Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Kainkaryam is the highest wealth of a devotee. A devotee awaits the opportunity to engage in service. Performing service is not an artificial imposition on any person. A deep reflection upon the scriptures would reveal that to serve is natural. In fact, we are ever in service of someone or something. Sometimes, we think we are in control of other objects which serve our purpose. But, a little experience and insight would reveal that, to the contrary, we are under the control of these lures. When this analysis proceeds in this direction, we will end up understanding that we and our faculties find purity of purpose only in service of the Lord. That is the natural state of all souls and matter; everything else is confusion.
The great seer Nārada, who was enlightened in all scriptures, realized that śeṣatvam or service is the true nature of the soul. The Bhāgavata Purāṇa says that Devarṣi Nārada, who had no desires otherwise, was haunted by one desire. It might surprise us that such a sage would be desirous of something. The scripture says, “nāradaḥ kṛṣṇopāsanalālasaḥ” - Nārada was ardently desirous of serving Krishna.
Here the word ‘upāsana’ does not mean passive devotion or meditation. It means service. This can be understood by noting that the Purāṇic verse says “abhīkṣṇaṃ dvāravatyām avātsīt”. Seer Nārada used to stay frequently in Dvāraka as he was desirous of serving the Lord. It is only to serve that one needs to be present close to the recipient of service (śeṣi). Passive forms of devotion or meditation do not demand intimate physical presence such as that between Lakṣmaṇa and Rāma. Is it not this intimately close presence that was referred by Āzhvār as ‘uḍanāy manni’! Hence, here upāsana means service. No less a seer than Nārada, who has been celebrated in Sri Ramayana as tapaḥ-svādhyāya-nirataḥ, vāgvidāmvaraḥ and munipuṅgavaḥ, bore great interest in serving Krishna after all his study, penance and meditation.
This message is reinforced by Śukācārya, who is himself a great devotee of the Lord. He asks Emperor Parīkṣit, “Rājan! ko nu indriyavān mukundacaraṇāmbujaṃ na bhajet?” Which person, O King, possessed of the faculties (of senses and body), does not engage in kainkaryam at the lotus feet of Mukunda? The word ‘indriyavān’ indicates that the faculties of our body are provided for the purpose of engaging in service of the Lord.
Excited to serve Krishna, aren’t we?
Though the vibhavāvatāra of Krishna is over several hundreds of years ago, He continues to present Himself out of grace in numerous shrines through the mode of Arcāvatāra. He creates the opportunity for people of all times to serve Him in this image form.
The lore tells us that the great devotee Akrūra cherished the time when he went to fetch Lord Krishna in a chariot car. The "Thanga chapara vaahanam" was restaged on the occasion of Sri Jayanthi by the students of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam. The students relived the service of the Lord by decorating Him beautifully and celebrating Sri Krishna jayanti. The procession went through the uthira and chiththira veethis of Periya Perumal.
The pictures of this occasion can be viewed at https://photos.google.com/
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ko nu indriyavān mukundacaraṇāmbujaṃ na bhajet?