Sripad Rishabdev Prabhu's Message

 


(Transcribed from a video made a few weeks before his departure on 17 June 2000)

 

....The tape ministry was my constant companion [at that time]. In one of those tapes there was a reading of an article written by Achyutananda Swami of a darsan that he had had with Srila Sridhar Maharaj, and the title of it was The Descend of the Holy Name. This tape had a profound influence on me. I didn't understand at the time who Srila Sridhar Maharaj was—he said, "A very old sadhu sat on a rooftop in Nabadwip," and this is all I could understand, but I understood later that Srila Prabhupad had sent Achyutananda for training to Srila Sridhar Maharaj. In that tape, he asked this important question, "If the Holy Name is spiritual, how is it that we are chanting it?" And in that answer I have come to the sum and substance of my realisation of Krishna consciousness, and that is that we are not chanting the Holy Name. The Holy Name is sabdha brahman, the Holy Name is given through the auspice of the bona fide spiritual master who possesses the Holy Name; and if we surrender to it, then the Holy Name will chant us, but we must surrender to it the appropriate number of rounds as we have promised our spiritual master. This is our agreement—he is giving us the Name, and we are to receive it; and in this way, our instruction is to make ourselves a proper receiver.

Later on, we thought the Holy Name was something that was chanted with both lips and the tongue, and this was instructed in reform handbooks. But it was fully my understanding in hearing Srila Prabhupad, in the necessity to hear from the spiritual master—and not only to think in terms of words, syllables, and whatever meaning that our fallacious mind may construe, but to hear the heart-to-heart transmission from the lips of the pure devotee—and when that moves our heart, then that sympathetic vibration, the Holy Name, will dance on our tongue. But it is not by any effort that we are producing, it's nothing that we produce, but it is simply the nature of receptivity—that we've received and, out of a sympathetic reaction, recapitulation, our heart vibrates in that same mood and sentiment of the pure devotee.

And I am very happy to have gotten this connection. I am very fortunate in my life to have had the association of great mahatmas, and so many dear godbrothers who are carrying this vibration within their hearts and in so many ways trying to share what we have received. But it is that reception—nothing we can manufacture, nothing we can change, nothing we can create, but it is only that we can reflect—if that we can be the appropriate via media for that pure vibration, then we can truly call ourself disciples...

I do not know anything about Krishna, I know something about Sri Guru and his grace. For me, Krishna is manifest in that person, and it is no singular person. As Srila Prabhupad told in his address to the leader devotees, it is not the matter of my guru and your guruguru is one, but it is necessary for us to follow that guru. I have no hope, or even necessity, to know Krishna, but if I can serve guru or the servant of the guru, then I feel this is the perfection, the sweet gift of the Rupanuga sampradaya that ultimately we must find Srimati Radharani in Sri Guru. That is the target of our service.

We have no hope to serve or please Krishna directly. We understand He is getting His pleasure, supreme pleasure, from Srimati Radharani. There is no question of seeing or serving Him directly, but to be amongst the manjaris, the sakhis, this is more than we can even hope for. It is our great good fortune that Srila Prabhupad has tricked us, and others, gracious Vaisnavs, have attracted and dragged us into the association of this Rupanuga sampradaya, which is so special, beyond all considerations and all other conceptions—the sweetness of Radha-dasyam. To protect it, of course, is our great necessity: to discover it, to receive it first (we must receive it) and then carefully preserve it, not allowing our own contamination to interfere with the proper reflection, the proper vibration—not that we will add, adjust, subtract, or change anything. And in this way, we can serve Krishna. From what I could glean from Srila Prabhupad, this was his highest aspiration, that service to the Vaisnava is higher, is actually possible, and that is his great grace upon us that he gives us that opportunity. We cannot hope to serve Krishna directly in crores of lifetimes, but if we can get one drop of dust of the lotus feet of the pure devotee, then our life is perfect, and I think I have no greater thing to achieve in this life than that gracious grant, which I have already received, only I need to purify myself properly.

 

...Dive deep, do not be satisfied with the surface understanding. Religion is a prison, and we have picked up so much of the acculturation of Hinduism and what we consider to be the Vedic religion, but it is necessary for us to go to the core, and this is beyond all visual, mental, and objective understanding, and that is the subjective—we must go into the subjective evolution of consciousness, and dive deep into that reality, Reality the Beautiful, where Krishna is searching for His lost servant. We need to join there. There really is not any reason to delay—we have been given everything, and we should not let anyone stand in the way of our own personal reception—submissive, oral reception. It does not have to come down through any hierarchy, or any voted body, but it is coming directly through sabdha brahman. And by hearing the sound of the Holy Name from the pure devotee, then we are given visa—not only passport, but visa—for entrance into that spiritual world.

You do not have to wear a button [badge], you do not have to dress in a certain way, you do not have to salute anyone, but it is necessary for you to receive in the core of your heart the sound vibration from the pure devotee, and it is necessary to hear that from the pure devotee, and you need to search for that pure devotee. Do not except any substitute.

In that talk of Srila Sridhar Maharaj, he told that suppose you go through the forest and you mark a path for others to follow, but if someone comes into that forest and marks every tree, then it is very difficult to know the real path. So, in this time, there are many bogus gurus about, and for whatever purpose there are many paths, but it is told strongly—our greatest friend is Krishna Himself, guru-paramatma in the heart, and paramatma will manifest as the pure devotee if we sincerely want that. So, it is according to our sincere hankering—if we want to contact the pure devotee, Krishna will arrange. We cannot be impatient, He will arrange for that. That sincerity can be found in the books. Srila Prabhupad told, "I am in the books." If we read them clearly with the purpose of hearing from Srila Prabhupad—not for understanding words, accumulating knowledge, a philosophical wrangling, but simply to contact the author who is simply giving you connection with his source—then we will get that connection. It is guaranteed.

 

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