Devotional Service: Vital utility for humans


Verse: Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.21

Bharah param patta-kirita-justam
Apy uttamangam na namen mukundam
Savau karau no kurute saparyam
Harer lasat-kancana-kankanau va

The upper portion of the body, though crowned with a silk turban, is only a heavy burden if not bowed down before the Personality of Godhead, who can award mukti [freedom]. And the hands, though decorated with glittering bangles, are like those of a dead man if not engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead, Hari.

As stated herein before, there are three kinds of devotees of the Lord. The first-class devotee does not at all see anyone who is not in the service of the Lord, but the second-class devotee makes distinctions between devotees and nondevotees. The second-class devotees are therefore meant for preaching work, and as referred to in the above verse, they must loudly preach the glories of the Lord. The second-class devotee accepts disciples from the section of third-class devotees or nondevotees. Sometimes the first-class devotee also comes down to the category of the second-class devotee for preaching work. But the common man, who is expected to become at least a third-class devotee, is advised herein to visit the temple of the Lord and bow down before the Deity, even though he may be a very rich man or even a king with a silk turban or crown.

The Lord is the Lord of everyone, including the great kings and emperors, and men who are rich in the estimation of mundane people must therefore make it a point to visit the temple of Lord ?r? K???a and regularly bow down before the Deity. The Lord in the temple in the worshipable form is never to be considered to be made of stone or wood, for the Lord in His arca incarnation as the Deity in the temple shows immense favor to the fallen souls by His auspicious presence. By the hearing process, as mentioned herein before, this realization of the presence of the Lord in the temple is made possible. As such, the first process in the routine work of devotional service—hearing—is the essential point. Hearing by all classes of devotees from the authentic sources like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam is essential.

The common man who is puffed up with his material position and does not bow down before the Deity of the Lord in the temple, or who defies temple worship without any knowledge of the science, must know that his so-called turban or crown will only succeed in further drowning him in the water of the ocean of material existence. A drowning man with a heavy weight on his head is sure to go down more swiftly than those who have no heavy weight. A foolish, puffed-up man defies the science of God and says that God has no meaning for him, but when he is in the grip of God’s law and is caught by some disease like cerebral thrombosis, that godless man sinks into the ocean of nascence by the weight of his material acquisition. Advancement of material science without God consciousness is a heavy load on the head of human society, and so one must take heed of this great warning.

The common man, if he has no time to worship the Lord, may at least engage his hands for a few seconds in washing or sweeping the Lord’s temple. Maharaj Prataprudra, the greatly powerful king of Orissa, was always very busy with heavy state responsibilities, yet he made it a point to sweep the temple of Lord Jaganatha at Pur? once a year during the festival of the Lord. The idea is that however important a man one may be he must accept the supremacy of the Supreme Lord. This God consciousness will help a man even in his material prosperity. Maharaj Prataprudra‘s subordination before Lord Jaganatha made him a powerful king, so much so that even the great Pathan in his time could not enter into Orissa on account of the powerful Maharaj Prataprudra. And at last Maharaj Prataprudra was graced by Lord Sri Chaitanya on the very grounds of his acceptance of subordination to the Lord of the universe. So even though a rich man’s wife has glittering bangles made of gold on her hands, she must engage herself in rendering service to the Lord.

Pure devotional service is the chapter. Shukadev Goswami, himself is the speaker. Now he is encouraging everybody to serve the supreme personality of Godhead. With everything, kayen, manasa, vaca, indriyerapi budhya. Using intelligence, using different parts of the body. Everything! Manasa, deha, geha jo kichu mor, arpilu tua pade Nandakisore. Everything to be offered, to be engaged in the service of the Lord. As Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is also pointing out. And yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam is also; has been strongly recommended by the Lord in the 9th chapter of Bhagavad-gita.

Everything is to be, everything is Lord’s. Tvadiya vastu Govindam Tubhyameva samarpaye. Everything! Everything is Yours my Lord. Twadiya vastu, everything. Vastu. Even body. Different parts of this body. Deha, apatya, kalatra adisu. Myself, my family, my children, my friends, my property, everything everything. Tubhyam. It is, it is Yours. Twadiya. Hence, I am offering also all of that in your service. So, keeping that spirit, that philosophy, those statements in mind Sukadev Goswami is pointing out in phase manner. One, two items at a time. This should be engaged, that should be engaged. The tongue should be engaged. The eyes should be engaged. The feet should be engaged. And today is the turn of, the head should be engaged and the hands should be engaged. Today is the turn of head and hands. The head has been described here as uttamangam, api uttamangam. So what?

Your head may be the best of your body. Api uttamangam. Angam is body. Uttam, the best. Of course, the best is for the Lord. The best for the Lord. He is the best. So, this anga , the head is uttam, the topmost. It is also at the top, right? In the body, the head is at the top and not just by the physical position but the head is in, it gives direction, thinks, tells you, do this, don’t do this. It gives direction to the hands, to the belly, to the legs. So, hence, certainly the head is uttamangam, uttamangam.

Second line, second word, uttamangam. So, it is uttamangam and it has been decorated, patta-kirita-justam, by crown. It has decorated with the crown. And before the crown is used, some cloth is also used. Those who use crown then, then they use cloth, not just cotton or khadi, but they use silk cloth. Pattam mentioned here is the silk cloth used. And then at the top goes, kirita, goes the crown. So the top part of the body and is the crown there. So there, preparing next thing such decorated head should be doing is, you are only getting ready to bow down. This is next step, one should be doing with such a topmost part of the body and decorated with the crown. Silk is there, crown also, made up of some gold or some rubies. Another thing happen for a neck studded with gems. Such a decorated head should be surrendering should be bowing down before the Lord. Of course they don’t do. The talk here is, they do not do this. Sukadev Goswami is pointing they should be, such a crown head should be bow down before the Lord. And of course they don’t do this. Then it’s only a bharah param. It’s only a heavy burden. That person, that King is carrying a heavy load on his, on his head. That’s one point. Na namet, na namet Mukundam. The person doesn’t bow down, namah, na namet. And na namet unto Mukundam, Mukund, Mukundam, the liberator, the deliverer, you are carrying heavy burden. Lord could give you relief. Why don’t you bow down before the Lord? Ambarish Maharaja did that. Karau no kurute saparyam harer lasat-kancana-kankanau va.

Another turn of hands, karau, both the hands, not just one hand. Karau, what kinds of hands, lasat-kancana-kankanau, karau, the hands which are decorated with Kankan. This is just a cloth! Made up of gold. Lasat, they are glittering. It’s pure gold. The pure gold bangles, both hands have and they are glittering. But if such hands do not do, saparyam ,the service of Hari. Harersaparyam, service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such hands not engaged in, then these hands with gold bangles are compared with savah, sava. Sava means dead body. Savasobhanah, decoration of the dead body only, Prabhupad says. In Christianity, there is a special decoration. When the person is dead, before he is put into his tomb. From womb to tomb![laughs]. Before he is put into the tomb, special bedding is done. His body is nicely cleansed. Three piece suit with the boot also.

They buy new boot? I was told they buy new boot and some, like that, all these decorations. They decorate him and the next thing they do is they dump him in a big hole.[laughs]. If he is dead what value, what value is there of this all decoration. If body is dead, sava, dead body. What good are they hands? Fine, they may be glittering with the gold bangles. But they are like dead body’s hands, if they are not used in the service of supreme personality of Godhead. And gradually, gradually conclusion is, everything is just meaningless, useless if it is not engaged in the service of the Lord. It is only meaning when they are engaged in the service of the Lord. Then everything comes back to life, comes to live.

Prananti. Akrur, while going to Vrindavan from Mathura. That’s the way! Prabhupad says. That’s the way. We all have come to Vrindavan. Prabhupad says example of Akrur. Are you ready to go Vrindavan? Please read that chapter, how Akrur went to Vrindavan. So while Akrur is on the way to Vrindavan, he talks. Yah! Only when we engage in the service of the Lord, hear about the Lord. He is talking, is making the point about, hearing about the Lord and remembering the Lord, then only Prananti. That person gets his prana back. Then, is a life in him. Prananti, punanti, subhanti, is using. Three adjectives. Then that person has life. That person is with the life. And that person punanti, that person is purified. And subhanti, that person’s life is auspicious. Then is the decoration, the real decoration. Subhanti is then.

When one’s existence is used in the service of the Lord or when one is engaged in hearing of the Lord. All body is beautiful decoration right now. The body is beautiful. The body is a lively, full of life, full of meaningfulness. One body is right now in a sleeping bag and another body is sitting in a temple. I mean, you could sleep at midnight but not at 9 o’clock. But somebody is sleeping even at a 9 o’clock. After hard labor all day, then we deserve some sleep and that sleep is also devotional service. Getting ready for next day is devotional service. That’s ok! 9 o’clock in the morning, that’s like a dead body. But you, all of us sitting here and hearing about Krishna, Bhagavatam, then all the bodies are beautiful bodies. The glittering bodies, shining bodies, bodies full of life. Bodies with all different parts come to life. Prananti, punanti, subhanti. And they are engaged in the service of the Lord.

Sukadev Goswami is recommending that the head should be used in bowing down before the Lord. Na namet, his complain is na namet Mukunda. They do not bow down before the Mukunda. This is that trouble part but the right thing to do is they should be bow down, bowing down before the personality of Godhead. And Srila Prabhupada is pointing out in many things. Such a wonderful purport! That by hearing process, are you hearing? Yes. By hearing process as mentioned here in before, the realization of the presence of the Lord in the temple is made possible. The Lord is here. We realize more and more the presence of the Lord in the temple. We could begin with that realization. Lord in the temple. Lord with the deity. Then by hearing more we could gradually expand that. Lord here, Lord there, Lord everywhere.

Pandith samadarsinah. We could start with the deity in the temple. Here is the Lord. So one becomes conscious. One becomes aware of the presence of Lord in the temple, in the deity form. How does this realization come about? By hearing, Prabhupada says, by hearing. So Srila Prabhupada not only gave us Krsna and Balarama but he also gave us Bhagavatam. And of course, they are both, they are both personalities of Godhead. They are both forms of the Lord. Not only the deity is the Lord, Bhagavatam is also Lord. And one Lord is helping us to understand the another Lord. Bhagavatam is incarnation of the Lord.

Vanmay, vanmaymurti, some places we read vanmurti, vanmaymurti. Lord is personified in the form of Bhagavatam as incarnation of the Lord. One travelling party leader is saying, “Prabhupada, Prabhupada, Our van you know is full with the books.” I don’t know why he was saying this or something. The point is there. That travelling party, “as we have no space in our van for a deity, carry the deity or we have no time to worship the deity. We are busy in distributing books. So what about we doing the worship?” And Prabhupada recommended, “we could worship the books! Worship the books.” Bhagavatam is non different from the Lord. So as one hears Bhagavatam and Bhagvad-gita, Prabhupada is pointing out here.

The authentic sources like Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavatam. This is essential point. Hearing is essential point. And as one hears, one becomes the aware of presence of the supreme personality of Godhead. And then, then the next thing is, whenever you are entering the temple, you do what? The Lord is here, the Lord is here. Hey! Look, look! Look, he is here! One bows down before the deity. So beautiful they are! Krsna Balarama is so beautiful! I just have this thought, this morning we took darsana, why, why, why not people surrender, bow down before such a beautiful Krsna and Balarama? Such a beautiful! When the person is ugly, we run away. Beautiful, bow down. Krsna, Balarama, such a beautiful! As one hears the greatness of the Lord and then that great Lord is here, in the temple, in the form of deities. One becomes aware of his presence and bows down.

Srila Prabhupada taught us this process of bowing down. Not so much bowing down goes on in lot of other temples in India. But the way, Prabhupada taught us to bow down before the deity. And every time you go into the temple, bow down. People, ok! I already did it once, how many times? Other temples, one time, they have done it. Quota is finished. How many one time dandavat? But not every time. But Prabhupada taught us bowing down before the Lord. And Prabhupada bow down, full dandavat! Prabhupada taught. Even in his old age, he would stand with folded hands with his stick in his hand. Then he would put his stick, cane, cane, ok! next to him and then he bow down. Full dandavat to Gaura Nitai, unto Krsna-Balarama, unto Radha-Shyamasundara, unto Radha- Rasabihari. He would, Govindam adipurusam, he would do this. Tam aham bhajami. He would stand and bow down. As we have seen him bowing down, we have learnt this bowing down before the deity, with hair or no hair to bow down before the supreme personality of Godhead.

Mam namskuru, manmana bhava mad bhakto madyaji mam, what? Namskuru, say namaskuru, namaskuru. Lord says, you just do these four things. Remember me, become my devotee, worship me and pay obeisances unto me. And reward for this? Reward for offering obeisances unto Lord is What? You come to me. Mameva esyasi. Mameva esyasi. Lord says. Such a big reward! You bow down before me, you will come to me. Mameva, unto me only because you are offering obeisances unto me. Mam, mam, mam, mam, four times, Lord says. Manmana, matmana bhava madbhakto, madyaji, mam every time. He asks us to four things every time. He says, unto who? Manmana. Remember who? Remember me. Madbhakta, become who’s devotee? My devotee. Madyaji, aaji means worship. Who’s worship? Madyaji. Namaskuru, unto Who? Mam namaskuru. Just see. So that you will not confused. You could have put everything in a bouquet or something, is one time, unto me only. Do this for no. He is asking us to do four things. Mat, mat, mat, mam namaskuru, do unto me. And then because you have done, you have become my devotee. You have worshiped me. You have remembered me, offered obeisances unto me. Then what happened? Of course mam, mameva esyasi, second line also and the third line, mam again. Mameva, certainly mameva esyasi. You will come to me.

Satyam, this is the fact, satyam pratijanihi. I promise you. In how many words he has to say. Come to me only. Satyam, you know, I’m speaking the truth. He doesn’t have to say this. Does Krsna have to say that he is speaking the truth? Because all that he speaks is only the truth and nothing else. Or that we speak is, lot of times, lies only.[laughs] All that Lord says, sarvam etatritamanye yanmam vadasi Kesava.[B.G. 10.14] Arjuna is already declared. My dear Lord, all that you speak is only truth. So this Lord is saying, you will come to me. You are offering obeisances you will come to me. This is a true statement and I promise you. This is my promise to you, come to me. Just for offering obeisances unto the Lord, such a big, big reward! Why not? It’s a good deal, right? Nice deal! All that you have to do is to bow down. And all that he does is, he does everything. You don’t even have to book a flight, to go back to Godhead. The captain will come knocking at the door. He has boarded the plain on the rooftop of your room or your garden and he brings you, please! He has call you, he has a seat, sir! And he starts engine and you don’t have to do anything. No flight booking, nothing. All this is if one does just simple, simple things as bowing down before the Lord. As one bow down which we call as a Saastang. Saastang dandavat, dandavat, dandavat. Dand-vat means just like danda, danda-vat, just like danda. One throws himself, ladies do it differently, before the Lord and his asta-angas. Uttamanga is mentioned here. The best anga, part of the body, mentioned in this verse and while offering obeisances, the seven more angas are also involved. Asta-anga, saastanga, sa-with, asta-eight, anga-parts.

Obeisances with eight parts, saastanga dandavat. Out of these six are physical parts of your body, two feet, two hands, chest and head. That is, how many? Six. Two feet, two hands, chest and the head. And two other parts are, your prayer, your words. Word is the part of saastang. If words are not used, Nectar of Devotion says, it is one of the offenses in worshiping the deity. If you do not say the prayer while offering, right? It is one of the 32. Remember? Yes, do you remember? Right there! So your body’s six parts are there flat on the ground in the front of the deity, say the prayer. We do namah om visnupaday. And the 8th, 8th part is your mind. Be there with the mind also. Think what you are doing right here. The deity is there. The prayer, think what the prayer is, with full understanding. You are offering your dandavat, namaskara, namaskuru. So namaskuru, mam namaskuru. It is not a physical activity but also vocal and mental. A voice, sabda. Or your tongue, ok, lets move to the tongue. Tongue is the part of the body. So all the parts are body’s parts. Six physical, the tongue is also physical. Ok, it’s mental or physical? Physical. Tongue and the mind. When we all those put together there is complete dandavat. Complete namaskuru, namet. And then the namaskar is complete and when one offers namaskara unto the Lord, obeisances unto the Lord, dukhasamanastama.

The last verse of Srimad- bhagavatam. How many verses are there in the Srimad- Bhagavatam? 18000. 18000th verse, which is what? The 12nd canto, 13th chapter, 23rd verse ends with again, this business mentioned here. The obeisances, says pranam, the verse is pranam dukha samanma stam param harim. Yah! Namami, namami harim param. Twice is, namami and pranam. When you offer your pranam unto param hari, the personality of Godhead, then what does Lord do again? Dukha samanastam. Your dukha, suffering will be subdued, subdued, kicked by the Lord. Eradicated, dukhasamanam, like samah, damah, sama, the subdued, dukhasamanam. So who does this? The param hari. He does this for one who does pranam unto the Lord. So we, we come, we offer obeisances, prayer, obeisances and we have gone. But that is where the homework of the Lord begins. Lord remembers, Lord remembers that person who had just now come, offered obeisances and gone.Lord is thinking what could I do for him? I need to give him relief, I need to reward this person.

So externally speaking, or looking through the camera, nothing! Offered obeisances, the person went away. But Lord has already taken notice. The person coming, offering obeisances and Lord is thinking and thinking and thinking. Mamekam saranam vraja and aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksa esyami ma suchah. Lord is, Lord has to minimize that person’s reactions, suffering. This also occurs, results by the fact, it is explained that as one offer obeisances unto the lotus, lotus feet of the Lord or deity Lord. On the feet of the Lord, the soles of the feet of the Lord, that different signs. In ISKCON market, there is a book with the footprints and handprints of different, different deities, Krsna, Radharani, Caitanya, Advait like that. So it explains there that the different signs on the, specially on the feet of the Lord. They are responding, they are reciprocating to the person who has offered Lord his obeisances. Those these signs on the soles of the feet the Lord are not just a paint and just sticking there and nothing happening and just a decoration. No! All those signs are very very active. Those signs are very very active and for each sign on Krsna’s feet there are 11 in one foot and 9 in another, correct? So beach sign does something something. Each cinha does something for the devotee. For instance, this is the disc. Shhoooooooo! Lord has a disc in his hand. So when person offers his obeisances, then that disc gets active. Hey! Who are the enemies of my devotee? This devotee. Where is that kama? All the 6 enemies. And then this disc gets behind all the 6 enemies of that devotee and chases them after. And like that. The Lotus is cooling effect. Oh! When I went temple I feel so good, so peaceful, you know! It’s so peaceful! Why? That, that Lotus in the lotus feet of the Lord. There is the lotus on the lotus feet of the Lord, it’s rays. I will reach to the person who have just now offered his obeisances unto the deity. And there is also, this is different thing. One of that is the when we take deity around, in south India, Tirupati, they carry that umbrella. It’s special, not a kind of umbrella we carry. It’s a special umbrella. It’s Lord’s umbrella. They say that Lord holds umbrella over that person. Umbrella is not to only just to give shade or protection from the rain, but it is a honor, honorary. This person is being honored that’s why this umbrella is above him. This is honorable. This is honorable person. So that umbrella on the feet of the Lord becomes, the devotee is honored. That devotee who just offered his obeisances, he becomes honorable. So, like that offering obeisances unto the Lord, sounds, looks like such a ordinary or simple activity, but it’s not all that needs our eyes as they see. So much more going on happening there which we did not take notice of. Something of the immense benefit. Then this is all said to encourage everyone to bow down before the Lord.

Even person is wearing the crown, the person is wearing the turbans. Prime minister of the country, this country also wears some turban. We have new Prime Minister, he always wears a turban. He never steps out of his palace if he has no turban on his head. What he should be doing this? On the way to the parliament he should be offering his obeisances. We are not sure whether he does it. Is it right thing to do? Is it right thing to do? Not to offer obeisances? No, it’s wrong. And not offered obeisances then what happens? The heavier the turban is, the swifter you are sick. Prabhupada is pointing out in the purport. And there is also warning out. The advancement in the material science without God consciousness is a heavy load on the head of human society. So one must take hid of this great warning. So that’s also a big trouble. Show me your God. Where is God? And yes! India being secular is also big problem. India is a secular country. Secular means without God. State is one thing, religion is, religion is private thing, your own thing. You are not offering obeisances, not as your business. We are only concerned with roti, kapada, makan. We are only concerned with administration and eating, sleeping, mating, defending. You are nothing to do with your soul. We don’t care whether we go to hell or heaven. That is your private affair. We only make sure our bellies are full. And he gets nice cars, electricity. We make the highways. We don’t care whether the person is coming from the Delhi by this highway, whether he stop in Vrndavan or Mathura or they go on the way to Agra to see Tajmahal. It is up to them. This is secular state, we can’t insist. Then all, this is not our. So this nonsense secular, secularism is also a big curse on India, and on the other countries of the world, a heavy load on the head of human society.

Prabhupada is reminding. A quick reminder. One sentence reminder is here. And then, that is about the obeisances. There are two parts, other one is? We have just covered the head division. The other division is, the part is the hands. So another 45 minutes. The head is more important. So we spent more time on head. On hands we can spend less time, so hands also should be engaged in service of the Lord. Mandirmarjanadau. Especially as one come to Vrndavan. Let’s render lots of service with all the parts of our body, including the hands. This Kartik is a very special, very very special month time of the year. Wherever and what to speak of coming to Vrndavan during such time. So, let’s serve Vrndavan without thinking what Vrndavan could do for us. As one American President had said, “Instead of you citizens thinking what America could do for you, you should be thinking what you could do for America.”[laughs] So, likewise, we always think, what are my rights? I am a member of ISKCON. What, what has ISKCON done for me? What has been Vrndavan done for me? But first we should be thinking of what is my obligation? What is my, let me fulfill my obligation and then fight for the right. Using the might. You don’t have to use might. Then use might for the first part. First thing is first, our part serving,serving Vrndavan, serving ISKCON, Prabhupada’s mission. Specially here in Vrndavan. It’s nice time, wonderful time. Weatherwise and otherwise. So, let’s take full advantage.

And thus we, Devamrta Prabhu and Devakinandan Prabhu, we find out,what we could do? Something practical. Serve Vrndavan. If you don’t find, you always pick up a broom and sweep the temple of the Lord, pick up some books and distribute books to pilgrims. Talk about these Lords, Krsna and Balarama.As pilgrims stands here looking at Prabhupada tell them who he is. Insist with Food for Life program. Go on Vrajamandal parikrama. Use your feet, it become healthy. Too much comfort is the cause of all the diseases that is there in the world. So like that and always chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare’. And think always about Krsna. Even in the bathroom. Everywhere, everywhere, who is going to stop you from thstrong is pointing out in phase manner. One, two items at a time. This should be engaged, that should be engaged. The tongue should be engaged. The eyes should be engaged. The feet should be engaged. And today is the turn of, the head should be engaged and the hands should be engaged. Today is the turn of head and hands. The head has been described here as /empranam dukha samanma stam param hariminking of Krsna, thinking about Krsna? People say I don’t have time to do or serve, but always thinking, think about Krsna. On the way to the office offer some prayer. So let’s find or it is VIHEs so many nice nice wonderful courses. Listen, learn, time for learning. Students, for forever, students for all life long, we are students. Till our last breadth we want to learn. Not that I’m 30 year old devotee now. I’ve learnt everything. I will only now teach or speak, not hear. Everyday we could hear and learn, not teach. So this is not time to spaced out. Or this is not the place where we come and sleep. Go to Hawai and sleep there, you can take rest, but this is not a sleeping place. This is not a gossiping place for sure. This is not the place, Vrndavan. Go to Delhi, go to Agra and gossip there, not here in Vrndavan. No! Talk about Krsna, hear about Krsna. Then we become, by hearing, chanting, we become aware of the presence of Krsna in Vrndavan. If we can’t feel Krsna’s presence here in Vrndavan, then where else? Moscow, or London, where? Durban? Let’s go deeper. Not stay at surface level, just floating. Serve people into Krsna Consciousness and serve the Lord, serve the devotees also. Just serving the Lord is third class thing to do. Higher class. Serve the Lord and devotees is higher class. Prabhupada expects we come to higher class, that is second class level and eventually the topmost class. I am not here to give lots of advice.

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    hari hari….






    hari hari hari,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  5. kritika

    amazing…must read..!!