How Do Saints Save People Today

[Tulasi Devi]“Chant the Hare Krishna mantra continuously and render service to the tulasi plant by watering her and offering prayers to her. In this way you will very soon get the opportunity to be sheltered at the lotus feet of Krishna.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya 3.137)

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निरन्तर नाम लओ, कर तुलसी सेवन
अचिरात् पाबे तबे कृष्णेर चरण”

nirantara nāma lao, kara tulasī sevana
acirāt pābe tabe kṛṣṇera caraṇa”

“One of my favorite stories from Chaitanya Charitamrita is the one about the prostitute and Haridasa Thakura. He is famously known today as the nama-acharya. Haridasa Thakura is the leading teacher by example in the chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“The synopsis for that story is that an envious person tried to bring Haridasa down from his standard. This is only natural, for as soon as a person gains notoriety or rises to prominence, there are others looking to take them down.

“This was not necessary in this case since Haridasa was known as a saintly personality. He was not bothering anyone. The only people who would be threatened are those who are worried that their inferior way of living is being exposed by the shining example of a Vaishnava dedicated to the personal God.

“The prostitute received instructions to go visit Haridasa and basically bring him back to the level of the mortals. It didn’t work. The opposite took place, in fact. Through association with Haridasa, the prostitute gave up her profession and became a surrendered soul at the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.

“This is a common theme amongst the lives of the saints. They are able to rescue people through personal association. They do not necessarily offer money. They have nothing material to give. They simply provide guidance on how to maintain life moving forward, but in a way connected to God, in full and complete surrender.

“Given the conditions today, how would anyone be able to replicate the same? Accepting sannyasa, in the classical sense, is nearly impossible. Who is going to listen to the advice to go live in a cave, worship the tulasi plant, and subsist on the bare minimum going forward? We freak out if our smartphone gets misplaced. There are too many dependencies today.

“Do you see what I am saying? You might have a genuine saintly person with the same potency to influence others, but they can’t give the same practical advice. They might advise someone to move into a temple, for instance, but there is no guarantee of a temple being nearby. The institution to which the saintly person belongs might also be corrupt, which makes them compromised in the solutions they can put forward.”

[Tulasi Devi]Circumstances are always changing. The landscape is not fixed. Even comparing against fifty years ago, it is difficult for a person to completely leave home and give up working today. There is no way to survive the bitter cold of winter, for instance, without a proper residential establishment. Who can actually travel across the country without carrying any cash, identification, or device for communication?

While there are increased difficulties causing limitations in the solutions that a saintly person can offer, there are several advantages available today that were not around in the past. A saintly person can distribute their influence to a much wider range and scope, for instance.

Haridasa Thakura instructed the prostitute, but he did not remain with her for long. Narada Muni advised the highway robber to chant the name of Rama, but he didn’t return until much later. The same with the rescue of the hunter and the advice given to Vyasadeva, which inspired the collection of shlokas known as Bhagavata Purana.

Today, a saintly person can preserve their presence through recorded instructions. There might be such an expansive volume of material that a person can listen to the same teacher every single day, for many hours, without being bored.

This solution is equally as valuable as the ones offered in times past. A person is still vulnerable to association with asat, through the need to work and earn a living, but they have the opportunity to maintain the sat-sanga even amidst a sea of ignorance and inauspicious conditions.

The acharya creates mechanisms whereby people can be rescued. If, perhaps, the institution they created and left behind turns sour, filled with corruption, deviation, and cheating leaders, there is still potency in the recorded instruction. The books and lectures are still available to people. The fraudulent disciples might be in a feverish pursuit to manipulate and deceptively edit such books, but it will take them a long time to completely eradicate the powerful imprint left behind.

[Prabhupada books]A good person, who wants to change their ways, who wants to worship Krishna, might get banned from a supposed spiritual institution. They might be ostracized for having uncovered the highest corruption. They might feel all alone, peer pressured into thinking they have no one left in life.

यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र
सर्वं च मयि पश्यति
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि
स च मे न प्रणश्यति

yo māṁ paśyati sarvatra
sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi
sa ca me na praṇaśyati

“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.30)

The acharya is still there for them. The impression left in this world remains forever. The parampara can still continue, and this is all due to the grace of the Supreme Lord. His devotees are never lost to Him.

In Closing:

Prostitute visiting the cave,
Haridasa her wellbeing to save.

Narada the highway robber visiting,
Who then occupation quitting.

But how advice possible today,
When forced in asat to stay?

Actually even more opportunity to take,
For blessed association to make.



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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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