Found in Sanga, Sanga 1999.

Sadhu-Sanga

September 1st, 1999 | No Comments

From a lecture by Swami B. V. Tripurari given in San Francisco in July, 1996

Maharaja Pariksit was cursed, “In seven days you will die.” So, with only seven days to live, he went to hear Sukadeva Gosvami speak the Bhagavatam. Why seven days? Because all of us, young and old, healthy and sick, lucky and unlucky, have only seven days to live. The Bhagavatam is giving us this message. You only have seven days to live: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and on one of these seven days, you will die. We should hear Bhagavatam the way Pariksit Maharaja heard it, thinking we have only seven days, and on one of these seven days I will die. We should hear with that kind of intensity, from a proper speaker. We are always concerned about the proper speaker. But we must also be concerned about the proper hearer, and we should be one of them. That is very important, because if we don’t have the right disposition, even if the proper speaker is there, we will not hear anything. Everyone is looking for the qualified guru. But what about the qualification of the hearer? What are the qualifications of the disciple? Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura used to say, we should come to the guru not with a return ticket but a one way ticket only. Whatever I bring, I will put at his disposal. That is that fire. You know the Agni-hotra that is performed at the time of mantra-diksa? So what do you think, we set that fire, smoke comes, some ash is put on, and everything is finished? You have to enter into that fire. You have to put everything you have into that fire. Put it in the fire, it comes out different. We take the raw ingredients, put them into the fire, and they come out cooked very nicely, offerable. This is the idea. And if we are coming with extra baggage, then guru will say, ”Leave that behind.” We are trying to swim across the river with a bag of gold. And he says, “Drop the gold. You have to come to the other side. What is more important, your life or the gold?”

And when you get to the other side, you find the whole shore is golden, cintamani prakara sadmasu kalpa-vrksa. That is the place made of jewels. What kind of jewels? More than gold—touchstone, cintamani. You touch it, your every wish will be fulfilled. The tree, kalpa-vrksa. You make a wish, it will come true. Kama dhenu—you milk the cow, you can get anything from that cow. Anything you want. Now, the people who live there, they milk the cows only for milk. They ask from the trees only the fruits and flowers that they produce. So what is the real opulence of that place? You understand? There are trees you can get anything from. There are cows, you milk them, you can get anything from them. The land is touchstone, wish fulfilling. We think, let me go there. That is a wonderful place. But that is not the opulence of that place. The opulence is that the people who live there only take milk from those cows, only take fruits and flowers from those trees, only to offer to Krishna. They have no other desire for themselves. They are akama. Akama means they have no kama, no desire. And “a” means Krishna. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita, “Of letters I am ‘a.’” This is the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet. “Of letters I am ‘a.’” It is the easiest to say. Even when we sleep, we can say “a.” Krishna says, “I am that ‘a.’” And akama means no kama, and no kama means desire for “a,” for Krishna.

When you desire only for Krishna, only to love Krishna, all your desires will be fulfilled. He’s satya sankalpa—whatever he wants, happens. We want that. “Whatever I want, it will happen.” We want to do whatever we want, whenever we want. This is what everybody wants. But we’re supposed to grow up and realize, you can’t have that. But Mahaprabhu says, “Don’t grow up in that way. Come to me. Come to Krishna.” When I was with Prabhupada, three weeks before he left, Prabhupada said, “Now your soul is old. But we are all young boys.” “Young.” His eyes became very bright. You don’t have to grow up and become angry, frustrated. You can enter Krishna-lila, and you can do whatever you want whenever you want. Because when you want only to serve Krishna, then that is what he’s doing. Whatever he wants, whenever he wants. That is the lila. That is also the meaning of lila. There’s no rhyme or reason to lila. We can live in that plane. We can have what we want. This is the message of Mahaprabhu. What you want, you can have. But you just have to look in this direction, move in this way. So guru will help us. He will say, “Leave that behind so that you can live. You are swimming across the river trying to carry the gold bricks. ‘I will need this, I will need that.’ You will not need anything there! Nothing you will need, it is a welfare state.”

Everything is provided naturally. It is all the affairs of the svarupa-sakti. We are deficient, weak, prone to the condition we find ourself in. The nature of that place is that it’s all-kind, all-giving, all-loving, overlooking. Overlooking our defective nature. If we sincerely make an appeal to go there, they will automatically bring us up, all the parikaras of Krishna. They will automatically bring us up, naturally. And in their company, our defect will be compensated for.

There are innumerable spiritual bodies there. So many of them are dormant. And there’s one for you, for each one of us there is one. And when you come to guru really, when you really come to guru and take advantage of sadhu-sanga—not just for entertainment, but you are coming and listening properly. When you’re really listening properly, then they will say, “Try this on, try this.” Like if you go to a clothing store, you come in and the man says, “Come with me, right this way. I’ve got just what you’re looking for. Try on this coat. What do you think? Look in the mirror. Is that you?” It is like that. You will say, “Yes, I like that, but maybe a different color.” “I know what you need. Take this one. I think this you. What do you think?” “Yes, that is me. That is me.” Then guru says, “All right, now we’re settled, this is you. Now do you have any money?”

So sincerely you are approaching, I show you this, this is you. Now you have to pay some money for that. You must sacrifice. You must get the proper bank balance. You must do sadhana, earn your way, so to speak. You have to get adhikara. It is there for you, it is waiting, eternally. You’re developing in good company a certain liking. Gurudeva will analyze your taste, “Hmm, this is suitable for you.” That is why certain mantras will be given. When he sees a certain adhikara, he can give a certain mantra. Otherwise not. Otherwise it will be an offense. So we want to come like that. That is how, from our side, just by sadhu-sanga, our faith will grow. But we must know what is our part in the equation of sadhu-sanga. How to listen like Pariksit Maharaja.

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