(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 31 December 2018, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.21)
Woody Allen once said, “You can go to a church, a temple or a mosque but that does not make you into a devotee. You can go into a garage but that does not mean that you become a car.” That is his logic and it is a good line. But then he does not know that you can in fact become a devotee in the temple. Here, you do become a car! (laughter) Here, you do become a devotee! Oh yes, it happens every moment and how does it happen? Because we are being purchased by the devotees around us. These devotees, they capture us completely!
Are we the greatest philosophers? Most of us are not. Are we the greatest scholars? Most of us are not. Do we really know Sanskrit? Most of us do not know, we just bluff our way through. Do we really know the shastras? Most of us do not. But one thing we know, we are trying. We are really trying to be devotees of Krsna and we are trying to do things nicely for Him.
One of my early services was to clean the VIP room and it had to be done very quickly. So I used to get the dust and put it underneath the carpets in the room. But then I thought, “Ugh, but Krsna can look under the carpet, so this is not going to work.” So I lifted it back up and actually took the dust out. So this is devotion, where you are not cutting corners, but really trying to do it properly; doing it as nicely as we can and giving ourselves in service. In this way, everything becomes possible and then we can expand our boundaries. So here, the principle of surrender is key. Surrender somehow or other brings us to the point of trying. And on the strength of trying, we may struggle, but we work hard and somehow or other it gets done. So in that way this movement is not running on mundane skills. It just goes on the sincere efforts of the devotees.