The Lord's trick
The supremely merciful, Personality of Godhead, Sri Kṛṣṇa personally wants to help the conditioned souls in several different ways. Amongst these various ways, the best and most suitable way is by sending His eternal associate to this material world.
The pure devotee’s mission is to save the conditioned souls from all possible sufferings. Kṛṣṇa is very merciful, there is no doubt about that, but at the same time there are some conditions to receive knowledge and mercy from Kṛṣṇa. As we can see in the Bhagavad-gītā [18.67]. As well as in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [11.29.30-31].
After giving this confidential knowledge, Kṛṣṇa immediately mentions the qualifications of the receiver or the devotee who wants this knowledge and mercy from Him. If we carefully study all these verses, we can understand that we are not at all qualified. We can see in the Bhagavad-gītā [12.13-14 and 12.17-19], Kṛṣṇa describes the qualities of a devotee. The devotee who possesses all these qualities is very dear to Kṛṣṇa. Unless we achieve all these qualities how can we get that mercy?
The next question is; how can one achieve these divine qualities? The answer is given in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [5.18.12]. By unflinching faith and devotion unto the Lotus Feet of The Supreme Personality of Godhead one can achieve all these extraordinary qualities. And now, a further question arises; since we are unqualified, how is it possible to perform this unalloyed devotional service? Even to become a civilized human being we have to achieve thirty of these good qualities which are clearly stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [7.11.8-12]. Nārada muni expresses to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja; by simply acquiring these thirty qualities one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
But we don’t have any of these divine qualities, materially we may be qualified, but definitely not spiritually. We have all the disqualifications, rather we think of all these qualities as though they are our qualifications. Once, one devotee asked Śrīla Gurudeva [Śrī Śrīmad Gour Govind Swami Mahārāja]: “Gurudeva, we don’t have any of these qualifications.” Gurudeva said: “yes, our only qualification is our disqualification.” But we never realize this point. As always, from the material point of view, we try to understand the spiritual sphere. That is the cause of all our problems. Due to all these causes we are unable to understand the Lord’s mission, as we discussed in the last article.
Therefore, The Lord’s mission failed. Kṛṣṇa wants to help us, but at the same time, it appears that for His mission He wants some help. Who can help Him in His mission? His dear devotee, only His own man. We can see Caitanya Mahāprabhu's desire, pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grām [Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126]
So, who fulfilled that mission? His dear devotee; His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Therefore, according to śāstra they are sākhyāt-hari; they’re as powerful as God.
When Kṛṣṇa wants to help us, to makes us qualified, His trick is to send His dear devotee. Specifically, so that we may become eligible to get His mercy.
We are not at all qualified to receive Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, because of our anarthas. But even then, Kṛṣṇa wants to shower His mercy on the unqualified candidates. Just like someone pouring water into a container with many holes. It seems, after witnessing their suffering and out of compassion alone, Kṛṣṇa forgets the conditions He had made with Arjuna and Uddhava as mentioned in the first paragraph.
We have many anarthas, just like the holes in a bucket. Who can make us qualified? How can one kick all these anarthas out? Who will prepare our container, so that we can receive Kṛṣṇa’s mercy? Our Gurudeva used to say: “to keep the milk of a lioness, you must have a golden pot.”
Similarly, to receive Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, our heart should be free from all anarthas.
Then, the next point surfaces, who will help us to be free from these anarthas, so that we will become qualified? The answer is; a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Their first symptom titikṣava-kāruṇikā [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.25.21]. They are naturally tolerant. We may find many tolerant people, they are all tolerating for some certain cause. A pure devotee is tolerating simply for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure, and also to shower his mercy onto the fallen conditioned souls, which is exactly what Kṛṣṇa’s mission is about. By associating with him, hearing from him and serving him, we become free from these anarthas. That is mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [3.25.24]. In the purport, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda mentions; A pure devotee is he who is preparing to transfer himself to the spiritual kingdom, such a devotee is also free from the modes of material nature.
We have to seek the association of such a devotee. Śrīla Prabhupāda also mentions that if anyone feels he has reached the stage where he must become free from this material contamination, then he has to seek out the association of a pure devotee, wherein Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is exclusively cultivated.
That, Śrīla Narottama Das Ṭhākura, clearly mentions in Prema-bhakti-candrikā. We are always singing in guru-pūjā: "prema-bhakti jāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa jāte."
By whose mercy can we kick these anarthas out? That is Śrī Guru.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [7.15.22-25], Nārada Muni explains to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, how one can conquer all these anarthas easily. We can achieve all good qualities by Śrī Guru’s mercy alone. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura sings in his prayer: "chaya bega domi', chaya doṣa śodhi', chaya guṇa deho' dāse." So, the conclusion is that we can achieve The Lord’s mercy by serving and pleasing His pure devotee. Gurudeva very often said that if you approach Kṛṣṇa and ask for His mercy, He will say to you: “you’re a fool, I don’t have even a tinge of mercy. I have already sent an ocean of mercy to the material world. You should go and approach My devotee there.He will give this mercy to you."
Your servant and well-wisher,