Srila Rupa Goswami said that one must associate with devotees to cultivate faith. So how does that faith happen in association? In devotee association, one hears about Krishna. When one hears about Krishna constantly, his or her desire or taste to Krishna and His devotees (Krishna katha) goes on increasing. What is the result of one whose taste to hear about Krishna increases? His faith on Krishna increases. What is the symptom of such a faith on Krishna?
The symptom of faith on Krishna (bhakti) is twofold. This was told by Sage Kavi (one of the nine yogendras) to King Nimi. Sage Kavi said direct experience of the Supreme Lord (pareśānubhava) and detachment (virakti) from worldly things simultaneously occur to one who is in pure Krishna consciousness. This is a good litmus test to see if truly we are making progress in spiritual life.
Detachment from worldly things or virakti means one’s understanding, enthusiasm, loyalty and faith upon the people, things and relationships of this world gradually reduce and eventually die out completely and instead be replaced with increased understanding, enthusiasm, loyalty and faith of Krishna and His pure devotees. Both has to happen simultaneously. To lose faith in the confidence of people of this world (including our well-wisher, friend and family) is our true test to faith in Krishna. Because both cannot go hand in hand.
When we make that transition of faiths, truly our journey back home back to Krishna is set, in other words, we would have attained mukti from material entanglement.
Today is the merciful appearance of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivinod Takur. He was born 178 years ago in India to spread the mission of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is called the 7th Goswami because he re-established Mahaprabhu’s movement in Mayapur in an authentic manner strictly adhering to the principles of suddha bhakti as enunciated by the Six Goswamis.
His core principle was twofold (1) nama ruchi (2) jiva doya. In fact, this is the core value of all our sampradaya acharyas. There is no contradiction in these two principles.
Nama ruchi or attachment (spiritual taste) to chanting the Holy Names of God is the primary principle where the fallen soul re-establishes his lost relationship with God and is on-track to the spiritual kingdom.
Jiva doya or compassion to the fallen soul is the second principle where one is encouraged to show compassion to the lost souls in this world by helping them connect back to God through His names.
Srila Bhaktivinod Takur dedicated his whole life in spreading these two core ideas to the bigger world followed by his son and by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Following in the enlightened path of these great masters, on this day, I humbly seek the blessings of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivindor Takur!