(Kadamba Kanana Swami, September 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.20.12)

Many artists are only recognised for their greatness once they are dead but Beethoven was famous during his life but then, he went deaf. Can you imagine that!? It was practically the worse thing that could have affected him. For a musician, the ear is essential. People who cannot sing, it is not that they cannot sing – they cannot listen! Music begins with listening. It is all about the ear, really!

Beethoven, with the perfect ears, who he could perfectly hear different tones and notes, went deaf. It was a setup, he became bigger and bigger, he was the greatest and then he went deaf, lost it! He had to go through the agony of everything being taken away!

In spiritual life, it is also like this. In spiritual life, in the course of our service we may get recognition; we may get so many facilities and so on, many external attributes. Over the years, you collect a library of your books, your fancy chadaars and everything. But in a spiritual crisis, all that we have is the Krsna consciousness within! Therefore, we have to make commitments within. Internally, we have to say, “Yes Krsna, I will put you first. I will put you before my senses. I will put you before my mind. Yes, whatever you say.”

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