sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 15, Special Issue
Posted: 18 January 2022

Dedicated to
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada

Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Inspired by and under the guidance of

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Special Online Edition for the appearance day of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Not Attained by Our Own Effort

An English lecture spoken by
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja

14 November, 1997 in Vṛndāvana

Srila Prabhupada s departure for the USA

By the endless mercy of our divine master, the Vaiṣṇavas, and Lord Caitanya-deva, we have been able to complete our ūrja-vrata, kārtika-vrata. Without their grace, it would not have been possible. This is true. So you are all fortunate.

The object of this performance of ūrjā-vrata is to attain pure devotion, which is very high for us. “Bhaktyāham ekayā grāhyaḥ – I am obtained only through bhakti (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.14.21). What kind of bhakti? Ekāntika-bhakti, one pointed devotion, [intending] only to serve Him, Lord Kṛṣṇacandra.

With this sort of aim alone – to attain Him – one will be successful, but one who is many pointed will not able to gain success. If we [only try to] satisfy our relatives, parents, wife, children, countrymen, demigods, and so forth, we will never be able to attain success. Bhaktyāham ekayā grāhyaḥ – only service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. That must be the goal, the only goal. As long we do not possess that qualification, ekāntika devotion is not possible. So, what do we have to do? Our attempt only will not be helpful in this regard; the ascending process will not be helpful for us. We must follow the descending process.

As long as a baby – one of very little age – is pleased with his toys that lie on the floor, his mother will remain up on the bed, sitting, eating, etc.. She will not come down to bring him on to the bed as long has he is playing with his toys. But when he becomes disgusted with his toys and rejects them, he will cry loudly, unable to reach her. Oh then and only then will his mother come down and bring him on to the bed.

This is the descending process, and by it, one attains one-pointedness in devotion. We are satisfied with material things and with enjoying our senses. We have no devotion. We are not devoting to Him the things we possess. Everything must be devoted to Him. What have you devoted? He will grace one who has devoted all his belongings to Him, but we have not devoted anything. So one must devote one’s physical body, mind, material possessions, son, wife, and so forth – everything one thinks is “mine” should be devoted to Kṛṣṇa. This sort of devotion is very difficult. It is only possible, however, by keeping company with those who are in possession of that sort of devotion. We therefore have to surrender completely to the devotee who possess that sort of devotion. In that way, we may be blessed to acquire it. “Bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-saṅgena parijāyate – one attains pure kṛṣṇa-bhakti by the elevated association of a pure Vaiṣṇava” (Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa 4.33). This is the only process.

If we try to get devotion personally by our own effort, it is not possible. We must accept the shelter of a divine master. Unless and until we accept him, it is totally impossible.

bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād-
īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ
bhaktyaikayeśaṁ guru-devatātmā

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.37)

[The jīva who is averse to Bhagavān forgets his own constitutional nature because of his association with māyā. Due to this forgetfulness, he becomes absorbed in the conception that he is the material body and thus thinks “I am a demigod”, “I am a human being”. In this state of bodily identification, he fears old age, disease and so forth. Therefore, those who know the truth should consider their own guru as īśvara, the Supreme. In other words, they should see him as their master who is non-different from Bhagavān and who is very dear to Him. Through exclusive devotion they should perform one-pointed worship of that īśvara, their guru.]

Why is it called guru-devatātmā? Guru is the medium by which we can proceed towards Him. Without this medium, it is not possible, so we must accept the divine master, a qualified master, by whose teachings it is possible for us to attain service to Him. I therefore pray to my divine master and to all Vaiṣṇavas that they will be pleased and bless me with that kind of devotion. Thank you.

Transcribed and edited by
The Rays of The Harmonist team

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