by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda
Śrī Śrī Guru Gaurāṅgau Jayataḥ
Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Kolkata
17 November 1930
Best of virtuous women,
I became aware of the news through your letter dated the 28th that you went to Vṛndāvana and, from the Vaiṣṇavas there, heard about meditating upon the aṣṭakalīya-līlā (divine eightfold daily pastimes) of Their Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. While there can be no doubt about the fact that this topic is highly venerated, those who conceive of this subject matter while their consciousness is riddled with anarthas do not conceive what it truly is.
All those esoteric truths that are revealed solely through one’s advancing practice of chanting the holy names are to be considered the introduction to one’s svarūpa, one’s true spiritual identity. When one becomes free from anarthas, or the unwanted desires of the heart, one’s svarūpa manifests. When one’s svarūpa awakens, one’s perception is automatically admitted into eternal subject matters.
This is not something that can be deceitfully taught to or determined for someone else. In contrast, the revelations one has while submerged in chanting the holy names with a sincere heart should be humbly presented to sādhu and guru (the saintly persons and the spiritual master) so that one’s conception may be refined and approved. This is the genuine process for receiving the eleven aspects of one’s eternal spiritual identity, or svarūpa.
In many places, undiscriminating gurus artificially impose these “revelations” on unqualified sādhakas (practicing devotees). This process cannot be considered a true depiction of svarūpa-siddhi. Those who attain svarūpa-siddhi, or realization of their eternal spiritual form and identity, come to realize their eternal identity of their own accord (svataḥ-siddha); śrī gurudeva merely assists them in making progress in realizing these topics on the path of bhajana (direct, loving devotional-service). I have nothing more to say on this subject. While the sādhaka progresses on the path of perfection, his heart becomes disposed toward service and free from duplicity. All these subjects naturally manifest in such a heart.
With eternal blessings,
Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī