Guardiões da Devoção
Faith in the Devotees
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
If we want to penetrate the deeper understandings of faith – not mere belief – we must go to the devotees. They are like so many pillars of faith. We are told electricity is everywhere, and there are so many dynamos that can show electric power. Similarly, there are so many devotees past and present with whom we can find real Godliness.
They are standing like pillars of faith. If we accept Jesus Christ, then his ideal way of sacrifice will encourage and increase faith in us. So many devotees are there to help us. What sort of devotee is Prahlada? When we come in history to such a life like the great devotee Prahlada, then our heart is fulfilled, “Oh, how great – God is present there.”
In this way, when our attention is toward the devotees, we automatically rise to a particular high standard of faith. When the devotees help us, we are in a safe plane with our attention towards them. So many pillars of faith are standing there and proving that the Lord is existing. The devotees are neglecting the objects of enjoyment and standing with their heads erect to show, to say and to declare that. “There is a Supreme Entity. We have seen Him repeatedly and we have experienced all this.”
Faith in the advanced devotees is a very substantial help to us all, as their position is not flickering. They have a firm position because of their faith in the higher devotees. So, when one has got faith in the elevated devotees, then his faith – his devotion – is of tangible character.
Otherwise, the beginners, they have not much faith in the devotees, but some abstract faith in the Lord. That is not reliable. Devotion comes to a reliable standard when one can find devotion in the devotees and give more importance to them.
Above scripture, the devotees are there and our faith in the devotees is the real way. Faith in the devotees is something tangible to us. In the higher stages, one can trace the Supreme Entity everywhere, in every movement. It is His Sweet Will. When the middle things – the barriers within that give opposition – are gone, then direct connection with the Supreme Entity fully awakens.
Sometimes the Lord likes to play hide-and-seek with the devotees. Sometimes He comes clear and sometimes He is vague. Whenever He is vague, the devotees begin to cry, “Where are You, my Lord? I don’t feel You, I cannot see You. How can I continue my life? How can I live without You? You are so charming, so joyous, so fulfilling that I cannot live without Your connection?”
In this way, the devotees begin to wail and cry when He appears vague to them. Everything is depending on the Lord’s Sweet Will. If we want to trace the cause, then we shall find this is the cause of something, and that is the cause of the cause. Then we shall think, “Oh, this is the final substance, the Reality we are searching after. The whole world is searching after this beauty and charm of the Lord.”
There is a song, “O Mountain! O Himalaya! O Alps! O Sumeru! What are you searching for with your heads erect? Have you seen the creator of this world? Have you attained the fulfilment of your life? Have you seen Him?” In this way, a devotee feels – in his heart of hearts – that everything is searching for Krsna, God, who is the complete fulfilment of life.
In this world of life and death, there is nothing tangible to attract our attention. In this phenomenal world, our inner heart searches after something eternal. There is sat – Eternal Consciousness; cit – satisfying our search for knowledge of Him; and anandam – satisfying our hankering for beauty and love. Love is the fulfilment of life. We shall be able to understand that when love awakens in the heart and the function of the brain is gone away. This is a peculiar and particular phase of life. Wherever we may be, we are automatically searching, searching, and searching for that big “Yes” – “Om”.
“Om” means a big “Yes”. Whatever you are searching for, it exists. What your inner heart hankers after, that exists and is existing. Whatever apparently you see, you must go to the inner substance – the Super-subjecct. The Lord of your search is there. From Omkara comes Gayatri, next comes the Vedas, and then the Vedanta. Lastly, the Srimad Bhagavatam descends to give a description of the ecstatic side, the joyful side of the Lord. The Infinite Lord comes so close to the finite that the finite thinks, “He is one of us.” He plays the part of such nearness – a near friend to us – so much so that we think, “He is one of us.” This is the Lord’s highest grace and kindness towards us. Our highest attainment is also there in His Divine Abode, Vrndavan.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told us, “Eliminate all other conceptions and make haste to that Vrndavana Lord – Sri Krsna. He is Svayam Bhagavan – God of Gods, Lord of Lords. He is the source of so many majestic displays of His supernatural powers.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained it succinctly, “Search for Sri Krsna! There is no other alternative, no other duty in this world except what I say, ‘Search for Sri Krsna’ Take His Holy Name, and talk about Him. Whatever you do, connect with Krsna Consciousness and go on with faith and firm determination. You will get your fulfilment of life very shortly.”
So, go on taking His Holy Name, while searching or talking, whether you are sleeping, eating, walking or quarrelling. Whatever you are doing, connect with Krsna and go on making progress. Sincere search is necessary for the aspiring devotee so that his Krsna conception may not be only a sham – a hypocritical endeavour. And you will get help in that direction from the real devotees.
Anyhow, go on searching for Krsna with the help of the devotees, the scriptures and all sincerity within you. Whomever you meet with, talk about Krsna, and do not invite the prey of death – family, money and everything else may evaporate the next moment. Sincerely searching for Krsna is the eternal joy in every step of your life. Krsna is not your concoction.
The source is the saints and scriptures, and not this mundane world of enjoyment. Neither through abhorrence or renunciation will you find Krsna. Krsna is the positive inquiry in the heart of the devotees. Those who are carried by the charm of this external world cannot understand what is their inner requirement. They are unfortunate.
So, the main conclusion is to keep company with the devotees who have got real faith in Krsna. It is very, very rare in this world to find such devotees. If we want the help of that association, then you are to keep this ideal on the crown of your head.
‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’, sarva sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu sange sarva siddhi haya
(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya 22.54)
“If properly utilized, a moment’s association with the fully surrendered devotees is sufficient for your highest attainment. If one moment can be properly used, sufficiently used, then there is no necessity of long, long life. Only a point in time is sufficient to solve the whole problem of life if it is properly used in association with the devotees, the agents of Krsna. We shall try to associate with them at all costs. What is the necessity of ages and ages of living a long, long life if we are unconscious of our own self-interest? One moment with the agents of Krsna, if properly utilized, is sufficient to solve the whole problem of our life for which we are eternally wandering about for millenniums. We must be wakeful to our interest. We must not be negligent, but wakeful – to our own self-interest.”
Sri Chaitanya Maharapbhu came to tell us what is our real interest within. “You do not want to know your own heart. You do not know. You are a foreigner to your own heart and its demand. Faith in the devotees is the wealth within your heart – try to find that ‘Hidden Treasure’.”
This was the direction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
It is all within you. You are to eliminate all foreign things, then within your heart you will find a Temple of Krsna. Your heart within is a Temple of Krsna. Search your own heart with the help of a proper guide and you will find Krsna there. A proper guide is not a foreign substance to you. Every heart is a temple of the Lord. It is your inner wealth. It is your Home – ‘Back to God, back to Home’.”
Gaura Haribol. Gaura Haribol.
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