The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

Rama & Hanuman

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 5, text 24-25. The great personalities who attained perfection by practice of the nine processes are listed below, followed by the complete text and purport, describing in full these nine processes. If I am not mistaken, this purport to text 24-25 from the seventh canto, chapter five, is one of the longest in the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. Stressing the importance of the verse.

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. (SB 7.5.24-25)

1. HEARING (sravanam)
Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).

2. CHANTING (kirtanam)
Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)

3. REMEMBERING (visnu smaranam)
Prahlada Maharaja(never forgot Krsna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)

4. SERVING THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET (pada sevanam)
Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.

5. DEITY-WORSHIP (arcanam)
Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.

6. PRAYING (vandanam)
Akura offered prayers to Krsna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.

7. EXECUTING ORDERS (dasyam)
Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramacandra executed all of Sri Ramacandra’s orders despite all kinds of difficulties.

8. SERVING AS A FRIEND (sakhyam)
Arjuna was so close to Krsna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.

9. COMPLETE SURRENDER (atma nivedanam)
Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.

All these great devotees served the Lord according to a particular process, but every one of them attained salvation and became eligible to return home, back to Godhead

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The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

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Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

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Kṛṣṇa Consciousness: The Perfection of Mercy


Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

Kṛṣṇa Consciousness: The Perfection of Mercy

Prahlāda Mahārāja now gives his conclusion: “My dear friends, because the Supreme Lord is present everywhere and because we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, our duty is to be merciful to all living entities.” When a person is in a lower position, we have a duty to help him. For example, because a small child is helpless, he is dependent on the mercy of the parent: “Mother, I want this.” “Yes, my dear child.” We should be compassionate to all living entities and should show them mercy.

How can we show our mercy to everyone? There are millions and millions of poor people, so how can we show them all mercy? Are we able to supply clothing and food to all the needy persons of the world? That is not possible. How, then, can we be merciful to every living entity? By giving them Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is how Prahlāda Mahārāja is showing his class friends real mercy. They were all fools, devoid of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and therefore he was showing them how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is the highest mercy. If you want to show any mercy at all to the living entities, then enlighten them in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as Prahlāda Mahārāja did. Otherwise, it is materially beyond your power to show mercy.

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Realizing that God Is Everywhere


Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Realizing that God Is Everywhere

Mahārāja Prahlāda informed his classmates about the all-pervasiveness of the Supreme Lord. But although the Supreme Lord is all-pervasive by means of His expansions and His energies, that does not mean He has lost His personality. That is significant. Although He is all-pervading, still He is a person. According to our material perception, if something is all-pervading, then it has no personality, no localized aspect. But God is not like that. For example, the sunshine is all-pervading, but the sun also has a localized aspect, the sun planet, and you can see it. Not only is there a sun planet, but within the sun planet is a sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān. We get this information from Vedic literature. There is no way to understand what is taking place on other planets except to hear from authorized sources. In the modern civilization we accept scientists as authorities in these matters. We hear a scientist say, “We have seen the moon; it is such and such,” and we believe it. We have not gone with the scientist to see the moon, but we believe him.

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“I Love Kṛṣṇa More Than Anything!”


Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4

I Love Kṛṣṇa More Than Anything!

Now Prahlāda Mahārāja makes a further statement about the complications of material life. He compares the attached householder to the silkworm. The silkworm wraps itself in a cocoon made of its own saliva, until he is in a prison from which he cannot escape. In the same way, a materialistic householder’s entanglement becomes so tight that he cannot come out of the cocoon of family attraction. Even though there are so many miseries in materialistic family life, he cannot break free. Why? He thinks that sex life and eating palatable dishes are most important. Therefore, in spite of so many miserable conditions, he cannot give them up.

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Family Illusion Chapter 3

Prahlāda Mahārāja told his friends, “You have to begin Kṛṣṇa consciousness immediately.” All the boys were born of atheistic, materialistic families, but fortunately they had the association of Prahlāda, who was a great devotee of the Lord from his birth. Whenever he found an opportunity, when the teacher was out of the classroom, he used to say, “My dear friends, let’s chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; this is the time to begin Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter 2
“We Are Spoiling Our Lives”

Therefore, instead of being very anxious to stimulate our senses to increase material happiness, we should try to attain spiritual happiness by practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As Prahlāda Mahārāja says, “Although your life in this human body is temporary, it is very valuable. So instead of trying to increase your material sense enjoyment, your duty is to dovetail your activities in some way in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

Our higher intelligence comes with his human body. Because we have higher consciousness, we should try for the higher enjoyment in life, which is spiritual enjoyment. And how can that spiritual enjoyment be achieved? One should absorb himself in serving the Supreme Lord, who gives the pleasure of liberation. We should turn our attention to achieving the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who can give us liberation from this material world.

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

The Dearmost Person

Today I shall speak to you of the history of a boy devotee named Prahlāda Mahārāja. He was born in a family that was stubbornly atheistic. There are two kinds of men in this world: the demons and the demigods. What is the difference between them? The main difference is that the demigods, or godly persons, are devoted to the Supreme Lord, whereas the demons are atheistic. They do not believe in God because they are materialists. These two classes of men always exist in this world. At the present moment, due to the Age of Kali (Age of Quarrel), the number of demons has increased, but the classification has existed since the beginning of creation. The incident I am narrating to you occurred very, very long ago, a few million years after the time of creation.

Prahlāda Mahārāja was the son of the most atheistic person and the most materially powerful as well. Because the society was materialistic, this boy had no opportunity to glorify the Supreme Lord. The characteristic of a great soul is that he is very eager to broadcast glorification of the Supreme Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, for example, was very eager to broadcast the glorification of God, but demoniac people misunderstood him and crucified him.

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