Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaj: Generally we are to think that we are not in perfect condition, so our differences will be due to our realisation, our degree of realisation. Everything varies, but the difference amongst the main principles that is deplorable and will cause disturbance to the newcomers. It is a great catastrophe for the newcomers.

They have come with open faith of a very mild standard, their faith is not so high, not so intense that they will be able to tolerate many things which seem to be like discord.

The difficulty is with them, so whenever such things are happening, generally the madhyama-adhikari Vaisnava should try to keep the beginners outside. They should not be allowed to enter into these discussions and differences, and the quarrel and litigation and all these things. This is only reserved for madhyama-adhikaris.

laukiki vaidiki vapi yakriyakriyate mune
hari-sevanukulaiva sa karya bhaktim-icchata

“O great sage! If one aspires for devotional service one should perform all one’s activities, whether they are mundane or Vedic, in such a way that is favourable for the service of Sri Hari.”
(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva-vibhaga, 2.93)

Whether it is social affairs or any sastric affairs and/or discussions, what is the real standpoint, what will be the real good, according to their stage they will try to argue. One says: “No, this will be good.” Another says: “No, that will be better, this defect is there in your plan.” Some quarrel may come even amongst the sincere souls. But still the kanistha-adhikaris (beginners), must not be allowed in that circle. Kanistha-adhikari, the stage of first training, cannot tolerate all these things. But still it is on the level of madhyama-adhikari.

We should use all our faculties in connection with Krsna consciousness. Love and laughter, we have to quarrel, sometimes we have to go to litigation, sometimes new differences in our realisations may come concerning the understanding of the proper meaning of the particular mantram or the scriptures, particular poem of the scriptures, many differences and discussions may arise. It is not undesirable, sometimes it is necessary.

yat karosi yad asnasi, yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya, tat kurusva mad arpanam

“O son of Kunti, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you offer in charity, and whatever austere vows you may keep – do everything as an offering unto Me.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)

“Good or bad, whatever is within you must be thrown for the object of My service.” It may be adjusted in such way: I have got anger, that anger should be tried to be utilised in favour of the service to the Lord. Who has come to attack the devotees, I may use my anger against him. In this way try to make the best of a bad bargain. So many tendencies are in my mind and when I want transformation wholesale within my mental system I shall try to adjust them in such a way. In connection with divine service I shall try to utilize them in that stage. The diplomacy, diplomatic knowledge I have got, that also may be utilized for the service. In this way whatever one has got one may try to utilize that as much as possible for the service of the Lord. In that way one will be able to purge them out very soon and very easily.

yat karosi yad asnasi, yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya, tat kurusva mad arpanam

“O son of Kunti, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you offer in charity, and whatever austere vows you may keep – do everything as an offering unto Me.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)

And then:

sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo, moksayisyami ma sucah

“Totally abandoning all kinds of religion, surrender exclusively unto Me. I will liberate you from all kinds of sins, so do not despair.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 18.66)

Next higher stage. Then when there are very few impurities within you, you leave them, leave them all and become one with cetana, soul, brahma-bhutah prasannatma:

brahma-bhutah prasannatma, na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu, mad-bhaktim labhate param

“The spotlessly pure-hearted and self-satisfied soul who has attained to his conscious divine nature neither grieves nor craves for anything. Seeing all beings equally (in the conception of My supreme energy), he gradually achieves supreme devotion (prema-bhakti) unto Me.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 18.54)

In the brahma-bhutah prasannatma stage, jnana-misra-bhakti, and yat karosi yad asnasi, that is karma-misra, and sarva-dharman parityajya, means from karma-misra to jnana-misra, and then real bhakti begins:

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso ‘jita jito ‘py asi tais tri-lokyam

“Oh Lord, Oh Unconquerable One, those devotees who, completely giving up all attempts on the path of jnana of attaining the non-differentiated platform known as Brahma by hearing the transcendental narratives of Your pastimes, which emanates from the lotus mouths of the maha-bhagavat sadhus and pass their lives by engaging their body, mind and words in pure devotion, easily conquer You (they easily get Your transcendental association), although You are the most difficult to attain in the three worlds.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.3)

Only take the help of ruchi, taste. Whatever my condition may be, I have taste and I have got the connection wtih the sadhu, the taste will take me up very strongly and very safely to the right direction. Sadhu-sanga is all important. My taste is hearing from the lips of a real sadhu, where the real God consciousness has begun. My taste is for real God consciousness, Krsna consciousness. That is the most valuable thing. Then all will go away in no time and the taste will take me upwards.

Mahaprabhu says here: “It is the beginning. From other stages we may fall back.” But if you’ve got real taste for real Krsna consciousness you are safe. That means Gaudiya Math: “Yes, it is the beginning of the real life of a real devotee, it is here.”

All other qualifications, non qualifications, all are ignored. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva jivanti san-mukharitam, it is all above calculation. The faith has begun in its original form, in its real form here. Now faith has given shelter to this disciple and he’s safe. Otherwise by calculation, by using our knowledge in drawing the comparison of the goodness of this world and that world, these are all very weak things, cannot be and are not reliable, but faith is real and faith has got its real characteristic. It must have a connection with a real sadhu and the devotee will find the inner taste there.

Here Mahaprabhu sanctions: “Yes, here it begins. The life of a devotee proper begins here. He has crossed the line of maya’s influence.” The calculation cannot be relied upon. Calculation can’t help us to reach the proper place, but sukrti and sraddha will help us.,

sakala chadiya bhai, sraddhadevira guna gai, yanra krpa bhakti dite pare

(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written: “Giving up everything, let us sing in praise of Sraddha-devi – faith – whose grace can take us to Krsna.”)

Firm faith, that is the most valuable thing to me, and neither knowledge nor energy, money, men, worldly wealth etc. Both energy and knowledge are futile. Only sraddha, faith, is our inner function. Why? Knowledge means doubt, knowledge means in the background there is doubt, suspicion, elimination and acceptance, this is good – this is bad, this is the symptom for the badness and goodness, all is calculation. It is not automatic. In knowledge is the possibility of suspicion in the background: ‘I will be deceived, I shall have to understand.’ � means he lives in the plane of treachery atmosphere, he is suspicious. And he’s to calculate and find out what is true and what is untrue, all these things. So he’s living in the plane of suspicion, doubt, etc. Knowledge means that.

But in faith he has reached such a plane where no treachery exists, no room of any suspicion. In that country any suspicion is not to be found, because those that are living in that soil, they do not know what is cheating and deception. So simple dealings are there. Then we have come to the real side, where calculation is not necessary. Such a safe plane we have come to. So sakala chadiya bhai, sraddhadevira guna gai, when we have connection within us to faith, and also the genuine party, genuine party as my Guru, then this connection will be happiest for the soul.

Mahaprabhu says: “Yes, here it is. Now go further.” Otherwise, eho bahya: “This is superficial. Go ahead, go forward.” Eho bahya, eho bahya, eho bahya, now here it is. Go, make further progress.”

Jnana sunya bhakti, that is sraddha. And real sraddha cannot be exploited. Real sraddha will take us to a particular place. Sraddha, there is the guidance of the Supreme. None can seduce one who has got real sraddha. Through faith you will understand the real thing. Innate attraction, my heart feels very confident in him. And he may be an illiterate, may be a poor person devoid of all this worldly resources, but my heart will select his association automatically, a friend, a selection of friends. The heart will guide us surely to a proper sadhu. I may not know but that will seem to be very congenial to me, that company of devotees. So: na hi kalyana-krt kascid, durgatim tata gacchati: that is the greatest solace for us.

partha naiveha namutra, vinasas tasya vidyate
na hi kalyana-krt kascid, durgatim tata gacchati

“O Arjuna, son of Kunti, the unsuccessful yogi does not suffer ruination either in this life or the next. He is not deprived of the pleasures of the heavenly planetary systems in this universe, nor is he denied the chance to personally see the Supersoul in the divine realm. This is so, O dear one, because a person who performs virtuous actions never becomes ill-fated.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 6.40)

That ignorance cannot be in general, it is not ignorance proper but illiteracy or something like that. That cannot stand in our way. It is some other thing. A beast can approach, a scholar may only hate. It may happen this way.

So we need not to worry much. Still it is all undesirable, especially for the beginners, differences between the upper persons whom we consider to be upper rank. They’re quarrelling and the lower class cannot but be disturbed. So they try to avoid as much as possible. At that time they may give their attention towards the scriptures. There is less quarrelling, but in scriptures there is also quarrelling, because they recommend advises of different stages, so there is also quarrel. Everywhere progress means quarrel. Elimination and acceptance, that means quarrel. One condemns another, progress means such. We can’t avoid it altogether, but still the progress is there. We must not be afraid.

Gaura Hari bol! Gaura Hari bol! Gaura Hari bol! Gaura Hari bol!

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