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A SMALL MEMBER IN A HUGE FAMILY

"God is unlimited, so are the number of His devotees."

Every morning after the morning program in ISKCON temples and every time devotees offer their respects to the devotees of Lord Krishna, it is a custom to chant the phrase - "ananta koti vaishnava vrinda ki jai". It means - "all glories to the unlimited, countless devotees of the Lord". I got to witness a glimpse of this phrase in the recent annual Vrindavan Yatra. The Yatra itself had 7000 registered pilgrim devotees along side lakhs of other devotees who flock to Vrindavan to be in the holiest of holy months, the Karthik month. It was a crazy crowd filled with devotees crazy for Krishna, not minding inconvenience of any sort. In fact, one starts to realise that being surrounded by devotees on all sides is a bliss of a different sort. Vrindavan was filled to the brim. This is only the number of countless devotees in Vrindavan. Add to it the unlimited devotees in other holy places, Tirupati, Sri Rangam, Jagannath Puri, Pandharpura and hundreds of other holy places. Add to it further, all the devotees of Krishna all over the world. And you will get a glimpse of "the unlimited devotee" concept.

But the scriptures tell us that the number of devotees in the material world is very, very less compared to the number of devotees in the spiritual world. And mind you, there are countless planets in the spiritual world. We can't even imagine, the number of devotees that are present there. The only thing we can do is offer our humble obeisances to the countless devotees - those in this world and those beyond this world by chanting - "ananta koti vaishnava vrinda ki jai". Who said that the devotees are outnumbered by materialistic people! No one can outnumber the devotees of the Lord. The family of devotees is the biggest because it is the family of God. Let us feel happy, grateful and protected to a small member of such a huge family - God's family.
- Achyut Gopal Das

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