L: BEGGING FOR MERCY

“O vanquisher of all distress, please show us mercy. To approach Your lotus feet we abandoned our families and homes, and we have no desire other than to serve You.”

— The gopīs, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.29.38

Diary entry dated 23rd November 2019:

During japa period this morning, one devotee who was sitting cross-legged on the temple room floor had what appeared to be an upside-down hat in front of him. When I saw this, my first thought was that it resembled a person sitting on the street with a begging bowl in front of them.

And of course, our mood when we chant the Lord’s holy name should be that of a beggar. When we chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, we are begging Kṛṣṇa to bestow His mercy upon us and give us the opportunity to serve Him. And, ultimately, we are begging for pure love of God to awaken in our heart.

When one possesses pure love for Kṛṣṇa, one feels utterly blissful at all times, but that is not why a devotee begs for such love. Rather, a devotee begs for pure love so that they can serve the Lord with all their heart.

This selfless service attitude is demonstrated to the highest degree by the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. As explained in the Purport to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.29.38, “The gopīs emphasize that they did not give up their families and homes with the hope of securing a higher pleasure from Kṛṣṇa. They are simply begging for service, revealing their pure-hearted devotion.”

Continuing this theme of begging, I offer the following prayer to the Lord:

My dear Kṛṣṇa, I am nothing but a beggar. I began this life with nothing and will end with nothing. All the things that I believe to be my possessions actually belong to You, for You are the proprietor of everything that exists. Since You are my Lord and master, I cannot demand anything from You — all I can do is humbly beg for Your mercy.

O Kṛṣṇa, it is said that Your mercy is unlimited, so I beg You, please be merciful to this beggar and engage him in the service of Your pure devotees. By serving those who possess genuine love for You, such love may one day awaken in my heart.

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