Question: I want to know more about the position of women in your tradition. Are women allowed to participate in the process of practising, praying, and showing their devotion?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Who is a woman here may not be a woman there in that higher realm; who is a man here may not be a man there. The body is only a dress. The soul has its mental dress, and according to that, we wear this physical dress, the flesh dress. Sexual identity means the flesh and the mind. In the soul, who will represent which type of sexual identity there, is uncertain at present here in this plane. But women there in the higher realm have a higher prospect — a brighter prospect — in the spiritual world. In the spiritual realm, those souls that are female — who have attained that formation of the soul’s realisation — hold a better and higher position than men. Here in the plane of exploitation, men hold the better position. But there, in the plane of submission and surrender, the female form of mind is more rewarding than the male’s form of mind. The negative aspect of submission is more valuable in connection with Krishna. The supreme positive is Krishna Himself. And His potency is of a negative nature. We belong to the negative-potency group, not the master group. The Lord Himself is the possessor of the potency.

Question: You refer to Krishna as Him. Does that mean that Krishna is manifested as a male figure?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes, male. That is, He is the predominating moiety, predominating half of the Absolute. And others are to be predominated by Him. There are two halves of the Absolute Truth: the male half, or predominating moiety, and the female half, or predominated moiety. Positive and negative. It is similar to the concept of the proton and electron, the positive and the negative. The proton is in the centre and the electron and innumerable other subatomic particles are like so many planets moving about the centre.

Question: Do you believe in the general concept of equality?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: No two things are ever equal, in this world or in the spiritual world. No two things can ever be the same or equal. Everything has its specific characteristic. One atom is different from another atom, one electron is different from another electron. It cannot but be. Everything has its particular differentiated character.

Question: How can you determine whether one thing is superior to another?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: We must judge a thing from the universal standpoint. If we are to judge a thing, we must judge its quality on the basis of its connection with the Centre. That measurement may be made according to the standard of ecstasy, rasam, just as gold is the standard for measuring the value of different monetary papers. There may be many currencies — the pound, the ruble, the dollar, the rupee, the yen — but the common standard for determining their value is gold. In the same way, there may be different types of calculation of one’s relationship with the Absolute on the basis of rasa, ecstasy or divine mellow. Rasa is also scientifically divided. Rasa is classified in five groups: santa, passive, dasya, servitude, sakhya, friendship, vatsalya, parenthood, and madhura, consorthood. And then again these groups are classified according to the degree or intensity of rasa in each group. Ultimately rasam, anandam, happiness, is the common standard by which to judge which religion is higher or lower.

If we want to establish the value of a thing, we must do so by seeing how much of the common requirement it provides. For example, food is a common requirement. We cannot eat dollars in a time of famine. But one who is in possession of food is in a good position. We cannot avoid food. We may not always require dollars, but we must have food. A nation cannot stand without food. That is an indispensable necessity for everyone. In the same way, joy is the innate requirement of every soul, every living thing. And so the position of a particular religious conception may be judged according to the development of rasa that may be traced there.

There are different proposals in the religious conceptions of different peoples. There are Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews. Amongst those who follow the Vedic doctrines, there are Vaisnavas, Sankarites, and so many others. But if we are to judge the value of different religious conceptions in a comparative study, we must judge their value by three things: sat, chit, and anandam. This means we must judge how far a religion is durable, eternal; what is the quality of what is conceived, how far can we conceive of it within the plane of knowledge; and what is its development of rasa, anandam. These three things must be there: existence, consciousness, and the food of consciousness — ecstasy, happiness. We are to compare religion on the basis of these three things.

In this way we may ask, «What is the proposal of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism regarding existence, knowledge, and ecstasy, which is the goal of all religion.» Christianity, Islam, Vaisnavism — so many religious faiths exist. We are to compare them and then accept what is best. Different adjustments are made by each faith. The different religions of the world are not to be cast away, but there are those for whom each will be — for the present — useful and relevant.

But according to our understanding, Krishna is the personification of ecstasy and beauty. And so the highest religious process for achieving complete ecstasy will be the search for Sri Krishna, Reality the Beautiful. But how should we search? Through devotion. And what is that? Dedication. What is dedication? Surrender, self-sacrifice — die to live. And what is living? To live in love, Krishna-prema, love divine. The whole picture can be described in two words, Krishna-prema. The search for Sri Krishna is sambandha-jnan or understanding our relationship with the object of our fulfilment. Then what is that search, and what is the end of the search? In a few words, in a nutshell, we have described all these things on the title page of our book, The Search for Sri Krishna, Reality the Beautiful.

And this may be understood through the help of Sri Guru and his grace. It may be explained that the necessity of Guru is there; it is universal. To err is human, but not to err is also an inner tendency. Sri Gurudev comes to give us relief from our internal trouble. In this way the conception of Guru may be developed. The necessity for Guru can be inferred from the universal basis of nature which is present around us.

And from there it will gradually move to the Absolute. Ultimately, the conception of Guru will come to Krishna. In this highest sense, Krishna is Guru. Who can remove all our doubts and satisfy all our enquiries? It is Krishna alone. Gradually, our faith will develop and take us to the one who can clear all our doubts. We may have doubts upon doubts. One doubt may go and thousands of doubts may come, but Guru is one who can clear all our doubts — bhidyate hrdaya-granthis chhidyante sarva-samsayah (SB: 1.2.21) — who can do away with all the suspicions in our mind; it is he who is full. In this way we must progress. The birth of our faith may be in intellectualism, but its goal is transcendental. The birth of our search and its destination will come to meet together. The birth of faith is from the potency of Krishna, and after moving through the whole of the Infinite, it will come again to the potency where we will take our eternal position.

Krishna consciousness means the Infinite in the finite: the affectionate connection of the finite with the Infinite helps him to live in infinity. The finite backed by the Infinite may become infinitely resourceful. Our Guru Maharaj gave the example that if a poor girl marries a prince, although she may have nothing, by her affectionate relationship with the prince, she turns into a princess. So, one who has nothing, only a friendly relationship, gets command over everything. This is the nature of Krishna consciousness.

One’s resources may increase in that way. Intrinsically, a jiva-soul is insignificant. It is an infinitesimal point of a point of a point, but by coming in affectionate connection with the Absolute, he gets the facility of all the advantages of a life with the Absolute. Then, he or she is in possession of the Whole. We cannot really ascertain anyone’s potency or power without considering his relationship with others. Israel is a small country. Russia could conquer it in five minutes, but — America is there. So, relationships, connections, and friends must be taken into consideration when understanding the power of a thing.

There is a fable that shows how a small bird was able to disturb and even control the whole ocean. Once, a small bird laid her eggs by the ocean’s shore, but the ocean carried the eggs away. When the ocean stole her eggs, the bird became angry and asked for them back, but the ocean would not return them. The bird went to her master, that bird went to his master, and in this way they finally went to Garuda, the master of all birds. Garuda is the servant bird carrier of Visnu. And Garuda came to the aid of that small bird. He threatened the ocean, «If you don’t return this little bird’s eggs immediately, I shall drink you to the last drop.» The ocean had to submit. In this way the unlimited ocean was conquered by a small bird. As the moral of this story, Pandit Visnu Sarma gives this conclusion: «When examining a person, we must consider his friends and the friends of his friends. Without such considerations, we should not try to estimate the power of a particular thing.» Because of friendly association, the ocean was conquered. In the same way, by making friendship with the Infinite, one can conquer the Infinite.

Главная | Миссия | Учение | Библиотека | Контактная информация | WIKI | Вьяса-пуджа