The proper approach in devotion to the Lord.
Student: We’ll see if we can engage them at least in Namabhas.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: That is His will. We do not know. We must attempt our best. This is on our side. We look to our faith and leave the rest to Him. He is infinite, and He must engage them. He is benevolent and gracious. He will come to them.
na hi kalyana-krt kaschid durgatim tata gachchhati
If we are sincere, then backing must come. We don’t know. No Vaisnava says, “I am chanting Suddha-nam.” They will all say, “This is Namaparadha, not Namabhas even. What capacity do I have? I am the meanest of the mean.”
avatara nahi kahe, “ami avatara”
muni saba jani’ kare laksana vichara
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 24.352)
The Avatar, the incarnation of the Lord, when He comes here, He generally does not say, “I am an Avatar.” But the rsis are there, and according to the calculation of sastra, they see that at this time an Avatar should come. So, they say He is an Avatar; the signs of an Avatar found in Him. It is the duty of the Acharyas to say whether one is an Avatar or not from the sastra. It is already given there by the Lord.
A Vaisnava does not say and cannot say, “I am a Vaisnava.” He will say, “I am trying to become the servant of a Vaisnava.” So much he can assert, that practically, “I want to be a servant of a Vaisnava, Vaisnava-dasa. My aspiration, my highest end, is to become a servant of a Vaisnava. I want that, nothing else. So many disturbances are in the mind. They are opposing me in reaching my goal that I shall be a servant of a Vaisnava. So many obstacles are there.” That will be the real line of thinking of a true Vaisnava. We are told like that, and we feel also like that. Hare Krsna.
We must always keep in mind that we are going to deal with the Infinite, the Absolute. Whoever asserts, “I have got it,” is very doubtful, we may take it safely to be a bogus thing. Those that assert themselves to be big, we must be suspicious about them because the very nature of things is this:
trnad api sunichena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
[“The Name of the Lord should be chanted always by one who is more humble than a blade of grass, tolerant like a tree, respectful to others, and free from desire for respect.”]
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
[“O son of Nanda, please mercifully consider me, Your servant who has fallen into the terrible ocean of material existence, to be a particle of dust at Your lotus feet.”]
“It will be very kind of You to consider me a particle of dust at your feet.”
This means that I am a vibhinnamsa [a separated part].
mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah
[“The eternal soul is a particle of Myself.”]
I am not direct part of You, but a vibhinnamsa of the tatastha-sakti; I am a particle of Your marginal potency, so I am like the dust at Your feet. It not even that I am similar, an atom of the same flesh; it is not that. I am not sajatiya [of the same nature] but vijatiya [of a distinct nature], a vibhinnamsa, a particle of dust of Your feet. Please consider me to be so. My highest ambition is there.” That is the direction we get from our masters: try to think in this way if you want to approach and make real progress towards the Absolute. You must couch your endeavour in such a way. Then, you will be able to hit the point.
Spoken on 30 August 1981.