Does anyone teach a baby how to suck milk when he is born? Did anyone ever taught us that we should laugh when we are happy or cry when we are in pain? These symptoms are inherently present in all living beings and one automatically exhibits it as soon as one is born. But it may happen that these spontaneous activities may be absent in a person because of a diseased condition of the body.
Similarly love for the Lord is inherently present in us but due to our diseased condition we are not able to exhibit it or experience it now. When a person is cured of his physical illness, he may again be able to laugh, smile, cry, joke and eat. Similarly, when we get cured of our material illness, when our heart is free from all material impurities then we will be automatically able to experience the presence of Lord in our hearts and everywhere.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is none other than Krishna appeared in this mortal world to teach us how by systematic practice of devotional life we can gradually purify ourselves and re-awaken love of Godhead.
In Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya 23.14-15, he explains how we can attain complete perfection even in this lifetime.
Mahaprabhu says that in the beginning the seeker should have firm faith (sraddha) in the Supreme Lord. And with determination he should give up sense gratification and start working hard for spiritual advancement.
Just like a piece of iron when put in fire becomes fiery similarly when an ordinary soul associates with Krishna’s sincere devotees he too begins developing the qualities of a devotee. So he advises that an aspiring devotee should always aspire for devotees’ association (sadhu sangah).
And in that association, he should perform devotion (bhajan) to the Supreme Lord by chanting his holy name and remembering his sweet pastimes. When the name of Krishna enters the heart through the ears it begins flushing out the impurities from the hearts. When the sun rises darkness has no choice but to dissipate similarly as soon as the holy name begins entering the hearts the impurities do not have any choice but to get purged. He further explains that a spiritual practitioner should try his best to engage his mind in remembering the divine name of the Lord, his beautiful form, qualities and eternal pastimes. When the mind gets occupied with the Lord it becomes easier to give up worldly attachments which brings only fear, anxiety and sufferings. This stage when the bad and unwanted habits start diminishing is called anartha nivritti.
The seeker then develops firm faith in the Supreme Lord and starts experiencing taste (rucih) in chanting and remembering the names of the Lord. He now, 24 hours in a day, enjoy engaging himself in devotion to the Lord. Thus, he develops deep attachment (asaktih) and subsequently deep affection (bhavah) for the Lord. And ultimately the sincere seeker attains prema, the love of Godhead which is the highest goal, the supreme goal beyond which nothing else is required to be achieved.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is also known as Gauranga or Gaura Sundar because of his beautiful golden complexion has given this golden opportunity to all of us to free ourselves from all worldly sufferings in this life itself and enjoy bliss for eternity with the Lord.
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(Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at https://discoverursupersoul.com/)[ afterlife ] [ caitanya ] [ goal ]