Knowledge is Revealed by Bhakti

BY: CAITANYA DAS - 30.10 2018

Theological teachings tell us those who have practiced spiritual life previously automatically take up where they finished from.

To consider that everything about theology applies in a one-size-fits-all fashion is an immature understanding. Take for instance the study and understanding of Srila Prabhupada's books. It is obvious that a person who has had previous connections with spiritual life, and that could mean numerous things, will have a better understanding of them and be able to apply them in their lives in devotion to Krishna, a lot more that another who has a lesser connection.

The connections come in the sense of an ability to control the mind and senses. Symptoms will be actual bhakti in the heart, at least to some degree, which is free from or becoming free from from karma and jnana. This of course is understood clearly in our theological teachings, as the normal progression of the bhaktas.

It's also understood that by Sri Caitanya and Lord Nityananda's mercy, even an unqualified person can immediately take up the path of Bhakti and progress very soundly on the path. Therefore saints and sadhus wander all over the earth to give association. By that association a long lost attraction will come about, or a sudden revival of a deep practice that has previously taken place.

The devotees always keep themselves connected to Krishna through His devotees. A devotee is always seeking shelter and association of sadhus, whatever category, but of course, advanced devotees are sought for the rich devotion in their hearts, which spills out in their association, providing we approach them in the right humble spirit. When one has perfected this association and service, the literature and teachings of all our Acaryas become understood and can be relished. But how can we expect to understand such literature with untrained minds and senses? And that untrained condition is relative. An advanced devotee is very conscious of all aspects of his mind; a new bhakta has no such insight to his motives and conditioning.

The main point about the devotee is his bhakti, his love for Krishna, which is shown in practical ways in his service and dealings. Bhakti that is well beyond jnana, or a need to acquire knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Of course the uttama bhakta has extensive knowledge, but it's the bhakti that is predominant.

To approach Krishna and perfect one's life is a long journey generally, beginning with you are not the body, going all the way through to understanding and relishing the highest rasa displayed in Goloka Vrndavana.

When we hear, can we accept Srila Prabhupada and his books as our guide? The answer is sure, but where is your mind currently and where should it go in all the details? This knowledge is revealed by bhakti. To get bhakti we need personal association of those in bhakti, who are actually relishing the topics of bhakti. It's not academic, as Krishna points out in Gita.

If you can relish all aspects of spiritual truth and are detached from the body due to reading alone, one can assume previously you must have had deep connections. This is theologically possible, but not the general rule.