Srila Sridhar Maharaj: You will talk about the ideal, you will discuss the ideal. Your conception is this, our conception is that, and what is the difference between the conception. In this way you can talk.
Devotee: When I explain bhakti they can appreciate it.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes, bhakti is a general thing but there is also the type of bhakti and the bhakti which is the model for all other forms.
Devotee: They can understand the focus of bhakti. When I talk to them they can appreciate bhakti, when I explain it.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Bhakti, you also know bhakti, you are talking about bhakti. I am also talking about bhakti. Do you find any difference there? So bhakti is the ideal and they have got also an ideal. Devotee: But it is the focus of the bhakti. I explain Mahaprabhu’s philosophy, bhakti even above mukti.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: We are captivated by the ideal, the fine touch, appreciation for the ideal. Mahaprabhu has given an ideal, Christ has given another ideal. Our inner inspiration, which we cannot trace, the attraction for the ideal we are to analyze these fine things, our appreciation. Why do we appreciate Krsna and not God given by Jesus? That is a vague thing. This is some clear conception, sweet conception of the thing. Why am I attracted to this side? I am to analyze that. What is there that will be found on this side and not that side? I am to look into my inner heart and try to express that, the difference is there.
In my previous days, generally I used to collect money for the Mission and I met many gentleman many sympathetic, many apathetic. A sympathetic man asked me, “O, why you are running from door to door for collection when we see that you come from a very high family. You are educated and you are fit. Why do you waste your time by collection from door to door?” I replied, “What do you want me to do for God?” He said, “Go to the mountain caves. There is an arrangement by the religious householders. They will give food to you regularly. Then go on meditating.” On account of that request, I tried to look into my own heart. Why I am doing this service? They are saying sympathetically, “Begging from door to door what good can you derive? Go straight to the hill and sit in meditation for Him and try to connect yourself in a direct way.” Many times I looked to my heart for the answer and I found it.
I told him do you know the character of the Vedic disciples? They are sent by the Guru to the pasture ground to reap the cultivated land. What for? Krsna went to gurukula and went with four god-brothers to bring fuel wood from the forest. What is the necessity? So it is necessary to understand that whatever action I shall begin taking in response of my own ego will create a material atmosphere, spread my subjective atmosphere. But I have ceased to act according to my own inner thought. I have placed myself at the disposal of a higher devotee. The subtle system of my inner body I want to kill, finish, and I have stopped it’s food. If I obey it’s order it will thrive. I have stopped the ration. I have totally disconnected the food supply to the army. Let them die fasting and if they die, if that ego will die then another body, which works only in obedience to the higher agents will come out. This subtle body which gets its food from the ego will be finished. I want to do that.
The whole mental system may die without food. No insinuation from my ego within. I am doing what our Guru asked me to do, some service, and I am doing that. I am engaged with Vaikuntha, the transcendental world. I want to dissolve my ego, and the world produced where I am living by my ego. I want to get out of that. I am living in my own imaginary world. That world must go away. Then, another world will come to me. I am connecting with these material things, this person, this matter, this gross, conscious body and the world created by it, but another world I want to live in. I want the world of my Guru. I want to live in that way.
Once one sannyasi, leaving the engagement given by our Guru Maharaj went to visit Badarikashram and the holy places. Then he was punished, “Why have you left the responsibility of service given to you and you are going for pilgrimage.” I was a beginner at that time and it gave a heavy pressure in me, what is this, a sannyasi has gone to visit Badarikashram, the place of Vyasadev, Sukadev, what is the fault there? So great a fault that he would forbidden entrance? I was a new man, I was in charge of the Kuruksetra Math and I was sent a letter, “If that Sannyasi comes to the Math don’t allow him to enter.” He was a senior Sannyasi and I was a newcomer.
It was a great shock to me. That Sannyasi came in a day or two. Just previously, I showed so much respect to him and that day how can I say that, “You won’t enter this Math.” This was very difficult. When he came; I read the letter to him. This is the order of the central Math. First he was excited and began to abuse the higher authorities. Finally I said to him, “Maharaj I feel much apprehension in my mind and I am very much afraid.” He inquired, “Why you are afraid?” I replied, “After fifteen years of service, if you have come to such level that you are to be ousted from the Mission, then what hope I have got? I am a beginner. Your fifteen years service has earned such punishment to be ousted, then what hope I have got here?
It is not possible for me to waste my time here.” Then he came out in another color, “No, no, no you need not to be afraid. I may do wrong. A boy may not pass a B.A. degree or M.A. degree but it does not mean a primary student like you will also fail that.” Then he accepted that, “It is not injustice but it is justice and I have committed something wrong.” He came to that conclusion. This incident had a great impression in my mind. What is there in this service? Disengagement, leaving the desired service of Guru if you want to go to a holy place, that is a punishable offence? What is this? This service is the connection above.
God’s will through His agent to be engaged in His service is very, very valuable. Conversely, to select in my level what is good and bad and to go to a holy place is some sort of religious luxury, freedom. Divine service is above freedom of an ordinary soul. “It is a holy place and I am doing right visiting holy places.” The origin of this is from my ego and a far higher ego is giving instruction, “Do this! God wants this from you!” This is another world. It came to me gradually. To obey the orders of a Vaisnava that means to serve Divinity, the higher Divinity and this will give us the supreme destination. This is the order from the higher plane. We have to follow it.
I am in search after the infinite! Until the infinite comes to me graciously to reveal Himself I must go on searching. It is His pleasure not my pleasure and I do not have anything to force Him. It is absolute and I have come to get a drop of grace from the absolute, not any limited thing. Krsna says, “I am everywhere everything is in Me. Try to understand this peculiar, mystic position of Mine.”
Gaura Hari Bol!