Question: Isn't It Just Selfish?
A person from Israel asked you what to do to get rain in Israel. You have replied that a massive sankirtan (congregational chanting of the holy names of God) will resolve the issue. Sure it will play a remarkable role in solving the long running issues of the region. When people would come together and sing the names of the Lord leaving behind all their divisions of religion and beliefs the environment there would be purified and so many issues would get resolved. But it does not guarantee rain like you have told the person. Everything is in the hands of the Lord. If he wishes Israel would get rain, if he doesn't there will be no rain. Whatever happens, would be for the good. Should we be trying to please the lord to get our wish fulfilled? Why should we hope? You say we should be trying to please the lord every single moment of our life. Some people please the lord but in return hope their wishes will be fulfilled. Isn't this selfish? Then even to surrender to the lord with the thought in our mind always that we want to be liberated from this painful existence is just selfish isn't it? Isn't a person who is completely driven to take up the path of devotion just because he/she does not want to be born as another species just being selfish?
Answer: Krishna Reciprocates with Selfless Bhakti.
Of course, it is a fact, as you are saying, that if we pray for rain that we are being selfish. But if we pray for the pleasure of Krishna and accept whatever comes as His mercy, rain or no rain, by His grace according to His words in the Bhagavad-gita the rain will come. Who can deny it? So you are wrong when you state that massive sankirtan yajna will not bring the rain. Krishna directly states in the Bhagavad-gita that rain is produced by the performance of yajna.
And it is also a fact that if we pray for liberation from the cycle of birth and death, we also being selfish. Therefore the pure devotee prays simply to be eternally engaged in the Lord's service in any condition either in the material world or in the spiritual world. And because of his completely pure surrendered attitude, at the time of death he is immediately delivered back to his original home in the spiritual world.
You have presented yourself as my shishya, my student. Therefore I beg to point out to you that according to the instructions of Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita one is never to tell his teacher that he is wrong as you have just told me. This is an offense known as sadhu ninda, which nullifies whatever devotional service one has done.
Of course this does not mean that we have to blindly accept what we hear from the spiritual master. If something does make sense to us, instead of telling the spiritual master that he is wrong, we should submissively inquire from him to help us understand how it is true. In short, our mood before the spiritual master should not be a challenging mood. Rather it should be a mood of submissive inquiry.
I am hoping this meets you well,