How Inclusive is Devotion?
At La Guardia Airport at waiting area C3 and ad on the wall struck me. It read “Devotion, Pass It On” with caption “Dad’s been behind him for 65 marathons” a message from Team Hoyt. A large picture image shows a retiree-aged man pushing his son on one of those Olympic wheel-jobbies.
No doubt, the image and message are touching. So I thought or re-thought about the word ‘devotion’ which is so finely saturating the books I read from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Often devotion is exclusive to our service to God, but that can be argued. It has got to be more inclusive than that, at least while we are strong of mind and health we should be able to extend our devotion to others as well.
One would dismiss the message on the wall as one of mere philanthropy or just a plain familial gesture. In other words this message is not one of transcendence and therefore deserves to be marginalized. We sometimes hear these attitudes expressed within circles of people who profess to be ‘devotional’.
One might take a word of caution with regards to such a lofty attitude since it can effect the harmful spirit of ‘holier than thou’ and breed notions that acts of human kindness are not important.
In all circumstances our guru, Srila Prabhupada, expected actions form his students to be of the plateau of ladies and gentlemen. Mind you, devotion to the good works of this world is not an end to itself.
When defining the mantra about devotion, the maha-mantra that is, it should be considered that when we ask for devotional service form the Creator we must also include service to His creatures.
The message stands, “Devotion, Pass It On!” Let it be fully contagious. Let the mood of service prevail.