śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year 8, Issue 13 Dedicated to Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Posted: 3 January 2016
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year 8, Issue 13
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Śaraṇāgati Depends on Sambandha-jñāna
by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vamana Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Śrī Śrī Guru Gaurāṅgau Jayataḥ
c/o Śrī Bankebihārī Dāsādhikārī
Jaleśvara Road, Subhāṣa-nagara
PO: Mayanāguḍi (Jalapāiguḍi)
My dear..., [The recipient’s name was not published.]
The idea that the conditioned soul shall forever remain in a state of material bondage and will never endeavor to liberate himself is baseless. While the living entity is in a materially conditioned state, all his thoughts, moods and activities are inherently full of mundane conceptions. To transcend this material or mundane state is indeed the primary objective of performing sādhana-bhajana.
Direct audience (darśana) of śrī guru, the Vaiṣṇavas and their instructions and directions is certainly the most valuable treasure for a spiritual practitioner (sādhaka). One only receives the opportunity and good fortune of their divine association as a result of spiritual merits accumulated over many, many lifetimes.
It is of great benefit if all our pride, our distress, our lamentation and so on are centered solely around śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas, because śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas are our only true kinsmen and our only real well-wishers in the prison-house of this material world:
tava nija-jana parama-bāndhava, samsāra-kārāgāre
Śrī Gaura, Your associates are my greatest kinsmen in this prison-house of material existence.
‘Ohe! Premera Ṭhākura Gaura’, Verse 6
by Śrīla Bhaktivinioda Ṭhākura
Our so-called relatives and friends in this material world lend no importance whatsoever to these emotional states of ours, but the most munificent, all-knowing, Vaiṣṇavas understand and accept our moods and emotions and they feel aggrieved upon seeing the pain of others (they are para-duḥkha-duḥkhī). They are very intelligent and know very well how to bring steadfastness (niṣthā) and determination to the devotional practices (sādhana-bhajana) of the conditioned living entities.
The Vaiṣṇavas are firm and resolute in regard to the principle of rejecting unfavorable association (duḥ-saṅga). However, they are conquered by the one-pointedness of a devotee who cries for them bitterly, with a heart full of intense yearning. In response to that yearning, the Vaiṣṇavas manifest the benevolent nature of their own innate moods.
Therefore they are our only shelter, our only hope and the ultimate place of refuge, in all circumstances. Śrī Bhagavān Himself may break His vows for the sake of His devotees; the bhaktas are equally ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of fellow bhaktas and for the service of Bhagavān. This is the pinnacle of the innermost stage of direct perception and mutual love and affection that is achieved between the bhakta and Bhagavān.
Unless sambandha-jñāna, [realization of one’s transcendental relationship with Śrī Bhagavān] is awakened in one’s heart, śaraṇāgati, or self- surrender, is not possible. Only he whose mind and heart have become attached to Śrī Hari, śrī guru and the Vaiṣṇavas will feel an anxiety and eagerness in his heart to have direct audience of them (darśana). Certainly, all these subjects are realized only according to one’s qualification in sādhana-bhajana. Śrī Bhagavān will someday mercifully bestow upon you the qualification to realize all of this. Who can foretell in what form the drops of His divine mercy will be showered upon someone?
[Unpublished name] recently engaged in a particularly inventive service here at the maṭha, one he was not appointed to by any of the maṭha authorities. While thus engaged he pursued his own personal self-interest. When a servant is unable to or averse to following the instructions of śrī guru and the Vaiṣṇavas, and does not deliberate on those instructions, how can he possibly attain any welfare?
“Gurura sevaka haya mānya āpanāra – the servants of śrī guru are worthy of my respect.” If one does not take this consideration seriously to heart, and if he does not follow it in totality, it is not possible to stay in the maṭha and render service there. It is certain that such a person will subsequently enter worldly existence. He who constantly looks at the faults in others and engages in criticizing them, will very quickly find himself in a state of downfall. All his welfare, both in this world and in the next, will be destroyed.
On the kṛṣṇa-navami-tithi (the ninth day of the waxing moon) in the month of pauṣa [the author’s appearance day], I shall not be staying in Siliguri maṭha. At that time a preaching program has been arranged somewhere else. When I go out for preaching, it is not always feasible to say with certainty exactly where I will be staying. I can only indicate a rough outline of the itinerary.
When the day comes that people are able to offer true, sincere faith unto Śrī Bhagavān instead of worshipping a person or group, then their path to real welfare will become fixed. These days, the desire to attain material gain and to be worshipped and publicly recognized has extended its reach far and wide like an all-devouring blazing tongue. That desire has predisposed the conditioned living entity to indulge in trying to occupy the position of the Supreme Lord.
Śunyavādīs (those who follow the doctrine of voidism), nirviśeṣa-brahmavādīs (those who follow the doctrine of undifferentiated monism), cid-jaḍa-sāmanvaya-vādīs (those who try to establish unity between the spiritual and mundane), jīva-brahmaika-vādīs (those who proclaim that the infinitesimal soul and the infinite spirit are one and the same) and pañcopāsakīs (those who worship five deities – Surya, Ganeśa, Śakti, Śiva and Viṣṇu) are all representatives of atheism. While pretending to serve the Supreme Lord, they busily try to occupy His position themselves. Therefore, my only desire is that śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas will always be glorified, and that their divine glories will be broadcast everywhere. Only then will there be true welfare for the entire world.
In the realm of sādhan-bhajan, offences are like fatal errors and mistakes. One must very carefully and thoroughly abandon all offences against the holy names of the Supreme Lord (nāmaparādha), offences against His transcendental abode (dhāmaparādha), and offences while rendering devotional service (sevāparādha). But it is extremely difficult to abstain from all of these in a very short span of time. Therefore, one should offer prayers to Śrī Nāma Prabhu and to Śrī Dhāma so that we can reside in Śrī Dhāma, chant the holy names and become free from our tendency to commit offences.
Attaining the dust of the lotus feet of śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas and receiving their causeless mercy is the only way we will be able to realize our true ability and qualification and become established accordingly. In the realm of spirituality, material qualifications are useless and indicate conceit. My children are desirous of having my darśana. Are you also one of them? A loving father always thinks of his children’s wellbeing. Even if the father stays very far away, he can bestow auspiciousness upon his children. This too is a subject of experience. Accept my affectionate blessings.
Your eternal well-wisher,
Śrī Bhaktivedānta Vamana
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Śrīla Vamana Gosvāmī Mahārājera Patrāvalī