Hope all is well.
Following is a reply by Srila Gurudeva to a question (given below) of a devotee from Slovenia. Gurumaharaj expressed His desire that this reply be sent to some other special devotees also, of which you are one.
All Glory to Sree Guru & Gauranga
Dated: 20th June, 2006
My dear Sree Aravindalochan Das,
Received your letter dated 8th May, 2006 through e-mail from Tamalkrishna Das and noted the contents. You have expressed your heart openly in your letter. Whatever you have written is the problem of all conditioned souls of the world, at least those who are aspirants-votaries.
I have got the scope in this context to remember the teachings of Supreme Lord Sree Krishna in His reply to the question of Sree Arjuna in the Gita, 6.34:
Arjuna UvachaPurport of the Verse in two implications:-
cancalam hi manah krishna pramathi balavad dridham
tasyaham nigraham manye vayor iva su-dushkaram
Sree Arjuna said
(1) “O Lord Krishna! You have already instructed me that by the discriminating power of intelligence between good and evil, right and wrong one should restrain or regulate the mind. But I fear that mind has got the power even to crush our conscience or discriminating capability .Therefore, it seems extremely difficult for me to control the mind which may be compared with the useless endeavour to restrain velocity of wind.
(2) “O Lord Krishna ! You have already instructed me to attain maintenance of balance – he who realizes joy and sorrows equally with all living beings in this world is a best yogi. But in spite of that, I fear my mind has got the power even to crush the maintenance of balance. Therefore, it appears extremely difficult for me to control the mind as it is compared with the difficulty to restrain the velocity of wind.
sri-Bhagavan uvacaO Mahabaho (chief of heroes)! I admit whatever you have stated is true, but it is the special instruction of Yogasastra, the restless mind which is difficult to resist can be brought under control gradually by repeated devotional practice as well as non-attachment to worldly non-eternal objects. The Sanskrit word ‘Vairagya’ has got two implications – (1) signifying non-attachment to worldly non-eternal objects, (2) positive significance, attachment to Supreme Lord – ‘Visishte Parampuruse ragah, tasya bhavah Vairagya’. As much attachment a votary shall have for Supreme Lord, so much detachment he will obtain from non-eternal objects of the world.
asamsayam maha-baho mano durnigraham calam
abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena ca grihyate
When a child tries to stand up and to walk, he falls on the ground hundred times, yet he does not stop trying, ultimately he succeeds. Provided a child after trying several times, stops trying further, he will never be able to stand up and to walk.
One who wants unfailing positive eternal welfare should go through the instruction of the following verse of Kathopanishad very carefully:-
sreyas ca preyas ca manushyam etasKathopanishad ascertains two paths – (1) Path for eternal welfare and (2) path for hedonism (belief in worldly pleasure as the proper aim).These two paths only exist in human species. The wise human beings after knowing proper implications of these two paths consider the path of eternal welfare as cause of emancipation and the other path of hedonism as the cause of bondage. They adore the path of eternal welfare, relinquishing the path of hedonism. But unfortunate unscrupulous persons lacking in conscience, accepting the path of hedonism, engage their all energy only to accumulate material wealth and preserve the wealth-property thus acquired to get immediate benefit of sense enjoyments without thinking about its consequence. More than 99 percent people in this world are supporters of hedonism. It seems like nectar at the time of sensuous pleasure, but its consequence is deadly poison. In the path of eternal welfare at the time of spiritual practice it appears to be like poison, because the votary has to control his sense-organs and has to restrict his evil propensities, but the consequence of such austerities and self-discipline is ambrosia. Sincere devotees of such path of eternal welfare are very rare in this world which is like a prison-house. As per degree of superiority or quality among worshippers, in number such devotees will be less. We are not to give importance to increase number. One person of good character can do good to numerous persons. Millions of characterless persons cannot do any good to any person in this world. If we are very particular about increasing number i.e. to increase the quantity, we are to sacrifice quality. By that what actual benefit we shall get? Pure devotee – suddha bhakta is very rare in this world.
tau samparitya vivinakti dhirah
sreyo hi dhiro ‘bhipreyaso vrinite
preyo mando yogaksheman vrinite
The present Kaliyuga (Iron Age) in the seventh Manvantar has got a wonderful special significance, as Most Munificent Form of Godhead Sree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this Kaliyuga and distributed Krishna-Prema – universal divine love to all irrespective of nationality, geographical barriers etc. The most lucky persons in this age should take their opportunity and pray to All-Merciful God immediately by uttering from the core of the heart ‘Ha Nityananda! Ha Gauranga!’ with firm belief by taking absolute shelter at Their Lotus Feet. You will find its reference in the hymns of Sree Narottam Thakhur about the glories of Sree Gauranga and Sree Nityananda. I heard those songs in many places in foreign countries – ‘Je Gauranger nama loy tar hay premodoy’ – ‘Grihe va vane thako ha Gauranga bole dako’ – ‘Nitaipada-kamala koti chandra sushitala ye chhayay jagata jurai’ – ‘Hena Nitai bine bhai Radha- Krishna paite nai’… Nitai na balila mukhe majila samsar sukhe vidya kule ki karibe tar’ – [significance of the above quotations of Bengali songs – ‘Divine love will be manifested in him who utters the holy name of Sree Gauranga. Whether one lives in the house or in the forest (signifying living with non-attachment) one should utter the Holy Name Gauranga addressing with separation grief – ‘Ha Gauranga!’ The Lotus Feet of Sree Nityananda is supremely pleasant and cooling like the charming delightfulness of millions of moonlight, under whose sweet shelter the whole world will be allayed from sufferings and pain and without whose grace nobody can get actual contact with Radha-Krishna. ‘One who does not utter the Holy Name – ‘Nitai’ will be utterly ruined being attracted by non-eternal worldly enjoyments and by acquiring so called worldly learning and family-dignity].
I think you have gone through the biography of the great household devotee Ambarish Maharaj written by Veda-Vyas Muni in Srimat Bhagavat. He conquered all desires gradually by engaging all sense-organs for the service of Supreme lord. Without devotional practice nobody can get his objective. With patience and tenacity of purpose an aspirant can be successful in achieving the desired objective.
I am somehow pulling on. I may have to go to New Delhi towards the end of this month to discuss my health with doctors.
Hope, this will find you all in good health and spirit.
My love to you all.
Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha
Sound God and material word (material sound) are completely different. As Supreme Lord is Absolute Complete Reality, His Name, Form, Attributes and Pastimes are identical. As for example the word ‘water’ does not indicate the thing ‘water’. By uttering the word –‘water’ several times one cannot quench his thirst, so the word water itself is not the thing water. But Name and Named (object indicated by name) of Supreme Lord are non-distinct – identical. When Holy Name will be uttered without offence, Name, Form, Attributes, Pastimes all will be manifested gradually in serial order.
----- Original Message -----
Please accept my dandavat pranam.
My name is Aravindalochan Das (from Slovenia) and i would like to express my feelings to you about my bhakti yoga practise. I recieved initiation in Holy name in Bathinda during kartik in 2004. Since then i try follow instructions of pure deevotes of Sri Krishna, but i think i am not doing my bhajan sincerely.
In my mind there are so many unwanted desires. Sometimes i feel like the worst deevote, and sometimes i feel like i am the best deevote. Sometimes i am happy, sometimes unhappy, sometimes i like to chant sometimes i dont like to chant holy names. I see pure deevotes as ordinary human beings. I see spiritual names of Krishna as wordly sounds. I think i am making offences every day. I can not control my senses and i am afraid that i could have spiritual fall. I am afraid that if i die now, then in next life i will not have oportunity to serve pure Vaishnavas. I know that i have a little desire to serve, but pure deevotees say that we should take Absolute shelter of Lord Krishna. Sometimes i have a feeling that i believe in words of pure deevotes and holy Scriptures 100 % , but than again reality shows me diffrent, because in a few seconds there is again so many desires in my mind from gross to subtle wich do not include Krishna...there are so many desires by wich i just want to satisfied and enjoy my self.
So in theory i somehow know what is the goal of my life, but why are my actions not like that ? Why can i not fully surrender to pure deevote. Sometimes I have desire to do that, but i can not. Because of that i am suffering. But I dont want suffering i want happiness. I see happiness in pure deevotes and i want to become like them, but than again i ask my self »what do you realy want? »
So my mind is always restless, and i can not find inner peace and happines although i know (in theory) were can i find all this. I also have many ordinary everyday problems (job, parents, etc.), and because so many problems are there i want them to go away. I want liberation from problems, instead of devotion. I know that only pure devotion is solution to all my problems, but how can i recieve mercy from pure deevotes if there is so many other thing i want ?
Dear Gurudev i kindly ask you to help me to overcome this illusion. I am praying to you and Radha-Krishna to be so kind and give me strenght and some real spiritual knowladge. I am praying to you for some kind of service by which i can engage my mind and by which my other desires will go away so that i can get devotion end harmonise my life and became good practicioner of bhakti yoga. I dont want to serve my senses anymore. I know i can not become pure immediately, but i am afraid to loose this human life and by this, also a chance to serve Supreme Lord. As per advice of Madan Gopal Prabhu i decided to express my feelings to you through this letter. I try to speak and pray to Sri Sri Radha-Vallabha, but with my materialistic eyes i can see only picture of Them. Please Gurudev, help me.
Your eternal servant,