The Quality of Our Inner Hankering is All in All
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The path must always be of submission and humility, sincere search and the service of the Vaisnava and Guru, in the service of Krsna conception, Krsna consciousness. But that is not a pure chaotic thing, it has got some real nature. The encasement, the outer garment, the covers should be eliminated, and the essence should be taken; this should be accepted.
So we are to indirectly have some consciousness: what is anyabhilasa, what is karma, what is jnana, what is yoga - some sort of knowledge, indirect knowledge of those things that are not Krsna conscious.
What is anti-Krsna consciousness, some knowledge for that, but our main knowledge is to be for the substance and some knowledge for the cover. If we are sincere in our search then none can seduce us. Our Chaitya Guru, our Inner Guide will help us always. We shall ask within, "My Lord, I am at the crossroad, which way to select." The inner voice will help you, ' if you want your benefit, go this side, don't be opportunist.' Try to listen to that inner voice as much as possible for you. Beyond that there is no help. I can't go, but He can come. He can come to my position to help me, but I can't go beyond my limit. So my prayer is my everything. Gaur Hari bol. We shall pray that the inner voice will guide us sincerely, properly - especially in times of crisis, no other way for us; we are not omniscient; we are not absolute - all powerful. What more can we do, we must be sincere to our own. That is our ultimate benefit. Gaur Hari bol.
Devotee: How can we recognize the difference between the inner voice as you say and the so many other voices that are proposing that we enjoy maya, that we go here and there, so many voices internally.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: As much as I have come to understand so much responsibility to me, but what I do not know, I may not have any responsibility to that. But according to my own knowledge and experience, Krsna says that if one prays to Me and due to his ignorance prays for something that is not beneficial for him, so ignorance is no bar to the realization of Krsna. He is too clever. But our inner hankering, the quality of our inner hankering, that will be all in all.
An ignorant man may be directed properly and a scholarly man may not have any real direction. That quality of sincerity is dependent on the sukrti - the quality of the sukrti that I have acquired from the previous Vaisnavas in my previous births. The quality of the sukrti, that will guide us, generally it is seen, sukrti. Three kinds of dealings we find in the phase of the liberation, or our achievement about Krsna. General case is: "whoever approaches Me and in what spirit, My reaction for him will be accordingly. If he approaches Me in a challenging mood, I will also approach him in a challenging mood - with the demons. By the simple way, I also deal in a simple way.
How anyone, because he is free, I am free and the free man's approach, according to his approach I can do it; that is the general case. It is a two-sided issue. Sometimes one formally asks My devotion, but I give them mukti, because I can see the innermost quarter, but there something else. But anyhow ostentatiously, he is praying, praying devotion, My favour, but I can also detect and I give him salvation. And there is also another issue, he is very sincere at heart, but he has got no regulated way of prayer; does not know formally how to put the petition to Me.
In that case I overlook his superficial fault and correct it and say, 'You have prayed this thing, but I think you want this thing, is it not? And if you correct it and pray for this thing, I will give you that.'" These three corresponding dealing, we find about Him in the scriptures, and we like to adjust with that in such a way. Three types of dealing, one general and two particular. The uneducated priest does not know so much, he will make mistakes. And the scholar, he will correctly pronounce the sloka. But Janardan, He will accept the thing according to his heart's nature, not the word. In Bhagavatam it is said, in the ten outlines, points, Narada giving to Vyasadev. Tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api namany anantasya yaso 'nikitani yat srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.11)
The grammatical mistakes and other such ornamental mistakes are overlooked by the Lord. He reads the heart; the language of heart is all in all. The sin will be removed, washed away by those words, which may be full of grammatical mistakes, but surcharged with the real spirit of devotion. On the other hand this, the style, the language, everything is very beautifully, but if you dive deep, you will find no mention of the glory of the Lord, he is putting rather himself in the middle, but ornamental language, all these things, but it is lifeless.
So Narada, Vyasadeva, whatever it will be, the substance must be Krsna. You must be very careful to that; then it is alright. The outward, that is nothing, misguiding; the heart, not the brain, but the heart. Heart is accepted in the gopis' case. Are they very scholarly? They reject knowledge - jnana-sunya bhakti. Mahaprabhu has said, just as ignorance is an enemy, so 'I know' is also an enemy. In the case what is unintelligible is not within your scope of understanding. Where you cannot be the subject and make it object of your subjective calculation, so in that case your knowing has no meaning. 'I know' has got no meaning, because its very existence is superseding your subjective area of knowledge. So, knowledge has got no meaning there, but your sraddha can go just as an x-ray can pierce through the wall to reveal. So sraddha, the faith, can go through the walls of variegated nature.
However hard they make it, the faith can pierce through, but knowledge cannot. Light has got its limit just like touch has got its limit. Which is not within my reach I cannot touch, I cannot get that experience, but my eye has got more range, but eye has also got limit, where my intelligence can go. And also intelligence cannot go, but faith can go, it is not non-scientific, the jurisdiction of faith may take us to that plane, but intelligence fails, our knowledge, our experience fails to give any photo, to give any conception of that world, they cannot catch beyond their jurisdiction.
So faith is the only reliable, heart's expansion. Heart's prospect has the highest range, jurisdiction, but not our reason. Reason fails to reach, to calculate. No! Reason itself will say this is impossible, but heart can accommodate. The heart is the most accommodating, the faith most accommodating. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.
Devotee: Maharaj, is faith a constant thing, or sometimes our faith is weak and sometimes it is strong?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Maybe the covers are there sometimes, just as we see in a tank so many plants floating on the water. What is that? The plants floating on the water, sometimes it seems the water is closed, not moving. In this way sraddha is closed by anyabhilasa, karma, jnana, it may cover, we are detached. Everywhere, that is, the faith is everywhere in svarupa, innate nature. In the womb, when the child is in the womb of the mother, in the embryo the heart is there, faith is there, with favorable environment it grows gradually, and by unfavorable environment it will be lost to its minutest degree, suppressed. Gaur Hari bol, Gaur Hari bol.
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