(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 8 September 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa, Home Program)Continued from “No ordinary gifts”
As a sannyasi, I don’t have so much to give but we can spend a little time to go into the scripture and we can bring in that. We could spend some more time practicing kirtan and we can bring in that. This is the spirit, dadāti pratigŗhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pŗcchati, to reveal one’s mind in confidence. It is not just about revealing all the mental energy, not like that, but to be honest about where one is. If we are honest about where we are in our spiritual life, then we can also get an honest reply, an honest response. If we act as if we are so advanced, “I’m so advanced. Oh, yes. Oh, Krsna. Who can tell me anything?” But if one is more honest then one can also get some response that may be relevant.
Some people, they are afraid of their spiritual master. They prefer his picture incarnation because it always smiles, right, and when he comes in real life, they sit as far away as possible. And then, if he speaks to them, “Are you alright?” then they will say, “Oh yes, yes, yes. Everything, very good.” But then shortly after, they have difficulties in spiritual life.
The relationship is meant to be one based on trust. Trust because the idea is that Lalita (from the Hamsaduta) is a well-wisher. She had no other intention than to do good. She was performing an important mission for Radha and Krsna because she is always engaged in important service to Radha and Krsna. She decided that she wanted to uplift the swan and only do good to that swan. Maybe it was a little more good than the swan wanted to digest, that is another matter, because swans are known to have some independence. But anyway, the point is that there is no question doubting the character of Lalita. We can have some doubt about the swan but not about Lalita. Lalita’s intentions are pure and Lalita is a pure well-wisher.
We see Srila Prabhupada in that mood of a well-wisher. I like to tell the story of a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. A certain swan who joined in the very early days. He was like one of the earliest swamis that had paddled around in Prabhupada’s pond. What happened was that he became involved with Prabhupada before there was a movement, before there was ISKCON. And he was already quite involved with Prabhupada, with Swamiji, when one day in a program, suddenly this lawyer stood up and was talking about starting a society. He was also one of the ones who became involved in signing on the document to start the society although he himself was wondering, “What do we want that for?” He had his doubts about it but still he signed to start the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. But he could not give his heart to a society. He could give his heart to Swamiji but not to the society and for him the two were not naturally synonymous. For us, maybe, because we came at a time when Prabhupada’s movement was already established and for many of us, Prabhupada’s movement is sort of a manifestation of Prabhupada, right. We kind of appreciate Prabhupada because he made such a movement in the world that brings Krsna consciousness. When we see behind the movement, we see Prabhupada so in this way, we connected with Prabhupada’s movement. But for him, it was different. He connected with Prabhupada and then suddenly on the way, there was a movement. And he sort of thought like, “What’s that? I have to sign for that? To be part of something like that?” So, in that way, he never completely conformed to a movement but he remained always dedicated to Prabhupada.
So yes, on one festival on Prabhupada disappearance day in Vrndavana, he was there and he stood on the stage. And he was not dressed in your traditional Hare Krsna dress. He was wearing blue jeans, a black t-shirt, some sort of punkish hair and a tiger skin vest – quite an outfit! He stood on the stage and he said, “Well, I know there are some of you out there who are not very happy to see me here today”, he said, “but I tell you one thing, I am not going anywhere. I am here to stay.” He said, “And you want to know why? It’s because of three words that Prabhupada wrote to me in a letter.” He said, “You know what those three words were – your ever well-wisher!”
So that is a fact. So that must be the foundation of guhyam ākhyāti pŗcchati, the idea that no matter what the spiritual master says, he is my well-wisher. Even if I don’t like what he says, still, he is my well-wisher because I trust him. I trust him that he is having a higher vision, a higher sense of value and yes, I’ll accept like that. So guhyam ākhyāti pŗcchati.