by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Student: When performing bhajan and kirtan, what should be our attitude?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Meditation of a formal nature does not have much effect here. We shall try saranagati - surrender. Our whole attention should be concentrated on surrender. Once, a gentleman, a zamindar, took Harinama initiation from our Guru Maharaj and asked, "While I count on the beads, what should I think of in my mind? Is there any portrait of Krsna or Sri Murti? How can I engage and utilize my mind at that time while counting the beads?"
Our Guru Maharaja answered, "The mind has nothing to do in the supra-mental area. The mind is like a vulture. As a vulture goes to the cremation ground, so mind and other senses will try to fall there and make it mundane – a cremation ground. This is all mortal. They have got all mortal experience. The mind, the eye, the ear, etc. – everything has got mortal experience.“ So, whenever you take the Holy Name, the other senses, including the mind, will try to make it a mortal field with their prejudices and experiences of this relative world. They fall on it and make it a cremation ground. Do not allow it. Instead, we must try to understand. "I have got some spiritual sound which is completely different from this mortal world, and that sound will gradually evolve a spiritual figure or colour.“
Srila Jiva Goswami says, after receiving the spiritual sound from Gurudeva, and concentrating on the Holy Name, then, there is a stage of transcendental waiting. How the effects of the spiritual sound will come down to us? We shall go on counting the beads with such expectant attitude. We shall never feel ourselves down in this mundane world, but rather expecting some new transcendental experience at every moment. Then the colour will completely come, the rupa – the form will come – from rupa will come guna, the quality. These will come down from above, from the plane of Paramatma. The ordinary plane of experience, the mental plane, the plane of reason, the plane of soul, the plane of Supersoul – in this way the planes from gross to subtle are there. So, it will come down: it will have to come with my expectant attention.
For example, a particular kind of bird always expects rain – the Cataka. They do not take any water from the ground – neither river nor lake – nothing of the kind. Only rainwater will they take. Similarly, our attitude should be like that. Always in expectation for some transcendental experience, we shall go on searching. First, the sound, from the sound comes form, from the form comes quality; from that relativity, the paraphernalia will come. Then the pastimes will come and we shall find ourselves as a unit in that plane. It is not this mundane self, but my soul has got a serving position in there – in that plane. In this way, we are to be reinstated in our original spiritual position. So, the mind cannot be allowed to engage in its own speculative line in this case.
The line of service is always given in this way: do your service direction from the higher agents and you will be benefited. It is said that raw materials in the hand of an expert can produce miracles. Otherwise, raw materials are useless. So, you have got raw materials – spiritually unrefined – and you want spiritual growth. The higher and proper utilization of those assets is necessary and that guidance can come from the transcendental arena. As much as higher direction will come, we shall be prepared to surrender at their disposal. We shall be more benefited in this super-scientific line. Whatever is done under the direction of the devotees that has got transcendental value – that will be progressive within me. I am leading myself by following the order of a Vaisnava.
Centralization is necessary – we must be Krsna centralized. At present we are already different, partially centralized: but all must be for the Centre. One conclusion – all is ending in Krsna. All is moving towards Krsna’s satisfaction. So, this ego must be dissolved and we shall try that within the Krsna Centre. The example is there. This is the positive side. We are to find out within us. So, take the Holy Name and hear Srimad Bhagavatam. There may be dharma, artha, kama and moksa according to its purpose. But when they are performed only for the interest of Krsna, then it becomes bhakti – devotion.
I am not reading this book to attain fame by delivering lectures to the public. In such a case, it will not be devotion to read the book. I am reading the book because my master wants me to do this. This line should be found and should be followed. Whatever I am doing is not for my interest but for the interest of my master. Whatever I do, that will have spiritual guidance which will make it progress towards Krsna, towards the Centre and the Central interest. We shall try to do everything in this way. Otherwise, taking the name and studying the scriptures may also be false – if it is not for the Central interest. Selfish interest may also use all those devotional forms.
Some will be sahajiyas – imitationists, some will be traders and they will each have a reaction. For the interest of the Krsna conception, the imperative necessity – the exclusive necessity – is that we should come in contact with a real Vaisnava who has got Krsna’s interest at heart. Wholesale converted to Krsna Consciousness – Krsna Consciousness means Krsna Centered – for the satisfaction of Krsna. Everyone is searching after some separate satisfaction and running after that in different shades of life. We are to eliminate that and accept this – wholsesale conversion towards only satisfying Him.
And Who is He? He is svarat, the Autocrat, the despot. The highest conception of the Truth is Absolute good. No consideration of this world can come to that standard. Absolute good is such. Autocracy must be with the Absolute Good, the Holiest conception imaginable. Absolute good has full power there. No law can bind Him, that would be suicidal. Svarat means Autocrat. He Himself is Emperor without apparently allowing consideration for another.
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