In material life, you may be rewarded for acting independently. You can advance if you have the karma to do so. However, for spiritual life, you must become tad-anuragi-jananugami. As long as you are independent, you are like a prostitute. Independent people are always eager for prestige and sense enjoyment. But by being under guidance, the anuraga of the Vaisnava will naturally come in your heart. Your only activity that is needed is to be ananya, one-pointed, and under guidance. But first you must have faith, visvasa.
This visvasa does not come easily. You will have visvasa easily for ordinary people, who gave you a little help. But you have no faith for the Vaisnavas who have helped you with gallons and gallons of their blood, of their time and energy, love and affection.
First of all, if you can find a Bhagavat-anuragi, if you can find any anuragi-bhakta, that is the greatest fortune!
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru krsna prasade bhai bhakti-lata-bija
You cannot get Bhagavad-bhakti without that association. Therefore, pray to God only for sat-sanga. And pray to God that you will have taste for that. Pray day and night to God for taste and faith in sadhu-sanga. Getting God is not enough. God will give you something and leave, cheating you of His loving company.
The demigods will cheat you, and Hari will also cheat you if you approach Him directly. Brahma, Visnu, Siva, they will cheat you. But sadhus are not like that. They are dina-vatsala. They will not cheat. Therefore, they are called vancha-kalpa-taru, not vanchana-kalpa-taru. They will help you. Not cheat you, or do vancana.
They will think about the path of your good fortune. Even though Bhagavan may not want to give him prema-bhakti, the sadhu will say, “Give him! Give!” Therefore if you receive that fortune of the company of a real sadhu, never leave his lotus feet. And develop guru-nistha and guru-bhakti. We should try to become guru-gata-prana—ready to give up our life for the sake of guru. Such loyalty is required.
Kuresh was ready to give his life for his guru. His eyes were plucked out,but because of his bhakti, Ramanujacarya gave back his vision.
Vaisnavera avadane krsna dayamaya—if you have the mercy of the bhaktas, if the bhaktas pray for you, then Bhagavan will listen and help you. But if you do so much independent sadhana and prayer, God will not listen. You must be surrendered.
sad anga saranagati haibe jahara
tahara prarthana suni sri nanda kumara
As long as you don’t have faith in the sadhus and aren’t surrendered to the sadhus, all your sadhana is useless.
You are chanting and chanting, but nothing is changing in your heart. You may do so many fantastic acts in this world, but they are all temporary. They have no lasting benefit to anyone.
You must be saranagata. Where is Krsna? Whose shelter will you take? Krsna is not present before you. But his representative is. Take his shelter! But no! You want to be independent. Nije hole Narayana, kare koro nivedana? I am the master, why should I be anyone’s servant?
Give up what is unfavorable, and follow what is favorable. Anukulyena Krsnanusilanam. Anu means continuously following in the footsteps of the anuragi-jana.
Where will bhakti come from? Bhakti is in the hearts of the Bhaktas. You will not get Bhakti from Bhagavan. Bhakti is with the bhakta. Look brother:
Suddha sattva visesatma prema suryamsu sadhu bhak—the bhaktas’ hearts are suddha-sattva-svarupa. So if you want bhava to appear in your heart, you must take shelter of the sadhus.
If you make aparadha to Bhagavan, then you can be saved by the sadhu. But if you make aparadha to the sadhu, who will protect you?
If you have some doubt, you must immediately go and pray to them. You must pray to Bhagavan, and pray to them. If you criticize, you must go immediately to beg forgiveness.
Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu fought so much. Whose side will you take?
Understanding sadhus is very difficult. Therefore, stay under anugatya.
How to worship Guru? He gives mantra. There is harinama and diksa. There is brahmana-diksa. And there is also parakiya-diksa, or Vaisnavi-diksa. There is no mantra for this. This is diksa by love only. The Vaisnavas are the associates of Bhagavan and of Guru. They are worshipable. By staying in their shelter, all fortune will come to you.
Who did Rupa Gosvami give diksa to? Who did Sanatana Gosvami give diksa to? But everyone is under their shelter. How? Prema-rasa-niryasa. That thing that Mahaprabhu came to taste, that is given by the Gosvamis.
Therefore, you must be surrendered to the bhaktas. If you do anything against the bhaktas, anything pratikula or unfavorable to them, it is very dangerous. You can lose everything. You will not find shelter anywhere. But as long as you are loyal and faithful, in the company of Vaisnavas, you will have no worry in life.
When we were with Srila Gurudeva, we didn’t know when day passed and night came. We were always absorbed in the bliss of service in the proximity of Guru and Vaisnavas. They are not our enemies. But you must stay far from asat-sanga—from those who criticize or are inimical to the devotees. If that person again becomes sat, what will you do? Will you throw them out? No. You will pray to Bhagavan day and night for his sake. They will pray to Bhagavan, “That person has gone far away from you. Please bring and accept him back.”
Guru and Vaisnavas’ mantra, tapa, japa, and all their sadhana is for the sadhakas. They don’t need to do anything for themselves. They will make you qualified and will then offer you to Radha-Krsna. The sadhus don’t have any enemy in the world, but many people may think, “They are against me.” Still, even though they are attacked by somebody, the sadhu will pray to Bhagavan for his sake.
The sadhus are the reservior of auspiciousness for all souls. They know how much the jivas suffer away from Bhagavan. So why will they make them suffer more?
The hearts of the Vaisnavas are very hard to understand. Everyone can reject and forsake others. This is very easy. But to embrace a person with love, who has wronged you, this is very hard.
Ordinary people, if you throw a brick at them, they will throw a rock. But the sadhus will be beaten ten times and still not give fault to anyone. They will say, “This is my karma.”
It is not easy to understand sadhus and sadhu-dharma. The majority of people are fools, trapped in the prison of their own minds. But as soon as you take shelter of sadhus, at once, they will open the storehouse of bliss, and offer you to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Therefore brother, don’t try to do independent sadhana. There will be no result. Only take shelter of the sadhus.
Follow as the sadhus’ follow. Don’t become an atibadi, trying to do more then the Vaisnavas. The Guru and Vaisnavas know your adhikara, and how you should gradually progress. They will take you forward step by step. If you transgress them, try to act independently of them, or overstep them, Maya is waiting in a thousand forms to devour you. But if you are always under the guidance of sadhus, they will carry you in their lap to Radha-Krsna’s lotus feet. Therefore, don’t endeavor to perform independent sadhana.
If sraddha arises in the sadhus, you will do everything naturally. All strength will come. But as long as you don’t have sraddha in the Vaisnavas, you are in a dire plight.
Once, Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja said to some residents of Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, “You are not advancing in bhakti, because you are not respecting Srila Narayana Maharaja. You do not have faith in him, therefore you can never achieve bhakti.”
Some were criticizing Gurudeva and Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja chastised them strongly.
In this way, as we learn from the acaryas, we must develop faith in the sadhus, and surrender to them. We should feel that every moment is essential. We should strive not to waste a single moment engaged in frivolous activities. All our time should be engaged in seva and sadhana. Those who don’t have sraddha, all day and night they will pass uselessly in frivolous activities.
Gaura Premananda Hari Haribol!
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]