Moist Wood and Dry Wood

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.1.15 the sages at Naimisaranya say to Suta Goswami,

yat-pāda-saṁśrayāḥ sūta munayaḥ praśamāyanāḥ
sadyaḥ punanty upaspṛṣṭāḥ svardhuny-āpo ’nusevayā

Oh Suta Goswami, the great sages who have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, can at once sanctify others who may come into touch with them while the water of the Ganges can do so after a prolonged use only.

The scriptures insist that association of pure devotees is so powerful that it can purify our existence within a short while.

‘sādhu-saṅga’, ‘sādhu-saṅga’ — sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya

The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.

Now the question arises that if even lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge can bring such a great change in one's life, why we are not able to see such drastic impact in our lives, although by the causeless mercy of Krishna, we get the association of many pure devotees. The following instructive conversation between Srila Prabhupada and his disciples in one of the morning walks in Mayapur in March 11 1976, removes all the doubts in our heart.

Disciple 1: How does that work, that if somebody has the association of a pure devotee for only a lava, one-eleventh of a second, that he attains all perfection?

Prabhupada: If he is so sincere.... Just like dried wood immediately ignites. And if it is moist, it does not. It is the quality of the wood. One takes three hundred years; one in three minutes. That's it. [break] One is dry from the material moist of contamination, he becomes immediately ignited in spiritual...

Disciple 2: What is that drying process?

Prabhupada: Drying process is for many, many years one has tried to become Krishna conscious, for many, many lives, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. When he actually becomes man of knowledge he surrenders unto God. Otherwise he is lost. His drying process may take three minute or three millions years.

Disciple 3: But that knowledge that Krishna is everything comes by Krishna's mercy, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: Krishna's mercy is already there, but if you are not able to take it...

Disciple 1: Then you don't even have to hear from a self-realized soul. Simply by seeing him you can become completely purified.

Prabhupada: Yes. Both required. The matches must be also all right, and the wood must be also. Then there is fire. If one of them is defective, then, it will not.... But when you go to the fire, you become dry. But willfully we put again water. This nonsense business makes us late. This process is already there, how to become dry. But instead of taking the process, we put water. Then how it will be ignited? The rules and regulations is the drying process. But without following the rules and regulation, if you again become a victimized by maya, then there is water and again dry it. So this is going on, watering and drying, watering and drying. No straightforward process for drying. That will help. But difficulty is that we dry and again water.

So instead of making ourselves wet again and again, if we sincerely endeavour to dry ourselves from the material moist of contamination, by following the instructions of spiritual master and the acharyas, then we will also be ignited with fire of devotion.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.