The Guru

Lalita Prasad Thakur (Babaji) was a very, humble down to earth kind of person. He had no airs about himself. He was very kind and generous in his teachings and didn’t impose things on me. Like with ekadas bhav, he said I could make it up myself. I said I’d feel better if he helped me. He asked Bhakta Ma to help pick out my name. He asked me what age I wanted to be and what service I liked.

He wasn’t at all like some gurus who claim to go into trance, see your spiritual body in Vrindaban, and tell you who you are. He was a government official until retirement as was his father, who I’m sure didn’t think of himself as some super-human, divine being. I also associated with one of Babaji’s disciples who worked for the post office and was said to have thousands of disciples. He was also a very humble guy. You don’t have to be some superstar to be a guru. You just have to represent the tradition honestly, truthfully, sincerely, lovingly.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami said there was no need for ekadas-bhav initiation, one would realize one’s own spiritual identity in due time. Gauranga Das Babaji advised me to never leave Vrindaban because everyone there was engaged in meditating on Radha Krishna and would strengthen my meditation. Sri Lalita Prasad Thakur initiated me into ekadas-bhav and told me to go back to the West and preach. I learned a method of visualization and meditation from him. I wondered if Goloka Vrindaban existed on its own, or did it exist because I imagined it.

After many years, I now conclude that it doesn’t matter. Everything we can imagine is real on some level of existence. With so many persons imagining Radha Krishna and Goloka Vrindaban for so many years, they must exist. Whatever we most desire, set our mind on, love, cherish and focus our life energy on, we will think of at the time of death and that will carry us on to the next life. I am still placing my bets on Radha Krishna. Their eternal service is the be all and end all of my life. There is just nothing else more attractive to me, and I have studied many different paths. I am also sure that when I fully realize the Divine Couple and their abode, it will all be much more than I ever imagined.

Don’t stop doubting and questioning. Certainly God is not offended by these things. Rather they are signs of a true seeker. It is through doubting and questioning that we are able to realize the truth in reality. Question the scriptures. Question the tradition. Question your guru. If your guru is offended by your questions and does not want to answer them, he/she may not be the right guru for you. When I was in my twenties, an ISKCON devotee, I thought I knew it all. Now, I am not as certain of things. There is much we do not know and many paths forming pieces of the puzzle. Yet I know that for me Radha Krishna love and devotion can’t be wrong. Blessings. Jai Radhe!

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