If a devotee has been following sat-dharma (pure spiritual process) and accidently falls or leaves for some reason, do they lose all the benefit and progress made? No! The Lord saw that they had so much love for Him, they were coming everyday and sitting with Him, singing for Him, bringing Tulasi and water, or maybe they were just coming and having His darsana.
By coming like this they made a relationship and then by chance, or some circumstance, they left Him. But the Lord will not forget them. Why? Because they followed atma-dharma or sat-dharma – the true dharma of the soul. Paramatma is in this way, maintaining His proprietorship over that atma. If they develop some moha for someone, the Lord will go and cut that. If they develop some attachment for someone, the Lord will uproot that completely, and then He will make them very pure and free and bring them back to his feet. This is His causeless mercy.
People say; “I have gone to household life and now all my family members have left and rejected me.” The Lord says; “Oh you left Me, went into this world and thought of everyone as your own, but forgot Me. Therefore I am making you My own.
Indra had left his heavenly realm Indraloka. Being under the influence of a curse, he came into the body of a pig. Lord Brahma came and said; “Where has Indra gone? He is not in heaven.” Brahma searched for him everywhere and finally found him. At times, Indra would become very proud and he would not respect the sadhus, the brahmanas, or the Rsis. As a result of offences the living entity can take a sinful birth, papa-yoni, like a sudra or lower. When Yamaraja came as Vidura he appeared as a sudra even though he was Yamaraja (the demigod who judges the soul after death), so what to speak of the other demigods.
Brahmaji searched for Indra and finally found him. Where was he? He was outside a city in the sewerage area, where all the stool and garbage accumulated. There were also things like bones, and flesh thrown and collected there. Indra was present in that place with his wife and children playing in so much bliss and happiness. Brahma went to him and said, “Indra come to heaven, that is your rightful place.”
Indra in the body of a pig replied; “Oh will I get this fresh, hot stool there? Will I get such a soft bed to lie on? Here there is such nice soft stool to lie on.”
Brahma replied; “Oh there are so many things there. There is no shortage in heaven. So many kinds of heavenly enjoyments are present there.”
Indra said; “Oh I don’t want to go there.”
Brahma tried so hard to convince him and finally he said; “I will kill your children.”
Indra said; “Oh if you kill them what is that? In a few months I can make ten or twenty new children. I have so many pig queens here. I can make children with anyone I like.”
Brahma said; “What if I kill your wives?”
Indra said; “Oh I will get more wives, what is the problem?”
Brahma finally took away all his children and took away all his wives, but still Indra did not change. Then Brahma took his kamandalu (water pot) with the Lords foot bath water and poured it on his head. Then Indra looked down and saw; “Oh I am entirely covered in stool! Oh I am so smelly and everything is so wretched here. Where have I come from?”
This is called svarupa-brahma or misidentification of the self. From this comes Hrdaya-daurbalya and then asat-trsna and aparadha – thirst for material enjoyments, weakness of the heart and then offences. But even if we follow a little bit of sad-dharma, we can advance, like following Ekadasi, giving some water to Tulasi, doing parikrama of Tulasi, taking prasadam, going to the ganga, hearing kirtan and harikatha in the assembly of devotees. The benefit of these will never be destroyed.
When we are entangled in the samsara of this world, life is always difficult. Why? Because we develop asakti to this samsara – materialistic conceptions. But if we are fortunate, the Lord comes and cuts that attachment. We repeatedly try for material happiness, but in this world it is not possible.
Sometimes we think; “I am sad because things are not going well for me in this world.” But really that should be the cause of great joy, because it will be the cause of our detachment from the world and our reunion with Krsna. Then we will have the conception that the whole world is within the family of God and meant for His service. Material attachments will no longer influence us. Your mamata (attachment) for Krsna will only increase and you will become more and more beautiful and effulgent.
For the entire night of Brahma, which lasted millions and millions of years, the Gopis were absorbed in kirtan, dancing and singing with the Lord. Nothing became diminished. Krsna was in the midst of all of them and on all four sides there were millions of Vraja-devis, and Krsna appeared to be with each of them at every moment. This was not any kind of material mystic power or temporary arrangement, this was based on their eternal relationship.
THE WORLD CANNOT TOUCH US
Every soul is the part and parcel of the Supreme Soul and has an eternal relationship with Him. They are all dear to Sri Krsna. But because of their independence the conditioned soul goes very far away from Krsna, causing him to give up his dear and beloved nature of being close to Him. After that so many kinds of desires arise for sense enjoyment. When someone endeavors to bring the Krsna into their heart then renunciation automatically awakens and they become free of anyabhilasa or ulterior desires.
It is natural, not by force – like now I have become a renunciant, a babaji – no! Natural renunciation will develop. We may even possess so many material facilities but we will not have any moha or material attachment for them, we will be free of all this. Just like a lotus flower in the water, it is not touched by the water, it is above the mud and the water, and it cannot be burnt by the hot rays of the sun. This happens when the Lord has truly accepted one, and they are established in their relationship with Guru and Krsna. Everyone is Krsna’s and is eternally related to the Him, but we forget this, and we leave Him. When we reawaken this understanding and make a relationship with Him then this world can not touch us. This is called renunciation or vairagya.
SPIRITUAL ATTRACTION AND ATTACHMENT
Without material attachment we must develop spiritual attachment. When we are only detached from the world we cannot remain in this state for a long period of time because we will not be experiencing true happiness. If we have no attraction for something we cannot remain there. At that time if we are not fixed in spiritual attraction and attachment, then material attraction will come and collect us by force.
People come to the ashram and shave their heads, play the drums and become babajis, but after a few days they again enter householder life. Why? Because they did not find anything enjoyable here. They couldn’t find any paraphernalia here for their sense gratification. Because of this lack of sense enjoyment they run away. But those who have received aprakrta-rasa and who are progressing into this, then naturally they will not have any dhyana (meditation) towards this world and natural vairagya (detachment) will awaken.
Then people in this world will say, “Oh they never pay attention to us, you are indifferent to us.” But what is the question of that? They are always absorbed in Sri Krsna. By the Lords attractive potency He has kept them at His feet so how can they always be socializing with worldly people. Before they were so attached to cats, dogs, rivers, playgrounds, swimming pools and social functions. They were so attracted and attached to these things. But then they realized that everything is Krsna’s, so I will only do my duty and cultivate my love and relationship with Him.
HOW LONG WILL THE MAKEUP STAY ON?
If this rasa – transcendental nectar, is achieved, then all material rasa will have no worth to us. We will have no tension and our vairagya will be real and not any type of show. We see people go to the beauty parlor and dress very opulently, but how long will this last? How long will the makeup stay on? However much makeup we put on in this world, or if we change our self to a man or change our self to a woman, or become a husband or a mother, this is all a drama for only 2 or 3 days. There is no value to this kind drama or theater.
If you make a transcendental relationship with the Krsna then your hearts will always be singing and dancing in ecstasy, you will be so filled with happiness and joy. All your conceptions will become transcendental and spiritualized. You will be completely absorbed in transcendental thoughts and then no one will be able to control you, or make you subordinate to them and their material conceptions. Instead those who come to you and try and disturb and engage you, will also become attracted towards spiritual life.
Like we see with Haridas Thakur and the prostitute. People may come to fight with you, try and control you, try and change you with their bad tendencies. However when they come into sadhu-sanga then all of that will be finished.
POWER OF SADHU SANGA
Acarya Ramanuja had a wonderful temple in south India and a famous dacoit, Dhanurdhara, once came there. And who did he come with? The most prominent and famous prostitute of the whole city. She was so beautiful. The prostitute had faith in the deity form of the Lord, and was going to the temple for darsana. She waited at the altar for darsana and Dhanurdara stood in front of her with his back to the altar. The pujari was about to open the curtains and said to Dhanurdara; “Please move so we can open the curtains, because you cannot keep your back to the Deity.”
Dhanurdara replied; “This is only a stone. Look how beautiful this lady is. Look at her beautiful face, she is effulgent like the sun.”
The pujari said; “Oh you are just looking at flesh and blood of the material body. Look at the beautiful form of the transcendental Lord.”
Dhanurdara said; “You are crazy. Why would you look at this piece of stone over this beautiful woman? What is in that stone?”
The pujaris thought that the dacoit would not listen, so they went to Acarya Ramanuja who was nearby and requested his help. The pujari said to Ramanuja Acarya; “Some crazy dacoit has come. He is crazy after the flesh of this world. He has lost his intelligence. He is like a drunk man running after a prostitute’s beauty.”
Ramanuja Acarya said, “I am coming.” Then he went to Dhanurdara and said to him; “Oh my son come here, come here.” He called him nearby. He indicated to the lady to move a little aside, in front of the altar, and Dhanurdara had to come back a bit. So that when the altar opened Dhanurdara would be able to see the Deity. When he came back a bit, he was no longer facing the wrong way and then they opened the curtains.
Ramanuja Acarya said; “Look at the beautiful form of the Lord.”
Dhanurdara said; “What is this stone?”
Then Ramanuja Acarya put his hand on Dhanurdara’s head, and by that gave him spiritual potency. He immediately forgot all his attachment to skin, flesh and the prostitute and he had darsana of the real transcendental spiritual form of the Lord. He saw the Lord’s supreme and sublime beauty, which is unlimitedly more beautiful than any material flesh and blood body. He lost all his lust and material attachments that had been with him since millions of lives and by the mercy of Ramanuja Acarya, had a beautiful darsana of the transcendental Lord.
Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: [email protected] )