śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year-1, Number 9
Posted: 19 October 2008
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
By what means can one receive the complete mercy of Krsna?
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Question 1: How will I attain spiritual well-being?
Answer: “Krsna is my eternal master and I am His eternal servant.” When we are fortunate to have this knowledge or realization come into our life, then all inauspiciousness will be burnt to ashes and all auspiciousness will become accessible to us.
Question 2: What is the path to our auspiciousness?
Answer: The sole path to auspiciousness, whether we are amidst prosperity or calamity, is to fully surrender ourselves at the lotus feet of Bhagavan.
If someone abandons the attitude of surrender, “Krsna will certainly protect me”, and instead pretends to be his own protector, then, at once, he will in fact become the cause of his own utter ruination. In all respects, depending on Krsna is most beneficial. If we don’t, we will surely suffer, birth after birth. Sri Bhagavan, who is affectionate to His devotees, accepts full responsibility for those who take shelter of Him. It is best if we become fully dependent on Him as soon as possible.
Question 3: Who is a bhakta?
Answer: A bhakta is exclusively he who gives up his own happiness for the sake of Sri Krsna’s happiness, who gives up his own sense-enjoyment for His enjoyment, and who can thus remain constantly engaged in serving Him. He alone will attain auspiciousness.
The tendency to give pleasure to Krsna is bhakti. The disposition characterized by the thought “I must remain in a state of happiness”, wherein we simply desire our own happiness, is abhakti, or the antithesis of bhakti. It will only bring us distress.
The abhaktas (non-devotees), thinking they can imitate Sri Krsna, consider, “I will live a mundane, sensual life enjoying with women”.
Rather than accepting the ideals of the abhaktas, we must become inspired by the ideals of the bhaktas. Only then will our lives become auspicious.
If we do not constantly engage ourselves in Krsna’s service, then we will either become a bhogi (one who chases after sense-objects) or a tyagi (one who runs away from sense-objects), but we cannot become a bhakta.
Question 4: What is the process by which one can attain bhagavad-darsana, or direct personal audience with Sri Bhagavan?
Answer: Under Sri Guru’s guidance become saturated with a mood of service and wait expectantly for Krsna’s mercy. This alone is the way to attain darsana of Bhagavan.
The verse, “tat te nukampam...”* gives evidence of this; bhagavad-darsana, direct personal audience with Sri Bhagavan, comes through Sri Guru, the transparent via medium.
The path of suddha-bhakti, or pure bhakti, is most certainly the path to bhagavad-darsana.
* Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8
Question 5: How will I attain service to Krsna?
Answer: Without being mukta, or in the liberated state, one does not attain the qualification to serve Krsna. Only one who surrenders everything at Bhagavan’s lotus feet is factually liberated.
Reluctance in offering everything to Bhagavan is no doubt symptomatic of the shackled living entities’ state of aversion to Sri Krsna.
Liberated souls render service to Krsna by offering Him everything they posses. They make every possible endeavour for Krsna’s pleasure and welfare. But it is not possible to become liberated or to surrender everything to Krsna in this way without receiving the mercy of Sri Gurudeva, for Sri Krsna is the asset of Sri Gurudeva. No one can attain Krsna unless Sri Gurudeva delivers Him to us. Therefore, without rendering service to Sri Gurudeva, one never becomes eligible to render service to Sri Krsna.
To serve Sri Krsna, one must first become Sri Guru’s possession. By this alone one will attain this service (krsna-seva). In the absence of subordination to Sri Guru (guru-anugatya) and service to him (guru-seva), krsna-seva is impossible.
Question 6: Are we the servants of Sri Nama?
Answer: Certainly. In our self-realized state, or our constitutional state, our only activity is to serve Krsna. Krsna’s name is truly Krsna Himself; therefore, service to Sri Nama is indeed service to Sri Krsna.
As soon as we forget our service to Sri Krsna or Sri Nama, we forget our constitutional nature. In the resultant state of distorted consciousness, we undergo suffering, being grasped by the jaws of maya (the illusory energy).
By the mercy of Sri Guru, when sambandha-jnana (knowledge of our relationship with the absolute) is awakened, we come to know that we are the eternal servants of Krsna and we realize that, isavasyam idam sarvam, every object throughout the universe is an instrument for serving Sri Krsna.
Those who desire eternal happiness upon deliverance from material existence must incessantly perform krsna nama-sankirtana. This alone is the instruction of Mahaprabhu. Therefore, the devotee sees that he is the servant of Sri Nama, that every living entity within this universe is meant to bring joy to Krsna, and that each and every object is an instrument to be used in serving Him.
Sri Krsna’s holy name, is akhila-rasamrta-sindhu, the ocean of transcendental humours; He is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, the condensed form of eternality, cognizance and bliss; and He is Sri Syama-sundara, Yasoda-nandana.*
Service to akhila-rasamrta-sindhu Sri Krsna Nama is alone service to Sri Krsna Himself. Therefore, the devotees please Sri Guru and Krsna by rendering uninterrupted service to Krsna through the medium of sri nama-sankirtana.
* The name Syama-sundara is a reference to Sri Krsna’s exquisite beauty and to His extraordinary dark blue complexion. The name Yasoda-nanadana is a reference to His playful childhood pastimes as the son of Yasoda-gopi, the queen of Vraja.
Question 7: By what means can one receive the complete mercy of Krsna?
Answer: When Sri Varsabhanavi-devi (Srimati Radhika, the daughter of King Vrsabhanu) accepts someone as one of Her own – as a rupanuga, or one of the followers of Sri Rupa Gosvami – then, only, is the full mercy of Krsna accessible to him. He can only attain this fortune if he can become the kinkara* of Sri Guru, who is himself the best of the followers of Sri Rupa Gosvami.
It is thus necessary for each and every one of us to become trnad api sunica, more humble than a blade of grass. To become trnad api sunica, we shall have to forsake our present identity, qualities and possessions, and identify ourselves as the servant, or kinkara, of Sri Guru and Sri Nama.
* The word kinkara (kim means “what”, and kara means “to do”) literally indicates the phrase “what should I do?”. A kinkara is one who is always eagerly ready to serve with the mood “What shall I do to serve you? What service shall I do? What may I do for you?”
Question 8: Who can become a real guru?
Answer: One who considers himself to be a Vaisnava is branded “Avaisnava” (a non Vaisnava), and one who considers himself to be guru, or superior to others, is totally unfit to be a guru. Only one who regards himself as the disciple of the disciple of Sri Guru is capable of becoming a guru. Only a guru-nistha bhakta, one who has unflinching bhakti unto Srila Gurudeva and Bhagavan alike, can perform the function of guru.
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta
Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation
Śrīla Prabhupadera Upadeśāmṛta is a compilation of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda’s instructions in question-and-answer form.