Worship of My Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.19.20-24 - Worship of my Devotees (download mp3)
by Sankirtan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.19.20-24
sraddhamrta-kathayam me
 sasvan mad-anukirtanam
parinistha ca pujayam
 stutibhih stavanam mama
adarah paricaryayam
 sarvangair abhivandanam
 sarva-bhutesu man-matih
mad-arthesv anga-cesta ca
 vacasa mad-guneranam
mayy arpanam ca manasah
mad-arthe ’rtha-parityago
 bhogasya ca sukhasya ca
istam dattam hutam japtam
 mad-artham yad vratam tapah
evam dharmair manusyanam
mayi saƱjayate bhaktih
 ko ’nyo ’rtho ’syavasisyate

Firm faith in the blissful narrations of My pastimes, constant chanting of My glories, unwavering attachment to ceremonial worship of Me, praising Me through beautiful hymns, great respect for My devotional service, offering obeisances with the entire body, performing first-class worship of My devotees, consciousness of Me in all living entities, offering of ordinary, bodily activities in My devotional service, use of words to describe My qualities, offering the mind to Me, rejection of all material desires, giving up wealth for My devotional service, renouncing material sense gratification and happiness, and performing all desirable activities such as charity, sacrifice, chanting, vows and austerities with the purpose of achieving Me — these constitute actual religious principles, by which those human beings who have actually surrendered themselves to Me automatically develop love for Me. What other purpose or goal could remain for My devotee?

The words mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika are significant in this verse. Abhyadhika indicates “superior quality.” The Lord is extremely satisfied with those who offer worship to His pure devotees, and He rewards them accordingly. Because of the Lord’s generous appraisal of His pure devotees, worship of the pure devotees is described as superior to worship of the Lord Himself. The words mad-arthesv anga-cesta state that ordinary, bodily activities such as brushing the teeth, taking bath, eating, etc., should all be offered to the Supreme Lord as devotional service. The words vacasa mad-guneranam indicate that whether one speaks in ordinary, crude language or with learned poetic eloquence, one should describe the glories of the Personality of Godhead. The words mad-arthe ’rtha-parityagah indicate that one should spend one’s money for festivals glorifying the Personality of Godhead, such as Ratha-yatra, Janmastami and Gaura-purnima. Also, one is herein instructed to spend money to assist the mission of one’s spiritual master and other Vaisnavas. Wealth that cannot be used properly in the Lord’s service and is thus an impediment to one’s clear consciousness should be given up entirely. The word bhogasya refers to sense gratification, headed by sex enjoyment, and sukhasya refers to sentimental material happiness, such as excessive family attachment. The words dattam hutam indicate that one should offer to brahmanas and Vaisnavas first-class foods cooked in ghee. One should offer the vibration svaha to Lord Visnu in an authorized sacrificial fire along with grains and ghee. The word japtam indicates that one should constantly chant the holy names of the Lord.

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