BG 9.27: Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform -- do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.
BG 2.40: In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.
I am glad to hear new devotees are coming and do not be worried about some of our members leaving; they will come back. Krishna never forgets the service rendered to him by the devotee and once tasting the nectar of devotional service to the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is not possible to forget Him.
Letter to Karandhara -- Bombay 30 November, 1970 (Srila Prabhupada)
The Nine Processes of Devotional Service
They are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:
To hear about Sri Visnu's transcendental name, His form, His characteristics, His possessions and His pastimes and to hear and chant about His pastimes, to remember them, to serve the lotus feet of the Lord, to respectfully offer service to the Lord, to offer prayers to the Lord, to become His servant, to consider the Lord one's best friend and to offer Him everything-these nine processes are recognized as pure devotional service.
1. HEARING (sravanam)
Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).
2. CHANTING (kirtanam)
Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)
3. REMEMBERING( visnu smaranam)
Prahlada Maharaja(never forgot Krsna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)
4. SERVING THE LORD'S LOTUS FEET (pada sevanam)
Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
5. DEITY-WORSHIP (arcanam)
Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.
Akura offered prayers to Krsna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.
7. EXECUTING ORDERS (dasyam)
Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramacandra executed all of Sri Ramacandra's orders despite all kinds of difficulties.
8. SERVING AS A FRIEND (sakhyam)
Arjuna was so close to Krsna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.
9. COMPLETE SURRENDER (atma nivedanam)
Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.
We should want God - who is the source of all opulence – and we should not want anything else which we consider valuable. We are to depend on Him: ”Oh Lord, give me what is good. I am an imperfect being, I do not know what is good and what is bad. Please provide whatever You consider to bee good for me.” This is an improvement over praying to Him for mundane benefits. But best is to accept the creed of unalloyed service to the Highest: “I want You, my Lord, nothing else.” And what will be our connection with Him? Service. “I want only your service.” At the beginning we might think we are being losers, but ultimately we will gain. Apparently we are giving ourselves, we are sacrificing our selfish interests, but in the subtle sense we gain thereby. This ontological truth should be appreciated. It is neither a dogma, nor blind faith. It is based on higher unprejudiced reasons.
Inner Fufillment by Srila Sridhar Maharaja 4.0
The ancient scholars were sometimes very busy to discover a social position for all souls whereby they can live without labour, without karma: naiskarmma. They came to consider that self-satisfaction, atmaramata, could be achieved by complete withdrawal. To back up this conception they considered that Buddha and Sankara came to give relief by pointing out that there is a stage of Samadhi such as we feel in sound sleep. They described that if we can reach that plane of no labour we will still be able to live happily and we will find no trouble there. Sukadev Goswami agreed, “Yes, naiskarmma is also found here.” But in Srimad-Bhagavatm he gave a new form of naiskarmma: “You say that work is painful, work is dissipating. You say that labour is wasting energy. But now I am going to give you an ideal of life where there is no dissipation. You will labour, but without dissipation of energy.
5:2 Service to the Lord is not labour. It is a giver, a sustainer. It does not deplete vitality, but it sustains more and more. It is life-giving. Pure service is life-giving, not life-taking; not vitality-killing, but vitality- supplying. It is opposite in the eternal plane, especially in the Goloka area where everything is a labour for love. Without labour the residents of Goloka will think themselves to be fasting, and when engaged in labour they will think themselves to be well fed. Service is nourishing. Service is not depleting; it is not killing. Therefore our attempt should not be so much for knowledge, for trying to know everything, but it should be directed towards how we can utilise ourselves in the highest function: service.
5:3 Service, service, service. Don’t be afraid that service is depleting energy. Service is life-giving. It is feeding you properly. Service!
5:3 We are to understand that slavery to Krsna is a most dignified position. And everything against that ideal is meanness. The only standard of life for a gentleman is to understand and accept the position of subordination to the Absolute Truth.
Inner Fufillment by Srila Sridhar Maharaja - 5.1
That sacrifice is joyful, and one may taste that wonderful joy even here in this world, where at every moment everything is dying. It is give and take. If we want to gain something noble, we must also give. We must be generous in our dedication, and then we shall receive amply from that side. Wholesale self-dedication is the price, and in return, we shall be filled up with ecstasy: anandam budhi-vardhanam. We shall feel that we are in the midst of an ocean of joy. At present, we are searching after a joyous feeling - like one who searches for a glass of water in the midst of the desert. But by dedication, we shall find that we are in an ocean of joy whose soothing sweetness is increasing at every moment. The quality of joy has variety, and it comes to help us in our serving attitude, so that at every moment we may feel new encouragement. So we have to inquire from a proper agent, follow his advice, and try to
understand how to improve our condition. At the same time, we should be conscious that the chance we have to render devotional service is rarely found. It is not very cheap. Therefore, we must utilize every minute, every second, every moment. We should be very much alert that a moment not be lost, that our attempt to dedicate ourselves may continue constantly without being interrupted. That stage of dedication is called nistha, and when we attain that stage, our taste is further improved and we will be more and more encouraged to go forward and make progress towards ultimate fulfillment.
Loving Search For The Lost Servant by Srila Sridhar Maharaja
- Emporium Of Rasa
To be a devotee means to serve; service is everything. Our proper life is to be found in dedicating ourselves and in self-distribution, not self- aggrandizement. We can live in service. All difficulties will be removed if we take to the line of dedication. There we will find everything: our individuality, the most favorable environment, our highest prospect. Only our angle of vision should be changed. And that angle of vision should be acquired through the center. We must try to understand how everything will be seen in relation to the center. Whatever we see, we must try to study its position in accordance with the center. We must locate or calculate what its position is in relation to the center. And with that angle of vision, we may establish our relationship to anything. If we can develop this vision, we will get relief from all undesirability. This is the teaching of Srimad- Bhagavatam.
Loving Search For The Lost Servant by Srila Sridhar Maharaja