[The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Bhaktabandhav publication, Sri Harinama Cintamani]
We see many gurus who try to help the jivas. This help can be considered hari-seva or not depending on how much the guru has a relationship with Harinama Prabhu and how much they serve Him. If a guru does not possess these characteristics, then their disciples will also not follow Harinama Prabhu.
Some preachers go out to spread bhakti and say, “Follow me. Follow everything I say.” If they do not show how to follow bhakti by example, however, their followers will also become like them. A preacher must be able to remain detached from mundane things and solely dedicated to harinama. If they are attached to their followers, while they themselves are not strongly related to harinama, they will fall down.
Anything that comes to you must be offered to Guru and Krsna. Then you will remain free from anarthas. Otherwise, when you preach the glories of harinama, you will simply become entangled in maya, and your time for performing harinama will be lost, being too much absorbed in maintaining your followers. People claim, “I am busy doing many services, so I do not have much time left for harinama.” Yet if you are actually serving, and receiving sukrti, then your taste for harinama will surely increase. Yasoda Mata does so many services, but she never forgets Krsna. The Vraja-devis do so many things morning to evening, but they never forget Krsna.
If whatever you do increases uddipana and remembrance of Krsna, then that is called bhakti, devotional service. Otherwise, if you are engaged in activities that cause you to forget Krsna, you will only go down towards hell. By accepting followers, it is very easy to be arrested by them and embraced by attachment to them. Thus it is very dangerous.
Mahaprabhu requested Haridasa Thakura, “Please describe the glories of harinama.”
Haridasa Thakura replied, “Prabhu, I will speak whatever words You inspire me to speak. If I say anything not in line with the truth, please correct me. Krsna is the Supreme Lord of all lords. His potencies bestow all strength and opportunity for the jivas to approach Him intimately. Nama and nami are non-different.”
When you chant harinama, pray and invite Krsna to come, whereupon you will develop a friendly relationship with Him and be able to serve Him. This is your duty as a living being. If you chant morning to evening, praying and inviting Krsna to come to you, but you do not serve Him, then this is not pure bhakti. You think that chanting 64 rounds is a duty, and when you complete your harinama you are free.
Krsna has all potencies, power, and infinite greatness. When you pray to Krsna, pray, “O Lord, please give me good qualities, and the taste to serve You and be present with You. I have so many anarthas, and they pull me here and there to serve maya. I run around for my own name and fame. O Lord Krsna, this is very painful and bad for me. Please allow me to come to Vraja and serve You under guidance of the Vraja-vasis.”
If you do not pray to Krsna like this, you will remain attached to things like rasagullas, bananas, sandesa, nice cloth, money, followers, and fame. You will take these things from Harinama Prabhu, and go very far away. Your desire to chant harinama will not last long. While chanting harinama, you should have no external desires. Do not try to engage Krsna in your service.