Srimad Bhagavatam 01.05.24 - Secrets of Spiritual Life (download mp3)
by Srila Haridas Thakur Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
te mayy apetākhila-cāpale ’rbhake
dānte ’dhṛta-krīḍanake ’nuvartini
cakruḥ kṛpāṁ yadyapi tulya-darśanāḥ
śuśrūṣamāṇe munayo ’lpa-bhāṣiṇi
Although they were impartial by nature, those followers of the Vedānta blessed me with their causeless mercy. As far as I was concerned, I was self-controlled and had no attachment for sports, even though I was a boy. In addition, I was not naughty, and I did not speak more than required.
In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, “All the Vedas are searching after Me.” Lord Śrī Caitanya says that in the Vedas the subject matters are only three, namely to establish the relation of the living entities with the Personality of Godhead, perform the relative duties in devotional service and thus achieve the ultimate goal, back to Godhead. As such, vedānta-vādīs, or the followers of the Vedānta, indicate the pure devotees of the Personality of Godhead. Such vedānta-vādīs, or the bhakti-vedāntas, are impartial in distributing the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. To them no one is enemy or friend; no one is educated or uneducated. No one is especially favorable, and no one is unfavorable. The bhakti-vedāntas see that the people in general are wasting time in false sensuous things. Their business is to get the ignorant mass of people to reestablish the lost relationship with the Personality of Godhead. By such endeavor, even the most forgotten soul is roused up to the sense of spiritual life, and thus being initiated by the bhakti-vedāntas, the people in general gradually progress on the path of transcendental realization. So the vedānta-vādīs initiated the boy even before he became self-controlled and was detached from childish sporting, etc. But before the initiation, he (the boy) became more and more advanced in discipline, which is very essential for one who wishes to make progress in the line. In the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, which is the beginning of actual human life, small boys after five years of age are sent to become brahmacārīs at the guru’s āśrama, where these things are systematically taught to every boy, be he a king’s son or the son of an ordinary citizen. The training was compulsory not only to create good citizens of the state but also to prepare the boys’ future life for spiritual realization. The irresponsible life of sense enjoyment was unknown to the children of the followers of the varṇāśrama system. A boy was even injected with spiritual acumen before being placed by the father in the womb of the mother. Both the father and the mother were responsible for the boy’s success in being liberated from the material bondage. That is the process of successful family planning. It is to beget children for complete perfection. Without being self-controlled, without being disciplined and without being fully obedient, no one can become successful in following the instructions of the spiritual master, and without doing so, no one is able to go back to Godhead.