Friday, March 22, 2013

Taste will take us there (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)

Excerpt from Awakening to the Absolute

Srila Sridhar Maharaj surrounded by attractees

How do we develop that attraction for Krsna? We get it from the devotee. Superficially we can obtain it from the scripture, but substantially only from the devotee. 

Within their heart, within their endeavor, pervading through all their activities, there is a particular attraction and that is a divine thing. We want that. It is the subtlest of the subtle, the nerve structure within. It can move the body. It can help the body to function. We are attracted to the inner energy in the devotee, which makes him do that which we do not find in this world: no attraction for sense pleasure, no attraction for fame, name, or money. 

Something else is there: attraction for Krsna. We must follow His guidance. "One who comes to serve Me directly, he is not really My devotee. But one who is devoted to My devotee is My real devotee." (Adi Purana) What is the meaning? Vaisnava-seva, guru-seva, nama-seva; service to the devotees, the spiritual master, and the Holy Name. "His love for Me is so intense that wherever he finds any external connection with Me, he engages himself fully there."

Until and unless we find in our hearts a real taste for the truth, we are not safe. First, on the surface, spiritual life begins with sraddha, faith, and underneath with sukrti, or special merit. Next is sadhu-sanga, or company with the saints. Within that is our surrender to guru. Then bhajana begins, our serving life in various forms, such as sravana, kirtana, prasadam-seva; or hearing, chanting, and respecting the Lord's remnants. Then anartha-nivrtti, our attraction for objects other than Krsna, objects other than God, diminishes. Then nistha, continued effort in devotional service, and not for anything else. Then ruci, taste, is developed. 

Real taste for the truth will be awakened in our heart. We are safe then, but not before that. When spontaneous taste for the truth awakens within us, we are safe. We can make fair progress from that time. Taste will take us. When we have acquired the taste of sweetness, automatically we shall run towards that which is very sweet. Prior to that, we must remain under the guardian. Until and unless we find that the truth is sweet, that Krsna is sweet, we are not safe in our approach towards Him. So many distractions may take us hither and thither.

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