The movement of Sriman Mahaprabhu needs to be understood in the proper perspective as to “What is exactly meant by devotional service”. In simple terms anything done for the pleasure of Lord Krishna alone is termed as Devotional Service. This is the general understanding and rightly the correct understanding. However the “mood” is where the entire ideology can get mangled and what we call pleasure of Krishna can turn into a saga of “unending hypocritical nightmare”.
Why do we need to engage in devotional service meaning solid actions with our senses using sense objects and the mind for the pleasure of Krishna? In reality Bhakti proper only involves surrendering the senses to Krishna and if one is suitably able to serve Krishna for 24 hours with the mind in a way that one is totally absorbed in that .. it represents perfect devotional service!! Unfortunately we have not heard much about this one at least with regards to the prevalent Krishna Conscious ideology. However it is the oldest and most sublime Vedic protocol which represents the highest and the most genuine form of devotional service…
Kaliyuga is a “gross” age and the mind is polluted to the maximum extent. Our Acaryas have thus introduced the various modes of devotional service keeping in view the contamination of the mind. The idea is that when one is seriously interested in serving Krishna, one uses the senses and sense objects to serve Krishna with surrender in the mind which says “Krishna please see… I am doing this for you ..please recognize my service and pay me by means of accepting me as your eternal servant…pay me by means of Bhakti and give me more such service”. The mood in fact is most important and if somebody is not holding this mood consciously in one’s mind ..that service can by no means called devotional service..
Since the advent of Kaliyuga man finds himself wrapped with muck. His actions are defiled ; hence through this system of devotional service ; by offering the mind every time to the Lord and serving with the senses ; the senses and mind of the servitor are slowly purified because the Lord purifies the heart of the servitor taking into account the servitor’s sincerity. However we see that nowadays people appear to be doing devotional service all their lives but there is hardly any change in their mood except that now they have a new dress code. People are busy living their material lives through the mask of devotional service. There are clashes of ego between devotees and there is unwarranted competition in devotional service!! This is indeed ridiculous. If this is happening there is something seriously wrong with our concept of devotional service. What is the use of being a popular movement if one’s heart does not melt? Where preaching becomes more important than following the precepts of the sampradaya meticulously? When rules becomes more important than concern for Vaishnavas? Are we on the right path???