Thursday, May 8, 2014

Transcendental Vision (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)

From The Loving Search for the Lost Servant
by His Divine Grace Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaj


Inner awakenment. Faith.  
Elimination of the lower planes.
Surrender. Practice. Service.


 First Chapter: Planets of Faith

The Gradation

Just as in the tangible world there is the sun, the moon, and so many other planets, in the world of faith there is a gradation of planetary systems. We have to scrutinize the scriptures, take advantage of the guidance given by saints, and understand how the progress of faith to the highest plane is achieved by eliminating the lower planes.

Faith is the only means through which we can see, hear, or feel the higher world; otherwise it is all meaningless to us. To understand that plane, an inner awakenment is necessary. We can connect with the upper world only through a higher source. Therefore divyam jnanam, knowledge of the higher plane, is not ordinary knowledge; it is transcendental, supramental feeling and sense.

But to realize this, surrender is compulsory. After that, we may go on hearing and chanting, remembering and worshiping, appraising the Lord, or rendering so many other kinds of service, but the first thing – the foundation of devotion – must be self-surrender. Otherwise nothing will be effected; our show of devotion will all be imitation.

We must sincerely feel, "I shall be faithful in my service to the Supreme Lord. I am meant for Him. I am ready to die to live. I want to live for Him only and not for fulfilling any separate interest. I want nothing less than the Absolute. I want to be His completely." This sort of intensity is an indispensable necessity for a devotee. A devotee has to conceive, to feel, that he is meant for Krsna. He is not an independent entity; He is dependent on Krsna – the highest absolute center – and nothing else.

To identify with the interests of our family, society, or country is extended selfishness, but all false identification must be eliminated. We must be neither selfish nor entangled in extended selfishness. Rather, all sorts of foreign contamination must be eliminated from our conception of self. All outside demands must be canceled. Then we shall feel in our innermost heart that we are connected with the whole of the infinite, the Absolute.

And nothing external is required for our success. The only thing required of us is that we dismantle the ego's cover. The ego is collecting some foreign elements, but that foreign collection box must be dissolved – finished – and then, in our innermost hearts' we shall find our connection with the fundamental plane of loving service to the organic whole.

Both enjoyment and renunciation are abnormal. They are two kinds of demons: enjoyment or exploitation, and eternal rest or renunciation. These two tendencies are our enemies. A higher, positive life is possible only when we become fully independent of both exploitation and renunciation.

Everything will help us if we can see it in connection with the center. On the other hand, the kind of exclusive renunciation practiced by the Sankarites and Buddhists is not recommended by our line. We are concerned to harmonize things so that everything will remind us of our duty towards the Absolute, and encourage us to dedicate ourselves to Him.

prapancikataya buddhya
mumuksubhih parityago
vairagyam phalgu kathyate
– Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.258

("One who rejects things without knowledge of their relationship to Krishna is incomplete in his renunciation.)

anasaktasya visayan
yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe
yuktam vairagyam ucyate 
– Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.255

(When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things which are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though they are material, this is called incomplete renunciation.") 

To neglect the environment, thinking that it is filled with undesirable material things, won't help us. That is not correct. Everything within the environment should remind us of the absolute. In that spirit we should move, thinking: "Accept me and connect me with the service of our Lord." When the environment is seen with the correct vision, everything will help encourage and excite us in our service to the center.


Note: See also The right vision

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