By chanting, one can fulfill worldly desires, attain liberation, and even easily attain Vaikuṇṭha. But it is very difficult to become a companion of the gopīs. Becoming a companion of the gopīs can be attained only by the association of devotees like Rūpa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, and Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, whose books are non-different from themselves. If we read and think in this way about the books, then we are hearing directly from them – there is no difference at all.
When I read any of their books, I think, “He is my śikṣā-guru; he is telling and I am hearing. I should obey and try to understand.” If I make any effort to understand by my mind, it is so hard; I cannot understand. However, when I pray to their lotus feet I see how I easily understand.
What I explained yesterday was not my doing. Rather, their mercy is such a great thing. I am a very tiny, unimportant, conditioned jīva, yet I am able to speak something about sub-lime subject matters – by their mercy alone.
Hundreds of thousands of Vedic scholars reside here in Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, but they cannot explain these sub-lime subjects as I do. This is not my credit; I am not the root cause. Our ācāryas are the root cause; their mercy is the root cause. If you pray to them, knowing that their books are not books but they themselves, then you can understand what is inside.
By hearing from them, harināma becomes more and more sweet. At that time our harināma will please the gopīs, who will think, “How sweet she [or he] is chanting!” They will want that devotee to receive their mercy.
Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Soul of Book Distribution”