This is an article from volume 1 of the Matchless Gift magazine, a brand new Krishna conscious magazine designed, written and edited by the BLISS devotees. All funds go towards spreading Srila Prabhupada's movement. If you like what you read, please support us and buy a copy here!
Those that are engaged in the activities of spreading Krsna consciousness, such as chanting, dancing and book distribution, may sometimes experience being challenged by opposing elements during their preaching endeavors. A frequent question that such persons may ask is how do you know, without a doubt, that Krsna is real and that you are not just simply wasting your time with your service to Krsna in the temple?
It is very important to address these questions, since they may arise as doubts in the minds of practicing devotees. Fortunately for us, Krsna has revealed the liberating knowledge from the verses of the Bhagavad Gita, where He instructs the reader how to clear the mind from hankering, lamentation and doubt, "Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt." (BG 12.8) In the purport to this verse, our Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada explains further on the position of a devotee, "A devotee does not live on the material plane – he lives in Krsna. The holy name of the Lord and the Lord are non-different; therefore when a devotee chants Hare Krsna, Krsna and His internal potency are dancing on the tongue of the devotee. When he offers Krsna food, Krsna directly accepts these eatables, and the devotee becomes Krsna-ized by eating the remnants. One who does not engage in such service cannot understand how this is so, although this is a process recommended in the Bhagavad-gita and in other Vedic literatures."
We get to read some powerful statements here from Srila Prabhupada. Who can claim that the Supreme Personality, Krsna, God Himself, and His internal potency are dancing on their tongue? Since this is supposedly happening when we chant, one may ask,“how come we don't see them?”
The simple answer is that we are not qualified. Our tongue is not pure. We can see this example even in the materialistic society, for example, if we want to see the King of England. You can not expect to just walk into Buckingham palace, into the confidential quarters of the King and demand to see the King. You will be stopped immediately in your tracks by so many guards and police. If this applies even in the material society with an ordinary King, then just think how much it must apply with the Supreme Personality, the King of the Universe, Lord Sri Krsna.
Therefore we must become qualified first. Those that want to experience the Supreme Pure dancing on their tongue must also have their tongue supremely pure. This can be done in a very practical way, by offering our food to Krsna. “One who is accustomed to offering all his food to Krsna is called a devotee.” (Bg 3.14 Purport)
When we offer a simple offering to Krsna, because He is supremely pure, anything in association with the pure gets purified as well. In the same way as the sun can purify urine from a dirty place and not be influenced, Krsna can purify and accept any amount of food offered to Him.
Krsna is a person. That is why we say, The Supreme Personality of Godhead. And every person has his likes and dislikes. You have your likes and dislikes and I have my likes and dislikes. You may love the things I hate, and I may love the things you hate. Similarly, Krsna has His own likes and dislikes. If someone asks for a glass of milk and I bring them orange juice, that is not very nice, even though I may likeorange juice more than milk, but the person does not.
Our service must be specifically dovetailed to the person that we are serving. Everyone is a unique personality. If you ask a person what they like to eat or how they want to be served, they will tell you. Krsna is not different, He has also told us in the Bhagavad Gita, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bg 9.26)
Krsna is a vegetarian, so the devotees also offer vegetarian food. There are many thousands of preparations to satisfy the transcendental senses of Krsna. But, does Krsna actually need our food? He is always served by millions of Goddesses of Fortune that are all very expert at preparing unlimited varieties of delicious food preparations, and Krsna can accept all of that. He is the source of everything; everything is emanating from Him, similarly, everything can return back to Him.
Of course, Krsna does not need to eat. The soul is not dependent upon anything material, as it is transcendental above the material nature. However, for our benefit, Krsna accepts the food offered in love and devotion by the devotee. So, Krsna is desiring for our loveand devotion unto Him.
All this talk about offering food has made me hungry. Which brings me back to my original question, how can we know that Krsna is real and we are not just wasting our time? On this topic of offering and eating food, the analogy applies as follows:
As you eat food, one can immediately understand that he is being nourished as his hunger decreases. Similarly, with the process of Krsna consciousness, the more one surrenders and makes advancement in the path of devotional service, the more his materialistic desires such as lust and greed decrease and such a person becomes spiritually fulfilled and nourished.
In the same way as we don't need some other person confirming that we are now feeling nourished by food, we can also experience spiritual nourishment practically, by applying the practice in our own life. As George Harrison used to say, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." I can try my best and describe to you so many details and factors, but as long as you don't try the food yourself, you will never know of its real, factual taste.
So you kindly eat this delicious pudding of Krsna consciousness and become Krsna-ized by tasting the ever increasing nectar of devotional service, ultimately reaching the utmost nourishment and satisfaction, manifested as pure love of God, where there is no such thing as doubt, fear or insecurity in the fully blissful heart of the pure devotee. Hare Krishna.