According to the lunar cycle, today is the 14th day of the waning moon. This day is called Gour-Chaturdasi TITHI in the Samaskrit language. As per the lunar calculation, I am now 51 years with this human form. According to the solar cycle I was born on the 21st of August, 1964. Before this, I may have had so many other forms in the many different species of life, but in this life I became successful as soon as I was gifted a connection with the Sri Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Saraswata Sampradaya by the causeless mercy of my Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj, the founder President and Acharya of Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math.
In order to reach the ultimate goal of life, to become eternally blissful, we should continue to search for the Eternal Personification. As per the history of the universes, we know that we can see the Eternal Personification in Lord Krishna only. As soon as we become successful in receiving this jewel of information, in order to make ourselves eternally blissful, we should immediately try our best to get the mercy of Lord Krishna. In order to get mercy from anyone, we should render services to please that person. Here, the definition of service is to please the object of service with our activities. Therefore, in order to get mercy from Lord Krishna we should endeavor our best to please Lord Krishna with all of our activities. In the spiritual language we called this, “Sadhana” (Spiritual Practice).
We know from different scriptures that we are now living in the Age of Hypocrisy. In the Vedic language it is called Kali-Yuga. Due to the nature of this age, it is also known as the Age of Darkness, the Age of Ignorance, and the Age of Quarrel. In this age, many so-called spiritual teachers are presenting us with different processes that they say will make us eternally blissful, but are completely different than the process that we know will please Lord Krishna. Their many philosophical explanations do not support or match each others’, and simply serve to cause chaos in people’s minds. Often, they can be defeated by their own arguments. Therefore, nowadays it is very difficult for us to keep a proper Sadhana in our daily lives. If one follows an unauthorized process they will never become qualified to reach the eternally blissful abode, Goloka Vrindavan, where our Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha Krishna, are manifesting eternal pastimes and engaging qualified living entities to render services and become eternally blissful in every aspect.
We know from Srimad Bhagawata Gita 25.9:
“Yanti Deva-Vrata Devan Pritin Yanti Pitrivrata.
Bhutani Yanti Bhutejya Yanti Madyaji-nohapi Mam.”
“If we always engage ourselves in rendering services for Deva & Devi then accordingly our soul will reach the abode of Deva. If we engage ourselves in rendering services to our ancestors then we will go to the abode of Pitriloka. If we engage ourselves in rendering services to ghosts then we will go to the abode of Bhuta (Ghosts). If anyone engages in rendering services to Me (Lord Krishna) then accordingly that person will reach My abode.”
Due to the influence of the present age of Kali-Yuga, most people are in ignorance and thoughtlessly engage themselves in quarrel. They unnecessarily keep their heart, mind and consciousness in dirty places, which keeps them far away from Lord Krishna.
How far we keep ourselves from Krishna, to that degree we will find ourselves in distressful situations in life. How close we are to Krishna, to that degree we will feel blissful. Therefore, intellectually we can understand that we must do our part in this life and prepare ourselves to reach our ultimate goal: be close to Krishna and become eternally blissful.
In order to make proper use of our valuable human form of life, first we must understand our true identity. All around us we see people engaging in such activities that lead them to believe that they are their body. But funny things happen when people around them leave their bodies. We have witnessed close relatives surrounding the dead body and loudly crying, “Oh! My father! My mother! Why have you left us? How are we to survive without you?” When we have lived our whole life with the understanding that we are our body, then we may have endeavored to make our body perfect. Here we see their father’s or mother’s dead body in front of them. What are they crying for? Who is actually missing from their association? The answer will appear to us that they are feeling separation from the soul of their father or mother. We have experienced that people cry or feel depressed when they feel separation from a person they had established a sound relationship with.
Now we have the human form, the best form amongst all the forms of living entities. Why do we claim that the human is the best creation of the Lord? In a material school we have seen that when a student behaves intellectually and studies very attentively then the teachers will tell everyone that that student is the best student in the school. Similarly, we can see that amongst all the forms of living entities the human has the ability to be the most intelligent and keep their attention on reaching their ultimate goal of life, to be eternally blissful. It is truly strange to see when people are not sincere about their soul and they just keep busy trying to make their body perfect, all while they endeavor in the name of spiritual practices which bring neither a connection with Krishna nor their soul’s perfection.
Due to the influence of this age, many spiritual groups are unable to understand the relationship between the body and soul. Due to such a lack of understanding of their true identity, they are not qualified to reach the ultimate goal of human life. Here, we are fortunate enough to engage ourselves in connection with the lineage of Madhva-Acharya.
The Incarnation of Love (Prema-Purushottam), Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, appeared on this material earth in the form of a devotee and accepted the lineage of Madhva-Acharya in order to deliver the fallen souls. He taught that without connection to a lineage, any spiritual services will not help us to reach our ultimate goal of becoming eternally blissful. Therefore, we must accept a lineage through the initiation ceremony from a prominent representative of any Vaisnava lineage. There are four Vaisnava lineages (Sampradya): Sri, Brahma, Rudra, and Sanaka. I became fortunate to get connected with the Brahma Sampradya. The Brahma Sampradaya’s main teacher (Acharya) is Madhva-Acharya.
528 years ago, this incarnation of Krishna appeared here in the form of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in an exemplary manner He taught us how to get a connection with the Madhva-Acharya Sampradaya through the initiation ceremony from the initiating Guru of the Sampradaya, and to go ahead with chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself took initiation from His Divine Grace, Srila Ishara Puri Goswami Thakur. And, following in the footsteps of Mahaprabhu as well as all previous teachers in the Sri Brahma Madhava Gaudiya Saraswata Sampradaya, including my Grand Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada, my Gurudeva, the intimate disciple of his Spiritual Master, by his causeless mercy allowed me to get a connection to this Brahma Sampradaya and made my life fortunate by putting me on this blissful path and giving me the chance to reach Goloka in the near future.
We have to keep in our mind that Guru and Krishna are non-different from each other. Naturally, questions may arise in our mind. How is that possible? We can see many differences between them! Krishna’s physical form is always young, but Gurudeva’s physical form is gradually getting old. Krishna is the controller of universes, but Guru is not the controller of any universe. As per the evidence cited in various scriptures we can see that Krishna’s mercy is coming down to us through Gurudeva. We can easily come to the conclusion that Guru and Krishna are the same because they both freely give Krishna’s mercy.
In order to confirm this, please remember Dhruva Maharaj’s determination to get to see (Darshan) Lord Vishnu. We know from the Bhagwatam that Dhruva Maharaj was only five years old when he once wanted to sit on the lap of his father, Uttanpad. His stepmother, Suruchi, told him that if he really wanted to sit on his father’s lap then he should begin his practice to please Lord Vishnu and get His mercy to leave his present body and enter into her womb, and then he would have the right to sit on his father’s lap. Hearing this from his stepmother put Dhruva in a distressful condition. Dhruva went to his mother, Suniti Devi, to get confirmation of what Suruchi had said. Suniti means moral principal, and her name and nature were the same; under any circumstance her behavior never hurt anyone. So, Suniti Devi confirmed that Suruchi Devi’s advice was correct. Dhruva, although only 5 years old, then made up his mind to leave the royal palace in order to perform the necessary spiritual practices to achieve his goal. After a short time, Mother Suniti realized that Dhruva was no longer in the royal palace. She thought, “In order to mediate on Lord Vishnu, Dhruva left us and went deep into the forest. Due to Dhruva’s purity, simplicity, and firm determination to reach his goal, Lord Vishnu will be unable to refuse him.” Because Dhruva had not yet received the mercy of an initiating Spiritual Master, Lord Vishnu was not able to appear in front of Dhruva. In order for Dhruva to be initiated and so to fulfill his desire, Lord Vishnu sent Srila Narada Muni. Dhruva received initiation from Srila Narada and wholeheartedly began to chant the initiation Mantra, “Om Namah Bhagwate Vasudevaya.” Accordingly, Lord Vishnu’s beautiful form appeared in front of Dhruva, and as soon as he saw the Lord he forgot all his expectations and understood that neither his father’s lap nor Kingdom were the ultimate goal of his life. He did not beg for his material rights from Lord Vishnu; rather Dhruva began glorifying Lord Vishnu’s beauty with Samaskrit texts. Dhruva’s determination and prayers made Lord Vishnu happy. Lord Vishnu was the object of service for Dhruva. As soon as the object of our service becomes happy with us we, in turn, will be happy.
In a Kingdom, people are able to live their lives in peace and harmony when a theist king rules. Due to Lord Vishnu’s charisma, Dhruva Maharaj was eventually appointed as the king of his father’s kingdom. Dhruva Maharaj’s story proves to us that without Gurudeva’s mercy we will be unable to get Krishna’s mercy. Our previous teachers have said, “Mahimay Guru-Krishna ekkari Mani.” We should honor Guru and Krishna as the same.
There is no question of being able to render services for the Lord as per our mind’s concoction, becoming independent. Therefore, all the previous teachers of my lineage have taught us through their lifestyle to follow the footsteps and instructions of the previous teachers. Even the first personification in this lineage, Sri Krishna Himself, went to Guru-Kula, the Ashram of Gurudeva Srila Sandhipani Muni. He spent several months receiving lessons from Gurudeva. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna manifested such a pastime in order to teach us that in order to get the mercy of the Supreme Lord we must accept a Spiritual Master, follow his instructions and get a connection with a lineage; only then will our services be accepted by the Lord.
It is absolutely true that, sooner or later, this valuable physical body will die. There is no security or surety for the duration of this life. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur instructed and explained in one of his songs, “Yata Shigraha Para Sevaha Govinda Charan.” This means, please serve the Lotus feet of Lord Govinda (another name of Krishna) as soon as you have the human form of life. The Lord wants us to engage our life from youth. Due to material influences, most people have the understanding that they will render the Lord services only once they have reached old age, when they are physically inactive.
If we really want to know the true value of this human form, and reach the ultimate goal, then we should sincerely render services to the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. In this regard, what are our duties and responsibilities? Other forms of living entities (aquatics, plants, reptiles, birds, animals, etc.) are not capable of rendering any services to the Lord and His associates. But as soon as we have this human form we are capable of rendering services to the Lord and His associates. We know that Krishna is represented in the form of Gurudeva, and His associates are represented in the forms of Vaisnavas. Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami said in Chaitanya Charitamrita:
Guru Krishna Rupa Han Shasterara Praname.
Guru-Rupe Krishna Kripa Karen Bhakta-Gane.
In order to represent Krishna, Gurudeva appeared to us. Krishna is bestowing His mercy to the devotees through Gurudeva.
Here Gurudeva means not only the initiating Guru (Diksha Guru). In order to keep our life spiritually successful even if we are physically far from our Diksha Guru, there are other types of Guru. We must keep due respect for all of them. One is called Siksha Guru. We keep respect for our Siksha Guru mainly through reading the books of previous and present Guruvarga. We can also hear from Vaisnavas who are giving discourses and following in the footsteps of Guru-Varga and teaching us by their exemplary service. Another type of Guru is the Vartma-Pradarshak Guru. This is the Guru who is showing us this path and inspiring us to get initiation from a pure devotee. The value of all these types of Gurudevas is the same, but Diksha Gurudeva should be kept in the first position. As a disciple, we should think that our Diksha Guru is our father and all other Gurus are uncles. We see that loyal children in a family keep due respect for all family members. We are members of Krishna’s family, therefore in order to get Krishna’s mercy we should keep due respect for all Vaisnavas, as well as all living entities.
I am humbly praying to my Spiritual Master as well as all members in my lineage to please empower me to keep due respect for all Vasinavas, and allow me to get their mercy for chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra with purity and gradually make me qualified to render service to Radharani at Vrindavan Yoga-Pitha under the care of Ananga Manjari, Rupa-Manjari and Lalita Sakhi. This is the place where everyone can be completely free from all of types of miseries and become eternally blissful.
Please excuse me if my prayer is beyond my qualification.
Trying to get a tiny place at Guru-Vaisnavas lotus feet,