Before marrying Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the exceptionally elegant and stunningly beautiful Princess Sri Rukminiji sent a love letter to Sri Krishna expressing her desire for His hand in marriage.
Sri Rukmini beseeched, “O Krishnaji! You are certainly most difficult to attain! And I know that You cannot be gotten simply by the good acts of one birth. But if for many prior lives I have done any good deeds, with or without a desire to attain You, then please give me the results now so that I may attain You. I want nothing but this. This is my only prayer.
“O my dearest Ambujaksa Sri Krishna! If I don’t get Your mercy, then I’ll immediately die. Possibly then after hundreds of lifetimes of doing Krishna bhakti bhajana, I may obtain Your mercy.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.52.43)
Sri Jiva Goswamipada: The Sanskrit verse phrase, sata janmabhih, “hundreds of lifetimes” actually means an indefinite number of lifetimes. In other words, Rukmini-devi is ready to continue performing Krishna bhakti bhajana for an unlimited number of births until she attains Bhagavan Sri Krishna!
Visvanatha Cakravartipada: Here Sri Rukmini-devi is saying, “O Sri Krishna! In this life I will practice celibacy and austerities to attain You in a future life. And if I don’t attain You then, I will keep doing penances for ten million more lifetimes. But I will never give up my desire to attain You.
“And if You say that I am too fallen and contaminated to achieve You, then let the dust particles of Your lotus feet purify and qualify me. If even then I don’t get Your mercy, then I will fast to death! I am ready to give up my life for hundreds of births until I attain Your mercy.” Srimati Rukminiji ki jai!
This is the ultimate in determination!
And that’s what it takes to attain Radha-Krishna prema and success in Krishna bhakti bhajana. Are you ready? Try to be like Princess Rukmini. Just think, “No matter what, come life or death, I will never quit and never stop trying to serve Radha and Krishna. “Maybe this life, the next, or in a thousand future lives I will be successful. Somehow, somewhere I WILL ATTAIN BY BELOVED Sri Krishna and His divine, beautiful sweetheart Srimati Radharani! I must!”
This is determined thinking, pukka sankalpa, do or die truth eternal.
Be it, think it, live it!
DETERMINATION IN BHAKTI!!!
How to get determination?
You can acquire firm determination in Krishna bhakti bhajana and deepen it by the following items.
- Be HONESTLY Dedicated to Sri Guru
- Genuinely WANT TO Serve and PLEASE Radha and Krishna
- Study Sastra to Strengthen Intellect: Patanjali Yoga Sutras (3.47) says determination is a feature of buddhi, intelligence. Thus you can increase your determination by DAILY studying Sri Gita, Bhagavata, and our Gaudiya Vaisnava sastras. This most important bhakti bhajana abhyasa [daily practice] will definitely sharpen and empower your buddhi, intellect, which then can handle and easily control your cancala mana, restless mind, and impetuous, overheated senses.
- Meet, Serve, Hear from Real Devotee Sadhus
Everywhere sastra say, satam prasangat mama virya samvidah (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.25), “By associating with genuine bhaktas [as described above] who speak Krishna katha (samvida), one will get power and determination.” (Bhagavan Sri Kapila)
- Do Austerities, Vratas, Vows and Penances like Ekadasi, Janmastami Jagarana, Siva Caturdasi, Karttika Vrata, etc.
- Follow FOUR VOWS [four dharmic principles of human life].
Srila Prabhupada said, “Determination comes by tapasya (penance, austerities). You will be determined if you follow the four rules of religious life [i.e. 1- no eating meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, etc. ; 2- no drinking coffee, tea, or taking intoxicants; 3- no man/woman intimacies beyond marriage; 4- no lotteries, card betting, gambling, etc.]
“But if you don’t follow them, then you will be a victim of Maya. The four rules and regulations are there to keep you fixed up in your determination. But if you don’t follow [the 4 rules], then you’ll fall down in MAYA!” (BBT Folio: 740110MW.LA)
One big cause of weak determination is excessive indulgence in sense gratification i.e. overeating or sleeping, too much lady/gent intimacies, and gramya katha i.e. prajalpa, useless talk and gossip. Regarding this Srila Prabhupada once said, “Loss of determination is due to excessive amorous enjoyment.” (Path of Perfection chp. 5)
Some encouraging words: “The practice of bhakti-yoga in Krishna consciousness may appear to be a very difficult job. But you follow the four religious principles with great determination, then Bhagavan Sri Krishna will surely help you, for Sri Krishna definitely helps those who help themselves.” (Srila Prabhupada, BBT Folio 760623GC.NV)
- Maintain Patience: Keep Cool and Push On
“Determination is a bodily affair. Determination means keep practicing Krishna consciousness with patience and perseverance. If you don’t immediately get results, don’t think, ‘Oh, what is this Krishna consciousness? I give it up.’ No, we must have determination and faith in Krishna words.” (Srila Prabhupada, Path of Perfection chp. 5)
Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives wonderful reassurance to one and all: “Determination combined with patience will definitely give you exceptional siddhi, or perfection in bhakti bhajana, niçcayät dhairyät, bhaktiù prasidhyati.” (Upadesamrta 3)
Srila Prabhupada said, “Determination means to continue performing bhakti bhajana with patience and perseverance. Don’t think, ‘I am not getting the desired result. So what is this Krishna consciousness, I give up!’ No don’t think like that. Don’t be impatient.” (Path of Perfection 5)
“Determination, means don’t be agitated or frustrated in some attempt. There may be failure in some attempt, but you should not be sorry for that; just move on with patience and determination.” (Bhagavat Gita. 6.1-3 pur.)
Concluding Sweet Note:
Srimati Radharani’s Perfect Determination
Expressing Her intense determination and loving attachment to Her dearly beloved Sri Krishna…“Srimati Radharani once said: ‘O Prananatha Sri Krishna! What more can I say? In life or death, birth after birth, You alone are the Master of My life! My body, My home, My wealth. All is Yours forever!’
“O Syama! My life airs are tied to Your lotus feet with the rope of My love. I have offered My mind to You alone, and am determined to be Your maidservant.”
‘O My Bandhu! From my childhood, You alone have been the only friend of my life airs, parana bandhuya tumi.’” (Vilapa Kusumanjali 75 tika, Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)
So all my friends of kind loving hearts! Please, no matter what comes your way. Just push on through, with even more determination to love, to serve, to see and forever be with Radha-Govinda Yugala—sweetly serving Them in the pleasure groves of Vrndavana!
Krishna determination ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!