If we want a guarantee that Krsna will be satisfied with whatever process we undertake, the most important tenet of our movement is that we must act under His agent. His satisfaction depends on that. If the agent is a false man, then our whole effort is wasted. But if he is a real agent, then we must gain through him. If through our connection with him we are connected to Vaikuntha, then our actions will be valued. Otherwise we may lose, and commit offenses: nama-aparadha, seva-aparadha, arcana-aparadha, offenses against the Holy Name, against devotional service, and against the proper worship of the Lord.
acquisition. We may have acquired so much, our
progress may be such, but we must not be proud.
We should not be satisfied with ourselves.”
It is written in the scriptures. If service is not properly done, then we are sure to commit some offenses against the Deity. Either we give satisfaction to Him, or we give some trouble. That is an intolerable way of conducting that holy process. We must guard against nama-aparadha and seva-aparadha. We must not be over-confident of our previous acquisition. We may have acquired so much, our progress may be such, but we must not be proud. We should not be satisfied with ourselves.
Mahaprabhu Himself said, “I am taking the Name, I am showing so much peace, shedding so many tears, in the Name of Krsna. But why? It is all false. My tears are only for show, to convince others that I am such a great devotee.” In such a way we must disbelieve that we are devotees. We must be very careful - very, very careful. Kaviraja Gosvami and Narottama Thakura have written thus.
“I am neglected, I am left behind, I am excluded. I am so low; I am so contaminated. I am rejected from the Infinite lila. I could not utilize this great fortunate wave.” This should be the feeling of a real Vaisnava who has an actual relationship with the Infinite. As much as the finite comes in contact with the Infinite, the disposition cannot but be affected. It is not imitation; it cannot but be the real thing.
“I am empty, I don’t get anything,” that should be our mood. “I feel emptiness within me. I can’t get it, my life is frustrated. My life is going to be frustrated. I don’t get a drop of the grace of the Lord, and I have left the world; everything is gone. If you don’t accept me, I am undone. Please make me a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant. Give me the remotest connection. Graciously give me some remotest connection to Yourself. I can’t tolerate it otherwise.” This heartfelt, heart-rending prayer must come from the devotees of the Lord, then we will find our fortune. The charm for the world outside must be fully eliminated from the heart, fully emptied. And the near future will be filled with the nectar of the grace of Krsna.
Bhukti and mukti, the desires for enjoyment and renunciation are compared with ghosts. These two types of ghosts reside in the heart. So how do we dare to express that bhakti lives in our heart? The noble lady of devotion, will she come there, lying on the same bench with these ghosts? How can we expect that? Have we freed ourselves from all these nasty things that we dare to invite the lady of Krsna-bhakti to come here?
We decided to start at the beginning of April with the foundation of the new temple for Sri Sri Radha Govindaji. By the end of April, the drain and the deeper parts of the foundation should be completed.
On Aksaya Tritiya, May 2nd, will be the installation of Ananta Sesa. Ananta Sesa is the personification of service to the Supreme. He assumes different forms in order to render service. Every temple is an expansion of Ananta Sesa. Aksaya Tritiya is an especially suitable day (tithi) to start something which should last for a long time. This day, in this year, is under the star Rohini, which is considered to be even more auspicious. Different ceremonies will be performed on this day, the exact schedule will be published soon.
After the installation of Ananta Sesa will the foundation will be completed and the building of the main structure can start. In the meantime a pit has been constructed for the water connection. The water pipe will be connected by the Wasserleitungsverband within the next weeks.
Costs for the connection fee and construction is approximately 15.000€. To complete the bare brickwork by the construction company we need another 70.000€.
The major portion of the interior work and technical installation will be done by Vaisnavas and friends. If you have the capacity to support us financially please help liberally. Whoever wants to support this auspicious project should contact us.
Inside: Editorial * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - How Can We Enhance Our Devotional Service? - Srila Prabhupad * We Must Disbelieve That We Are Devotees - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Om Visnupad Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Gosvami Maharaj's´History in Sri Gaudiya Math * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (50-70) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.10-11.14.12 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Don't Deceive Yourself – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Don't Deceive Yourself
– First Part
Spiritual life has a high standard. It is not a cheap thing. Just by putting on saffron clothes, or putting on tilak or even chanting and speaking nicely, attractively, is not enough to understand it. Srila Sridhar Maharaj says, “My attempt should be backed by my whole energy, all my prospects – everything. This is the attitude I should have to search for drop of Vaikuntha nectar. Otherwise our effort will be useless.”
We are very small – tiny. So, we should not expect that if we surrender some tiny part of our life to Krsna, that we can receive too much from His side. Srila Sridhar Maharaj says, “You think that by sacrificing only a part of your smallness that your aspiration for the whole can be fulfilled? Is it reasonable to expect such? No, it is not so easy.”
We have to reflect on our spiritual life. My activities, my chanting, everything I do – what is the motive? Just to get a comfortable life? To get kanaka, kamini, pratistha – money, women, popularity? What is the real motive for my seva (service)? Actually seva should not be shown to others. One who is doing real seva is never disconnected from Krsna. He doesn’t have any taste or attraction for mundane talks. He will just avoid them or try to redirect the talks to be about Krsna.
We should not make Krsna consciousness cheap. It is the most sweet thing, “It is the land of confidence, goodness, fairness and sweetness.” If you want to go there, you have to offer your personal interest. Of course, we are speaking about the highest, but at least we should know this. We should know that we are not on this level. We should not think that we are there and we can preach to others. This can only be done by those who are there. We have to accept this fact and never argue against it. Because any argument against will pull us down to the illusory platform.
We must not be separated for even a blink of the eye.
Such is the consciousness of great sadhus.
Is there anybody who has chanted the Name of Krsna and Krsna came to his heart? When Krsna is coming into the heart, than no other interest from this world will remain there. This is something very high, and not everyone understands this now. But if we are open-hearted, if we are serious, we will get something. However much we have allowed Krsna to come into our heart, is how much understanding we will get. Without this, whatever we speak will only be mundane. Even speaking about Krsna is mundane if you don't become a transparent medium of His will. If we are not attracting Krsna through our activities, through our service, through our attitude of surrender, then whatever we say will be only superficial, mundane. Even talks about Krsna will be mundane external speaking. It will not touch the soul – it will not be useful. Therefore we should become very serious.
Actually the thing is that even most of the devotees do not know what spiritual life is. Just outwardly chanting, putting on Vaisnava clothing, and imitating devotees doesn’t make us a devotee. To become a devotee means much more. To become a devotee means to surrender; that you offer your life to the Supreme Lord, to Gurudev. Let Him do whatever He likes to do with you.
Many things have to be cleared, many things have to be conquered – all these anarthas, unwanted things. That which is not in the interest of Krsna has to be rejected. And when we watch our talking and our activities, we should always be conscious, asking ourselves, “Does it give any pleasure to Krsna? Or is it just mundane talking for my, and others, entertainment? Is there any pleasure for Krsna by doing so?” We have to become serious, in every second.
Krsna consciousness is not only five minutes in the morning, five minutes in the evening, thinking every five minutes about Krsna or speaking about mundane topics like a madman then saying one time “Krsna”, and then everything becomes “Krsnalyzed”.
Krsna consciousness means every second. We must not be separated for even a blink of the eye. Such is the consciousness of great sadhus. They laugh at Westerners, even sannyasis, who run around in the holy places considering themselves to be great devotees, but are completely on the level of mundane consciousness. However, these great sadhus are merciful. But nevertheless, we should know that they know our real level. Therefore we should become very meek and humble, we should avoid to come too close to the highest class of devotees. Because in reality, whatever we do with mundane consciousness in the association of a great devotee will be an offense.
We are on a very gross level, thinking that everyone is just like us – on our level. We are not aware that great devotees are non-different from Krsna. So with our gross understanding, with our heavy mind, we commit offense just by opening of our mouth; we pull them down to our level. They are on such a fine, subtle level!
Any experience about the Lord must come from upper to lower. It does not depend on us. We can only increase the intensity of our hankering, of our serving attitude (sevonmukhata), and whether He will descend to this plane or not depends on His whim. There is transcendental substance He moves according to His sweet will. He may come down or He may not, at His whim. He is free. We can only increase our earnestness for His presence. Although the potency and the potent are inseparably connected, we must generally know our-selves to be of the marginal potency.
He is everywhere - He is nowhere; everything is within Him - nothing is in Him. Such is His peculiar and mystic position (Bhagavad-gita 9.4-6). Thus, our duty is to try to serve Him. We should not put much emphasis on 'feeling' Him either by mind, by body, or even by intelligence. He is everywhere, and He is nowhere: in a flash He may show, “Yes, I am here”; yet, when we are earnestly searching for Him, He may be nowhere to be found. His nature is independent. We can search, but we cannot say that we shall find Him.
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam, adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va: our duty is to devote ourselves cent-per-cent and most intensely for Him. We are only to serve Him. And service does not mean that we must necessarily come into direct contact with Him. Remote service is also service; through His devotee it becomes tangible. We should try to serve Him through His devotees, without expectation of any reward. We should have no desire except to serve, even without expecting to see Him once, to have His darsana. We shall only want to be utilized by Him. The little energy we have must be utilized for His cause. We are His potency, and we should prove that we belong to Him. Mahaprabhu says, “He may embrace me or reject me, or He may even be indifferent towards me. Whatever He likes, He may do, but I have no alternative but to serve Him.” We must adopt such an exclusive and unconditional attitude. Not that, “If He doesn't want to reciprocate according to my will, I won't like to approach Him; so I shall join the atheists or the mayavadis. If You don't come forward to satisfy me, then I shall seek my own way - I don't want You!” If there is any tinge of such an attitude, we are far, far away.
greatest agent of His service will constitute
the safer and higher relationship of ananya-
-bhajana, exclusive service eliminating all else.
Yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato, mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. “We have no alternative but to serve You.” To search means to serve: “I want to be utilized for His cause. However petty the service may be, nothing is petty when in His connection, the least connection, even from far away. He need not please me, even by giving His darsana in a lightning way. Everything depends on His will.”
Unconditional offering unto Him shows faith of the highest type. If our offering is conditional, we shall have to remain far from Him. The characteristic of the highest faith is absolutely unconditional: “I am only to be satisfied with just the chance to serve Him from afar, through some medium; or many mediums, not only one. Dasa-dasa-dasanudasatvam - servant of the servant of the servant of the servant . . . I have His connection from afar, and my energy passes through the devotees, towards Him, towards the center of fulfillment. Whatever my position may be, I want my connection with the greatest fulfillment of the whole world!” Everyone is searching for such fulfillment of all their innermost necessities.
Sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja (Bhagavad-gita 18.66): the search for Him eliminates all other duties. A true devotee thinks, “There is no obligation to anyone except one, and He is my Lord, Krsna.” And His most laudable and greatest servitors are those who are in contact with His greatest agent. Not His direct contact, but contact with the greatest agent of His service will constitute the safer and higher relationship of ananya-bhajana, exclusive service eliminating all else.
Wherever there is an absence of complete faith in the most auspicious personality, there is bound to be inauspiciousness. Therefore, the ascending or unauthorized path should be totally rejected and the descending or authorized path of disciplic succession accepted. If we really want to benefit, we will have to offer everything we have accumulated since birth to the Lord’s lotus feet without reservation and await His causeless mercy. Until we are favored by a glimmer of His causeless mercy, we will not be able to understand krsna-katha. If we do not have full faith that the Lord alone bestows all auspiciousness, we will not be able to give everything up without hesitation. We may think, “If I give everything to Krsna, I may actually lose everything and find myself in trouble if Krsna has nothing to give me.” Such doubts are baseless. By maintaining such doubts, we simply invite inauspiciousness.
but even in our independence we are dependent
on the Lord. The moment we attempt to misuse
our independence by opposing this understanding
we will bring about our own ruination.
The Lord never refuses His surrendered devotee or leaves his desires unfulfilled. The Lord has the sole power to fulfill all our requirements and to give us full protection. If we can gain this conviction, we will become fearless. We will no longer feel anxiety. We will become happy. It is not possible to describe how much benefit the living entity receives by the Lord’s causeless mercy. When the Lord does bestow His mercy, it’s not that we become satisfied even after serving Him constantly. Rather, we receive an invaluable wealth of transcendental longing for the Lord’s service. We will not lament that we cultivated attraction to the Lord’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes, and we will not think they are boring or that our future is dark with possible disappointment. We will never think we have been cheated by surrendering to His lotus feet. Our most magnanimous, able, and grateful Lord will never throw us into the ocean of disappointment.
We have an invaluable jewel called independence, but even in our independence we are dependent on the Lord. The moment we attempt to misuse our independence by opposing this understanding we will bring about our own ruination.
If we approach worldly people with high expectations, they can neither fulfill our ambitions nor solve our problems. That is why Bhagavad-gita clearly instructs us to take complete shelter at Sri Krsna's lotus feet. He alone is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord. To surrender to Him is the ultimate goal of our life. Simply by surrendering to Him, we perfect our life. We should discuss how to surrender completely despite our anarthas and impediments.
After long and difficult negotiations, the municipality of Traiskirchen has issued an official building permit for the construction of the temple. The challenge we now face is funding of the project.
In addition we are looking for skilled and unskilled workers for the construction and finishing of the temple building. Those who would like to support us with this all-auspicious construction please contact us.
Inside: Editorial * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Does Lack of Faith in God Cause Distress - Srila Prabhupad * Homeward Journey - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Sadhu-Sanga is Always Necessary - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (23-49) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.1-11.14.9 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 3) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Devotee: Some people are saying that it is necessary to read only Prabhupada's books [Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami] and that this is the way to get his association. But on the other hand, Prabhupada says in many of his purports that personal association with saintly persons is important. How can we fully realize that?
Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj: You see, when sadhus are not available, there are the sastras and you must read them. But when sadhus are available near or far, you have to approach them, you have to talk with them. Because the Scriptures may help us, but practically speaking wherever you find a sadhu practising, you should go to that sadhu and receive direct instructions from him. The Scriptures cannot bless you. They may clear your doubts, but the blessings come from the sadhus. You have to approach a living sadhu. There is no other way. He must bless us. But if you go to a sadhu who is not a real sadhu, then he will delude you. Then you will have to pray to Lord Krsna that He comes to You as a bona fide sadhu. You will do your duty by thinking, “Only when Krsna will bless me, will I get that association.” We don't know for how long we will survive, janma-mrtyu-jara-duhkhair. We should know that we are unreal, we don't know what will happen one hour from now. So we should not procrastinate, we should not be lazy in doing this [searching for a real sadhu].
There is a statement given by Ravana, “Once I had an idea to build a ladder to Svarga-loka. I could have done it, but I waited.” No! Whatever you think is good, do it immediately, don't delay. Krsna will help you. If you are not able, Krsna will help you to know how to adopt and select the process. He will give the remedy and the blessings. There is always Krsna. In the beginning, in the middle and at the end there is Krsna. Without Krsna nothing can be done. This is the devotee's conception and this is called Krsna consciousness. We are not speaking of a jnani's or yogi's conception. We are speaking of a bhakta's conception. The obtainment of the bhakta and that of the jnani or yogi are different. They are all different.
The bhakta is always happy, he does not want even moksa. “I will never suffer if I have to take another birth, I will be happy to be born as a devotee or in the house of a devotee. Whether I may be in a human form or in beast form, I must be close to a sadhu.” Sadhu-sanga is always necessary.'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'- sarva sastre kaya,
lava matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya.
All the scriptures say, “Seek the association of sadhus!” Which sadhus? A living sadhu, not sadhus who have left this world. You can have their teachings through books, but the association of a living sadhu will be more effective.
So if a sadhu is present you have to approach him. Do not argue this. Do simple, practical things and seek the sadhu's association. You should talk to a sadhu, hear from him and observe his behaviour, then your heart will be greatly benefited. But if you only read the sastras or the quotations of the sadhus, you will not have as much benefit. Sadhus are always present, do not say that sadhus are not there, as long as the world will exist sadhus will always be there. It is only by fortune that we will meet them. And if I come in contact with a sadhu, whatever blessings I need I will get.
We do not have to compare ourselves with others, we do not have to hanker after worldly things, we only want Lord Krsna. If we feel a strong necessity Krsna will come to us. We must feel this necessity and practise immediately. Whatever the sadhu says, we have to obey him. If we go on reading the sastras, they will never give us the same strength. By reading them you can destroy your doubts, but you will be able to destroy them even more if you have the association of a sadhu, because you can observe his activities and you can understand them. If you are sincere, you will get a sincere association, but if you are not sincere you will get nothing. This sincerity must be there. It depends upon us, because Krsna will never deceive anybody. He is called Krtajna. In the sahasra-Nama He is called Krtajna, because whatever I do He will accept. If I think of Him and weep for Him, He will help me.