Oct 05, 2017 FRANCE (SUN)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja's speaking through the Sun article, "Initiation Into Spiritual Life" is very interesting, for it is representative of the acaryas' usual realism and lucidity. Which completely cuts with the illusory (or cheating) mood very often expressed by some devotees. And even by some sentimental and deluded "gurus". A mood generally traduced through statements like: "We don't depend on our own efforts to progress in spiritual life". A statement which, expressed in this way, is usually only an invitation and an incitation for spiritual lazyness, passivity and irresponsibility. Thanks a lot for this impulse and inspiration for being lethargic and becoming or staying a third-class devotee. Whose next life is maybe to become a "spiritual" ball and chain which only can be dragged by other persons. Or to become an "eternal" parasite. We have a large choice of bodies in this category.
How many times I was preached this easy philosophy by devotees!! Who are now, of course, almost completely in maya. Which is the logical result of this strong tendency to only believe what one wants to believe and to mainly follow the preaching of one's lazyness-partisan mind. Relayed by this easy credo conveyed by some. We sometimes only listen to what is pleasant to our ears.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja's proposal is much more interesting. And puts everyone in front of one's transcendental responsibilities. Which a first-class devotee fully assumes, by anticipating Krsna's and the spiritual master's desires. That is definitively much more interesting and productive than spiritual apathy.
To better understand this general point of how we fully depend on the pure devotee's mercy for advancing, but also the fact that all that does not exclude, as well, personal endeavour and efforts, let's establish a parallel with material education.
If someone wants to become a doctor or a surgeon, he (she) is actually completely dependent on the university and its teachers' mercy. No one has any legal right to declare oneself doctor or surgeon without first going through the university and learning from its teachers. And going through their final approval, materialized by their conclusive diploma. In this sense, the student is completely dependent on this system and its representatives. He definitively cannot become a doctor or a surgeon without their verdict, does not matter his personal endeavour and efforts.
But, if in the other side, this student believes that the university itself or/and its teachers will do for him the work he has to do, meaning to spend hours and hours memorizing so many things, studying very hard medicine lessons etc., this student is completely in illusion! Both the university and its teachers' mercy and the student's personal endeavour and efforts are necessary to achieve the desired result. Even if it is right that the student's efforts are useless and, very often, not even possible without the mercy of the teachers and the university system. Which, again, does not mean that this system and its teachers will ever do the student's necessary personal tremendous efforts in his place.
Therefore, coming back to Krsna Consciousness, if some gurus make others believe that those personal efforts are illusory, useless or even impossible in spiritual life, there are mainly two possibilities:
They believe that, themselves, and are completely deluded about their own spiritual level and about what they have already themselves spiritually reached without making big personal active efforts.
Or they want to maintain this myth because, through it, they make their disciples go on providing them with big material comfort and pratistha in exchange for the make-believe that through all that, those disciples make spiritual progress and will reach the ultimate goal. Progress which, of course, can never concretely be checked by the disciples themselves and relies mainly on some kind of superstition. Progress, the estimation of which, is, of course, said and taught to be possibly done only by the guru. Two precautions are better than one!