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

Full Text and purport follows More

Sītādevī

In honor of the Appearance Day of Sita Devi, Wife of Lord Ramachandra, we post a short excerpt from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam.

…Sītā is Lakṣmījī, or the goddess of fortune, but she is never to be enjoyed by any living being. She is meant for being worshiped by the living being along with her husband, Śrī Rāmacandra. A materialistic man like Rāvaṇa does not understand this great truth, but on the contrary he wants to snatch Sītādevī from the custody of Rāma and thus incurs great miseries. The materialists, who are after opulence and material prosperity, may take lessons from the Rāmāyaṇa that the policy of exploiting the nature of the Lord without acknowledging the supremacy of the Supreme Lord is the policy of Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was very advanced materially, so much so that he turned his kingdom, Laṅkā, into pure gold, or full material wealth. But because he did not recognize the supremacy of Lord Rāmacandra and defied Him by stealing His wife, Sītā, Rāvaṇa was killed, and all his opulence and power were destroyed.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 2, Chapter 7, Text 23

Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions

asmat-prasāda-sumukhaḥ kalayā kaleśa
ikṣvāku-vaṁśa avatīrya guror nideśe
tiṣṭhan vanaṁ sa-dayitānuja āviveśa
yasmin virudhya daśa-kandhara ārtim ārcchat

asmat—unto us, beginning from Brahmā down to the insignificant ant; prasāda—causeless mercy; sumukhaḥ—so inclined; kalayā—with His plenary extensions; kaleśaḥ—the Lord of all potencies; ikṣvāku—Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, in the dynasty of the sun; vaṁśe—family; avatīrya—by descending in; guroḥ—of the father or spiritual master; nideśe—under the order of; tiṣṭhan—being situated in; vanam—in the forest; sa-dayitā-anujaḥ—along with His wife and younger brother; āviveśa—entered; yasmin—unto whom; virudhya—being rebellious; daśa-kandharaḥ—Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads; ārtim—great distress; ārcchat—achieved.

Due to His causeless mercy upon all living entities within the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His plenary extensions, appeared in the family of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku as the Lord of His internal potency, Sītā. Under the order of His father, Mahārāja Daśaratha, He entered the forest and lived there for considerable years with His wife and younger brother. Rāvaṇa, who was very materially powerful, with ten heads on his shoulders, committed a great offense against Him and was thus ultimately vanquished.

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