So, sadhu-sangha is always recommended, and on that basis our bhajan life shall go on. That is a safe and fruitful foundation for us. Krsna gives His assurance:
sarva-dharman parityajaHe says, “All the debts you have ever incurred, I shall pay off; there will be nothing for you to worry for, to lament. From any position you may come, join Me, and I shall take the full responsibility because you are My devotee.”
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
“Just abandon all varieties of religion and surrender exclusively unto Me. I shall protect you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.”
When Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupada returned from America to India with his first group of disciples, he made them stay in a house somewhere in Vrindavan. Near that place was the ashram of one influential person, a Goswami. One of Srila Swami Maharaj’s disciples was seduced by that gentleman, by his teachings, and he left his godbrother group and went to stay with him. Later on, realising his mistake, the disciple came back to Srila Swami Maharaj, and prayed before him: “I have committed a mistake. I have come back; please accept me.” Srila Swami Maharaj told him: “Yes, I forgive you. You are my boy, you have committed some mistake; I forgive, I accept you. Do not worry; now go on, continue with your duties...”
And Krsna says, “You are Mine, I forgive you. Because you are Mine, you have got the right to demand everything from Me! By My own law, I am bound to do anything and everything for you because I am your Owner. You belong to Me, so when you come to Me, to My shelter, I take the whole charge, for your past, present, future, everything it is Mine. It is My responsibility, I take the risk for that. That you did something wrong, it may be, but you did not know anything what is right or wrong, you could not understand. I forgive you...” With this spirit, Krsna is appealing: moksayisyami ma sucah “You won’t have to lament; I take the whole burden for your past actions.” Such is the nature of the Infinite Truth: all-accomodating, all-sympathetic, all-embracing, all-fulfilling.
There is an incident which occurred during the reign of the Moghul Emperor Akhbar, in India. Though Mohammedan by creed, Akhbar was very generous, very kind to all religious conceptions. Once there was an exhibition in which were shown deities of all the Hindu gods. While visiting that exhibition, Akhbar was proceeding around the hall, inspecting all the representations there, and asking the exhibitors: “Who is this god? What are his activities, his pastimes? Where did he descend on earth?” and so on. At one point he came before the figure of Krsna, depicted in Vrindavan, playing His flute. After seeing everything in the hall, he remarked to the exhibitors, indicating the figure of Krsna: “Amongst your gods, this god is the highest of all because, He is not having the worry of any management, He is completely free, enjoying His life, playing the flute, with no worry about anything. The highest conception of your God is here He has no cares, no troubles, nothing of the kind. To get His company, to enter into His company, will be very beneficial!”
This is the nature of Krsna-lila; it is playful. To be engaged in play to play, without anxiety that is the highest lila. Krsna shows His pastimes here in this world, in bhauma Vrindavan, prapanca Vrindavan, like an exhibition to test our taste, to give a chance, an opportunity for our taste: “Do you want this?” In that divine exhibition, so many things are shown, for our choice. The different lilas of the Lord in His various Infinite Forms and Pastimes come here, into the world, to test our choice: “Do you want this? Or, this?” Such opportunity is offered.
Once one vairagi came here, to the Math; she was an old woman wearing red cloth, a follower of Siva-Sakti. I asked her, “What do you want, after death? Do you want Kali, do you want her association? Do you want to be her maidservant? Or, do you want to be with Siva, with his group his friends, or his servants, like Nandi and Brngi? Do you want to become one of them? Do you want to become four-handed, like the servitors of Narayana? Or, do you want to become a gopi, or a cow-boy, wandering in Vrindavan with Krsna, or with Nanda, Yasoda? What do you want?”
Hearing this, she answered: “Yes, if it could be so, if such a beautiful life were possible, then I really want to be in Vrindavan. That I like best, and not to be in Vaikuntha, nor to be one of the friends or servants of Siva; nor one of the she-maids of Kali, who are chewing on the severed hands of her victims, and drinking their blood, so many horrible things.”
Then I told her, “If after death the possibility of such a simple, peaceful, beautiful life in Vrindavan really exists, then why do you follow your present path? You just see the ultimate position, and consider what is suitable for you.”
So, the exhibition of Krsna’s pastimes comes to take place here, and to test our choice the chance is given to us: “What do you want, really? What appeals to your innermost heart? See where your taste is, and accordingly come forward, for your future attainment.”
Of all the pastimes of Krsna, the highest are in the human form:
krsnera yateka khela sarvottama nara-lilaCorrespondingly, the human form in this world is the best for attainment of the service of Krsna in the divine realm. It is for this reason that it is so valuable. The poet Candidas says:
nara-vapu tahara svarupa
gope-vesa, venu-kara nava kisora, nata-vara
nara lilara haya anurupa
(Cc. Madhya 21:101)
“Lord Krsna has many pastimes, of which His pastimes as a human being are the best. His form as a human being is the Supreme Transcendental Form. In this form, He is a cowherd boy. He carries a flute in His hand, and His youth is just beginning. He is also an expert dancer. All this is just suitable for His pastimes as a human being.”
“O brother, please listen: this human form is above all,But the supreme value of human life is misrepresented in a mundane way by those such as the Ramakrishnite sect; they say that to ‘serve God’ means only to serve man and his needs in this world. Their claim is: “The human being is above all, Candidas has said so. Therefore, serving man is serving God. We should only serve the fallen souls, the human race, through so many welfare works.”
There is nothing above it! I appeal to you all,
Members of the human race: from my heart
I am giving this advice, born of my experience—
Your human form, its pastimes, its movement,
Are the crown in nature’s hall.”
But the real value of the human life is clarified by the scriptures. They advise us: “Utilise this human form to attain the divine plane of Krsna’s pastimes. It is very suitable for that, human life is very suitable to reach that highest plane— it is very similar in many aspects. The human birth is rarely attained, and if you avoid this chance to approach the divine realm through it, you commit suicide. It is not a small mistake you are committing, it is the greatest mistake if you lose this chance it amounts to suicide, not less than that.
So, try for that highest plane. If you lose this birth, there is no guarantee that again you will get a human birth you may have to go to visit other species. Remember the case of Bharat Maharaj! At the time of his death, he had some intense attention for a deer-cub, to whom he had given shelter after it became separated from its mother. He was lamenting, “O, who will look after this one, so young?”; and in his next birth he himself became a deer. Such a horrible thing: that impression of the young deer caught him, and it took such a shape. Such a dangerous position you are all in. So always try, strive for the higher plane.”
The English poet Longfellow has written:
“Trust no future howe’er pleasant!And this is the advice of the scriptures: “What the future holds, you do not know. So, don’t rely on any future: take the whole responsibility in the present to approach the divine realm and make your human life a success.”
Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act— act, in the living present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!”