Guardiões da Devoção
Close to Sri Guru
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Quality is necessary, indispensable in Krsna consciousness. Not partial dedication, but in connection with Krsna, the dedication must be of the whole-self, nothing less.
The demand from an autocrat is categorically different. Krsna is not satisfied with any partial service. He wants to swallow the whole thing, not less than that. This is the demand of an autocrat. But He is the Absolute Good, and He is Beauty. He is Harmony. He is the Law. He is everything. But His demand is such. Self-giving, that is the symptom of sraddha.
Otherwise, intellectualism, just reading scriptures has no value. And also the physical association of the sadhu, that also has no value, if there is no sraddha. Insects, germs, and many other things are in physical association with a sadhu. The association through dedication, sraddha, is all important. And sraddha means that if we dedicate ourselves to Krsna, we get everything. We receive whatever is necessary to result in fulfilment of our whole self.
Our Guru Maharaja laid much stress in the service. We were not allowed to read so much even Srimad Bhagavatam and the books of the Goswamis. Go and do service. The serving nature will attract your connection with the real thing. And no scripture, or knowledge, or even close connection with a saint can help, if there is no dedication, self-surrender, self-giving. If I am asked by a sadhu, or by the guru, to read a particular book, that is service. And if I read a book to enhance, or increase, my knowledge, that may be jnana. If I, myself, take the initiative to read shastra, that may contribute to some knowledge, but there is no service, as such.
As Rupa Goswami states, sevonmukhe he jihvadau (to understand Him is possible only through surrender). Otherwise, if we do not approach with a spirit of service, then everything may be imitation. But we don’t come in contact with reality. This is the speciality of the Gaudiya Math, ordered by our gurudeva and also by Mahaprabhu and Rupa Goswami. That is the key to Vaikuntha, to deal with the infinite: surrender, service, dedication. Without knowledge and without much energy, one can attain fulfilment. Energy to move the hill, or the mountain, is not necessary. And to read all the religious literatures of the world, just to store them within the belly, that also won’t come to any good.
The bell will ring automatically
A typical external was shown in the Mahabharata. Krsna foretold that when the rajasuya yajna, the great sacrifice of Maharaj Yudhistira will be finished; then the bell will ring automatically. There was some bell, and when that bell would ring automatically, then everyone would know that the yajna had been completed, so everything was finished, but the bell did not ring.
Then Bhima spoke to Krsna, “The bell is not ringing, although the whole yajna has ended.”
“No, one thing is still remaining,” Krsna replied.
“What is that? What kind of thing?”
“The Vaisnava seva, the service of the Vaisnava.”
“What do you say? So many munis, big rsis, Narada, Vyasadeva, and Yourself, have eaten and are satisfied. And You say that Vaisnava seva has not been done?”
“Where is that Vaisnava?”
Then Krsna indicated, “Go to the outskirts of the town. There you will find one man of the lowest caste. And he does not go anywhere. He is satisfied with taking the name of the Lord. Going on in his own way, he does not care for the passing of the world. His eyes are always full with devotion.”
They went with their chariots to bring that man, and they found an ordinary poor man of the lower class. They wanted to take him to the rajasuya, so they approached him with folded palms. The man was perplexed: “Oh, so many big men have come to my cottage. What is the matter?”
He was informed, “We have come for you. You must go and take some food there.” What could he do? He could not avoid the situation; he had to go. Draupadi cooked many palatable dishes. She was thinking that so many rsis, munis, even Lord Krsna have been fed, but Vaisnava seva has not been done. With all her heart’s might she prepared various kinds of cooked food. And the man was given, and he took. But the bell wasn’t ringing.
“What is the matter?” Bhima asked. “It is finished, but the bell did not ring.”
Krsna explained, “There must be some kind of offence committed against the Vaisnava seva. So the bell did not ring.”
“What are you saying? You have some doubts about something, some conception against him?”
Then they asked one another if anyone had though any evil about the man. And at last, Draupadi admitted, “I had something in my mind: that the man is low-born, I prepared so many curries with utmost sill, but the man miced all the curries together and then ate them. He does not know how to eat because he comes from a very low caste. I had that in my mind.”
Krsna said, “Because there is some contempt for the Vaisnava, the bell is not ringing.”
So they had to go to the man once again, and again he was brought. And this time, all were waiting with great respect when he was taking prasadam. And the bell was ringing with each and every morsel.
Niskincana: he does not want anything, no name, no fame, nothing of the kind. Such a person does not aspire for anything, but is wholesale dedicated to the Lord. And he may be found anywhere, without any show of external grandeur. The richness is of the heart. No knowledge, education, elevated birth, power, or opulence is necessary. Krsna consciousness is so full, so self-sufficient and absolute, that even a particle of Krsna consciousness contains all opulence, all education everything. Service, self-dedication, saranagati (surrender) – that’s what is necessary.
apicet suduracaro, bhajate mama ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah, samyag vyavasito hi sah
You fail to understand, but he is all right. He must be considered a sadhu, the real honest man and nothing else. He has no obligation to name, fame, or the things which attract us. He has self-contentment. Contentment does not require anything; it can stand alone, that is contentment, fulfilment. Krsna consciousness is so self-sufficient that it does not depend on anything to establish itself, being self-established.
Natural humility – that is wealth.
There was one Vaisnava, Vasudeva by name, in Kurmaksetra, just beyond Puri on the southern side. He was a leper – but what sort of leper? Many worms would fall from his wounds to the ground. So that they would not die, he gathered those worms and again put them in the wounds. He was a brahmana. Anyhow, he understood in his internal mind “the Lord is coming and I shall have a chance to have His darshan. Mahaprabhu went there, and after seeing, went away. When Vasudeva heard that the Lord, one “sadhu” of extraordinary capacity, had come and gone only a short time ago, he was disappointed and fell to the ground. “What is that? I could not have a glimpse of that Lord. He came and went away, and I did not have the capacity to have His connection, His darshan.” Mahaprabhu went almost a mile. Suddenly, He felt some attraction pulling Him backwards, and He had to run, run back, and found Vasudeva and embraced him. Vasudeva’s whole body was transformed. The leprous body vanished, and a beautiful one emerged in its place.
Vaisnavas rather feel they are the poorest of the poor. Amongst the humble, they are the most humble. They will feel they are lower than a blade of grass. That is doinya. Bhaktivinod Thakur has written in one place how we are able to measure a Vaisnava. How can we understand?
What is the key to diagnosis? Doinya: humility – natural, real humility. A show of humility has no value; imitation has no value anywhere. Proper humility can only occur when one feels his connection with the autocratic Lord, his master. Then only can he feel humble. The servant of an autocrat has no position, no ego, what so ever. So natural humility is a wealth. What sort of wealth that can capture the Autocrat? The real servant has that position with the master. He is also attracted to that sincere servant. He is not heartless. He may be an autocrat, but He is not heartless. So service is necessary, nothing else. How can we attain that position, continue, and develop? How is it possible? The sraddha will make us understand. Only one thing is required and nothing else: laulyam api mulyam ekalam. We are thinking that we are such sound devotee, but we are devotees in dress. But the real inner hankering you feel there, it should be wholesale. Otherwise, only want, and you will have but there must not be any adulteration in that wanting; it must, be sincere, laulyam. No complaint can come against you, from any quarter. If you do not want, you don’t have. The only price is to really want it. Don’t refuse it. Understand the value of it, want it, and you will have it. Sraddha is a real regard to have: this is The Thing, the highest thing, and only that can satisfy my quench, my inner thirst. By giving your small self, you can get the whole infinite. How can we develop that sincere hankering? With the contact of the sadhu and with the help of the scripture, we can try to satisfy that inner demand. The inner demand can only be satisfied by Krsna consciousness.
The Greatest Treasure
This is the justification of the declaration: sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja. (Bhagavad-gita, 18.66) Give up all conceptions of duty, all phases of duty. And “mam ekam”, only reserve one. That is my, and your position by nature, by constitution. Try to understand this, and act. “Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo”, and whatever undesirable, sinful reaction that may exist, everything will vanish. No repentance will come to you; you will have all satisfaction. This is the assurance. The greatest treasure ever found is so clearly and boldly put. The call is so bold and clear: give up all phases of duty and come to Me alone, and you won’t have to repent for any loss. And Mahaprabhu says:
Yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
There is no other duty, if you want to do anything good for the world only go talk about Krsna. Try to distribute Him, who can compensate for all other alternatives. Try to distribute that central and absolute thing to help the people, the environment. No other duty will help. Enlist yourself and you will be loved. Your compassion and disposition will increase more and more. So many will be fitted. There can be no holier duty, as He has come in this age of Kali. Mahaprabhu said:
Yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
Amara ainaya guru hana tara ei desa
Accept this because I have ordered it. Know that it is My instruction, so the ego that you have become a guru and are distributing Krsna consciousness, that dirt won’t touch you. It is My order: with this idea on your head, go on distributing Krsna. Talk about Heart of the heart
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