Mahat Kripa

Dear readers,

By the mercy of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga we will now discuss a different topic, following the footprints of our previous ācāryas. Today we will focus on our ultimate goal, how to get mercy from a pure devotee, mahat-kṛpā.

The only reason why we came to the devotional path is by the mercy of the devotees. We are leading our life only by the mercy of Śrī Guru and by the mercy of the vaiṣṇavas. We are cultivating a devotional life to achieve mercy from a pure devotee. Without mercy there is no way to get out from this material world. Therefore, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura mentioned, Mayare kariya jaya chharana na jaya sadhu kripa vina ara nahika upaya, apart from the mercy of a sādhu there is no other way to get rid of māyā. In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta [Madhya-līlā 22.15] Śrīmān Mahāprabhu instructed the same thing to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. Unless one is favoured by a pure devotee, one cannot attain the platform of devotional service. What to say of kṛṣṇa-bhakti, without this one cannot be relieved from the bondage of material existence. In that purport Śrīla Prabhupāda mentions, ‘‘whatever one may be, one must take shelter at the lotus feet of a devotee, mahātmā and greet him as the most exalted well-wisher of  all human society.’’ We should take shelter of such a mahātmā and ask for his causeless mercy. Without that causeless mercy from a pure devotee, there is no other way. There is no other way to achieve bhakti.

1. Devotion towards the father, devotion towards the mother, devotion towards the own country, even devotion towards demigods one may achieve in this life. But unalloyed devotion towards Kṛṣṇa we can only achieve by the mercy of a pure devotee, a mahat. When someone is performing devotional activities without the guidance or without depending upon a pure devotee’s mercy, his so called sādhana will not help to develop kṛṣṇa-bhakti.

2. Everyone is a beggar at the doorstep of a pure devotee. Therefore a moral instructor once said, ‘‘it is better to beg something from a pure devotee, even if he is reluctant to give, than to beg from a person who is capable to give something, but who is adhama.’’ Don’t beg from him. What benefit can you get from that?
So we want to be a real beggar at the doorstep of a pure devotee. Therefore Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura mentioned in his song, ‘‘karuṇā nā hoile, kāndiyā, prāṇa nā rākhibo āra’’, we really want his mercy, without that life is useless, it is better to die.

3. If we become a real beggar at the doorstep of a pure devotee, mahat, then all our problems will be solved. No more fighting, no more disagreements, that means Kali cannot enter. Kali is so powerful that he is residing within religion, vow, austerity and charities. Besides this he is also within devotional activities in the form of enviousness and disagreements. Therefore, many have this doubt, ‘‘if pure devotees are there, why are there many disagreements? And why is there an envious mentality? The answer to this is that we are not really begging mercy from a pure devotee. We actually want mercy to become as great as he is. That means that we want to be in a guru’s position. This is the cause of our problems. By his grace we are using all his paraphernalia, he is maintaining us, but we do not have real gratitude towards him.
Like Gurudeva used to say, ‘‘a sādhu has two things, kṛpā and vañcana.’’ We are getting vañcana. Because we are a vañcaka, a cheater. Therefore all these disagreements and enviousness is going on in devotee communities.

4. In fact we are not in a position of a beggar to get mercy. We are considering different points, we are judging a sādhu from different angles. This is called spiritual blockage in our devotional life. Just like how a street beggar simply depends upon the Lord in the morning before stepping out on the street to beg. He doesn’t know how much money he will get, who is poor and who is rich. He simply depends upon Kṛṣṇa with a simple heart when he is begging. Kṛṣṇa arranges everyday something for him. It is his traditional job. The only qualification he has is that he knows how to beg. We have to accept the mood of a street beggar. Sometimes the street beggar shows his pride and he is many times dissatisfied, but we should not be like this. Rather we should be always hopeful and think that, ‘‘one day Gurudeva will accept me’’. Gurudeva said, ‘‘no question of pessimism rather always be in an optimistic mood. We have to serve and pray.’’

5. We are insignificant in all aspects, but the mentality to measure a pure devotee is our chronic disease. Therefore, we are not in the position of a real worshiper of a pure devotee. Although a pure devotee is merciful by nature, but due to our offensive mentality after worshipping for many years, hearing many instructions, following many rules and regulations, still we are unable to get mercy from him. Gurudeva used to say, ‘‘mercy is hanging over your head, why are you begging?’’

6. After worshipping and following a pure devotee, if we do not abide the proper mood, instead of getting mercy we will develop other desires. We can see this in the case of Śrī Rāmacandra Purī. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī prabhu mentions in Bhakti Sandarbha, ‘‘by achieving a pure devotees mercy one can develop kṛṣṇa-prema.’’ But when that mercy is not in a sādhakas heart, karmaand jñāna gets mixed with enviousness. This results in having no relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Eventually this leads towards the worship of the impersonal. All the devotional activities become perfect and fruitful by the mercy of a pure devotee.

7. When we completely surrender at the lotus feet of a pure devotee, and serve favourably and think ourselves fallen at the feet dust of such vaiṣṇava, then all auspiciousness will come. Real life of bhajana is to have unflinching faith and surrender at the lotus feet of a pure devotee. Therefore Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura  mentioned in his song, ‘‘śuddha-bhakata-caraṇa-reṇu, bhajana-anukūla.’’ If someone is not accepting a pure devotee as his life and soul, he may perform bhajana, but he will feel weak. His bhajana will have no strength. Without accepting this bare fact, someone may think that he is very close to his guru, a pure devotee, and that he is pleasing him. He may be thinking that he knows what his guru wants because his guru follows his ideas. He can also think, ‘‘I am very close to my guru’’, but rather he is far, far away from his guru. He is still within the limitations of his mind. Such persons get vañcana from a pure devotee.

This happened in the case of Śrī Rāmacandra Purī. He was initiated by a pure devotee named Śrī Madhavendra Purī. He was a renounced person. From the outside it looked like he was very close to his guru. At the last moments of Śrī Madhavendra Purī’s life he was with him. Despite this he could not get the darśana of his guru. If someone gets darśana of a pure devotee, how can weakness, anarthas and other worldly qualities stay within his heart? If someone gets mercy from a pure devotee, or has real association only once, then his life’s mission is how to follow the master and please him and to run behind him like a dog. Such a person is very careful in his service towards a pure devotee. That is his life’s mission. In other words that is his means and end, sādhya and sādhana.

8. The feet dust of a pure devotee is so heavy or powerful that it can purify the false ego of our heart called ahamkara and increase the trancedental ego or real ego called abhimāna. When false ego is there we are acting in such a way, ‘‘I am great and my guru is great.’’ But when we get mercy from a pure devotee we are acting like, ‘‘I am fallen, most degraded, no one is fallen like me, only my Gurudeva is great. No other human, demigod or personality is like him.’’ Therefore Śrīla Gurudeva gave one lecture, ‘‘no one is like my guru.’’ Now we are also saying the same thing, but our mood is different. Gurudeva’s mercy is not with us. Therefore, we are not worried how to do something for him. We are not crying, we are not busy in his service. We are sleeping nicely, eating nicely, going to different tīrthas, but we are not focussing on how to please him, rather we are always busy with our own problems.

9. If someone achieves the mercy from a mahat, a pure devotee, his material desires will vanquish. Everyone is disappointed, disturbed, or in other words always attacked by hankerings within the heart. But one who receives mercy from a pure devotee, he is stable, dhīra, fixed in his devotional activities. The best example is Dhruva Mahārāja. In the beginning he had material desires, but when Nārada muni accepted Dhruva Mahārāja and showered mercy towards him, he did not want anything from the Lord. This is the nature of a pure devotee’s mercy.

This we can also see in the case of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. When Mahāprabhu glorified him, he never mentioned that it was due to his mercy. To get name, fame, money and big positions is not Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. In Śrī Caitanya caritāmṛta [Antya-līlā 4.163], it is written, “Sir, You are making Jagadānanda drink the nectar of affectionate relationships, whereas by offering me honorable prayers, You are making me drink the bitter juice of nimba and niśindā.’’ We can see in the case of Śrīla Raghunātha Gosvāmī, that he always used to stay far from Mahāprabhu, but that doesn’t mean that he was not close to Mahāprabhu. Where we are staying is not important, whether we are close or far from guru. Important is in which mood we are. If someone stays close to a pure devotee, but is unable to understand his mood and is not serving favourably, he is far from the guru or a pure devotee, as we  can see in the case of Śrī Rāmacandra Purī.

10. Who knows to whom a pure devotee will shower mercy? Kṛṣṇa’s and his pure devotees mercy is called souri-kṛpā. We want causeless mercy. Ācāryas are giving commentary on that mercy. Undoubtedly a pure devotee is showering mercy to everyone, but it depends upon the candidates qualification, or we may say adhikāra, position. Indra is showering rain on the ocean, where there is no need of water, within ponds, within rivers, within lands, and also on the top of the mountains, whereas mountains cannot keep one drop of water. From this we can see how Indra is equally showering rain, but according to their container they are keeping the water. A pure devotee’s mercy is like that. Also, another example, it’s raining and if you put different types of pots, according to their size they can keep the water. But if the mouth of the pot is not towards the sky, rather it faces towards mother earth, then whose fault is it? No one can blame Indra for that. Similarly, a sādhu is showering mercy by darśana, by kathā, by sevā, but if our heart is towards material enjoyment then how can we get a sādhus mercy? It is our own fault. If we are cutting our legs with our own hand, then to whom will you blame?

11. Because we don’t have a nice or appropriate container to keep the mercy, therefore our prayers should be more deep and serious. We should pray, ‘‘please Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda prabhu and Gurudeva, not only shower your mercy, but also teach me how I can keep it. Please make my heart a simple container which is clean and sweet.’’

So in conclusion we may say that without the mercy of a pure devotee it is impossible for us to lead our spiritual life in a systematical way, by which we can achieve kṛṣṇa-prema. Therefore Gurudeva used to say, ‘‘you have to cry for that mercy.’’ That mercy is very powerful. It makes the impossible, possible.


Haladhara Swami

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