"Developing sraddha in the narrations of My glories, disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense enjoyment leads to misery, but still unable to renounce it, My devotees should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction. Even though they sometimes engage in sense enjoyment, My devotees know that all sense gratification leads to unpleasant reactions, and they sincerely repent all such activities. (Bhag. 11.20.27-28)
We become indifferent to all other pursuits, because we can understand that all other activities bear some unpleasant reaction. Yet, although we can conceive that they all produce pain, we cannot free ourselves immediately from their clutches. The debt is already incurred, and our debtors won't allow us to escape. We are in the midst of so many acquisitions. It is not very easy to leave them at once by our own sweet will. Previously, we consciously incurred some obligations, and we cannot abruptly cut off their connection; they won't set us free.
By enduring the trials of all these tribulations, we will stand. We will endure and grow beyond the jurisdiction of these mundane forces. The more pressure comes from the outside, the more firmness we should feel in the necessity of the Lord's help. At that time, we turn our backs to all the pains of this world, and we keep Him in front. We begin to move forward. Whatever happens, we cannot complain. It is in our Master's jurisdiction whether He sees fit for us to undergo these trials or not. But we won't leave our idealwe cannot. Whatever may come, let it happen, never mind.
That becomes the nature of our temperament at that time. We should not look to place the fault on the shoulders of others, but take the whole burden: "Yes, the environment is doing justice to me, the traitor, the ambitious, the oppressor of the environment." When we are in such a state of consciousness, our bhakti-yoga or devotional engagement becomes more and more intense. The intensity of our progress accelerates!
proktena bhaktiyogena bhajato masakrn muneh
"When intelligent persons engage constantly in worshiping Me through loving devotional service, their hearts become firmly situated in Me. Thus all material desires within the heart are destroyed." (Bhag. 11.20.29)
The Lord says, "With accelerated motion, his intensity towards Me grows. Then, by My appearance, all his internal and external discrepancies are gradually destroyed and evaporated. When, by such an approach, he reaches My domain, or rather, I come downextending My existence to his heart-then, at once, everything else disappears".
The Knot of Material Existence is Slashed
Then bhidyate hrdaya-granthisall the ties and entanglements, corners and angles-they vanish. Crookedness vanishes! We find ourselves in the midst of a straight, plain, graphic, spacious and all-embracing environment. Our atmosphere changes. All the ties of so many attractions to various achievements are at once dissolved. They have no necessity in this land. In a word, they have no value. In this land, our past achievements are meaningless. The emphasis is on who we are and not what we are or were. Where does our identity lie? Today! We have gained entrance here because we longed for service, because we longed for that spiritual identity. Ahead of us may lay certain spiritual achievements; behind us is merely a wasteland. Leave that. Forever.
Hrdayenabhyanujnato(Manu Samhita 2.1): internal approval comes to assure us that we have arrived in our own land. Cidyante sarva-samsayah: there is no room for any doubt. We find that all our hankerings are more than fulfilled here: "I was searching, my whole body was searching."
In the Vaisnava-padavali, the Anthology of Vaisnava Songs, there is an expression: prati anga lage kande prati anga mora. In the acme of divinity, madhurya-rasa, where Srimati Radharani is Sakti (the divine potency of the Lord), She says, "My every limb is crying out for the respective limb of My Lord. Not only My self, but every part of My body earnestly aspires for the corresponding part of My Master's body."
Cidyante sarva-samsayah, every part bears witness: "Yes, we have reached the destination we were striving for, this is our full-fledged satisfaction. This is our soil, this is our home." Every atom of the body will say it. No trace of any doubt will be found, for there is no longer any room for that. But every atom will find its fulfillment: "This is my home, this is my land. I find the comfort of home."
Ksiyante casya karmani: (The Lord says about his devotees), "And the force of reaction won't come to trouble them, to drag them down or attract them backwards. That too, is severed. Mayi drste 'khilatmani: I am the fullest of the full perfection. They can depend on My friendship."
This should be the course of our life, our cherished goal. Srimad Bhagavatam tells us this. Home, sweet, sweet home. We are children of that soil. In one word, that is the goal.
Sraddha is More than Calculation
He had proper respect. Sraddha is more than calculative truth. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura helped to establish that the visuddha siddhanta type of astronomical calculation might be correct in the material sense. But still he did not utilize it. Because Bhaktivinoda Thakura followed the calculation of P. N. Bachi for Ekadasi, Janmastami, and all other things, our Guru Maharaja has accepted that. But sraddha is truer; the words of the mahajanas, the practice of the mahajanas are more valuable than human calculation.
The physical truth, the material truth does not have much value. After all it is the very strong, yet false, attitude of the mind. So this truth should not be given greater respect than acaran, the intuitive practices of pure devotees. The intuition of a pure devotee should be given preference over this materially truthful calculation of the ordinary persons.
Faith does not have any connection with the factual 'reality' of this world. It is completely independent, sraddhamayoyam loka. There is a world that is guided only by faith. Faith is everything there and it is of infinite nature, all-accommodating. Everything may be true in the world of faith by the sweet will of the Lord.
Calculation does not have any value there. It is inconclusive and destructive in its ultimate aspect, so it should be rejected. Material knowledge, the materialists that accept it, the fallible calculation of the exploiting souls, these have no value whatsoever. But in the world of the Infinite, faith is the standard, the only standard to move hither and thither, just as the compass is the only guide in the Infinite ocean.
Truth Is Hidden in the Hearts of Great Souls
Yudisthira Maharaja also said, veda srutayo vibhinna nasau. The real secret is concealed in the mysterious cave, the hearts of these great souls, dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. The footprints of those that are going to the divine world chalk out the broad path. That is our surest guidance. Only they may be reliable guides.
All else may be eliminated because calculation is fallible. All reliable instruction comes from the Absolute Infinite. But any mode of instruction can come from anywhere, at anytime. With this broad view, Vaikuntha means no limitation. We are in a boat, floating on the Infinite ocean. Anything may come to help or hinder.
Good faith, only our optimistic good faith may be our leader, our Gurudeva. Mayanukulyena navasyate namah guru karna dharam. Guru karna dharam: the guru is the guide. In the infinite ocean we have boarded a small boat and the destination is uncertain, inconceivable. But it is conceivable to our Gurudeva. Guru karna dharamwe are going with that faith, with sincere faith within. Mahajana yena gatah sa panthah, svayam samuttirya sudus aram, it is a horrible ocean with so many waves and so many dangers. Whales, timingila monsters, and other things are there; it is full of danger.
Bhavat padambhoruha navam atra te nidhaya yatah sad anugraho bhavan. Their footsteps are our only hope. We are to depend on that. Our only relief is that there are so many lighthouses, their footprints, so many lighthouses in the infinite ocean to guide us to that place. We need faith, sraddha mayam loka, hope in the Infinite, Vaikuntha. Sraddha is surcharged with good hope in the Infinite.
Vaikuntha is Infinite, and if we wish to draw the attention of the Infinite to ourselves, the only way is sraddha. By sraddha we can attract the Infinite and nothing else. And when faith gets a definite form through bhava, it comes to be prema, love divine. After crossing Vaikuntha we may find the cosmos, the spiritual cosmos and sraddha, the light in the darkness. Only sraddha can guide us when we are traveling in the Infinite. I have heard that this is the way to that place. Sraddha will keep our heart enlivened, hopeful. Sraddha sabde-krsne bhakti kaile sarva karma: no risk, no gain; more risk, more gain. Sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. "I am everywhere, no room to be afraid at all. Only come to that plane. I am your friend; I am everywhere; I am the all in all, and you are My own." This is our only fare for the journey.
Duty of a Vaisnava
We shall take up that thread if we have real eagerness for such life, if we consider that this is the highest form of life, the noblest form of life. It is what is found in Vraja. This aspiration will gradually take us therethe earnestness, the taste. That will give us real birth, and gradually take us there.
Laulyam and sraddha. When sraddha grows, it is considered laulyam, spiritual greed. We must want that sincerely. That is the price, our intense desire. Sincere earnest desire, that is the price. By no other price can it be purchased. Yes, we want that. We can't live without it. We cannot live in this plane. If it is possible that there is a nobler plane of life, we must go there. We cannot tolerate this atmosphere where everyone is exploiting each other and the environment. We want to be rid of this plane.
Under the guidance of the guru who is in connection with Krsna, we should just throw ourselves into His service and carry out His order. The order is coming from Him through guru and sadhu. We must place ourselves at the disposal of that suddha guru, a sadhu who is already in direct connection with Him, who is His agent. We place ourselves at his disposal: whatever he will ask, we will do itthat will be real service.
Therefore, it is said in the sastra that the service of the Vaisnava is better than the direct service of the Lord. If we approach the Lord directly, then we have to imagine or suppose what may be His instruction. Thinking that this must be His order may or may not be correct; it may likely be contaminated, adulterated by our conception. But when service is coming through the real sadhu, His agent, then if we can do that, it has a direct connection with Him, a real connection. This brings more improvement than any direct approach.
At present we are in the midst of a particular experience of a world that is unreal, that will soon evaporate. But what we are searching for through the sastra and the sadhus is all truththat plane where Krsna livesour personalities there are in direct connection.
ya nisa sarva-bhutanam tasyam jagarti samyami
It is stated in the Gita (2.69) that what is night to one is day to another, and what is day to one is night to another. We are now wakeful only in the calculation of the local and provincial interest of the world. The human conception thrown on the Infinite has different stages. Different types of thinkers thrust their own color upon the environment and live accordingly, thinking that it is all sanctioned. But that is all misconception.
The Absolute has His own conception according to His perception, and we must be converted to that viewpoint. Only our soul can have experience and get membership there, not this material body. The eye and the mind cannot grasp that concept. It is only through our ear that this conception may come to our soul. The soul will be awakened and all the rulings of the mind and senses will evaporate. Then we will get our real spiritual body. It will emerge from our present conscious body and mind.
Everything must be of spiritual order, not an imitation. The sahajiya school tries to find what they have heard about Krsna in this mundane plane. In this plane they want to find it, but it is not possible. We have to go there through sadhana under the direction of the real sadhu.
But our Guru Maharaja's movement was revolutionary, not defensive in character. He would accept anyone who had the least attraction for Krsna or Mahaprabhu and give them help. So in this mission of his, sadhu-sanga, saintly association, was provided in so many centers. Sadhu-sanga is the most valuable thing that can help us in our progress. He arranged for sadhu-sanga by opening many different centers, where devotees could live and cooperate among themselves and march on. Sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. And Svami Maharaja's (Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada) campaign also was risky and revolutionary.
I am of a more conservative nature. It is only the grace, the lofty ideal of Mahaprabhu that has taken me away from my conservative nature. He has taken me away from the strict rules of a smarta brahmana family. I had to absorb many new things. Still, I think that I have joined the vanguard of the rebels.
Sastra-caksusa darsitahone must have the eye of scripture. It is mentioned in Manu Samhita that the animals perceive by their nose, by the scent. The Vedic scholars, spiritual scholars, perceive through the eye of scripture. The king perceives through his ears, which means he relies on agents or informers. And ordinary people perceive things through their eyes.
Those who derive their understanding from scriptural knowledge, they are known as pandita. The understanding influenced by the scripture, that is panda. And whoever possesses that understanding, he is pandita. The pandita should perceive through scripture, through the lens of scripture. A devotee also tries to see things and to deal with them according to the rules and regulations of scripture, not relying merely on prior sentiment or old samskara. Mahaprabhu's ideal impressed me very much. By His grace, although born in a very strict smarta brahmana family, I was able to shake off all these things, because my attraction for Mahaprabhu was very intense.
When I first came in contact with the Gaudiya Matha devotees, they said that their conclusions were absolute and that all the advice coming from so many other missions and so many instructors should be rejected. "Sarva dharman parityajya, abandon all else; this is the Absolute Truth, you must accept."
Oh, I thought, how is this possible? They are very proud, puffed-up with pride; these people are all false. But I already knew something, and this sloka came to my mind, chidyante sarva-samsayah: all misgivings are cut to pieces. (Bhag. 1.2.21). Yes, I thought, it is already there, in Bhagavatam. And in the Upanisads also: yasmin vijnate sarvam etam vignatam bhavanti.
That is something wonderful. If we understand that, we get everything simultaneously. If we know Krsna, we know everything. It is in the Upanisads, it is in Srimad Bhagavatam, and these Gaudiya Matha people were saying this from the same plane. If it is possible for me to come to such a universal plane of knowledge, then this is a wonderful thing. First I came with this objection and then progressed by this process. Gradually I found that it is real, it is possible. What these people said is true, chidyante sarva samsayah.
Bhidyate hrdaya granthis, the entanglement within us, that will be untied. The universal necessity of our own lives, that will disclose itself. The inner tendency of our hearts is sealed, and it will be broken. It will come out with golden spirit: we are such and such. All doubts will be cleared. Ksiyante casya karmani. All necessity for effort to acquire things, that will also be given up. Everything is there. Nothing is to be acquired. Such a plane will be open to us and we shall find that we are residents of that plane of opulence, of the Infinite. It is revolutionary, most revolutionary!
The German scholar Max Mueller wrote about the treasury of India's Upanisads. He said, "If the whole treasury is distributed to the world, then the whole world will be enriched. But nothing will be lost in the storehouse of India. The whole world will be enriched, but India will still remain as the richest." The whole world may be offered this treasure of the Upanisads and not a part will be lost. God is also like that, the fulfillment is such. Searching for Him means all these things. It is the fullest aspect.
We cannot imagine what degree of satisfaction there is. How much can we know, how much can we calculate? What degree of satisfaction can we calculate? It is very meager. Our Guru Maharaja used to give the example of a boy born in a dark prison house. From outside, one gentleman invites him, "Please come, I shall show you the sun." Then that boy who is born in the prison will take one candle to light the way, even though no candle is required to see the sun. That boy from the prison will think, "Am I a fool? Nothing can be seen without the help of a light." But that gentleman will drag him out to see the sun.
By the sun's light we can see everything. Guru Maharaja used to explain it in this way. Such wonder will come to every soul in bondage that establishes a connection with Brahman, Krsna, the proper God conception. All wonderful. Atma parijnanamayo, self-effulgent. Krsna does not depend on any other thing to make Himself known.
Still there is always a section of people that cannot have any conception of that plane. This is the defect in them. The sun is self-effulgent, but the owls cannot see. So many animals cannot see the light. They must be cured. The sun does not exist for them because they have no suitable eye. To a particular section the question is whether God exists or not. That small section is there and it will always remain blind. But that does not mean that another section cannot see, or that the sun does not exist. It is not like that.
Krsna is self-effulgent. He has the power to show Himself to all. Om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya caksur unmilitam yena, the duty of the guru is to remove the cataract of ignorance from the eyes. When the cataract is removed, then the eyes can see.
Scientific Progress is Not Progress
Scientific progress is no progress. It is movement in the wrong direction. It is only borrowing. It is not earning real profit at all, but rather it is like taking a loan from nature, and payment will be exacted from us to the last cent. So there is no gain, no profit, just exploitation. Science measures the circumference of the world of exploitation. Everything is objectified. We are wresting power from nature, taking a loan, but the loan must be settled, rest assured. This is not progress.
The first principle of any living entity is to remain alive; that is the first principle, that should be the starting point. In Brhad Aranyaka Upanisad 1.3.28, we will find asato ma sad gamaya, tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya. This should be the primary tendency of our quest. What are these three phases? Asato ma sad gamaya: I am transient and I am impermanent; make me eternal. Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya: I am ignorant, in nescience; take me from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness unto light. Mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya: I am in this mortal world, I am unhappy, unsatisfied; take me to the plane of anandam, enjoyment. From sorrow, misery, guide me to a fit life there.
These should be the real principles of life, and any research must begin here only, with these three phases: to save oneself, to save the world, and to remove the darkness. Our research must remove the misery and give the nectar, the sweet, sweet life. Sac-cid-ananda: satyam, sivam, sundaram. This should be the subject matter of our search, the line of our search. All others are false, a wild goose chase.
We are suicidal; this so-called science is suicidal. Atomic researchers will prove very soon that science devours itself. It sucks its own blood. This civilization sucks its own blood and it will feed on its own flesh or the flesh of its friends. Material science means this; it is not knowledge. Real knowledge, vital acquaintance of pure, real knowledge, must absolve us and others, remove darkness, bring light, remove misery, and bring eternal peace. That should be the direction of our attempt, of any attempt.
All possible means should be used and engaged in Krsna consciousness. Even the court and the judge must be engaged in talking about Krsna. They should be forced to do that if necessary. Approach everywhere with Krsna consciousness. Stop all worldly activity. Everywhere the talk of Krsna must go on in some form or other.
In his last days in Puri, I told Prabhupada when I was alone with him, "What you have done for the propaganda of Mahaprabhu, of Krsna-kirtana, so far, no acarya has ever done." He asked me, "Do you think like that?" "Yes," I said, "I see the exhibitions, the chanting of the scriptures, lecturing, even going to the court, anywhere and everywhere you try to press on with Krsna consciousness at every point. Complete opposition to maya. The mayic movement, the flow of maya must be stopped, and Krsna consciousness will flow everywhere. With the activity of maya stopped, this will bring Krsna consciousness everywhere. That is life."
No importance should be given to the mayic world. Even if there is a fire burning, we should not say, "Oh! I shall first put out the fire and then I shall come to join the Krsna-kirtana." No! No! No! If the whole world is burnt to ashes, there is no loss. Rather if we are saved by fire from the conception of this material world, we shall be fortunate.
The whole world may be burnt to ashes, but we are not affected in any way. All our necessity is in the holy feet of Krsna. With such revolutionary instructions Prabhupada came out to preach. "Don't lose any time."
"If there is fire I must extinguish it and then I will come to join you in Krsna-kirtana." No, no, that is our enemy! The material conception is our enemy! We are souls. And this is our enemy, the mayic conception that drags us down to this material conception of life, disease, infirmity, and death. Misconception means death, miscalculation means death. That was Prabhupada's spirit. Go on with Krsna consciousness.
Preaching Requires Organization
We are in a mission, in an organization, under the guidance of the higher realized soul. We can face many dangers. When we preach, we shall have to face so many difficulties. But with the help of the higher guidance, we can fight, we can subdue them, or we can invite them to the higher result. In this way we can give opposition to the opposition.
Preaching means offensive effort; we must attack maya, misconception. At this time we shall not think that we shall give no opposition to the adversarysahisnu, that we shall be very patient. When we are engaged in preaching, we must approach and face opposition and try to overcome it. But if we can't do it by ourselves, we shall invite them to hear from our Gurudeva and be disarmed. In this way we shall go on carrying the orders of the Vaisnava. The local environment may wound us, but our spiritual stamina will increase by following the order of the higher agent. We shall be more benefited through Vaisnava-seva.
Vaisnave pratistha, we should not want any popularity among the ordinary public, as they are mostly insane. We want a position in the eye of the masters of my Gurudeva: "Yes, he is an enthusiastic servant; he will prosper." When they look upon us with some affection and encouragement, that will be our capital. Their affection for us, their goodwill, that will be our capital as we pass on our way towards the higher realm.
When we are in a solitary place and are chanting the Name, then of course trnad api sunicena, extreme humility must be strictly observed. But when engaged under an acarya in a preaching campaign, our attitude should be a little different, more like carrying out the order of the higher spiritual general. That will draw more affection and benefit for us from the higher plane, than our solitary bhajana.
Real Progress is Soul Progress
In 1934 or so, during the time of Prabhupada, I spoke with one gentleman in Kutan. He was a follower of a large mission. They had big, big signboards there for the "Seva Asrama," and other things of grand size. But if an auditor went there, they would prove themselves to be bankrupt. They had no capital, only false capital. There was a big signboard, but their capital was a false thing, a hoax. It was neither real wealth nor welfare. They did not have a reality to distribute to the people. They were bogus, mayavada. They were giving a foul diet to the patients, an unhealthy diet; that was their business.
Where is the patient? The patient is within. The soul is the patient. And they were helping the body, independent of the interest of the soul. Without caring for the interest of the soul, they were serving the body. And with that arbitrary help, the body is going more and more against the interest of the soul.
We generally do not organize help for the gundas (robbers). For the students, for the social workers, we organize help, but never for the gundas who are misguided. Generally all souls are misguided; they are living the life of the impudent. Giving them indiscriminate help without changing their direction, that is pushing them towards hell. That is not the proper goal, to push towards that side, towards danger. Indiscriminate help in this plane is no help at all.
First one must have sambandha jnana, a good direction, the correct conception of the proper destination. And then help will be of some use. Otherwise, without a proper destination, it is only whimsical. A whimsical push will not help anyone in the way of progress. It is not real progress.
In Madras, one gentleman said to me, "First help the patients and keep the soul and body together. Then you may talk with him about the truth, about Hari, about Krsna consciousness. If he dies, to whom will you speak?" I replied, "Suppose there is a famine and I am distributing some food. So many are surrounding me, obtaining this food I am distributing. Someone runs away from that place. Should we stop the food distribution and run after him? Or shall I continue distributing the food to the many? Stopping that distribution, should we run after him? There are so many living souls, and some are dying. So I must not run after the dying to bring them back into the body, stopping my distribution of the nectar to the many. It is like that."
That which they conceive to be truth is actually untruth. And furthermore, the process that they have accepted as the means to help others is also wrong. It is completely wrong. They have no true diagnosis, but they are very busy giving treatment and diet. Diagnosis is the most important thing. What is amiss with us, what should be our best interest, the summum bonum of lifethat should be settled first. The question of help will come next. Whether help is available or not, where is the guarantee? How are we to settle what is helpful and what is not helpful?
Progress must proceed in the right direction. And what is that right direction? Maximum exploitation, skillful exploitation, irregular exploitation and regular exploitation, that is karma. And renunciation, jnana, is the opposite thing. Exploitation and renunciation-two opposites. But a third direction must be found to conciliate all contradictions.
Reality is something else. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah (Gita 4.34). "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth."
Our attitude also should be of such type: pranipatena, pariprasnena, sevaya. Pranipat means to surrender to such knowledge. That is not an ordinary class of knowledge that we can objectify; it is super-subjective. Pranipat, we must surrender. We want something that is superior to us. We want Him, the Absolute Subject, not an objective thing.
Pranipat also means that we are finished with the experience of the world outside. We have no more interest for anything in the plane where we have traveled already. Pranipat, we offer ourselves exclusively at His altar, and we want to have His grace. In this mood we approach the higher knowledge.
Pariprasna, honest inquiry, is always allowed. But inquire sincerely, not with the inclination to discuss in the mood of tarka, argument. All our efforts should be concentrated on understanding in a positive direction, leaving behind the state of doubt or suspicion. With all attention we shall try to understand, because it is coming from a higher plane.
Sevaya, this is the most important thing. We will not receive that knowledge simply to utilize the experience for our benefit. That plane won't come to serve this lower plane. We must pledge to serve that plane. With this attitude we approach that plane, that sort of knowledge. We shall serve Him, that higher knowledge, and we won't try to make Him serve our lower plane. That selfish desire won't allow us to enter His domain, the knowledge won't descend. It won't come to serve this lower plane. Rather we shall have the fullest conviction that we must offer ourselves to be utilized by Him, and not that we shall try to utilize the received knowledge in our own way to satisfy any lower purpose. If we receive that knowledge, we must serve.
Pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya: with the sevatti-vrtti, we shall dedicate ourselves to Him, not that He will dedicate Himself to satisfy our lower animal purpose. With this attitude we shall seek the plane of real knowledge, a proper estimation of our environment. Pranipat, pariprasna sevaya. This is Vedic culture. It is always imparted only in this process and never by intellectual approach.
Our Prabhupada used this analogy: the honey is in a bottle, the bottle is sealed, and the bee is trying to lick the honey through the glass. Foolish people may think the bee is licking the honey. Similarly, the intellect cannot approach atma, spirit. It may think that it is capable, but it is not possible. The barrier is there, like a glass. Intellectual achievement is not real achievement of higher knowledge of the higher plane.
Only through faith, through sincerity, through dedication to His agents, can we approach that higher plane. If they admit us, then we can enter that land, that plane of higher living, divine living. Pranipat, pariprasna and seva, the candidate must have these three qualifications before approaching the Truth. We must approach with humility, sincerity and dedication.
This is mentioned in the Gita many times, and also in the Bhagavatam there is a particular passage, sabde pare ca nisnatam brahmany-upasamasrayam. In the Veda, in the Upanisad also, guru srotriyam brahma-nistham. Gurum evabhigacchet. Gurum eva: we must approach the spiritual master. Abhigacchet means to approach without hesitation. We should go with a clear heart, an honest heart. Gurum evabhigacchet, with a full heart we must approach him.
In our Prabhupada's language, we should not purchase a round-trip ticket when approaching the guru. He used to say always, "You have come here with your return ticket? Do not come like that. Come for all time." Sa gurum evabhigacchet. We must say in our hearts, "I have seen; I have full experience of this mortal world. I have nothing to aspire for here. With this clear consciousness, I must go. This is all mortal, no one can live here. No means to live here, no possibility, so I only want to live, and to save myself, my life. I am running to the shelter, the real shelter, with this earnestness." Abhigacchet, samitpanih, the disciple should bring the necessary materials, we should not trouble the guru. With our own resources we should go, abhigacchet samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham.
Pranipat means to bid adieu to all the experience of the material world. That is the meaning of pranipat. "I am finished with this place. I have no attraction for any material aspiration. All my hopes may be granted from above; I am finished here. I have taken leave from any sort of prospect from this mundane world. I don't want it. This is finished. I have come with an expectant attitude."
Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha dosanudarsanam. The whole kingdom, the whole material realm may be offered, but we should reject it. We should despise bad association, mortal association, the association with mortality, disease, and all these things. With full attention we have to come to investigate whether it is possible for us to have this hope. Pranipat, then pariprasna. Honest inquiry is allowed; it is not that blind faith will take us anywhere. But our inquiry must be sincere.
Enter the Land of Dedication
Exploiting civilization is suicidal; it must devour itself. It is living on a loan from nature. How proudly they show their heads raised high, but their welfare is all on loan from nature. It is extorted from nature, and the debt must be satisfied to the last cent. Pride and boasting are all negative. No positive contribution comes from this civilization of exploitation. Exploitation must stop. Exploitation means to extort things from others, and that must be repaid. It is a natural law. This civilization is worth nothing.
We must enter into the land of dedication and everything will be preserved. Whatever contribution we shall make will be kept safe. However, we won't draw any benefit, we only shall deposit our contribution. It is there, in the land of dedication, a new land, a land of wonder. We want to enter, to have admission there. Exploitation is hateful in itself, and dedication is the purest of the pure. We want to be residents of that other land. We won't take anything from there, so pure it is. And there the land is gradated.
The gradation of purity is according to its intensity, quality and quantity. In this way, vicitra, nature is variegated. And on the highest gradation is spontaneous love and beauty in the kingdom of Krsna. The dedication of the gopis is of the highest grade. They are willing to remain eternally in hell in order to remove a little pain, a fictitious pain, Krsna's pretended headache. This type of dedication is the highest.
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinas u mam adarsanam marma-hatam karotu va. That kind of love, that sort of attitude-such intense dedication, the acme of dedication-can never make us separate from Krsna. What does dedication mean? Dedication manifested in its highest state, that is union in separation. Ostentatiously we may be driven away from Him. But in the heart, our faithfulness is increasing in degree.
If we are punished, still we shall adhere to His service. The connection, the link will become invulnerable. Even by separation, by any sort of punishment, we cannot be detached. This is the highest form of unity seen in the deepest plane. No one can take this thing away from us, if we have a connection of such quality.
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam adarsanam marma-hatam karotu va. Stage by stage it is going deeper and higher. Adarsanam marma-hatam karotu va, yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato. Even what is our right, our rightful claim, may be given to others in front of our eyes. That also cannot detract from our high ideal. When we acquire such a dedicated nature, then we are relieved to that extent. We come within the jurisdiction of Krsna's confidence. By dealing in this way, we cannot be separated; we enter the area of highest confidentiality of the Absolute.
When we are free from exploitation and posted in the plane of service, dedication, then hate is eliminated and we embrace everything. Only the spirit of dedication can make it possible to embrace everything. Exploitation has no possibility, and hatred comes from exploitation. Dedication makes everything and everyone our friend. We don't want anything in return, so everything will come to us. We don't want to extort our selfish desires from anything, not even from the environment. Visvam purna-sukhayate.
The Mayavadis and the renunciants indulge in hatred. But the devotee is just the opposite. Karmis exploit, and the jnanis hate. The devotee embraces everything, but with reference to the center, to Krsna. In the Krsna connection, Krsna-sambandha, everything is embraced. "Oh, he is my friend. I can utilize him in the service of Krsna." Sometimes even the flower will remind us, "Oh, take me to Krsna."
When we are fully established in the plane of dedication, everything will help us and remind us, "Oh, go to Krsna." In an all-friendly atmosphere, all can be acquired. It is full of devotional spirit, the spirit of dedication. Hatred can have no room there. Hatred is in the temperament of the renunciant, tyagi-mukti-kami, and not the bhakta. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. Since everything is in connection with Krsna, how can I hate it?
In the acme of dedication there is only love, Vraja Vrndavana bhava. And preaching-preaching is sankirtana. Preaching is real service to Krsna, and not just counting beads. Service. Because Mahaprabhu and Gurudeva order it, I have to chant the Name, counting the beads. I must do my duty to the mallika, the string of beads. "The mallika should not fast." That was the word of Prabhupada.
Dedication is the foundation of love, the structure of love. Without dedication, no love can stand. The greatest Autocrat and the greatest dedicating agent is Radharani, maha-bhava svarupa. Radhika. Why Radha-dasyam, service to Radhika? We want to dedicate ourselves, and the highest ideal of dedication is Radharani. She is the greatest devotee of the Autocrat Krsna. Dedication is seen in its zenith there. Those who achieve Her association in any way, even a slight connection with Her purifies them all. That is the highest wealth.
Mahaprabhu came only to prove to the world the highest dignity of Radharani. It is the statement of those who are closely connected with Radharani that Mahaprabhu has distributed Her hearts' nectar. He is our greatest benefactor; our canvasser is the most intimate companion of Krsna. Gauranga has come to establish in the market that our hearts' wealth is of the highest nature. If He did not come to express this to the world, then how could we live? Our life would have been impossible. If the greatness of our Mistress were not displayed, accorded the highest regard, how could we bear to live?
Beauty, Charm and Sweetness
Karma means applying effort, not for our sake, but for the Supreme Lord. Jnana means searching, but searching for what? Not for collective exploitation of nature; nor for Paramatma, nor for Brahman; not even for the Narayana conception of the truth. We are not searching for Absolute power, but for Absolute beauty, Absolute love.
Ultimately, by our sacrifice, our surrender, our devotion, we attain vimucyeta, vimukti, visesa mukti, the highest type of salvation or emancipation. It is a positive attainment, not just the end of the negative conception. Only to get out of the negative side is not real emancipation or liberation. To enter into the positive safest position, that is our real interest.
Designations (upadhis) have been thrust on us, sarvopadhi vinir muktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. Anyatha rupam, that which is just like a disease-an undesirable foreign thing has come to cover me. That is upadhi. That is anyatha rupam. Successfully eliminating that, we must come to our positive and proper position in the world of love and beauty. It is a very important thing that power is not the ultimate controller; beauty is. The control of beauty is very sweet, normal and natural.
Power, awe, reverence, grandeur, these all become stale in light of the Bhagavatam's Krsna conception of Godhead. The Narayana conception has become stale, so to say. Beauty, love and harmony are the highest goal ever discovered. Sri Caitanyadeva gave us that, Vrndavana has given us that, and this is Krsna consciousness. Our Guru Maharaja and Svami Maharaja have given to the wide world this Krsna conception, the conception of beauty, harmony, love. It is original, the universal cause, this conception of the Absolute, not anything else.
With this fundamental conception we may find relief. We may feel that we are out of danger; we are no longer the victims of power. The power in Vaikuntha, the grandeur, awe, reverence, that may not be an inner hankering of any substance. Beauty is a hopeful assurance of our highest position; it is charming.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura predicted that when the world's scholars understand the worth of that which has been given by Sri Caitanyadeva, then all religion must vanish. It cannot stand. When the conception of the Absolute is identified with beauty and love, all sorts of different conceptions cannot stand in competition. All will embrace it: "I want beauty, Ultimate beauty, Ultimate harmony, Ultimate love, loving each other. If that is possible, then I don't want any other proposal." We must run in that direction; the general indication will take us.
All other religious conceptions are compelled to vanish. When viewed with the divine eye, the eye of divine knowledge, all other conceptions cannot appeal to the highest class of thinkers. Prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama, "In every town and village on this earth the glories of My name will be chanted." This is not a mere declaration by Mahaprabhu. There is an intellectual as well as an intuitive foundation to this prediction.