Who can attract the Lord?
From the book 'Beggar'
By HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami Krishnapada
Submitted by Manoj
You are so complex, and so difficult to reach. The learned scholars, with all their studying, cannot know You, but the illiterate brahmana, who stood publicly shedding tears on the eyes of his Bhagavad-Gita, knew of Your profound magnanimity, for You personally embraced him.
The pandits chanted sacred mantras from dawn till dusk, but their prayers never reached Your ears. Haridas, the outcaste, chanted so sweetly that You personally came to his hut to keep him company.
In the most magnificent temples, pujaris perform elaborate rituals, worshiping You with costly cloth and priceless jewels. For their efforts they may not even get a smile. Advaita Acharya offered You a little Ganges water and some tulasi leaves. You re so pleased that You personally descended to just to fulfill his request.
Wealthy businessmen build large schools, hospitals, and orphanages to get Your attention. For all their efforts, they are rarely noticed. Madhavendra Puri, who never even asked for food, was sought out by You so You could personally ask him for some sandalwood paste.
Women often engage in the most elaborate and lengthy prayers, beseeching the demigods for a divine male child. The mother of Narada muni was a simple maidservant who served the bhaktivedantas and took their remnants. Her son became so dear to You that he acts as Your personal messenger.
Powerful kings feed thousands of brahmanas and villagers, hoping to attract Your attention. Sridhara Kolavecha offered You a few banana leaves with such devotion that You came personally to eat his food.
Many gather to perform magnificent sacrifices and grand rituals, vying for Your blessings; at best they may summon some demigod. Sudama, however, offered You only a little chipped rice and made no request at all. You were so delighted You personally washed his feet and gave him a beautiful palace in which to live.
Most people wait until they are old and worn to consider renunciation. They then try to give something to You, only after they are no longer able to extract any use from it. Little Prahlada gladly gave You his youth, and You reciprocated by personally protecting him in the most dangerous and difficult of situations.
Some yogis adhere strictly to their vows of celibacy all their lives, performing great austerities to attract You or receive some boon. They are lucky if they get even a glance from You. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a magistrate involved in worldly airs. He was a householder with one dozen children. However his service and his bhajans were so pure that You personally appeared to him.
Ascetics undergo severe hardships, wearing very little thing and eating only on occasion. With all their efforts they may not even reach Brahmaloka. King Pundarika, who dressed opulently and ate most scrumptiously, captured Your heart so tensely that You personally cried out for His association.
My dear Lord Syamasundara, You have shown so many times that Your devotees live only for You and that You live only for them. Pure bhakti forces You to give Yourself. My dear Lord, I have no bhakti to attract You. My offerings and consciousness are unworthy of You. After many lifetimes in this fortunate condition, I cry out to You. Please be merciful to me, and give me the opportunity to develop real love.