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Hear From Self-realized Souls
A pure living entity, being always subservient to the Almighty Godhead Shri Krishna, should reverentially give an aural reception to the transcendental sound emanating from the mouth of a self-realized soul describing the glories of the Personality of Godhead. Only a self-realized soul can produce the powerful effect of transcendental sound. Devotees must live thoroughly honest lives in all respects by their body, mind, and words. These are the simple methods of culturing spiritual realization to its zenith.
Lord Chaitanya approved of this simple method for all classes of people without any distinction of caste, creed, color, or education. The only qualification of the practitioners that is essential for this spiritual culture is that they at once give up the idea of becoming one with Godhead. This idea of becoming one with Godhead is generally only acquired by the empiric philosopher, but otherwise every human being naturally feels that God is greater than himself and that he is always subservient to all His wishes. Even a great personality like Mahatma Gandhi always spoke in terms of “God is great.” Gandhi often said, “Not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of God.”
Therefore, the imaginary idea of becoming one with Godhead is a mental creation of the empiric philosopher as a result of his material vanity. Otherwise, the idea has no substance. The idea of becoming one with Godhead is artificial and a simple-hearted person is always against such an idea. Rejecting the idea of becoming one with Godhead is always natural for everyone and nobody has to make any special attempt to dismiss this foolishness.
The next qualification is to become gentle and humble when hearing from a self-realized soul. The Bhagavad-gita is the direct transcendental message of Godhead, and the prospective devotee must receive this message with all gentleness and humility from a self-realized soul.
The method of receiving the message of Godhead, as mentioned in the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, is to hear from the chain of disciplic succession. It is said there that the system of spiritual realization was first disclosed to Vivasvan, the sun-god, who transmitted the message to Manu, the father of mankind. Manu then transmitted the subject to his son Ikshvaku. By the transcendental method of disciplic succession, the system was realized by all the rajarshis, saintly kings. Unfortunately, the chain was broken and the message had to again be revived beginning with Arjuna, the friend and devotee of Shri Krishna.
The prospective devotee’s qualification of hearing the transcendental message will not depend on birth, heritage, education, caste, creed, color, or nationality, but will depend on humility and finding the proper source for receiving the transcendental message. The mystery of the message as mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita must therefore be understood in terms of the realization of Arjuna and nobody else. The realization of Arjuna is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, and whoever speaks in the line of that realization is to be considered a self-realized soul. The message of Bhagavad-gita is to be heard from a self-realized soul and not from anyone speculating on dry subjects with imaginary meanings. The un-bona-fide attempt at hearing will simply be a waste of time. The devotee must always be careful that the speaker is in the transcendental line of disciplic succession called the parampara. The qualification of the prospective devotee should be that he must live an honest life by his body, mind, and words, which will all depend on the mercy of Godhead.