Prema Rasa Siddhanta
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Prema Rasa Madira (Vol. I - III)
Prema Rasa Madira (Vol. I - III)Language :English
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How to Recognise a True Saint
Part - 1

It was explained that every individual, whether Indian, American, Chinese or Canadian; young or old, male or female all perform various actions only with the aim of attaining happiness. The Vedas say that even the most learned scholars cannot know God because God is beyond the human intellect. Although the Vedas are filled with knowledge about God, nobody can understand the Vedas even after infinite lifetimes, as they are God's voice and hence divine.  

Therefore, Veda Vyasa states in the Bhagavatam (11.3.21): "To know God, one has to surrender to a genuine Spiritual Master." The Gita (4.34) states: "One who desires to attain the divine knowledge of God, will have to surrender to a true Saint who has thorough knowledge of the scriptures, and also has practical experience of God. Question him with a sincere mind and serve him with dedication." The Ramayana also says: "Without the guidance of a Guru, one cannot cross the ocean of material existence."

Hence, we understand that the Vedas and all the other scriptures together state that without the guidance of a Guru, one cannot know God. So how do we recognise a genuine Saint? It is very difficult for an ordinary person to determine whether a soul has attained God or not because like God, a God-realised Saint can only be known by a Saint of the same level. Just as God cannot be grasped by the material senses, mind or intellect, similarly, a Saint cannot be identified by these same senses.  


An English translation of a series of discourses delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti

Part - 2

A Saint has to be recognised through perception, interaction and scriptural evidence, otherwise no one would have ever attained God until now. In general, there are two types of Saints and two categories of "fake" saints that should be understood, before solving the problem of recognising a Saint. 

The first category of Saint is the one who has attained God, and they have complete knowledge of God. Their behaviour is simple and according to the notion of Saints. Hence, it is easy to recognise them. In other words, they appear to be the same from the outside as well as the inside. The second category of Saint is so from the inside, but appears and acts as a worldly person from the outside. History bears evidence to the fact that most Saints belonged to this category. Because we usually judge others by their external behaviour, it becomes difficult to recognise such a Saint. It is the nature of Saints that they hide their love, their true identity and perform worldly actions called lilas.

Now the first category of worldly people are those who are worldly from the inside and perform worldly actions from the outside. These types of people are the most common in this world, and we do not get cheated by assuming that they are Saints. They can easily be identified. The second category of cheaters are those who are worldly from inside, but act like a Saint from the outside. They give discourses on the Vedas and Shastras, they dress up as Saints and they have disciples also. It is extremely difficult to identify such cheaters because we normally judge people by their external behaviour.

So now we have to understand the people who are true Saints and the ones who pretend to be Saints. Since we have not been able to identify these two types of personalities till today, we have not found a true Saint. 


An English translation of a series of discourses delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti

Part - 3

You may say that the one who is truly a Saint can never be worldly from the outside. It is a well-known truth that after attaining perfect knowledge of God, one can never be overcome by maya, a lack of knowledge and ignorance. But our history is filled with Saints who performed many worldly deeds. We have had great Saints like Prahlada, Dhruv, Janaka, and Ambarisha who after God-realisation ruled for millions of years.  Hanumana and Arjuna fought a war, killed millions of people but were experiencing the divine bliss of God from within while performing those actions. It is a well-known truth that from the very moment a person attains God, he can never come under the clutches of maya again.  

The Vedas say: sada pashyanti surayah tadvishnoh paramam padam, “A Saint always experiences divine bliss eternally.” If that eternal bliss and eternal knowledge is snatched away one day, why would one strive for it for many lifetimes? Just like a grain of wheat or rice loses its power to germinate forever when roasted, similarly, after God-realisation one is liberated from maya forever.

Historically, in spite of being beyond maya, Saints have acted as if they were under maya. In Satyuga, we have the example of the creator of universe Lord Brahma.  He had four sons who were eternally liberated souls. Once, they were on their way to Vaikuntha.  At the entrance, they were stopped by the gatekeepers, Jaya and Vijaya. The sons got angry and they cursed Jaya and Vijaya to turn into demons. Just imagine, an eternally liberated soul is so absorbed in the bliss of Brahm that he neither sees, hears or thinks other than the self. So how come they saw Jaya and Vijaya, and in spite of being beyond maya, cursed them in anger?


An English translation of a series of discourses delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti



Part - 4

We have now understood that to attain unlimited happiness, i.e. God, we have to first surrender ourselves to a Saint who has attained the divine bliss of God, and has complete knowledge in Him. That means we have to recognise a shrotriya brahmanishtha Saint (shrotriya means one who has full and thorough knowledge of the scriptures and brahmanishtha means one who has practical experience of God). By surrendering to such a Guru attaining our goal becomes easy. But if we try to understand God merely through our own intellect, we will not be able to know Him even in infinite lifetimes, because God is not a subject of the human intellect. Thus, let us now throw light on the entity called Guru or else our journey towards God cannot begin.

Earlier in our discussion about Saints, we learnt that it is extremely difficult to recognise a true Saint, because his external behaviour is different from his internal personality and our intellect only judges by observing external behaviour. We have had great Saints like Dhruv, Prahlada and Ambarisha who were beyond maya from inside, but they performed worldly deeds. In Satyuga, the four sons of the creator Lord Brahma who were eternally liberated souls and constantly realised Brahm everywhere, cursed the two gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu in anger. Once a soul is liberated from maya, no mayic thought can enter that person's mind. Then how can a person who is liberated from material bondage and God-realised be overcome by anger?

In the Ramayana, there is an episode where Lord Rama is in search for His wife Sita Ji in the jungle. Parvati could not understand this. She thought, "God is omnipresent. He experiences neither union nor separation from anyone, and is ever blissful by His own self. He is neither sad nor happy by being separated or united with anyone.” kabahum yoga viyoga na jake dekha pragata viraha dukha take (Ramayana) “How is it possible for the formless and omnipresent God to take a personal form?" Even a simple, uneducated person would not get this kind of doubt.


An English translation of a series of discourses delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti


Part - 5

Everybody knows that the soul is formless, but takes a personal form (a body) and keeps revolving within the 8.4 million species of life.  Similarly, God who created this universe just by smiling can definitely take a personal form.  

So to clear her misunderstanding, Parvati assumed the form of Sita in order to test Shri Rama.  However, the all-knowing Lord Rama saw her and recognised her immediately. He addressed Parvati in the form of Sita, "O Mother." Similarly, when Lord Rama was performing His lila of being bound by a rope of snakes, His eternal servant Garuda was watching the event. He was confused and thought, "By just taking the very name of God, the individual soul becomes free from the bondage of material actions, deeds and relationships. Then how can God Himself be bound by the ropes of a mere demon?" He then approached Kagabhushundi (a sage in the body of a crow) and said, "Maya has bewildered you. It is not surprising. Even great personalities like Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva come under the clutches of powerful maya."

Now think about the Braja gopis who are considered to be the supreme among all classes of Saints. Lord Brahma performed severe austerities for sixty thousand years to attain the dust of the lotus feet of the gopis, but was unable to attain it. These gopis are giving birth to children.  Arjuna, even after attaining the knowledge of the Gita got infatuated with Nagakanya and had sons.  Arjuna and Hanumana, who felt the presence of God everywhere and at all times, killed people in war.

All examples above are of Saints who behaved like worldly people from the outside, although they were in fact eternally liberated and ever blissful personalities. An ordinary person who is under the influence of maya can never understand the actions of these Saints. He understands that a Saint can perform only righteous deeds. It is difficult for him to comprehend that a Saint can also perform unrighteous deeds without his mind getting absorbed in that action. Saints do this with a power called yogamaya.  

We souls who are under maya cannot understand the actions of maya. In reality, a Saint is a person who performs no work whatsoever, either righteous or unrighteous. Just as a seed gets destroyed with the appearance of a sprout and a flower with the emergence of fruit, in the same manner, after the attainment of God a Saint is no longer in need of attaining anything and he becomes self-content. 


An English translation of a series of discourses delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti




to be continued next week...
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