Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How to become Spiritual Masters

Vidura dasa, California
TEXT 130
ei mata yanra ghare kare prabhu bhiksa
sei aiche kahe, tanre karaya ei siksa
At whosoever's house Sri Chaitanya accepted His alms by taking prasada, He would convert the dwellers to His sankirtana movement and advise them just as He advised the brahmana named Kurma.
The cult of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is explained here very nicely. One who surrenders to Him and is ready to follow Him with heart and soul does not need to change his location. Nor is it necessary for one to change status. One may remain a householder, a medical practitioner, an engineer or whatever. It doesn't matter. One only has to follow the instruction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and instruct relatives and friends in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. One has to learn humility and meekness at home, following the instructions of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in that way one's life will be spiritually successful. One should not try to be an artificially advanced devotee, thinking, "I am a first-class devotee." Such thinking should be avoided. It is best not to accept any disciples. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus one can become a spiritual master and be freed from the contamination of material life.
There are many sahajiyas who decry the activities of the six Gosvamis - Srila Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunatha dasa, Bhatta Raghunatha, Jiva and Gopala Bhatta Gosvamis - who are the personal associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and who enlightened society by writing books on devotional service. Similarly, Narottama dasa Thakura and other great acharyas like Madhvacharya, Ramanujacharya and others accepted many thousands of disciples to induce them to render devotional service. However, there is a class of sahajiyas who think that these activities are opposed to the principles of devotional service. Indeed, they consider such activities simply another phase of materialism. Thus opposing the principles of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, they commit offenses at His lotus feet. They should better consider His instructions and, instead of seeking to be considered humble and meek, should refrain from criticizing the followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who engage in preaching. To protect His preachers, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given much clear advice in these verses of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita.
Note: Srila Prabhupada makes it clear and simple how to make our lives spiritually successful. All that is required is surrender to the spiritual master with readiness, heart and soul. We do not need to change our location or status. Whatever position we are in, what matters is that we humbly follow the actual instruction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu under the guiding instructions of His representative, HDG Srila Prabhupada, chant Hare Krishna, and instruct others in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam as so very authoritatively and conveniently presented by HDG Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada also warns us of the dangers to avoid in the process of making our lives spiritually successful. He says we should not artificially try to be a very advanced devotee, thinking of ourselves as first-class devotees. We must be humble and meek, as Srila Prabhupada says. It is significant that Srila Prabhupada adds that it is better to not accept any disciples in this regard. Srila Prabhupada says in the Nectar of Devotion Text 5:
“...the advanced uttama-adhikari Vaishnava devotee should be accepted as a spiritual master. ...one should not imitate the behavior of an advanced devotee or maha-bhagavata without being self-realized, for by such imitation one will eventually become degraded. ...One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari.”
In His Chaitanya-charitamrita Purport Srila Prabhupada further explains the method by which we should become purified of material contamination. That is, we should simply chant Hare Krishna at home and preach the principles of Lord Chaitanya as presented by Srila Prabhupada and in that way become spiritual masters. We are all already spiritual masters as long as we stick to that simple method, and if we continue to act as spiritual masters in this way, as authorized by Lord Chaitanya, we will eventually become freed from the contamination of material life and our lives will be spiritually successful. There is a nice quote by Srila Prabhupada in this regard:
“So how everyone can become a spiritual master? To become a spiritual master is not easy job. One must be very learned scholar and must have full realization of the self and everything. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given us a little formula, that if you strictly follow the teachings of Bhagavad-gita and if you preach the purpose of Bhagavad-gita, then you become guru.” (Press Interview -- October 16, 1976, Chandigarh)
Srila Prabhupada is a personal associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and like other such exalted personalities in our line, He has written many books on devotional service which have enlightened society. Srila Prabhupada, like the above mentioned great personalities and predecessor acharyas, accepted many thousands of disciples to induce them to render devotional service. Unfortunately, there are many envious people in the dress of Vaishnavas who have tried to minimize the activities of the maha-bhagavata pure devotees and personal associates of Lord Chaitanya. Srila Prabhupada warns us, for example, of how many of His god brothers have done the same to him, not understanding the essential principles of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Prabhupada advises that these men take better note of the instructions of Lord Chaitanya, and instead of putting on a false display of devotion, they should refrain from criticizing the great personalities who have actually dedicated their lives to preaching the mission of Lord Chaitanya, and who have actually induced many thousands of fallen souls to take to devotional service. Srila Prabhupada says in the Nectar of Devotion Text 5:
“Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikari Vaishnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaishnavism.”
If we simply follow the instructions of Srila Prabhupada without any addition or alteration, chant Hare Krishna and help others to do the same, with humility and sincerity - avoiding those who are envious - we can make our lives very successful and go back home, back to Godhead. This is the simple method taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and HDG Srila Prabhupada. Lord Chaitanya has therefore given so many nice instructions in these verses in order to protect His dear most preachers such as Srila Prabhupada. Lord Chaitanya helps preachers such as ourselves by so mercifully sending His personal associate Srila Prabhupada, who has also so mercifully elaborated in these verses in order for us to properly understand the principles of Lord Chaitanya and to protect us from the most dangerous elements of society.
This is the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. 
All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga, All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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