The Lord has given us this general guidance of where we should try to get the standpoint or measure through which we are to understand. The standard by which we come to measure truth, untruth or anything must come from a real plane, not a vitiated plane, an ordinary plane or vulnerable plane. It must come from that plane which has two qualifications: jnani and tattva darsi, the conception of the thing and also the practical benefit. The proper standard will allow me to measure what is right and what is wrong. Also the qualification of the seeker of truth is given. His attitude must be of this type pranipat, pariprasna and seva. Pranipat means surrender to such knowledge.
The knowledge we are approaching is not an ordinary class of knowledge. It is a subject which we cannot make an object to our subjective self. We must understand it to be a super-subjective thing, which is superior to me. So pranipat means I must surrender to that superior thing. I want Him, He is not an objective thing which I can make an object with myself as subject. This sort of attitude must be there. Pranipat also means that I have finished my interest in the outside world of experience. I have no charm for anything in the world where I have already travelled. I am offering myself exclusively at Your altar and I want to have Your grace. In such a mood we shall approach the higher knowledge.
Then pariprasna, honest inquiry is always allowed, but not with any tendency for discussion or in the way of argument. All efforts should be concentrated in a positive line, leaving aside the state of doubt and suspicion. With all attention we shall try to understand because it is coming from a higher plane with which I am unfamiliar and which is ever new.
With seva vritti. I shall seek the plane of real knowledge, to have the standard from there of what is to be understood and to have a proper estimation of the environment we are in. Pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya – this is Vedic culture. It is always imparted by this submissive process and never by intellectual approach. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada used to give this analogy. The honey is in a bottle and a bee is sitting on the glass and trying to lick the bottle. Some foolish person may say the bee is licking the honey. In the same way the intellect cannot approach spirit. I may think that I have got that by such approach. But is it possible?
A barrier is there, like a glass barrier. So intellectual understanding is not real achievement of the higher knowledge or higher plane. Only through faith, sincerity and dedication can we approach to be a member of that higher plane. Only if we are admitted, if we get the visa, then we can enter that country, the plane of higher, divine living. So the candidate shall approach with these three qualifications: pranipat, praiprasna and seva. Then he can approach the truth which is the higher plane of reality. It is always found in the Gita that we should approach with this sort of attitude of humility, sincerity and dedication.
I have seen, I have got full experience of this mortal world. I have nothing to aspire after here. One must have this clear consciousness that there is no other way to live. No one can live in the mortal plane whereas the innate tendency everywhere is to live. There is no means to lie here, but I only want to live, to save myself. So I am running to take real shelter, and this is my earnest desire and utmost necessity. Samitpani means that the necessary materials will be taken by the disciple. He won’t go to trouble his own guru. With his own bed, baggage and everything he requires he will go to the spiritual master, not to show some kindness to him, that I have come to give you some name and fame, etc.
Not only the precepts of the revealed scriptures, but one should be in contact with and conversant with the very object of the scriptures. One should approach an experienced person who is established in that plane of consciousness if he wants to get relief and to understand what is the highest benefit in the world and how to attain it. His activities are all with Brahman, not with the material world. Brahman is the plane which can accommodate everything. It is the most fundamental, Vyoma or basis of everything. Guru is always leading his life in relation with that plane and not with any mortal mundane reference. He is always doing everything in connection with that plane. Whatever he does is only in that consciousness. That is brahmanistham.
The scientists say everything is upward moving, but it is just the reverse. Everything is coming down. In Bhagavad-Gita it is mentioned urdhva mulam adhahsakham. One who knows the real purport of the Vedas is one who can understand that the material conception is upside down. One who can understand this has got some conception of the Vedic knowledge. Matter does not produce soul. It is rather that the soul contains within its negligent portion the conception of matter. This world exists like an eczema or a disease in a wholesome body. This is the Vedantic vicara (understanding). So we must observe everything with this attitude, that everything is coming from up to down. In this way we must approach knowledge with a submissive attitude and then we will understand everything in truth.