Be Humbler Than Even a Blade of Grass
BY: SRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKUR
Dec 25, USA (SUN) Excerpt from Part I; Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani), 1900-1936
Our own eternal function is to associate ourselves with the Eternal, to sever our connection with everything temporal, to engage ourselves in All-Knowledge, to dispel all darkness of ignorance as well as to develop and progress with our inherent enthusiasm for the transcendental.
I myself have individual business with the Integral All-love. I do not require any second person (you) who have got some other position than my Object, viz., the All-love. I need not trouble myself with the company of ‘him’ who has no true kindness to me or who has no whole-hearted love for the All-love. So the Personality has a singular significance quite distinct from such Impersonation as we have here, owing to our apathy to the Personality of Godhead, which is improper in itself and which is, in other words, a contamination with incompatible concomitants. I myself should not be polluted by that discord which is always found in the plurality of this miserable manifestation, but I have every inclination to make my friends quite compatible with the All-love, provided you or they count me as one of you or them. I will then be in a position to accept comradeship in that plurality, as all of us shall there have one aim and object and no conflicting discord due to our mutual rivalries.
I will be all the more pleased if I find that another competes in my line to serve my All-love in a better way perhaps than I can. This lower gradation of myself will not harm or prejudice me in the least, but will develop and augment the cause of my unalloyed devotion to and love for Him; I will rather regulate and conciliate my wrong elements harmoniously and count my co-sharer’s singular service in the proper light of my Guru. My co-sharer, by rendering closer service to the All-love from than my humble devotion, must needs draw more love from my Guru, and on my part I should please my Guru by not interfering with the greater facility of closer service rendered by my co-sharer. My friends who have greater aptitude of love for the All-love Krishna would not then despise me, but will kindly count me as their humble friend by graciously allowing me to be blessed with an unalloyed devotion to and love for my own Guru who is identically the same with the Predominated Counter-Whole of the Predominating Aspect of the All-love. I will ‘therefore’ never be hostile and apathetic to those who have a tendency to be devoted to the All-love, but I will reckon them as confidential members whom I should serve with all intimacy and love for their close services to Him in a plane where I have also got a humble position.
Here are the words spoken by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself: ‘It is necessary to be humbler than a blade of grass if one is really anxious to take the Name of Godhead.’ One never supplicates another unless one realizes his own littleness. When we pray for the help of other persons we consider ourselves helpless. A certain work cannot be done by myself; it is, therefore, necessary to take the help of others, if I want to do the work at all. Any work that can be done only by five persons acting together is not possible to be performed by one’s own un-aided efforts. Shri Gaursundar has told us to take the Name of Godhead. These tidings flow to us from the lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva. Shri Gaursundar has told us to call upon the Name of Godhead, which means that he also told us to be humbler than a blade of grass when we call upon the Name of Godhead. If we call upon Godhead for converting Him into our servant or want to take His help for doing any work on our own account we cannot preserve the quality of humility greater than that of the blade of grass. External exhibition of humility is not that quality of lowliness which makes one humbler than the blade of grass. Mere show of humility is nothing but insincerity or hypocrisy. That manner of calling which is responded to by one’s subordinate does not reach Godhead. Because He is the Supreme Independent, Perfect, Self-conscious Entity Who is subject to none. It is necessary to fully establish one’s individuality in the state of guileless humility. If this is not done one’s prayer does not reach the Perfect Autocrat.
There is another condition. It is necessary to fall upon Godhead by being humbler than a blade of grass. It is also necessary at the same time to be possessed of the quality of patience. If we are not patient we cannot call upon Godhead in the manner that will reach Him. We become impatient whenever we covet anything. Covetousness is the opposite of humility. We must fully believe in Godhead. We must believe in His Plenitude. We can have no wants if we call upon Him. If we have this perfect faith we cannot be wanting in patience. On the other hand if we are covetous if we are betrayed into inconstancy by our impatience, if we secretly cherish any plan of gaining our object by means of any ability or merit of our own, then we are no longer in the condition to call upon Godhead. Prayer to Godhead is also impossible if on the contrary one is occupied with the attempt merely to destroy one’s self-conceit.
On many occasions we suppose that it is due to our own innate kindness that we at all pray to Godhead or recite His praises, that it is open to us to be engaged in any other work without calling upon Godhead as a matter of necessity. Such judgment is also indicative of want of patience. It is necessary to have a Protector to save us from such inclination of the mind. It is necessary to have a Protector to save us from being deprived of the quality of guileless humility greater than that of a blade of grass`. It is necessary to have a Refuge for being saved from such evil tendency. Thakur Narottam has said, ‘He who serves after obtaining protection is never abandoned by Krishna. All the rest die needlessly.’
It is first of all necessary to sit at the lotus-feet of Shri Guru and obey his commands. It is recognised as necessary to have to submit to a teacher to obtain capacity for work, knowledge or the fulfillment of any desires other than Krishna that are available in this world. But the knowledge that those teachers give produces only a variety of small results. But the lotus-feet of Shri Gurudeva who teaches about the highest good, do not give trivial fruits like the above. The lotus-feet of Shri Gurudeva provide for our real good. The moment there is cessation for the mercy of Shri Gurudeva, diverse evil desires are bound to make their appearance in the world. It is necessary to have the constant help of the spiritual teacher to show us the way. It is necessary to be constantly advised regarding the method of seeking the protection of the lotus-feet of Shri Gurudeva, to be instructed about the mode in which to deal with the lotus-feet of Shri Gurudeva. If the spiritual teacher does not constantly teach us all these matters we are bound to lose in no time even the treasure that we might receive.
The service of the Holy Name is undoubtedly the only method by which we can really serve Godhead. It is Shri Gurudeva Who bestows on us the gift of this method of service. It, therefore, stands to reason that it should be our duty, above every other thing, to worship the lotus-feet of Shri Guru at the beginning of the new year. In the Bhakti Rasamritasindhu Shri Rupa Goswami Prabhu has said, ‘Accepting the protection of the feet of Shri Guru is, therefore, the first duty. The next duty is to learn from him about Krishna by the processes of sikshaa, etc. Then follows the duty of serving Shri Guru on a footing of intimacy. This is the path that is followed by the Sadhus. It is our duty to follow their example.’