The Bhagavad-gita explains that spiritual life is not about stillness and contemplation; meditation and study should give rise to vigorous and practical activities dedicated to God. Bhakti-yoga is not an abstract philosophy but rather an opportunity to practically apply philosophical conclusions. Therefore, although the literal translation of bhakti is ‘devotion’, Srila Prabhupada usually translated it as ‘devotional service’. If we really love someone then we’ll do something for them.
In the spiritual world, devotees are busily engaged in serving Krishna, and Krishna simultaneously loves to serve His devotees. Infused with pure selflessness, such relationships are the most profound expressions of spirituality. They bring immense joy, happiness and satisfaction to the heart. But we don’t have to wait until we reach the spiritual world to experience this – we can do it now!
Temples can be the perfect environment to offer practical service. In our city temples there are many service opportunities: caring for guests, driving, making flower garlands and decorations, cleaning, preparing for festivals, cooking, and simple administrati on work. In country temples (in addition to all of these) there are also services such as looking after cows and bulls, gardening, farming, and assisting the large number of pilgrims who visit.
But practi cal service to Krishna is not limited to the temple. We can also make spiritual use of our talents and abilities. If you’re a DJ, make music about Krishna. If you’re an artist, paint for Krishna. If you’re a writer, then write about Krishna. Pretty much anything can be transformed into devotional service as we direct our consciousness and motivations towards pleasing Krishna and creating spiritual benefit for others. Some devotees engage in spiritual welfare work where they cook and distribute prasadam (food offered to Krishna) to needy and homeless people.
Such practical devotional activities help us build a personal connection with Krishna and remind us that real happiness lies in selfless service. You can approach any of the devotees at your local centre, and inquire how to begin your life of active devotional service. You will find a world of opportunity before you!