From a lecture held in Zagreb, Croatia on 5th September 2018
The world of spiritual practice, the world of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, the world of engagement in the activities of the divine consciousness is of spiritual nature, subjective nature. It needs focus and a proper attention. Even on this material plane you can have the experience of some of the higher realities of life. If you loose a focus, you loose it. As soon as you’re out of focus, you loose so much. If you don’t follow a proper systematic way, then the problem comes. And what to speak more of the world of higher spiritual cultivation, world of cultivation of divine Kṛṣṇa Consciousness life. You must put more importance with proper attention and care, devotion. If something comes, then in one moment, at some point, something wonderful appears in our life. Casual ways are one of the greatest enemies to the life of cultivation of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.
Sadhana means nine limbs of pure devotional path: śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam. We hear them, we know them, but as soon as it comes to the point of application, we don’t know how to do it or how to make the best utility of those limbs or we are so casual about it. Yet, something is better than nothing. But better than nothing doesn’t mean it’s the best. We don’t need to be depressed or disappointed or frustrated that nothing is happening, but at the same time we should not be very satisfied.
We need to understand our own ways of cultivation of divine life according to the reality. We must do the reality check from time to time through self analysis, be balanced and whatever we are doing, carry on doing it touching better standard from that one that was in the beginning. There’s no need to be disappointed or frustrated because too much disappointment and frustration can also discourage us.
Disappointment and frustration is not required in the name of so-called humility and humbleness. True humility and true humbleness is something different. So, there should be no disappointment and frustration, but also not much imaginary satisfaction that I’m doing great. I’m not doing great, I’m doing good. My target will be to be better and best, in a gradual way. If I simply remain satisfied with this standard of doing good, then I’ll never do better and best. There has to be impetus to go further, go higher to the highest, go deeper to the deepest. That is called a process of cultivation. Because process of cultivation is something ongoing, continuing, it doesn’t become stagnant. It remains to be dynamic. With all good heart, positive feelings, filled with so much immortal hope, divine hope, Supreme Lord will protect me, nurture me, as long as I am sincere to the best of my ability in a relation to Him, in a realation to Her, Srimati Radharani, in a relation to my loving guardians. Then, I don’t have to worry about my protection, nurturing of my life. It will naturally develop.Through sincerity I’ll get a lot of power in it.
Therefore, Srila Guru Maharaj would say: Sincerity is invincible. It has got a lot of power within. But, again, sincerity with intelligence, with the lights of higher knowledge and wisdom. That is prescribed by the scriptures. Innocence is good, sincerity in a naive way or ignorance – it’s fine, but that’s not what is recommended and expected by the Lord and by the pure devotees. Sincerity with intelligence – that’s what is wanted and expected, with the lights of divine knowledge, wisdom. With the lights of siddhanta. Sincerity combined with innocence with the lights of siddhanta. That is appreciated. While we speak of definition of sincerity, it means we’ll be sincere in every aspect: sincere to have a higher knowledge, sincere to be active with heart in the service of Lord, sincere in the engagement in the service of the Lord to the best of my belief and knowledge, sincere to be open to receive the higher knowledge of siddhanta, sincere to blossom one’s own self, to grow up with the ambrosial motivation to receive ambrosial service of the Lord.
Motivation should also be very pure. Without any excuse. We often give so many excuses, even if there’s no ground to give excuses, but still we give and there’s no sincerity. Something we cannot do or are unable to do Lord understands and forgives. Give a try. After giving a try, still, if I’m unqualified or unable to do it, that is understood and that is not our fault. But something I can do, I can give a try, but I’m not even trying, that is called laziness. Then we deprive our own selves.
There we find writings of the great devotes, realized devotees. Songs for teaching mind. They’re talking to their mind, sitting before their mind, relating to their mind, not allowing the mind to give any excuse. Attentive to connect to their mind, to educate their mind, to make their mind conscious. They wrote many poems how to educate our mind because they knew that we, conditioned souls always find a way to make excuses.
Question may arise – Oh, my mind is running here and there, but… everybody’s mind is running here and there! It’s a common case. How to control the mind? I cannot focus, how to do it? But ask yourself – how not to do it? How not to control the mind? If we become truly sincere. Imagine you have a job you don’t like, but as soon as you know you’ll get millions of Euros if you just do it, you can immediately focus. And it’s the same mind. Our enthusiasm depends on sambandha–jñāna.
Now, the next question can arise- lottery ticket is tangible but here, we don’t find tangible and that’s why we don’t have enthusiasm. But you know, many times in the association of pure devotees, pure sadhus, you can get such enthusiasm, joy and taste to live in the world of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, to live in the world of loving devotional service, with so much taste and joy.
Recently I found some devotees from Ukraine and Russia in India. They would clean every spot of a holy dham with so much attention, because they were feeling they were engaged in the service of a pure devotee like Srila Guru Maharaj. Then Bengali devotees who became casual about it because they got familiar to that place also got inspired seeing their devotion and enthusiasm. That is what spiritual cultivation is.
Transcribed and edited by Indulekha devi dasi