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Our Best Friend

Among the Lord's devotees, the greatest are those who are dedicated to Him solely as His intimate servants. [Nārada-bhakti sūtra 67]

The Holy Name is our best friend. He protects us from the influence of māyā, and gives us solace when we need it most. Sometimes He makes us soar in the sky, and tickles us from inside until we experience a fit of giggles (often to the bemusement of any onlookers). He provides inspiration in whatever we do and is always there for us, day and night.

Unfortunately we can be neglectful to our friend, trying to rush our exchanges with Him. Sometimes we ignore Him completely, thinking that other engagements are more important. “He’ll understand, right?” We don’t give Him the attention He deserves and wonder why our other engagements aren’t as tasty as they usually are. We become servants to our mind and feel an emptiness in our hearts that can only be filled by Him.

In the beginning stages, the restless mind balks at the single-minded devotion required to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa for long stretches. The holy name is actually the sweetest nectar, but until we reach the spontaneous stage of devotion, one has to outsmart the mischievous mind. The mind is called cañcala, or unfaithful, but it can become the devotee's best friend. When one chants Hare Kṛṣṇa and performs other duties with concentration and devotion, the mind clears and the devotee realizes his true interest. Then the devotee becomes attracted to serving the holy names in the ekāntina [exlusive] spirit, which Nārada Muni recommends here as the best. [Nārada-bhakti sūtra 67, Purport]

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