The Cost of Our Journey

By Srila B.R. Sridhara Deva Goswami

utsahan niscayad dhairyat, tat tat karma pravartanat
sanga tyagat sato vrtteh, sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati

In Upadesamrta, according to the advice of Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Goswami has given this sloka to us. What should be our fare, the capital for the journey? Utsahat: enthusiasm; niscayat: pure faith; dhairyat: patience; tat tat karma pravartanat: perseverance, to perseveringly go on doing those very programs which are mentioned and required of us to do like kirtana and so on. Sanga tyagat: we must leave the opposite association, anti-God association; and sato vrtteh: we shall accept, we must try to accept the sentiments, the feelings and the nature of thought of the higher. We shall try to associate with the sadhus, with the devotees, and give up what is against our devotion.

We must continue this program infinitely, and thereby we shall find him everywhere in such practices. If I withdraw from them, I will see darkness. It cannot be truth. If we are following the real path and then stop, it will simply be horrible for us. So unconsciously we will enter God’s domain. It is the nature of the Infinite. Sometimes he will seem to be very near and close by. Sometimes it will seem, “Oh, am I making progress in the wrong direction?” And then at the next moment again, no, no! I am all right.” This is his play from the background.

So many things may come, but we must always keep the association of the genuine devotee. That is the most important factor. In the absence of such association, we must keep the association of the scripture: the words and thoughts of the devotees. That is our solace, consolation, capital, everything: the holy books and holy persons. We must think that we are infinitesimal on the way to have Infinite.

The real sadhu is a concrete thing to us. Everything is almost abstract, but a sadhu is a concrete thing. In his heart we shall find the existence and feelings surcharged with God consciousness, that is something which is tangible. We can converse with each other. That will seem to be something tangible. Otherwise, almost everything is abstract. Hare Krishna.

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