A Thief Requires No Invitation

By B. R. Sridhara Maharaja

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura once instructed a disciple at the time of initiation into the Hare Krishna mantra that Krishna should be allowed to land in our hearts, just as an army is landed by the navy. An army is carried by a ship, and when they have landed, the fight begins, and they capture the country, just as Julius Caesar said, “Veni vidi vici: I came, I saw, I conquered.” So, we have to allow Krishna to land in our hearts. Then the fight will begin.

What is the proposal of Krishna consciousness, and what is the proposal of so many other conceptions? They are all giving us their assurances from time immemorial, saying, “I shall give you this, I shall give you that,” but the Krishna conception will enter and say, “My claim is this: the whole thing is mine, and you are all trespassers.” The fight will begin; the unwanted things are sure to withdraw, and Krishna consciousness will capture the whole heart. This is the process. Krishna consciousness has only to land within our hearts. Somehow or other, from a pure devotee, a bit of real Krishna consciousness should enter through our ears into our hearts, and Krishna will supply whatever is required. One who has imbibed even a slight regard for Krishna consciousness is assured of success in spiritual life, today or tomorrow.

We may have erected high walls on all sides to protect ourselves so that Krishna consciousness may not enter, but Krishna is a thief, and a thief requires no invitation. No preparation is necessary for his welcome. He will enter for his own interest, and that is our consolation. Our solace is that Krishna is a thief. Maya has erected her high walls on all sides, but nothing is sufficient to stop Krishna consciousness. Krishna is a thief, and stealthily he will enter one day.

A devotee may become hopeless, thinking, “The enemy is within my own house; my own kinsmen are my enemies. I am hopeless.” We may become disappointed, but Krishna consciousness will not leave us in any way. Krishna will persevere, and in due course of time, he will conquer. And other things, no matter how closely related they may be in private and well-protected rooms in our hearts, will have to go. They must take leave from every corner of our hearts. Krishna will conquer. Krishna will capture the whole thing. The unwanted lusty desires of our heart are foreign things. They are only mushrooms. Like mushrooms, they come out; they have no permanent stability or root. They are not rooted to the soil. We may think that what we have stored in our hearts is very near and dear, and that is already mixed with us as a part of our existence, but when Krishna consciousness enters, that will all float like mushrooms.

After all, they are mushrooms; they have no footing, no connection with the soil. They are only floating. All material interests are only floating on the surface. They are not deeply rooted within and without the whole of our existence. Only Krishna consciousness is present everywhere, within all parts of our existence. So, the mushrooms will have to vanish one day. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.8.5)

pravistah karna-randhrena
svanam bhava-saroruham
dhunoti samalam Krsnah
salilasya yatha sarat

When Krishna enters the heart through the ear, he captures the lotus of the heart and then gradually makes all the dirt in the heart disappear. Just as when the autumn season comes, all the water everywhere becomes pure, so also, when Krishna enters our hearts, all the impurities within will gradually vanish, and only Krishna will remain forever.

This article originally appeared in Search for Sri Krishna: Reality the Beautiful (pdf).

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9 Responses to A Thief Requires No Invitation

  1. Its wonderful how Srila Sridhar Maharaja can simultaneously emanate great confidence and great humility.

  2. I really liked the comparison of our unwanted material desires being only losely attached to our heart, like mushrooms… just ‘floating’ on top of soil – no deep roots to them, nothing requiring serious effort to pull out… very poetic and deeply true.
    I pray that Krsna consciousness will enter my heart and grow a strong, deep root, resisting all the drougt of my neglect and high winds of my other interests in life.

    • Comments like this are inspiring! I have just petitioned Gaura and Nityananda on your behalf as well. May they and the Vaisnavas bless you!

    • I was thinking that also although many times our anarthas sure don’t seem like mushrooms from our small point of view. Mine seem more often like a forest of gigantic banyan trees, but the mushroom analogy is indeed very encouraging to hear and I guess true from the objective rather than subjective viewpoint.

      • Mahaprabhu gave the example of comparing these material attachments to weeds. Weeds are a lot better rooted than mushrooms and weeds can sometimes be more difficult to distinguish from the main creeper.
        Since we have somewhat of a difference in these two examples of Sridhar Maharaja and Mahaprabhu, I am of the opinion that Sridhar Maharaja was referring to devotees when he said that material attachments are like mushrooms.
        For the non-devotees, these attachments are deep rooted. Otherwise, they could not keep us in the material world eon after eon.

  3. What a nice thread. I like the encouragement, honesty, and especially the blessings.

    What I have found in my own life is that attachment to enjoyments is not the primary problem. I actually have a worse problem. There seems to be another level to this. I feel like I can easily give up my attachments to the objects of attachment. What is most challenging is giving up the attachment I have to being attached to objects. Attachment is what I have known, and what has oriented me in life. To give up attachment altogether is to give up myself as I have known myself. This is very scary. The objects of enjoyment themselves… these are insignificant in comparison. My primary object of enjoyment is my temporal identity. I know no other yet.

    I cultivate the diksha mantras I have been given and I sometimes feel attachment coming loose…and I find this most scary. Sacrifice is a lovely concept until you realize that it is yourself that has to be put in the fire.

    • It is a scary thought to give up all attachment because that would be the death of the self – non-existence. We actually cannot become free from attachment alltogether. Attachment is an integral part of our very existence. Without desire the self does not exist. As Swami says – we are our desires.
      This is such a profound point. Whether we look at our material desires as mushrooms or weeds, deep roots or easily swept away, the cure for these anarthas is not to get gardening gloves and getting your hands dirty picking out individual desires and spraying weed kill. Rather, the identity and foundation, the very soil that mushrooms and weeds grow in needs to be taken out with a backhoe and new soil (Vraja-raj) must be brought in.
      As we cultivate spiritual identity, and along with it spiritual attachments, nothing foul will grow in that soil – only beautiful flowers. The quickest, least labor intensive and most thorough solution to material identity and material attachment is the cultivation of spiritual identity and spiritual attachment.

  4. “Only Krishna consciousness is present everywhere, within all parts of our existence.”

    What a message of hope! Thank you, thank you for reminding us.
    After all that is what and who we are.

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