Search for the Remedy
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Whenever difficulties come in one’s devotional life, he must search for the remedy. If there is any realization, he will try his best to have favourable association. Suppose by accident, one has lost his senses on the street. Whenever his consciousness returns, he will ask his approaching friends, “Take me to my home where they will take care of me.” Whatever little consciousness comes in a person who is incapacitated by an accident, he will say, “Take me to my home. My home is there.” And there again, he may lose external consciousness.
Similarly, whenever this consciousness of laziness creeps within us, we must try to seek out higher associates – devotees that know the value of our tender devotion. They will take care of us like a guardian.
In this line, the devotees are guardians, as they know the value of devotion. Therefore, when I am going to lose devotion, when a little sense comes to me, then I shall try to extricate myself, and progress towards the devotee camp. They know the value of my little spark of devotion and they will take care of me. Only association can help us. When we become helpless, association will help us. We shall try our best to go to that association who knows the value of the devotion we hanker for. How faith comes? That is from sukrti jnatva sukrti ajnatva sukrti. “Wandering in this world, my energy is consciously and unconsciously utilized by the devotees, the agents of God for His service.”
Reality is for Himself and we think we are for ourselves. When an agent transfers our self-tendency into “Reality for Himself”, that produces some sukrti in us. This tendency, when accumulated, produces faith, and faith can develop mainly through sadhu-sanga – the association of the devotees and also, the scriptures to some extent.
First, when the child is born, he may not cooperate with the mother, but depends on her. Then when the child develops a little, he comes to cooperate more and more. He cries when hungry. When more grown, then he demands, “I want milk, I want this and that.” Practical cooperation for health will come according to growth, and when under-grown, then of course, he has to depend on the agents of the Lord that are moving here and there. That is automatic.
Jnana-sunya-bhakti is like a department of the government where the pension is being given to those who have got no service and no livelihood, etc. In this way, the agents of the Lord are moving, creating and utilizing the energy of those needy persons unconsciously by putting it in the “For Itself and By Itself” direction. They get something in remuneration and unconsciously that is being developed into sukrti in them. Then, gradually, this comes to faith, service towards the Infinite, the Unknowable Adhoksaja, which is beyond the jurisdiction of our experience. This is substance existing beyond the jurisdiction of our experience.
Knowledge and consciousness descend from above. But all the knowledge of our experience in this world cannot reach or attract that unknown and unknowable region. Unknown and unknowable to us, but many things can exist there which are beyond our reach. So, finite and Infinite live in such a relationship that mainly, everything is dependent on the Infinite. Generally, we find that there is very little chance in life for the finite to take the mercy of the Infinite. So Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur prays:
vicarite aobi, guna nahi paobi krpa kara chodata vicara
“O Lord! If you deal with me according to justice, then I have no hope. For a long time, I have committed innumerable offenses at Your feet. To clear out my past misdeeds, I have come to Your “Window of Mercy” to pray – without consideration of my past or future – that you may please extend Your causeless grace upon this fallen soul.
In this life. I have got no hope. Prabhu! I surrender to You. Whatever You like You may do with me. I have no hope if you give admission to the “Window of Justice”: I am lost for there is no possibility of my admission.” So whenever the devotee is praying, it is unconditional: “I have come to appeal for Your Mercy and not Your justice. If you take me in the world of justice, then I am lost. I am sure that only Your causeless mercy – that is without any consideration of good or bad, high or low – can save me. I want Your causeless mercy my Lord. You have a department and I am approaching that department. I find it judicious to come to appeal to that department of mercy. Whatever the offense I have committed in my previous life, please do not consider that. By Your grace, I have come to beg Your mercy and only to beg Your mercy.”
Devotion proper says, “Whatever You like, You may do with me. I am ready. I understand that I am a slave to You. You are the Master and You can do whatever You like with me. You have got every right over me. I am admitting to that.”
This is the way to attain our highest prospect. This has been advised from the school of devotion. To approach that department, you have to surrender completely and you will have a bright prospect. The devotees, the agents of that department, have come to preach to us – to canvass, “Approach that department of mercy and do not go for justice – otherwise, you will be the loser. Surrender completely and when His causeless benediction will come down to you, you will be amply rewarded. Direct yourself to that which has no bounds, no limits – approach that department.” This is suddha-bhakti.
While falling flat at His Holy Feet, we are to surrender. If not, then I am continuing the war against the Absolute. This world of experience I am living in – it means, “I am at war with the Absolute Vibration by creating different types of vibrations against the Universal vibration.” These vibrations are coming in contact with one another and are being crushed and evaporated into nowhere – they cannot stand. When coming to clash with the Absolute Vibration, then everything – anything – is reduced to ashes. That has got no beginning; it has got no ending. That fundamental vibration of love, sympathy, beauty and charm may be like motherly affection to a child. Even more than that, it may be the Love of consort-hood in its highest perfection – a twenty-four hour engagement in the “Family of God”.
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