Krishna Prema's Food for Thought 2019 # 16 - Become Kṛṣṇa's dog!
Surrender to the Lord means to fully depend on the Lord's protection and maintenance. We have a choice to either serve Krishna or to serve Maya, but we always have to serve a master. It is our constitutional position to serve. To give service is our dharma, that which cannot be separated from us, that which is our nature.
In this connection, the example of a dog can be given. Narada Muni compares the living entity to a dog while talking to King Prachinabarhi:
„The living entity is exactly like a dog, who, overcome with hunger, goes from door to door for some food. According to his destiny, he sometimes receives punishment and is driven out and at other times receives a little food to eat. Similarly, the living entity, being influenced by so many desires, wanders in different species of life according to destiny. Sometimes he is high, and sometimes he is low. Sometimes he goes to the heavenly planets, sometimes to hell, sometimes to the middle planets, and so on.” 1
„The living entity's position is herein likened to a dog's. By chance, a dog may have a very rich owner, and by chance, he may become a street dog. As the dog of a rich man, he will live very opulently. Sometimes in Western countries, we hear of a master leaving millions of dollars to a dog in his will. Of course, there are many dogs loitering in the street without food. Therefore, to liken the conditional existence of the living entity to that of a dog is very appropriate.“ 2
Srila Prabhupada further explains in his purport that although we are like dogs, we do have a choice to choose which master we want to serve.
„An intelligent human being, however, can understand that if he has to live the life of a dog, he had best become Kṛṣṇa's dog. In the material world a dog is sometimes elevated and is sometimes on the street, but in the spiritual world, Kṛṣṇa's dog is perpetually, eternally happy.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has therefore sung: vaiṣṇava ṭhākura tomāra kukura baliyā jānaha more. In this way Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura offers to become a Vaiṣṇava's dog. A dog always keeps himself at his master's door and does not allow any person unfavorable to the master to enter. Similarly, one should engage in the service of a Vaiṣṇava and try to please him in every respect. Unless one does so, he does not make spiritual advancement.“
This song is part of the book Saranagati:
(1) Now that I have surrendered all that I possess unto Your lotus feet, I throw myself down before Your house. You are the master of the house; kindly consider me Your own dog.
(2) Chaining me nearby, You will maintain me, and I shall lie at Your doorstep. I will not allow Your enemies to enter but will keep them outside the bounds of the surrounding moat.
(3) Whatever food remnants Your devotees leave behind after honouring Your prasad will be my daily sustenance. I will feast only those remnants in great bliss.
(4) While sitting up or lying down, I will constantly meditate on Your lotus feet. Whenever You call, I will immediately run to You and dance in rapture.
(5) I will never think of my own maintenance and will remain absorbed in ever cherishing love for my Master. Bhaktivinoda now accepts You as his only maintainer. 3
We are compared to dogs by the great acaryas. It is up to us what kind of dog we want to be. If you have ever seen street dogs in India, you can understand that it is better to have a master, then to just independently loiter in the streets. Similarly, if we give our lives to Guru and Krishna and become their dog we will be completely free from all anxiety and fear!
1 - Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.30-31
2 - Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.30-31, Purport
3 - Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Saranagati, Song 19