Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
In life we often come across many situations where our faith is put to test by Krishna . And in my case I find that somewhere down within my heart is a fear that holds me from following the simple instruction of Krishna which we all know sarva dharmaan parityajya / maam ekam sharanam vraja / aham tvam sarva paapebhyo / mokshayis yaami maa sucha ha. Krishna very clearly mentions “do not fear”.
But I still fear. The reason for fear is attachment to the temporary (material nature) and lack of faith in the permanent ( Krishna ). Where there is faith there cannot be fear.
Prabhupada defines faith in the purport BG 1.41 as “Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime”.
Because we have to place our trust on something that is sublime we need guidance to progress in this path., which can only be given by the spiritual master. In guiding us on this path, our Guru Maharaj constantly reminds us to keep in touch with Srimad Bhagavatam something he has been doing for decades. A question arises why does he instruct us so? Why does he keep repeating to me and to so many persons who come in contact with him?
Srila Prabhupada in his purport to SB 2.1.10 reveals us the reality very beautifully in a conversation where Shukadeva Goswami is speaking to Parikshit Maharaj as follows:
tad aham te abhidhaasyaami / mahaa-paurushiko bhavaan
yasya shraddadhataam aashu / syaan mukunde matih satee
“That very Srimad-Bhagavatam I shall recite before you because you are the most sincere devotee of Lord Krishna. One who gives full attention and respect to hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam achieves unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord, the giver of salvation.”
Srila Prabhupada says in his marvelous purport,
“For advancement of material knowledge there is a need for personal ability and researching aptitude, but in the case of spiritual knowledge, all progress depends more or less on the mercy of the spiritual master. The spiritual master must be satisfied with the disciple; only then is knowledge automatically manifest before the student of spiritual science. The process should not, however, be misunderstood to be something like magical feats whereby the spiritual master acts like a magician and injects spiritual knowledge into his disciple, as if surcharging him with an electrical current. The bona fide spiritual master reasonably explains everything to the disciple on the authorities of Vedic wisdom. The disciple can receive such teachings not exactly intellectually, but by submissive inquiries and a service attitude. The idea is that both the spiritual master and the disciple must be bona fide.”
Prabhupada further states that: Recitation and hearing are two processes out of nine devotional activities, and by strenuously following the principles, either in all or by parts, and one can attain the absolute plane.
The word “strenuous” is very important to understand. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. While following the spiritual path we are actually swimming against the current. In the material world everything is ‘herd’ mentality. So we are swimming along with the current, but heading towards a head-on crash. To avoid the head-on crash, we have to swim against the current, which means the efforts are very strenuous, but at the same time this is the only way to survive. If we stop for a moment, thinking that we need some rest, we will immediately drown in the material ocean. So the only way is to keep striving even though it is strenuous to get up for mangala arati, it is strenuous to concentrate on the transcendental purports/slokas of Gita and Bhagavatam, it is strenuous to serve others submissively.
We should therefore do three very essential (basic) things which will lay the foundation for a steady and faithful spiritual life ahead:
1. Read Bhagavatam daily whether one shloka or one page but keep in touch with Krishna . This may not be easy for us in the beginning, but we can gain inspiration from those unflinching devotees who strenuously practice it in their life.
2. Contribute to Granthraj regularly (as Maharaj reads every posting on Granthraj and is very pleased by the effort of all devotees to keep this forum going) Maharaj looks only at the sincerity of the disciple posting in Granthraj, not on intellectual gymnastics.
3. Keep in touch with Maharaj and use that opportunity to make submissive inquiries about Krishna , with the intention to serve him by following the instructions that flow out of such conversations (not just call him to talk about general topics, as I always do)
I pray to Gurudev to bless us, so that we / I are able to cultivate a sincere serving attitude with ever-increasing faith in the acaryas, process of devotional service and Krishna for making steady progress in spiritual life.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Praabhupada and Gurudeva
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