Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday Chat: It's not for understanding, it's to pray for that mercy (Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaj)

New York 05/04/2014 

Dear devotees,

King Bharata was extraordinary and his dynasty practically established the Vedic culture as one of the most important. India was called Bharata Varsa in the past. An example of an incredible ruler is Ranti Deva who sacrificed so much for the welfare of others.
Practically, today, the rulers have no ideals. That is the reason why they have no solutions to the world. They do not have any examples to give or ideals, which is why this world is totally lacking in guidance and clarity. So, we must have ideals and define what is right, what we want to do in life.

I ask devotees: What are your goals? What do you do for a living? And in general, they do not have good answers.

This is worrisome, because in life you have to know what to do. Perhaps someone does something motivated by impulses, three steps here, three steps there, after six steps take four back, and then you come to a halt. Vedic culture teaches that you have to know what you want. For example, in the Vedic culture accepting a spiritual master is essential. It is something you do, but of course it is not an obligation. Nor is it a requirement that a ksatriya warrior becomes a brahmin priest. This step is not imaginary, it is real and tangible, it's a natural progression stage. It's like when you go on a road. There are many paths, but if one does not reach the destination, then you did not take the right path.

The steps in spiritual life are like the rungs of a ladder. These steps in spiritual progress are as real as the view of the road. People who do not accept an authority think that there is neither a road nor a destination, so for them there is no origin, cause, road or destination. We came to this world and are only dedicated to engaging the senses. People pass life in sense enjoyment, and if they get good karma they obtain good looking ladies. In this way one thinks that the senses are real and worship them with various efforts. So life goes on never wondering Why were we born and what are we here for?

A devotee wants to climb up to the maximum point of its achievement and a devotee knows that the maximum of achievement that exists, is in a world of dimension where you can no longer climb any higher. One can climb to the modalities. One can climb by karma-yoga, dhyana-yoga, you can climb even by mystic yoga, but in bhakti there is no longer scales, only mercy. In the world of bhakti one progresses by mercy, not ambition, nor complying with only certain techniques.

In bhakti there are no scales, there is only the abyss and into the abyss. When you reach the top, you say, I have reached the top of everything. Then you hear a voice that says, no, you have not gotten anywhere yet. How have I not gotten anywhere yet? I'm above all, everything is under me.

Arriving at the door of bhakti one asks, And now, what do I do here? I feel like I'm missing something, but how is that possible? I reached the top and I'm still not fully realized. There's a special mystique in bhakti. When you get to the top and still do not feel fully realized, an invitation from bhakti comes and that invitation is: to jump.

But where is the land? If I'm going to jump I may fall. Relax, here we will pick you up. Who will pick me up? Where is the security? Do not worry. Jump. No worries, just jump. I have ground under my feet, I'm fine – until you reach the top. You came to the dimension of faith, and in the dimension of faith, there is no one to assure you anything. The only thing that guides you is the star of a sincere heart and encouraging comments of the Lord's bhaktas.

They tell of the world that goes beyond the analytic visibility, beyond that which can be cut and measured, beyond illusion, beyond the abuse, beyond back-slapping and falsehoods.

Back in the world of bhakti, where we are invited, everything is governed by the same rules of divine love, and that is where you should be living. This goes against everything I've known to date. They have always told me to be secured and now they tell me to leave all safety. Lord Krishna Himself practiced this. He says to abandon all religion...

Lord Krishna, how do you ask me this? Krishna says, When there is a predominance of irreligion, I appear there to establish the religious principles. And then He says, Abandon all religion?

Lord Krishna, you confuse me so. How can I understand such a thing?

We were always taught about patterns and steps. 
Karma-kanda clearly teaches that every action produces a result, that a specific activity brings a specific consequence, certain aspirations can lead you to experience different things.
And now You tell me: Everything you've accomplished, abandon it. I struggled to get things, and now I have to leave it! Imagine. 
What is love? Love is the opposite of the rational, the opposite of what we've tried to do.

Are all our efforts were in vain? No. I had to pass them, deal with them, to abandon them.
But how is this? I worked so hard to earn fame, I won money, I won a job, I earn so much, and now I have to abandon it all? And what do I get in return? 
Disqualified.  Too inquisitive :)

But how is this, you can not even ask questions? 
You can ask questions but it will benefit you more if you start practicing the answers you have been given.

Start experimenting with your own realization, that reasoning fails. Better to act with dedication to the ideal, the goal. You are your own warranty. You have to experience the same with the Krishna's name. And listening is the beginning of the process.

What to listen to? 
The invitation bhakti. There is a very special thing and this is the reason why we are here. If one has not reached the top of which I am speaking, one can leap and accept the bhakti path now. It is needless to reach the top of dhyana and karma-yoga to reach bhakti. Bhakti is greater than karma-yoga and dhyana. Krishna clearly says: "To know Me, bhakti is the only way, nothing more."

He recommends karma and dhyana for certain stages, but he himself says: "You will not know Me like this". So the biggest thing about this, is that you with your karma or your sinful activities, the lowest of the lowest, you can still leap into bhakti. You can leap into bhakti and surrender to the will of Krishna.

Do you know that Krishna has a plan for you?
Do you know that God has personal expectations of you?
Do you know he is on a quest for his lost servant?
Do you know that all things that happen everyday are delicately arranged by God?

Your food, your happiness, your experiences, the ability to walk, hug, decide, sharing, helping and serving. God is very, but very aware of you. And at the same time of all others. No soul is forgotten by God. And one who understands this sees no difference between souls.

The Bhagavad Gita (6.29) says:

sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaḿ
sarva-bhūtāni cātmani
īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā
          sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ

"A true yogī observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere." 

Then the following verse (6.30):

yo māḿ paśyati sarvatra
sarvaḿ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaḿ na praṇaśyāmi
sa ca me na praṇaśyati

"For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me."

This is the invitation of Sri Krsna.

Your invitation is the Bhagavad Gita. Each verse is filled with hope. So one who preaches or teaches others about the Bhagavad Gita is giving hope to the world. What to say in a world where we are all basket cases. Krishna comes and tells you, you have another chance. You're not a lost cause for me. We do not deserve another chance, but for the purpose of the divine we do.

When all the world judges us and punishes us, Krishna comes in the form of his mercy. So in this way we can realize the infinite love of God for his children. It is not for understanding, it's to pray for that mercy. And I'm looking for it and I wish all of you do the same with your own efforts.

Thanks for joining.
This is the message I wanted to share with you today.
Thanks to Srila Prabhupada for this Chat.
Srila Prabhupada ki jay!

Your always well wisher,
B. A. Swami Paramadvaiti.

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