"Pada Seva means to serve the lotus feet of Guru and Krishna.You cannot serve Krishna without Guru, or serve just Guru without serving Krishna. They must be served or offered pada seva simultaneously." - Srila Prabhupada

  • "A highly advanced Vaisnava lives in such a way that no one can understand what he is or what he was." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.3.14, Purport)
  • "... there is nothing as profitable as the association of pure devotees." (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Page 341)
  • "By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement." (Sri Sri Gurv-astaka, Verse 8)
  • "A pure devotee cannot forget the Supreme Lord for a moment, and similarly, the Supreme Lord cannot forget His pure devotee for a moment." (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 8.15, Purport)
  • "The Spiritual Master is present wherever his sincere disciple is trying to serve his instructions. " (Srila Prabhupada letter, 12/01/73)
  • "I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him." (Sri Guru Pranama)
  • "My dear Partha, one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee." (Lord Krsna, Adi Purana)
  • "Pure devotees of the Lord are more powerful than the waters of the sacred river Ganges. One can derive spiritual benefit out of prolonged use of the Ganges waters. But one can be sanctified at once by the mercy of a pure devotee of the Lord." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.1.15, Purport)
  • "No one can approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. One must approach Him through His pure devotees." (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 12)
  • "Real knowledge can be obtained from a person who is in perfect Krsna consciousness. Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master and, under him, learn what Krsna consciousness is. The spiritual master can drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness." (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 5.16, Purport)
Showing posts with label Sampradaya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sampradaya. Show all posts

The six blind men & the elephant.

The Blind Men and the Elephant is a famous Indian fable that tells the story of six blind men that come across different parts of an elephant in their life journeys. Let us understand the deeper aspect of the story and avoid becoming one of them.

Six Blind Men and the Elephant 

A long time ago, in the valley of the Brahmaputra in India there lived six men who were much inclined to boast of their wit and lore. Though they were no longer young and had all been blind since birth, they would compete with each other to see who could tell the tallest story. 

One day, however, they fell to arguing. The object of their dispute was the elephant. Now, since each was blind, none had ever seen that mighty beast of whom so many tales are told. So, to satisfy their minds and settle the dispute, they decided to go and seek out an elephant. 

Having hired a young guide, Dookiram by name, they set out early one morning in a single file along the forest track, each placing his hands on the back of the man in front. It was not long before they came to a forest clearing where a huge bull elephant, quite tame, was standing contemplating his menu for the day. 

The six blind men became quite excited; at last they would satisfy their minds. Thus it was that the men took turns to investigate the elephant's shape and form. 

As all six men were blind, neither of them could see the whole elephant and approached the elephant from different directions. After encountering the elephant, each man proclaimed in turn: 

'O my brothers,' the first man at once cried out, 'it is as sure as I am wise that this elephant is like a great mud wall baked hard in the sun.

'Now, my brothers,' the second man exclaimed with a cry of dawning recognition, 'I can tell you what shape this elephant is - he is exactly like a spear.

The others smiled in disbelief. 

'Why, dear brothers, do you not see,' said the third man -- 'this elephant is very much like a rope,' he shouted. 

'Ha, I thought as much,' the fourth man declared excitedly, 'This elephant much resembles a serpent.

The others snorted their contempt. 

'Good gracious, brothers,' the fifth man called out, 'even a blind man can see what shape the elephant resembles most. Why he's mightily like a fan.

At last, it was the turn of the sixth old fellow and he proclaimed, 

'This sturdy pillar, brothers of mine, feels exactly like the trunk of a great areca palm tree.

Of course, no one believed him. 

Their curiosity satisfied, they all linked hands and followed the guide, Dookiram, back to the village. Once there, seated beneath a waving palm, the six blind men began disputing loud and long. Each now had his own opinion, firmly based on his own experience, of what an elephant is really like. For after all, each had felt the elephant for himself and knew that he was right! 


People who are attempting to understand The Absolute Truth, The God, on their own endeavor, by their mental speculation, are in no better situation than these blind men. Just as each one of the blind men grabbed one part of the elephant and assumed a shape for elephant, many time these mental speculators feel or grab one aspect of the Absolute Truth and hence they get bewildered,  confused and hence doesn't get a complete picture of the Absolute Truth.

Just as it happened with the blind men, each was firmly believing their assumption about the elephant, mental speculators also have a firm belief about their speculation about God. This is the prime reason for disrespecting other religions and hatred and intolerance. If the blind men were wise, they should have understood their limitations & approached their guide, Dookiram, the one who had eyes. Similarly, even we should give up fruitless attempt of mental speculation and surrender to a wise man, whose spiritual eyes are wide open.

This is why scriptures repeatedly insist on accepting knowledge in a proper disciplic succession.

The Supreme Self can never be known by any amount of argument, reasoning, intelligence, or by much hearing. 
(Katha Upanishad 1.2.23)

Only unto those great souls who serve the spiritual master and the Lord with implicit faith is the import of the Vedas fully revealed. 
(Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.23)

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Surrender to him and inquire from him and render service at his lotus feet. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you, for he has seen the truth. 
(Bhagavad-gita 4.34)

In the Padma Purāṇa it is clearly said,

sampradaya vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah
atah kalan bhavisyanti catvarah sampradayinah

If one does not follow the four recognized disciplic successions, his mantra or initiation is useless. In the age of Kali there will be four sampradayas.

In other words, if one desires to take up spiritual life, it is imperative that one follows a genuine sampradaya. Otherwise, our condition will be like "The blind leading the blind".

Please read our article to know about Sampradaya.

Summary of lessons learned:
  1. We must Know & Understand our weaknesses.
  2. Approach a person who does not have that weakness,i.e, for the blinds: they should have approached their guide, Dookiram, the one who had eyes., for us, we should surrender to a wise man, whose spiritual eyes are wide open.


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The story of the Lost Island and it's inhabitants

Hidden from modern history, is the story of The Island in the far Eastern Ocean. The island, small enough to be visible in the map, was engulfed by the ocean, overnight, just like a penny it sank to the bottom of the ocean bed.  Never discussed, never will be discussed the night when a portion of humanity felt a shiver in their spine.

Legend says the island was inhabited by a highly advanced Human Race. The Northern horizon of the island was covered with dense forest. That forest was inhabited by Sages who could see the unseen. They never walked the soil of the city for they were immersed in the pursuit of self-realization.

That day, early morning when the city was still not fully awake, 5 people saw a hazy figure appearing from the northern horizon. Never did they see or hear anyone walking from the north.

It was the man of wisdom, with Lean body, long beard and matted hair. He spoke in a grave voice,

"hear me carefully, the land on which you stay will be snatched right away and will be a property of the kingdom of water. Leave the land before you are engulfed by the waves. Reach the Eastern Edge of the forest which connects to the shore, follow the path, when the sun starts to dissolve in ocean, take to the waters keeping the Shiny Eye of Sky, which never moves, to your east, you will reach a bigger island. A land of promises, covered by flowers and fruits. Those who reach there shall never be touched by the waves of ocean nor will they ever return to this little land."

Finishing his words the sage walked back to the forest. 

The 5 men were struck with wonder. Jaw dropped to their feet, they kept staring at the sage slowly disappearing into the woods.

Soon the silence was broken by one,  
"Haah!! Land, kingdom of water, all rubbish. How did he know this? How does he know if there is another island at all? We all have to die one day. Why listen to this beggar who can't feed his skinny body. He has gone mad due to malnutrition". 

Saying this he went on to his work.

Seeing him walking away, second said, 
"Well we all will have to die one day.  We were born on this island like body grows hairs. So just like hair belongs to the body, we belong to the island. This island was born from the womb of waters. So we all belong to water. Don't be afraid for I know, for certain, the hidden message of the sage, we all are ultimately water, contained in different vessels. Which means I am you, you are me, we all are same. So we all wait to be dissolved in water and rule the kingdom of water. But till that happens, let us help each other, for we are the same water. Let us make this island a better place to live in. I will go to the people and request them to donate gold to me. With that gold, I will build a school to earn more gold. And then I will build more hospitals. I will feed every hungry people on this island. Oh, fools why dig a well to drink water, don't you see you are yourself water for you drain tears, sweat and urine? Serve the other people for they are the pot of water standing in front of you and your thirst will be quenched.
and he left.

Confused by what he heard, the third one said pinching his hand 
"Am I water? Then why am I having limbs? Why did the water decide to enter different vessel if ultimately it wanted to merge back within itself? All rubbish crap. I am no water. The sage is the man of wisdom, he can't be wrong. His message was loud and clear. It doesn't require any interpretations. I am leaving for the eastern horizon"

"But there are so many people around, so many animals who can't fly. Shouldn't they be saved?
Asked the other two.

"The power that resides on the cloud, rains His mercy for the chosen few. We are the chosen few. Save yourself. The same power will guide them all if He so desires." 
and the person ran.

Fourth nodded in disagreement and said, 
"Indeed the sage was a man of wisdom. Indeed the power of the cloud has chosen to reveal the secret to us. But we should let others know. We should now be His messenger and help everyone escape"
and he swiftly ran through the city lanes.

Fifth thought to himself while watching the fourth disappear in the lanes,  
"Let me gather my family and my cattle first and try to reach the Eastern horizon. I will also assist the nice man (fourth) in helping everyone leave the island before it is too late"

The Fourth man ran door to door knocking and informing everyone. Filled with compassion he forgot about his own safety.

As the sun rose in the sky, the land rumbled many times. Birds filled the sky screeching accompanied by monkeys hooting. But to his horror, he saw a majority of the inhabitants had accompanied the second person. Some were planning to build a huge wall around the island to prevent water from entering the city. Some were planning to build schools and hospitals. They had wizards who could make things appear and disappear with spells.

He explained 
"You cannot live here happily for the land has given its warning. Please do not commit suicide."

But the people said 
"Helping one another is the goal and service of humanity. We are not cowards like you. We have a social responsibility. We cannot run away from our responsibility like you"

With a sad heart, the fourth returned with silent helpless prayer for the fools. With a very little number of people following his lead, he humbly made his way to the Eastern coast. His followers took the cattle and the beast along with them.

In the crowd, he found a man carrying a huge huge huge pile of load on his back. With every step he tried to advance, the weight made him fall down. When he was suggested to leave the baggage, this man became furious. Thus he was left alone.

Moving ahead there was another man, who wanted to leave but his wife and 5-year old son were still sleeping. So he thought, 
"I still have time. Let them wake up and then when we all are ready, we will waste no time and leave."

All the way there were people, focused on the goal,  some running, some riding on the horse, some took the cart that could fly.

As the journey continued, the number of people kept reducing. Seeing this the fourth man got alarmed. Forgetting about himself he went back to beg everyone not to waste their breath but proceed, if they are tired of running, they can walk, but should not waste any time resting.

Finally, when they reached the coast, they found the island was already surrounded by huge, strong walls. Apparently, these walls looked like crossing the sky. They all waited by the port for the sun to set and then they boarded the ship and sailed guided by the shiny Eye of the Sky. Finally, they reached the island as described by the sage.

Back in their land, with the moon, rose the water, higher and higher. Soon with a thump, the walls began to break loose. The island tossed into the ocean like a penny. No wall, no hospital, no school could restrict the inevitable. Neither do we know if the people who stayed back with the second person were able to dissolve properly.

This was the story of the forgotten land of the oceans and their inhabitants.

As a reward to those readers who have read until this point, the story reveals itself.

The Island represents our material world

The Sage represents The Vedic Scriptures and words of Bonafide Vaishnava Acharyas who says about this world as temporary and full of grief. They give us the address of our safe destination, Golok Vrindavan

The promised island represents Goloka Vrindavan; The kingdom of God, which is Never troubled by the waves of sorrow. Once someone reaches there, he never returns to this material world.

The first person represents the atheistic class of people, blinded by ignorance they fail to observe what the scriptures and acharyas reveal to us.

The second person represents The Mayavadis.  With their distorted understanding of the scriptures, they misguide people and encourage them in doing some cheap things in the name of Human welfare. Because they do not understand the highest welfare is in helping everyone leave the sinking island or this material world. They also represent the bogus and fraud Sampradaya or Institutions who misrepresent the words of Scriptures.

The third person represents The Yogi and Jyani. They know the truth and they are focused on helping themselves only.

Fourth and Fifth represents The Vaishnavas. Unlike the previous class, they Do not think only about themselves. They think about everyone, including animals. That is why Vaishnava is Kripa Sindhu. They will return to Goloka but not alone rather they will try that other also return. Not just human but animals too.

Fourth represents The renunciate class. They think about everyone. Because the fifth was tied up with the anxiety of his family and cattle (state of a grihastha), this person took the responsibility of alarming everyone he met. He became the guide for everyone. Just like a brave soldier who leaves behind the thought of his family and serves his country, this person too focused all his energy in guiding everyone to reach the goal of life. And just as a bonafied guru, he returns to his disciples when they are tired and gives up walking. He also waits at the port to deliver all his disciples back to Godhead.

Fifth represents The Grihastha or householder. He knows God has given him the responsibility of a few souls as His family or pet. Because he is Vaishnava he is higher than selfish Yogis and Jyanis. Thus out of a compassionate mood, he is serving to help them also evacuate the sinking island. He also always respects the sacrifice of the renunciates and tries to help them in their mission by rendering humble service.

The man who was carrying the huge pile represents The people who have taken to Krishna Consciousness but carrying huge baggage of Anarthas. Heaviest anartha is Pride which leads to Aparadh. Heaviest aparadh is Vaishnava Aparadh. No matter how hard did he try, he couldn't advance. Similarly no matter how hard we try the externals, if we are committing offenses we cannot advance in spirituality. And for sure we will have to stay back in this material world.

The man with sleeping wife and son represents The people who make an excuse of waiting for the right time to start with Krishna Consciousness. Sleeping means ignorance. Making an excuse for Partner not supporting or Children not settled or Financial condition or Career and keep waiting for the right time. Just like it is not a Vaishnava etiquette to leave behind one's dependents and escape, similarly it is not Vaishnava etiquette, especially Grihastha, to let them sleep ignorant of the danger. It is our duty to educate everyone who is our dependence on the urgency of the situation and help everyone reach home, back to Godhead.

The inhabitants represent Us.  Our fate depends on which kind of person do we follow, 1. Karmi 2. Cheating Institutes 3. Selfish Spiritualist 4 / 5. Bonafide Vaishnava Sampradaya. If we follow a Vaishnava Sampradaya, we are going to be saved because we have started to walk our way out. Now depending on our seriousness, we need to add more and more speed.

Talking about speed, an interesting point to note is, some were running, some were waking,  some took a vehicle to add speed. Similarly, when we chant we have started walking,  doing Sadhna (reading and hearing) adds speed and makes us run. Prasadam purifies us from within and makes us ride a horse and doing services connects us to unlimited mercy thus buys us a ticket in an airplane. 

A sincere prayer, that by the mercy of Sri Guru, Gauranga and by the Sweet will of Krishna, may everyone evacuate the island safely and reach the Kingdom of Krishna.

Oh and just to avoid any confusion
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Thank you for reading this article. 
If You have Liked it, then please share it with your friends and loved ones. Please feel free to suggest how can we further improve our service.

For more interesting articles please check - https://www.padaseva.in/p/sitemap.html 

Hare Krishna!


Source of Authentic Knowledge | Sampradaya | Guru Parampara | Disciplic Succession

Meaning of Sampradaya

Sampradaya means "to hand down" or "to pass down" knowledge. It is also known as Parampara or Guru Parampara or Guru Shishya Parampara or disciplic succession.


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