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.”
One 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?