Last night the temperatures took a dive, so we moved Tulsi Devi into her winter home - a clean and warm greenhouse. Tulsi devi is a sacred plant, always to be found at a Krishna Temple.
As I was carrying her carefully, pot after pot, I remembered a line from the song we daily sing in her praise. We ask her - “Please give me the privilege of devotional service.”
Why does being a servant count as a privilege? Because it’s so special, this reality that God is a Person, a loving Person, someone we can have a complete and fulfilled relationship with. Because by offering some service - some words or work - with the intention of pleasing Krishna and His devotees, we awaken the sweetest and most powerful love that lies within us. It’s a privilege to have a chance to experience that!
When we remember that it is a privilege to do devotional service it changes our consciousness. We don’t have to do it, we get to do it. That mood brings gratitude and inspiration. Even more of a privilege is gradually developing “unconditional” love for Krishna. Endless giving and loving with no expectation of return except for more opportunities to serve.
That may take time - such a level of pure-hearted love - but it is the privilege that every soul has the opportunity to aim for. We should keep trying for that level of devotion and not be turned away no matter how many times we fall short.
When we see this chance to practice Bhakti-yoga as a great privilege, we become both awed and humbled. And that is the ground upon which love for Krishna begins to grow.