Chakra Discussions

Sankirtana Is Our Life And Soul, But Where Is the Love?

by Dayananda dasa

Posted May 13, 2006

Without affection most of us are reluctant to take responsibility. As a young adult my attention to family duty awoke when my wife reminded me she was pregnant and I should find a job. My affection for her and our unborn child along with my fresh desire to be a responsible disciple of Prabhupada worked well, and I found a good job. Yet the interaction of affection and discipline is often a problem. My wife had been providing me with affection, yet she had to prod me to reciprocate. Some unhealthy people are starved for affection, but never accept the discipline of reciprocation. For a healthy exchange in one's relationships there should be a good balance between affection (camaraderie, friendship, or love) and discipline (duty, responsibility, or service).

In early March, 1975 Prabhupada told a small group of us that discipline should be based on affection. That made sense to me then as it does now. Many have felt Prabhupada's love and the great camaraderie of serving with other devotees. Most who felt that love were able to accept austerity and responsibility in their lives. Thus, without love and camaraderie, it is questionable how one might be willing or able to perform tapa (austerity) and yajna (sacrifice).

For followers of Mahaprabhu and Prabhupada the sankirtana-yajna is the most important discipline. On May 9, 1969 Prabhupada wrote Brahmananda: "The Sankirtana Party must always work regularly; that is our life and soul." And on Sept 4, 1974 he wrote Rupanuga: "It [sankirtana] is our life and soul. Sankirtana should be increased as much as possible. Side by side is book selling."

However, if the austerity of sankirtana poses a problem, the responsible devotee should consider seeking affectionate exchanges with mature, disciplined sankirtana devotees. Mahaprabhu (Cc Antya 20.37) Himself seeks such an exchange: "I pray that You accept Me as Your servant and give Me the salary of ecstatic love of God." Moreover, if one is troubled by an unhealthy balance of duty and love, then counseling might even be the answer. At any rate, a devotee would do well to remember dear brother George Harrison's wisdom: "All you need is love (Krishna)" and--by implication--discipline (service).

Param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam! All glories to Sri Krishna sankirtana!

With affection, your servant, Dayananda dasa