. If we lift weights which are very easy for us to lift, then not much muscle growth will take place. But if we lift weights which we can barely lift, with utmost endeavor, our muscle will very quickly increase in strength. We find the same principle in regards to developing pure bhakti. If we give our very best in our service, some transformation will take place in our heart, but if we serve with minimal effort, bhakti will not sprout. This is also confirmed in Garuda Purana:
"The word bhakti is derived from the root word form 'bhaj'. And the verbal root bhaj means to render service. Therefore thoughtful sadhakas should engage in the service to Sri Krishna with great endeavor, for it is only by such service that bhakti is born."
In order to serve with heart and soul, we need to be protected and sheltered. If we are not sheltered, we will not be able to endeavor to our utmost capacity. We will hold back. We will think "OK, but where am I in this whole game? Who is going to take care of me here?" We will not give everything in our service-we will only give maybe twenty percent, but not ninety-five percent. When we give our heart and soul in service, we put ourselves in a vulnerable position-somebody may take advantage of us very easily. We invest our emotions, our very heart, and to do this is only possible if we feel sheltered and protected. Otherwise we can't. Being sheltered and protected means that we have faith that there is somebody who is only interested in our spiritual growth, and nothing else. And he will protect us from losing the balance within our spiritual practice, from overdoing it and not recognizing the boundaries, to what extent to sacrifice ourselves. Devotees can easily feel exploited if they don't have such sheltering relationships. And because of this fear of being taken advantage of, they cannot give their heart and soul in service. We cannot blame the managers for this-we can only blame ourselves, because we are the ones who have not recognized the importance of such sheltering relationships. This is the very root of the problem. Even though a sheltering person may not be next to us but may be in another community, and even though we may be serving under leaders who see things through the 'managerial glasses' - nevertheless, we know we have one person in our life to whom we can always turn to reveal our mind in confidence. This person will make sure we will not just work, work, work and end up in a classic 'burn-out', but he will help us to maintain a good balance. He will protect us from being overloaded with service and neglecting our sadhana. He will make sure we get an opportunity to take some time out to recharge: by visiting the holy dhama, attending festivals, seminars or retreats, etc. Then, there is no question of 'burn-out', and we can serve enthusiastically for many years-our entire life, giving our heart and soul in service.
On my visit to Chandigarh I also conducted a program for the girls of the IYF (ISKCON Youth Forum) and a brahmacari program, where I introduced my book, which was eagerly received. And every evening we offered lamps to Their beautiful Lordships Sri Sri Radha Madhava.....
On the 6th of November I flew off to Dhaka/Bangladesh......
Your servant, Devaki dd