Guardiões da Devoção
Have You Ever Seen God?
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: One foolish person once remarked, “I have seen Krsna not only myself, but I have shown Krsna on the tamarind tree on the other side of the Ganges and there is so much evidence. So many men saw Krsna, I showed Him to them.”
I said, “Why are you cheating yourself? I am told that you are a brahmin boy and coming in contact with these sahajiya vaisnavas, you have become degraded to such a state.
You see Krsna? Krsna cannot be seen by these eyes. He is adhoksaja. We have learned something, consulted with saints and we have read some sastra, Veda, Upanisad, Bhagavatam, Gita, all these things we have gone through. So, don’t deceive your own self. You know yourself, how you are. You are still a slave of your senses. You have got lust, anger, so many things. You feel it and I also know that. You are not only deceiving the foolish persons but what is more dangerous you are deceiving your own self.” Very strongly I said this, then he got some impression and after some days he gave up that female dress and shaving his hair, came to me. “Now enlist me amongst your disciples.”
Krsna is adhoksaja, He cannot be seen, and for Him to descend is very, very rare. He comes down from the spiritual sphere to the mental sphere and becoming so strong that when our eyes open they are overflowed with the vision of Him. Then, when He withdraws, nothing remains.
So, it is not so easy, there are so many stages, adhau sraddha, sadhu sangha, bhajana kriya, anartha nivriti, bhakti, bhava-bhakti, prema-bhakti, the stages are there, like mathematical calculation. We can trace in a man, by measuring with this philosophical computer, how much progress is there. Has he got sraddha proper? He will say, “Oh Siva, Krsna, Kali, Sakti, all are God, all are equal.” And that type of man will say, “I have seen Krsna.” We reject it.
The standard measurement, criterion is there, in what stage one will see Krsna and when he has seen Krsna what will be the after-effect? One who has seen Krsna after that, what behavior will be there? All these things should be considered. The sahajiyas who take Krsna, svayam bhagavan Krsna, to be in the lower level, we hate them. They are born offenders. Sanatan Goswami and Jiva Goswami have given the calculation that by elimination of so many things within our area of knowledge we may go to that transcendental side. It is not a very easy affair.
Student: I am asking you because I am seeing your quality of heart and I know you have so many years of sincere service to Krsna.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: I will say that I have not yet seen Krsna, but I am on the way, in search of Krsna. I have not got Him, not seen Him, but I am in the search for Krsna and I feel that I am on the real path. What has been said to exist in the path, I have some experience of that. I am in the real path of Krsna, that much I can say, but I have not the audacity to say that I have seen Krsna or I am in lila with Him. All these things I revere and I also don’t want to have it so cheaply. Cheap Krsna I don’t want. This market Krsna I do not want. I want to have darsan of that Krsna as guided by my Guru Maharaj, either in this birth or hundreds of births after, it does not matter. I am not going to deceive anyone by any wrong statement, but I think I am in the path by the grace of Guru Maharaj. That I can say and I feel it.
Student: Sometimes in the songs of Bhaktivinod Thakur he says, “I am a resident of svananda-sukhada-kunja” and he is speaking as if he is in lila.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: His highest ideal is that. He is describing his ideal life. Seeing from afar, from a distance, something like that. He is describing the feeling within his inner heart, “Suddenly I had a flash, I saw it, and then when I went to mark it in a particular way, it vanished.” Something like that.
Student: I have not had any flashes. I need one so desperately.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: If He is gracious you may get it, by His mercy. Don’t try easy marketing, you will be cheated. Pray. Make yourself ready to pay a higher and higher price. Don’t accept any bargain, then you will be a loser. Why? We are after absolute. Absolute can never be finished. Then, we say that we are seeking the Absolute, but practically we feel that we want to be master of the Absolute. It is impossible. That sort of aspiration should be crushed, nipped in the bud. In this search you should be willing to die. ‘Die to live,’ don’t be miserly. Try to give yourself completely. Then as much as you will be ready to sacrifice yourself and can successfully do it, then automatically you will find yourself in some other plane. But, as a subject and making Him the object, you will be able to make Him prisoner? Don’t think like that. Try to become His prisoner.
Student: I was trying to serve with that mood.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Keeping your subjectivity you cannot have any contact with Him. Your old self is to be dissolved and your new self will come out and you will find all around Krsna consciousness, and then sometimes Krsna may be pleased to give you the touch of His existence, in different ways. Not as though I am an inquirer and I want to make Krsna the object of my inquiry, to imprison Him in my imagination, the prison-house of imagination.
When I had not yet joined the Math I was a law student and the nationalist movement came. Just in the front of the Calcutta University Hall, one gentleman was delivering political lectures, so I left there and I went up the hill across the road. There I found a sadhu coming down. I asked him in broken Hindi, “Have you seen God? Can you show me God?” The sadhu replied in such an inspiring voice, “Don’t you see? Don’t you see Him? Look at all this, the atmosphere, the trees, the water, the view, all these things. Cast your glance upon the whole of the environment. Can’t you feel Him? Can’t you see Him?” With so much inspiration he said this, that at that moment I saw that conscious backing. Whatever exists, just in the background, I found some spiritual existence. In such an impressive way he said, “Don’t you see Him? Look at the sky, the trees, He is there, He is everywhere. Can’t you see? Only He is there.”
By our continuous engagement we shall come to this stage, “Krsna, Krsna, Krsna, oh Krsna”. Talk about Krsna, then hear about Krsna, take the name of Krsna, take His prasadam, collect for Him. In this way gradually we shall enter into the intense feeling of His halo, His luster and gradually we shall come to have a conception according to our capacity. Always remember the Infinite is in His one part:
athava bahunaitena kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam ekamsena sthito jagat
“Arjuna, what more shall I say to you? Who am I? Everything you can imagine is there in only My negligible part. You are going to inquire about that, not something cheap. Then after that what will you do?” Mahaprabhu said, “I am searching after Him but I have not got a little bit of that divine love, na prema gandho ‘sti darapi me harau. Otherwise how can I maintain My life, sustain My life without His company, without His grace.”
yugayitam nimesena chaksusa pravyasayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me
Yugayitam nimesena, one moment seems to Me so many light years; chaksusa pravyasayitam so many tears ran down My eyes, sunyayitam jagat sarvam, the whole world seems to Me only a vacant background, govinda-virahena me because I still cannot get the company of My beloved Lord Krsna.
Student: Sometimes I am thinking I have given so much and all I want is a little drop, just a touch so I can be inspired to do more. Not that I want to enjoy Krsna, but some reciprocation, “Yes, I am there.”
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: This is nothing. Taking food, walking, taking bath, dress, so many comforts we are seeking and what demand are we going to fulfil? Try to calculate everything in the terms of infinite. No finite thing, however great, can come to the infinite. The very composition of infinite is of another type. We see all as His dissatisfaction. “I have done nothing.” When you will be in this path you will think, “I can’t do anything to approach Krsna.“ That is a unit of measurement towards the infinite. “”I am doing this, I am doing that, I am doing so much, I am paying so much value,” – that is the opposite way. Those that are really in the path of Krsna they are feeling, “I can’t do anything for Him.” The whole attitude will be changed. This idea we have been given by our Guru Maharaj, the nature of the way of real searching.
Once, two Brahmacharis, after ten years of service, they came to Srila Prabhupad (Saraswati Thakur) to put some questions, and they were hesitating to put the question. Then Prabhupad himself asked them, “It seems that you want to speak something to me but you don’t speak.” “Yes, we came to say something to Your Holiness but we don’t venture.” “No, no, say what you have to say.” “For ten years we have come and we are doing service as we are ordered but so far we did not feel anything about Krsna, any progress.” Prabhupad asked, “What you say at present, is it true? Are you sincere in your statement?” They replied, “Yes, what we say is true.” He told them, “Then it is alright. You continue, don’t be afraid.” That was his point. What does it mean?
You have not acquired anything. You are searching for something but you have not got anything concrete. That feeling is a good sign. If you would say that I have got so much knowledge so many things, then that is progress in the egoistical way, that you can feel, that you can know, you can compete. Instead you must empty yourself. It is a very striking thing. Can you understand? Only negative hankering for Krsna is the measurement of the progress in that way. “I have nothing, I can’t relish anything, I am going to be mad, not yet I have got any trace of Krsna.” The way is in that side, viraha-vipralambha. The other day I was saying all risk no gain, the way is like that. No risk no gain, but all risk no gain – the way is like that. You risk everything but you won’t get anything, because what in our terms is gain and loss, has captured us on the negative side. We do not know the measurement.
Prepare yourself. Don’t be satisfied with anything, thinking, “This is Krsna.” It is not Krsna. Neti neti neti! Neti, eliminate the falsity and in the background you will be able to find something real. “It is there. It is with the scripture. It is with the Guru and the Vaisnava, but I have nothing. It is their property all the time, not mine. It won’t be my property, it is the property of my Gurudev.” In this way the angle of vision will be set. The property of my Gurudev, the property of Nanda, Yasoda, they can deal with Him in anyway, but I am a sight-seer. I will be asked by the servitors “Do this, do this for His service.” That position is better for me. Not to approach the nearest but from far off. I am not fit. I am not fit. We have to take that course that we are unfit. The unfitness should be our first thing to analyze, the first thing open to us, unfitness.
Why shall I conquer, then see Him? We need saranagati, self abnegation. I must undue what I am, dissolve my ego, then He is there. It is difficult to dissolve one’s ego. When the ego is fully dissolved then also another ego will come out through service. When we have eliminated the present ego, and come to the very gist of the soul conception, then we find ourselves in a wonderful atmosphere and through service we will gradually enter into it.
We shall look at the example of that Western sannyasi. We are told that he was very mad in his dancing to show that he was inspired with Krsna-rasa. I never saw our Guru Maharaj dance and chant, only soberly talking about Krsna. If any time, with his controlled mind, any tear was oozing from his eyes very stealthily he removed them. He was very eager not to express any feeling, and if any feelings, or sentiments came out, very fearfully he tried to conceal them.
That was his nature, not to show. Whereas that Ram Das Babaji and others, what do they think and what do they do by showing mad dancing and shedding tears and shivering? All this show drew the common mob towards them and Prabhupad had to explain that these things are no real sign of devotion. Koti mukta madhye durlabha eka krsna bhakta. Amongst millions of liberated souls, one Krsna-bhakta is hardly to be found. Try to come in the vicinity of the infinite. We have to cross the infinite and dissolve ego. Hegel said, ‘Die’. Learn to die first and die not for this or that but for the Krsna conception coming from Gurudev, ‘Die to live.”
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