Bhakti is about detail, little things. Big things are wonderful, but even more wonderful are the little things within the big things. And if you don’t have a big thing, equally wonderful is the little things.
The culture of bhakti is something very deep. In the Bhaktivedanta Hospital the big things are the machines and the surgeries going on. But when someone comes around and offers charnamrta or Jagannath’s chariot comes around, its the small detail that changes people’s heart. Devotees kindness, a few words from the spiritual care department transforms peoples hearts and lives. So much of the love and expression of devotion is in those details. Not just what we speak but how we speak. What little things we do to uplift a conditioned soul.
Srila Prabhupada taught by his example – How much he encouraged and appreciated devotees and at the same time trained devotees. All under the package of his compassion. One time Srila Prabhupada was given a flower by a simple lady. Years later he reminds her of that flower and that love keeps her through thick and thin. Anything that happens to her she can take shelter of that one little gesture. A few words are never forgotten by that person’s heart. Such appreciation and affection for the littlest thing encouraged his devotees. But at the same time his correction of the littlest thing encouraged them to keep the standard.
Devotees need to feel encouraged, appreciated and valued. We need to focus on both appreciation and correction. If one is too heavy you can crush a person’s enthusiasm to serve. So we want to create that type of loving association in sharing Krishna katha and Vaisnava culture. Then the experience is so wonderful that all the anartha’s are tolerable and we carry on pursuing the higher experience. – Radhanath Swami