Srila B. R. Sridhara Maharaja
Srila B. S. Govinda Maharaja
The Exclusive Guradianship of Gurudeva
The One Channel of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math
A Wonderful Touch
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by Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Maharaja
It cannot be denied that a kind of energy is necessary to maintain one's present position. Some sort of energy is necessary for that, but then we are to give some extra push forwards in order to go ahead, and that is all-important. A seeker after the truth will search after newer and newer planes, and that will be considered as living and accommodating. We are to become more and more accommodating, earnest and eager.
sva-dharmme nidhanam sreyah, para-dharmmo bhayavahah (Bg. 3.35). The advice is given: “Try to maintain your position even at the cost of your life,” then at the next point, "Go ahead. March on." Why was it first advised to maintain your present position? So that you may not fall back, but that does not mean you are not to make progress in the front. Sva-dharmme nidhanam sreyah - Even at the cost of your life try to firmly maintain your position," does not mean you are not to, go ahead.
sarva-dharman parityajya, rnam ekam saranam vraja (Bg. 18.66). "Give up all considerations and take the risk of marching onwards." Only to help this, was the first advice given. First, “At any cost you must maintain your position,” and then, "March onwards!" These are relative and absolute considerations. A living spiritual conception must be of that type. The dire necessity is that in the background we address the question of how to maintain-and improve-our present position.
In the spiritual world everyone holds the position of guru for those who enter, and whatever little help we will receive from anyone, we must be grateful to him. A person with good temperament must be thankful to all. Receiving even slight help he will feel, "Yes, I am very thankful for your guidance."
We are to learn the theory and science of gratitude. "I am grateful to you and to everyone in the environment," the very domain is of that character. Everyone thinks himself to be a thief, "I am a trespasser. Only by the grace of the environment can I have a position here. They are all well-wishers except for myself," this should be the temperament. He will be busy and sometimes forgetful of himself in the intensity of his service.
We are to think, "The environment of that land in which I aspire to live is made of better stuff than I am." We are to enter into a super-subjective domain. The attitude of all the newly recruited persons there should be: "I am not of subjective character, I am of marginal potency, tatastha, but I am receiving permission to enter the super-subjective area where everything holds a higher position than myself." Everyone there is of that consciousness. "The air, the earth, the trees, etc. all hold a higher position than myself, but still I have been given permission by the supreme authority to wander here. I have only been given some service, and I am eager to render that service to this land." With this attitude in the background, one should live there, and in the foreground one will become accustomed to discharging his particular duty. "I have come and I am treading on a soil whose intrinsic value is really superior."
A child reveres his mother but he may be taken on her lap, such is the example of our situation when we enter Vaikuntha and Goloka. "The whole atmosphere is higher than myself and is to be revered, but still they have embraced me and taken me in their lap - svarupa-sakti - and I have been asked to do some duty there. The whole environment is to be revered, and I am allowed to live there only as a matter of grace, not as a matter of right." We are tatastha, and as a matter of right we may be cast in Brahmaloka, the marginal potency, so we must become conscious of this fact. Before enlisting our name in the Krishna consciousness school we -must have this primary knowledge. "We are having the chance to enter where? In a revered land, God's throne. Only for a particular service am I entering the temple which holds a superior position. Wholly for service am I entering, and by their gracious nature they are drawing me there. I am being taken on my mother's lap. I take her feet dust upon my head, but she is taking me, including my feet, upon her lap."
With such bright prospect, why do we sometimes find devotees leaving the Gaudiya missions? It will happen only if there is something wanting in us, so we must try to keep up the high level we had during our Guru Maharaja's day. It is recorded that the highest test comes when a jiva is passing out from the clutches of maya - illusion. At that time the personification of maya, Mayadevi, comes with folded hands to pray, "Why do you leave me? Allow me to serve you. I am at your disposal and I am ready to serve you in any way. Don't leave me." She was so cruel to punish them when they were within her clutches, but when they are leaving she approaches very modestly, "Why are you leaving me? I want to render service. Please be with me.”
Pasabaddha bhavet jiva, pasamukta sadasiva-what was once her prey has now become her master. So the friendly request also exists. If we have real attraction for the higher life, we are to pass that charming aspect which will try its best with sweet proposals and offerings to keep us within its jurisdiction. Such is the nature and we must be aware of it. So, not only “God, save us from our enemies," but also, "God save us from our friends!”
prakritim yanti bhutani, nigrahah kim karisyati
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita 3.33)
Nature is indomitable, so it is quite natural that one may fall prey to his own previous nature, but how can we be saved from the results of our past activities our acquired previous tendencies? The key is here: indriyasyendriyasyarthe, raga-dvesau vyavasthitau (Bg. 3.34). Each sense has its corresponding external attractive objects. If you can stop the tendencies just as they are beginning, you can be successful. But if you allow them to progress, you will be undone. Only at the starting point can they be checked. If you allow them to contact with the enemy party you are lost. Prakrtim yanti bhutani, nigrahah kim karisyati (Bg. 3.33) - however wise you may be, you will be helpless because maya has such great power. Only if you can catch the tendencies as they sprout will it be well and good, otherwise at the next moment they will go beyond your control. That is the suggestion given by the Lord Himself, "Don't allow yourself in any way to have negotiation with the other party. Try to nip it in the bud. If it is allowed to grow a little, it will be beyond your control." This advice is general to all material nature. So, every event is to be tackled in proper time.
Another broad point is:
manasas tu para buddhir buddher yah paratas tu sah
evam buddheh param tuddhva samstabhyatmanam atmana
jahi satrum maha baho kama-rupam durasadam
A royal road giving a very broad and comprehensive control of all evil propensities is recommended here. How to get that relief? First you are to consider the importance of your senses compared with matter; then, the importance of the mind over the senses. Then you are to consider, concentrate and understand the efficacy, fineness and importance of the faculty of judgment within you. Surpassing that, you are required to go higher and search for the cause from which the intelligence comes-its source. If for a second you can have a touch of that substance you will find a wonderful layer that is extraordinary in every point compared with that of the plane in which you are now living. It is so charming and so attractive that it will help you to bid good-bye once and for all to this material charm. If even for a second you can have a touch of that higher substance, the material pleasure will turn into trash. Everything there is wonderful all dealings and experience.
ascaryavad vadati tathaiva canyah
ascaryavac cainam anyah srinoti
srutvapy enam veda na caiva kascit
The unintelligible, charming conception of that high plane will give some particular divine type of prospect that will at once turn all your material prospects into trash. Even if you come back, it still won't have any real influence upon you. Such is the realization of the atma; what to speak of Paramatma: that is more and more laudable and desirable.
Evam buddheh param. is the atma. In the beginning, with the help of your reason concentrate even for a second there. Your inquisitive ego may even for a second meet with your real self-jahi satrum. maha-baho, kama-rupam durasadam - then all the charm for material pleasure, both gross and subtle, will bid you adieu for ever. Simplicity is the first qualification. If you are really simple, or sincere, then automatically you cannot but come under the divine feet of Mahaprabhu, Sri Chaitanyadev. It is so plain and so un-artificial. Love is a plane truth that should attract everyone. “Even more than general love, Divine Love will attract all normal persons, it cannot but be. It is only necessary to be simple and unprejudiced. The antithesis is the only thing drawing us back from God, otherwise it will be found to be the plane of universal love. And 'universe' does not mean to a particular part of the universe, but the whole. Love is coming from the Absolute. “Is there such a fool in the midst of mortality in this world who will not worship He who even the immortal worship? It is a great wonder that there can be such a person who will avoid such worship just to undergo all the mortal sufferings.”