I was once in a festival where I for some reason I don’t remember I was asked by Syamarani didi (a very advanced devotee) to find one person. So I asked a sannyasi and his friend at the dinner table if they knew where this person was. The friend responded irritated that it was very impolite to barge in on the conversation like that. I responded “Oh, I’m sorry but I’m not asking for me. I’m asking for Syamarani didi.” They looked at each other, and I saw in their expression that they had just received a lesson. Later on the friend apologised.
Spiritual people have the tendency to try to find meaning in everything. I certainly do, but this crisis I have gone through – I really see no lesson there. If it’s about grit, to just continue and not give up – well, that is a lesson I have learned from before. If it’s a test to me – well, that makes me chuckle because why test for something that’s barely there?
It’s not like I have stopped believing, I just stopped seeing the point in practising.
“There are two kinds of sraddha: one is worldly sraddha, worldly faith, and the second is transcendental faith. Worldly sraddha is always shaky and very weak. On the other hand, if one has transcendental sraddha, like Haridasa Thakura, he will think, ‘Even if you cut me into thousands of pieces, I will not give up my chanting and my worship.'” (Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, July 6 2002, France)]
(Worldly faith may also apply to faith in material relations, and in that case transcendental faith will apply to faith in transcendental personalities, like Guru, sadhu, and sastra.)
I still belive in Gurudeva and the things he preaches. I have problems with the siddhanta that states that you can have no progress without sadhu-sanga. I have trouble believing in it. Then I got the assignment to look into greed. I’m wondering if that may be part of my answer;
“No one ever develops greed on the basis sastra, nor is there any consideration of qualification or lack thereof for obtaining the coveted goal. Rather, greed arises spontaneously simply on hearing about or seeing the object of one’s greed”. (raga varma candrika Text 5)
That’s it – the key point here is greed. Greed is the qualification for entering spiritual life and to get greed you have to hear or see the object of one’s greed. So how does sadhu-sanga (or sadhu-seva as syamananda prabhu points out) apply to this and that there can be no progress without it?
I really find spiritual life to be like a carpet with intricate patterns. There are so many threads to keep track of, and they make such a beautiful pattern but you can’t see it before you have attained mastery of all the threads and know how to put it together. And you need to have a master to teach you how to make the carpet.
So yes, I get that without sadhu-sanga there can be no progress. But at the same time, greed is spontaneous and requires no qualification. I’m not really sure where I’m getting at with this line of thought.
But I have moved forward now. If I make no progress, it doesn’t matter. I just have to continue and may be I will have sadhu-sanga again. By continuing I may get enough sukriti to have sadhu-sanga again. Right now I don’t really see the reason to continue on, I just do anyway.
But reading about spiritual greed is really lovely. It’s such a beautiful feeling that’s being conveyed. If you think about material greed a feeling of disgust comes up. When reading about spiritual greed it’s so lovely – it’s like I can taste the feeling. I guess that’s one of the reasons I keep on going even when there are setbacks. I really love the feelings that scripture conveys.
Come to think about it- I really want to understand and learn about those feelings. Forget about practice, I want to learn about the feelings.