Post Author: Bhakta Matus Date: 2008-01-30 13:04:49
Dear Swami Gaurangapada Maharaja, Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances.
i have some questions regarding sadhu- and sastra-sanga. To progress in devotional life the support of sadhu-guru-shastra is essential. Devotee shall ensure that these 3 components are there in His sadhana. But how to practically deal with these 3 elements and especially with sadhu and shastra is a question for me. My question(s) regarding sadhu: It is said that the association of sadhus, saintly devotees, is very much essential for devotional life (sadhu-sanga sadhu-sanga...). So nowadays a devotee gets the opportunity of association with various sadhus from various gaudiya vaishnava groups. How shall the devotee see and use this chance? What are the possible problems concerning sadhu-sanga? Are there some specific restrictions/guidelines for a devotee in order to remain on the secure path and simultaneously to derive the greatest benefit of such association? My question(s) regarding shastra: Analogically to sadhu, there are so many shastras and so many books written by many present days sadhus. How shall a devotee deal with this huge supply of shastra-sanga? My question(s) regarding guru: What is the significance of guru in connection with the other two aspects, namely sadhu and shastra? In which sense and to which extent is the consultation with guru prior or post the association with sadhus (and shastras) necessary? Thank You very much.
Yours sincerely, Matus
Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2008-01-30 17:32:21
(1) One can freely hear from any devotee or Sadhu in our Bhaktivinoda Sarasvata Bhaktivedanta line considering the following:
(a) No blasphemy or minimization of any other devotees or Nityaananda Gauraanga Naama should be heard. (b) No hidden agenda or ulterior motive for speaking or discussing Gaura Hari Katha. Such Katha should not be heard. Only desire should be to relish the Katha and serve the devotees. (c) No apasiddhanta or wrong philosophical and scriptural conclusions should be heard. (d) No back-biting or duplicitous or unpleasing or anti-scriptural dealings with devotees should be performed. One should always speak humbly and sweetly with devotees without discrimination. (e) No very advanced topics (intimate Radha Krishna's Pastimes etc.) should be heard without proper qualification.
(2) The Gaura Vihita Holy Scriptures of our Gaudiya Acharyas Shrila Prabodhananda, Shrila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, Shrila Krishndasa Kaviraja Goswami, Shrila Narahari Chakravarti, Shrila Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Sarasvati Prabhupada and Shrila Swami Prabhupada should remain as the primary scriptures in our lives which we should read and hear repeatedly. Other scriptures or holy books should be added as suplementary daily reading or hearing.
(3) One does not have to ask Guru for permission to hear every Katha. One should just take care of considering the above five points in (1). According to Shrila Narahari Sarakara in Krishna Bhajanamrita, one should request permission from one's Diksha Guru if one wants to receive Shiksha from a Shiksha Guru for a longer period of time. One should then come back and share that Shiksha with one's Diksha Guru and request his permission and blessings to implement it in one's own Naama Bhajana.
I hope this has helped. If you have any further questions, please let me know. Nityaananda! Gauraanga! Hare Krishna!