Better to Take Birth Again…(10/06/03)
Dear B____ Prabhu,
Daṇḍavats. I am in Mamalapuram/Mahabalipuram and I have not been checking my email regularly. Sorry for the delay in answering your question.
Śrīla Purī Mahārāja has written in an article “The Essence of Pure Devotion” as follows: “Śrīvāsāṅgam, the place of congregational chanting, was considered the loving playgrounds of devotional mellows of Vraja.”
Therefore my understanding is that since the Śrīvāsāṅgam pastimes were non-different from the intimate loving pastimes of Vraja that only those devotees with sufficient adhikāra could gain entrance and not everyone and not outsiders.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja told a story in this connection that is mentioned in Caitanya-bhāgavata. Once the mother of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura hid herself in a basket in the room where the kīrtana at Śrīvāsāṅgam was being held. She wanted to see the ecstatic manifestations of Mahāprabhu. However, when doing kīrtana Mahāprabhu stopped and exclaimed that He could not feel the ecstasy and that there must be some outsider present! The devotees searched everywhere but found nobody. But again the same thing. Then after some time they found the mother of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura hiding in the basket. When she was found out she was given a chastisement and expelled from the house. Mahāprabhu’s pastimes are for His pleasure and not for the enjoyment of anyone and everyone.
When Mahāprabhu takes the kīrtana to the street then all classes of devotees and even the non-devotees are benefited. This gives general entrance into spiritual life but specific destinations are only achieved through service and association with the Lord’s intimate devotees.
According to how we are connected then our expectations will be forthcoming. Those who have rejected the connection of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja and Śrīla Purī Mahārāja will lag behind in their spiritual progress, regardless of how expert they are in other fields/activities. That is my conviction and that is what I am seeing practically as the years go by.
Even those who have innocently missed the connection of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja and Śrīla Purī Mahārāja would do better to take birth again with the hope of getting such association in the future. Because, without such association they will not reach so high on the spiritual plain even if they do go back to Godhead.
Thank you for your question and for helping to remind me of the valuable association that I have received.
I hope this meets you well.
Swami B.G. Narasiṅgha