Why are we not reaping the benefit of bhajan?
- Sree Sree Guru Gaurangau Jayatah!
The reason is that we are not doing it as it should be done. Surrender is necessary for devotional practice. Three things are required. The Bhagavatam says that one should hear and perform sankirtana about Cakra-pani Sri Krsna (Sri Krsna, the holder of the disk weapon); hear the divine pastimes of the Lord's birth and other activities; and perform kirtana of the Lord's Name, which reveals the pastimes of the Lord, while remaining free from attachments and bad association. When we will do so, we will get transcendental power. Bhakti, detachment, and knowledge of the Supreme Lord will all come together. This can be explained by one example. Suppose I can eat one kilogram of food. If I eat ¼ kg, ¼ of my hunger will be satisfied and I will get energy in similar proportion. If I eat halfway, it will be half satisfied; if I eat ¾ kg, it will be ¾ satisfied. When we eat fully, all our hunger will be over and we will get full satisfaction. As we eat, our appetite fills in the same proportion and we get satisfaction.
A saranagata bhakta will get God's realization along with bhakti. Detachment or reduction in attachment to this world will also come. He will lose interest in whatever is not favorable to Krsna; he will get vairagya, complete detachment. All three will come. We performed Vraja-mandala parikrama, engaged in sravana and kirtana, did everything, but still we have not got attachment to Bhagavan. Then we should understand that we are lacking in surrender to the Supreme Lord. Whatever bhakti a surrendered soul does, he gets equal detachment from the things that are unfavorable to the Supreme Lord. If our attachments in this material world are increasing, we should understand that there is some fault in our surrender. First of all I am not performing bhajan and whatever little I am doing is not according to the prescribed rules. Therefore I am not getting the desired result. The scriptures are not giving false information; Vedavyasji is not deceiving us. There is a mistake in our following; the fault is in our practice.
There are six symptoms of saranagati (the process of surrender):
Anukulyasya sankalpah: Accepting whatever is favorable to Bhagavan. But we do not accept favorable things all the time. Definitely, this is our fault.
Pratikulyasya varjanam: Rejecting whatever is unfavorable. We do not reject whatever is unfavorable to Bhagavan. When surrender will be pure, then bhakti will come, God realization will come, and detachment to unfavorable things will come. Scriptural statements cannot be false.
Firm Faith: Whatever external or internal problems (e.g., lust, anger, greed, attachment, etc) we might have; only the Lord can give us emancipation from them all. This faith is lacking in us. That is our mistake or fault.
Seeing the Lord as our sole Protector: I have not accepted the Supreme Lord as the maintainer in the complete sense. My bodily needs, mental needs, and spiritual needs are being satisfied by the Supreme Lord only and no one else. I have not accepted the Supreme Lord as the only maintainer.
Humbleness: We are proud of our birth, wealth, and education. Therefore, we are lacking humbleness.
Atmanivedana: Self-surrender. We should think, "I do not belong to this world. I belong to the Supreme Lord." But we are lacking in this consciousness. I am committing mistakes in saranagati. This is one of my faults.
--- His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj