By the causeless mercy of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas we are hearing from the Sri Rasa Pancadhyayi 10th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, 29th Chapter, 17th verse. Up to this point we have begun to hear about this topic of  rasa-lila and how Krsna distributes His transcendental rasa or nectar. How can this rasa from Sri Krsna always be present with us? How we can develop faith and respect for the rasika Vraja-vasis, the eternal associates of Sri Krsna. Without this faith we cannot progress. Faith is the only real wealth of bhajan. If a person has no faith then he is just like dry straw, there will be no rasa present, no juice or nectar. The only method to connect one to transcendental rasa is faith. The day when your faith is lost, is like the day of your death. At that point no one can protect you, your downfall is certain. Does faith come by some spiritual practice? Or can anyone in this world give it to you? How do you receive this faith? If someone tries to force you to have it will you accept it? Even in this material world, when people see amazing things they naturally have faith in them, but at the same time that may not be spiritual or beneficial.

So Krsna thought, “I see that all of you gopis have come to Me. Now I want to see how much faith and what type of mood you have. Do you think of me as God? Do you think of Me as your own? Or maybe you want to make me the object of your own enjoyment? What type of mood do you have? And what type of desires are present in you? Maybe you have come into some difficult circumstances? Previously I helped Draupadi, and I have helped so many personalities. There was Gajendra the elephant who was attacked by a crocodile. So do you want a relationship with Me only for My protection? Or are you wanting something else from Me? Or are you possibly thinking of others?

Draupadi first looked to everyone else for help. She had some friendship with Krsna and she would serve and respect Krsna but she had faith in her five husbands. She had faith in her in-laws, her relatives, the Kings and the ksatriyas and in her guru, and also in Gandhari. But when she saw that so many troubles had come and no-one could help her, finally she tried to hold onto her cloth with her hands and teeth.  Krsna said, “Where is your faith in Me? You do not have faith in Me. You are looking to everyone else for help.”

What is faith? It is said that it is the firm conviction that only by devotion to Sri Krsna that everything is achieved. That is real faith. Sraddha is one word for faith and visvas, which means a firm conviction. So this means that when you have complete firm conviction, that the Lord and devotion to Him is the absolute goal, you have sraddha, visvas or faith. If you have absolute faith in your mother, father, friends, husband, wife, children,  society and others, then where is your complete faith in God?

Unless you lose your faith in these material personalities, then you will continue to be in material bondage. On the other hand the only type of bondage for us is doubt. As long as we have doubt, we will remain in material bondage. So Srila Gurudeva would say; “If you have doubt you will go out.” When we maintain doubt in the Lord and the devotees, then we remain in the bondage of samsara.

So how will we get this transcendental faith? Where will it come from? Who will give it to us? It is very easy to be doubtful and to have doubt towards everything and everyone. Many people are there who have so many good qualities and big position, what lacking did Rama have? He was maryada-purushottama, He followed all etiquette and rules and regulations, but what happened? People had doubt even in Rama, like the washerman. What fault did the Lord Ramacandra have? But the washerman still had doubt in him. And he also doubted Sita, who was the Mother of the whole world. He doubted Her chastity and who was he? He was just a simple washerman.

Parvati Devi, who is the associate of Siva Thakur and like the mother of the whole universe, also had doubt in Sita and Rama. When they went to Earth to see Rama’s pastimes, she saw that Sita had been kidnapped by Ravana, and Rama was wondering in the forest lamenting.

She asked Siva Thakur, “How can this be the Lord? Why is He lamenting like an ordinary man?” In this way, even Parvati had doubt in Rama and Sita. And what happened? We can see because of her doubt, Parvati had to perish. Her downfall was certain. Why? Because of her doubt in the Lord and Sita  later on she had doubt in her own husband. She did not follow his instructions and went to Daksa’s yajna, and there she was burnt to ash. So it is said Krsna tests us. Krsna says, “If you want to come to me then I will test you. What will I do? I will make you wander in the forest like a beggar. You will have nothing to eat just grass and roots and fruits. If you still do not give up your desire to come to Me then I will test you again. I will make you the servant of my servant of my servant.”

je kare amara…. sarva nasa

“For that person who wants to come to Me, then first I will destroy everything they have. Then if they still want to come to Me then I will make them like a beggar wandering without any possessions, like animals eating only grass, roots and fruits. If they still do not leave Me then I will make them the servant of the servant of the servant of my servants. Then I will see if their desire is still there and if they still have faith in Me without doubt.”

We see Krsna may give such difficult circumstances to those aspiring for His shelter. He says, “If still you do not want to give up My shelter then I will make you the servant of my servants.” Krsna will first test us to see if we have complete faith in Him or not. Why? If we become close to someone and have doubt in them then we can make great offences.

Once Srila Gurudeva said to me in Mathura, “How do you stay present with everyone? So many people are with you?” Then I replied to Gurudeva, “Oh your lotus feet are with Me. You have given me a place at your lotus feet and that is my only wealth.” Then Gurudeva told me, “Oh these people will steal everything from you.” So I replied to him, “If I give you up then it is possible. But if I am always with you then what is the fear or danger? They can not steal me away from your feet. But if you forsake me then who will protect me? Therefore please never forsake me.” Gurudeva said, “Be careful. Many people come. It is like you have laid out a net, but those you are bringing in your net may try to devour you, therefore be careful. Always be firm in your attachment and faith.”

Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. Available from: rasik@kripa.tv )