THE BONA FIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER (part5)
So it is a very serious commitment to have a spiritual master and one should understand from that point on… spiritual life becomes a priority in life. For most people it’s not, for most people it is something on the side, something that’s there in our life, but not the ultimate priority but the purpose is ..yeah.. to give it our everything….time is moving along so maybe some questions?
Devotee speaks: Is it individual thing to choose spiritual master or is like husband and wife should choose the same one.
Maharaja : No it is a individual matter, it is a individual matter: it is said that the personal relationship with the spiritual master is important, it’s not everything but it helps. If there is a personal relationship it makes things easier to opens one’s heart and makes it easier to follow his directions, so therefore it is important that one can relate to the spiritual master, of course in many cases it happens where husband and wife can relate to the same spiritual master and makes it easy, makes life simple, well ok generally the spiritual master of the wife will not give instructions contradictory to the instructions and directions that the husband receive, that would create havoc…obviously. So if there are two spiritual masters in one family then the spiritual master will be sensitive and he know that he should not just tell his wife , tell the wife disciple, right, you go to China when the husband just got an order to go to America! And have a marriage by correspondence!
No so it has to be realistic, that sastra says that the wife should follow the vow of the husband, that means basically ultimately, woman needs to be protected, woman requires a stable situation, ultimately women are destined to have children and although in modern times some women say “No desire to have any children, no no ,no”
But they say that when they are young, but when they are old and they never had a child, they will be lonely. I saw a single mother on the plane and she was telling me and talking about how she was having a job, put the kid in crèche, this that and actually she said “I think that old fashioned model, wasn’t so bad , you know, the ladies would just stay at home, look after the kids and the men would just do the work. It wasn’t so bad when I think about it”
Yes so these roles are traditionally there for certain reasons, so obviously it was quite practical, because it is not the same to put your kids in the crèche and go to work. Anyway like that we can appreciate, the wife follows the vow of the husband, so the spiritual master also considers that if there are two spiritual masters in a family.
So one should make a choice according to one’s own inspiration.
Devotee speaks: In the sanskrit here it translates that one should pay obeisances
Maharaja: It’s true that Srila Prabhupada has not included that in any way. I guess the word pranipatena could mean other things too, could also mean respectfully approaching. And Srila Prabhupada is using that particular meaning here. The verse itself is establishing that one should approach the spiritual master submissively, so it is included in what he is following. So the same point is there. But the essence is we should approach a spiritual master, without approaching a spiritual master one can not know the truth. So Srila Prabhupada specifically chose this word approach to make it very clear: you must have a spiritual master, he made that very important. So many people think “Well, do I really need a spiritual master, can’t I just practice spritual life on my own?”
And the answer is no, no it is not possible. Without a spiritual master, one is very much hampered in making spiritual advancement, it’s not a luxury, it’s not for special devotees, actually everyone should have a spiritual master, that is the proper understanding, that’s why: “just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master”. That’s why the word approaching is very important here to establish: make the connection with the spiritual master. I think therefore the word approach establishes the proper emphasis.
Devotee: How do you know that you are ready?
Maharaja: Well… how do you ever know you are ready, you know what I mean. Even after you have chanted 16 rounds for five years , followed 4 regulative principles for five yrs and been going to the temple , faithfully and as much as possible, and done everything what’s the guarantee that you will still be doing it in fifteen years from now.. you might be a different person, you’re life might change so much so how can we promise, so can you promise for a whole life, when you don’t even know what the future will bring, how can you make such a big promise. Therefore when we are making the promise we know that actually we don’t have the power to keep that promise, therefore we know that the only way we can keep that promise is by taking shelter of Krishna…sanskrit….. because only by taking shelter of Krishna can we overcome maya. So we know the only way we can follow these vows at initiation is by the help of Krishna. So by constantly taking shelter of Krishna can we keep the vows. So if you have that understanding then you are ready, then you are ready: I can only keep these vows if by taking shelter of Krishna…..contd tomo
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