(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 19 February 2013, London, England, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.13)
We get mercy through both Krsna and the devotees. Krsna is sending us devotees and devotees give us Krsna. So it begins with the devotee! In the fourth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, there is a purport where Srila Prabhupada mentions, “In this age of Kali, no one has any desire on his own to take up spiritual life. But because of the desire of the devotee and when the supersoul interferes, it awakens something in the hearts of some living beings.”
So it’s actually the desire of the devotee and of course, we know that particularly one devotee came all alone and then prayed to Krsna and then Krsna just started to interfere and made it possible! Then many devotees came, his representatives came. These devotees, they change our life. Also, devotees leave books from scriptures and they may lie around for hundreds of years before coming out. Or devotees worship deities that disappear and are found later on and like this, the mercy comes in so many ways, in our lives. Spiritual life begins with a prayer of the devotee.