By the causeless mercy of Guru-pada-padma and the Vaisnavas, we are present in Sri Vrindavan dhama. By hearing about Sri Krsna’s pastimes in His place of His rasa-lila we achieve the power to transcend this world. The Lord is distributing His transcendental rasa for those jivas who are under the influence of maya, so they can perform sadhana-bhakti and enter the spiritual world.
Many people do sadhana in this world, but what do they want? They only want material facilities and the various objects of material enjoyment. However there are those who perform sadhana-bhakti only with the goal of entering the spiritual world. This is the real qualification of exiting this world and entering the spiritual world.
After getting this eligibility to enter the spiritual world what should we do? Children are sent to school, but by attending that school for one day they do not yet obtain the qualification to graduate. We mature gradually and by only going to school we will not attain full maturity. Once we have completed our schooling we still need practical experience.
When students go to school they have to take shelter of the teachers, but even on doing so they still cannot attain all qualifications in one day. Time and study is required. A person is called a student if he is under the Ksatri umbrella of a teacher.
FAKE PANDIT – FAKE GURU
Once a boy went to a King and said, “Oh King, make me into a pandit – a wise and learned person.” The King said; “I will give you all proper arrangements to learn, study and be educated, however it will take some time.” The boy said; “No. Make me into a pandit in one day! You are a King, you should be able to do it with no problem. Oh King, why can’t you do this?” The King thought; “It is not possible like this. What can I do with this brahmana boy? He is very obstinate.”
If someone is a very foolish person or ignorant, they cannot be made into a wise sage overnight. However foolish people are they are very stubborn and will not listen to the advice of anyone. Whatever a foolish person thinks, whatever their understanding is, they consider it to be the greatest. This is the symptom of a fool.
This boy would not accept anything else. The King called his minister and the minister told him; “Ok, I will make him into a pandit in one day.” What did the minister do? He said to the boy; “Shave your head and leave a very big sikha. Put on very big tilaka on your forehead, all the way back to your sikha. Wear a big thick brahmana thread, like a rope, and put a very big turban on your head. Then take a big stick in your hand and we will walk through the different villages of the kingdom. I will go with you and I will announce you everywhere saying; “Oh Panditji Maharaja.” You should then reply, “Oh you are a pandit. Your mother is a pandit, your father is a pandit, your sister is a pandit,” and then speak condescending words to me and yell at me. Then you will become famous as a pandit everywhere and everyone who sees you will call you “Panditji.”
They went into the different villages like this and wherever they went the minister would say; “Oh Panditji.” And the boy would reply with bad words saying; “Oh you are a pandit. Your mother is a pandit, your father is a pandit, your sister is a pandit.” They then went from one village to the next doing the same.
The next day the boy went out alone and saw everyone was calling him “Panditji Maharaja.” He thought, “Oh my life is now successful! Everyone thinks I am a great Pandit!” It is said that this is like a ponga pandit, which means a false guru.
STUDENTS OR STUPID
So now we have become students. It does not mean that in one day we can become teachers. Are we ‘students’ or ‘stupid’? We are like very foolish children, and we should not consider ourselves to be great and wise elders. We have come to this world to be students and to learn how to enter the spiritual world and live there with the associates of God. To enter that world we must first become qualified and matured. Those who are actually wise say; “yogyata vicare kichu nahi pai,” – ‘looking at myself I see no good qualities. Oh Gurudeva without your mercy I cannot attain anything.’
That person who is truly wise knows they know nothing. They think, “Oh I am unqualified, foolish and have no good qualities. Oh Lord, without Your mercy I am nothing.” But those who are very foolish and stubborn will put on big tilaka, wear a big tulasi mala on their neck, shave their head with a big sikha, and then walk around with their head high in the air and their chest sticking out. They will show everyone, “Oh I am such a great sadhu. You should offer me your pranams.”
In truth these people have nothing. It is like they are showing themselves to be a big, big businessman, but they have no money. Such people have no wealth of prema in their heart, so what can they give to anyone?
By our sadhana we can cross beyond this world and enter the spiritual world. That is the real fruit of sadhana. This world is the abode of inert matter. Everything in this world is temporary and nothing is fixed. Everything here is very insignificant compared to the spiritual world which is the ultimate destiny of the soul.
SHELTER OF NITYA SIDDHAS
The soul is cetana – conscious, but we are living in this world of dull matter, and it is not our real home. The real purpose of our sadhana is to go to the spiritual world, which is the real home of the soul. To be a real student of sadhana-bhakti we must get the shelter of the liberated associates of the Lord. When we are under the shelter of these nitya-siddhas, we can achieve real eligibility and proper understanding of how to enter and then serve in the spiritual world. There are many examples in scripture.
By the merciful curse of the Narada Rsi, the two sons of the Demigod Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva came to Vraja. When Krsna freed them from Narada’s curse of taking the form of trees, they achieved a divine forms and did parikrama of Krsna and offered Him obeisances.
Did Krsna accept them as His sakhas? Or His close friends? No! Krsna told them when Narada Rsi was given liberation, he was instructed to preach the glories of the Lord all over the universe. That was Narada’s seva, or service. Nalakuvera and Manigriva were also given another service.
STILL A STUDENT AFTER LIBERATION
Upon achieving perfection there is also a sadhana, you should understand this. In this world you study like a student, but when you go to the spiritual world it is like graduating from this world to the spiritual world. We may also have a post-graduate course and some service and responsibility there. When Narada Rsi was liberated he received this service, and Nalakuvera and Manigriva also received a service. So even when we enter the spiritual world there is study that is necessary, and we must be under the guidance of higher personalities there. Krsna wanted to help the sadhana-siddhas who had entered the spiritual world to be related and connected with the nitya-siddhas – the eternal associates of Radharani. So He arranged some process to give them more lessons.
When we become liberated there is one kind of enjoyment. Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa, moksa is not an ordinary thing. If you become liberated from everything then what is your responsibility, what is the purpose of being freed of bondage? When you get freedom from bondage then people are very happy, “Oh I have no worries, no responsibility, no tension,” but that is also not eternal. The Lord arranged a process to give them His own transcendental rasa by opening the storehouse of His nectar by revealing His own transcendental pastimes in the forests of Vrindavan, nearby the Yamuna River under the banyan trees.
Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org )