My hidden love

na karma-bandhanam janma,vaisnavanams ca vidyate
visnor anucaratvam hi, moksam ahur manisninah

“A vaisnava does not take birth under the jurisdiction of karmic law. His birth and disappearance is transcendental. The wise have declared that the servants of visnu are eternally engaged in the liberated service of the Lord and hence are free from the laws of material nature.”

tvp-shop-klv-oneOne of the things I really wonder about is how the pure devotees got to the point they are. To attain prema is no easy thing or achieved in one lifetime. I remember sitting in one of Gurudeva’s lecture where he stated “To achieve prema will take many lifetimes. For you – maybe twenty lifetimes”. I thought for myself: that’s a lot of lifetimes.

The trouble is – people like my Gurudeva; I don’t really think he ever was a conditioned being. I think for some reason he chose to display his pasttime here and I happened to stumble across his path. But my path is from the conditioned state, and I have to walk that path to prema.

I would liked to just spend time with a person who has walked the same path and just ask, ask, ask how that person dealt with different situations, the decisions he/she took, what the reasoning behind them was, how it felt. How it feels now. Because I’m envious. I know there are people both younger and older than me that have chosen to live doing service towards a pure devotee. How did they get there?

I know I’m where I’m supposed to be now – I can’t really see I will be able to change it or even if I’m ready. I believe that things happen when you are ready for it, and I’m in the path I’m in for a reason.

That’s why one of my hidden pleasures is reading biographies, and the one biography that have given me the most is a biography of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja. What a gem of a book! What really makes this book important for me is that it’s written about how Gour Govinda Maharaja changed. It’s apparent that he was born in an conditioned state, and it tells about his transition to prema. How his body changed color, when he came to external consciousness he had to be told: this is your foot, hand etc.

But more important for me is how his life was before he changed. How he led his life. He went through hardships I can’t imagine, and I wonder how Krishna can be so harsh towards his devotee that are so dedicated to him. He just kept on going, tolerating this harsh material life, having material responsibilities that tried to eat him up, but he kept on going. Never wavering.

Now – that I can relate to. That’s what I’m looking for. I want to relate to people that are walking this conditioned life and somehow made it to the end or close to it. I want to hear their experiences and everything.

But of course, Gour Govinda Maharaja was no ordinary being. He was born in a famous Kirtana family, a devotee from birth and he had paramahamsas in his family which chose when to leave their body. I don’t think he was born with any material desires, he just had some small steps left (and I have no idea what those steps was). So this was his last lifetime while I still have at least 20 lifetimes before I might be where he was. So I guess I need to read at least 20 different lifetimes of biographies 😉

So, do you have any book/biography recommendations to me?

3 thoughts on “My hidden love

  1. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. There is one biography of him called “Hindu Encounters With Modernity”. He also reveals something about his change of heart regarding the Srimad Bhagavatam in his famous Bhagavata speech. But he also seems to have been only apparently conditioned, because when he talks about the ladder of Bhakti somewhere, he speaks of going through the different stages within days.

    It seems that devotees formally go through the stages that they have attained in previous lives. Let’s say that someone was in ruci, are born again, and then they meet devotees, feels faith, takes initiation, starts practicing, becomes steady and feels taste. It’ll all just go very fast.

  2. The cool thing about Bhaktivinoda Thakur is that he had a western mindset before he was converted to gaudiya vaishnavism. So in a sense he is the first western convert to our tradition.

    Another very nice book is Unknown India by Walter Eidlitz (Vamandas), an Austrian man who went to India in the 30’s and became a disciple of one of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s disciples.

  3. I have purchased “Encounters With Modernity” and awaiting it in the mail. I’m looking forward to it 🙂

    It’s an interesting concept that they go through the stages within days. Somehow it rings familiar since I also read that my Guru went through the kartik parikrama in days when he displayed his disappearance pasttime. It also supports the statement: “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail.” Bhagavad-gita 8.6

    I have read “Unknown india”. That was also a very nice book.

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