Inspired by the "Nectar of Devotion" lecture series given by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada from October 20-November 13, 1972 at the Radha-Damodara Temple in Vrndavana, India
All of these lectures are available for download at ISKCON Desire Tree.
In our ashram here in Manhattan, amidst all the duties, services, obligations, tasks, and plain old bits of spiritual survival we perform with everyday, we try to remember and focus on the fact that we are here for one thing: pure devotional service.
After all, if developing our love for Krsna in the purest possible way wasn't the light at the end of the tunnel, the all of our austerities and sacrifices, especially as young men in the universal capital of maya would not be worth pursuing.
It is a path we gladly take, for the reward is unique in its selfless light, in its giving up of what is false for the real gold of our existence, the inconceivable bliss of His service perfected and purified of all duplicity and hypocrisy.
The spiritual master is our guide and capable captain on this ship, and on this November evening in Vrndavana, Prabhupada deftly extolls the virtues of pure devotional service in such an attractive way that we have no choice but to pursue it if we are sane and sound.
At the very beginning, Prabhupada explains that it is the only way to attract Krsna, who is otherwise full in Himself:
"You cannot attract Krsna. Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with full opulences. So you cannot attract Krsna by your richness, by your reputation, by your education, by your beauty or by your strength or renunciation. No. You cannot attract Krsna by all these things, because He's already full. You cannot attract by anything, any opulence, Krsna, because He's atmarama. Krsna has everything, but your devotional service, that sincerity of purpose, will attract. My Guru Maharaja used to say that "Do not try to see Krsna. Render your service in such a nice way that let Krsna see you." When Krsna sees you, then your mission is perfect."
Krsna, with His most acute vision, is always on the lookout for our sincerity of purpose. The key to increasing this sincerity, to actually making this sincerity more sincere, is to try and practically understand the miserable nature of the material world and to detach ourselves from it.
This detachment cannot be done by our own efforts. Like a lost, helpless, crying child we must call for out for Krsna's warm embrace, and He will take charge. Prabhupada says:
"That is the nature of material existence. One after another, problems. So if somebody says, assures, that "You just depend on me. I take charge of all your problems," how much relief you will feel. Just imagine. So an ordinary man, if some ordinary human being says (to) a friend that "Don't worry. I shall take charge of your all affairs. Don't worry," so we may doubt an ordinary man, because we know the capacity of an ordinary man. But when Krsna says that "I take charge of you," then how much relief you should feel. Krsna is not ordinary man. Krsna is all-powerful, the Supreme Personalty of Godhead. He's Yogesvara. He's the Absolute Truth. So when He assures that "I take charge of you...," aham tvam sarva- papebhyo moksayisyami [Bg. 18.66], gives assurance that "I shall get you liberated, delivered, from the reaction of all sinful activities..."
The material world is an ocean of in auspiciousness, with particularly virulent whirlpools here and there (I'm looking at you Manhattan), but it is pure devotional service, and our humble attempts to pursue it, which is the real wellspring of actual auspiciousness, free from intoxication and sentimentality.