Sadhana is the spine of devotional life. In the field of devotional spiritualism we find many people propagating the Holy Name or those who are in the mode of advice. The people seeking advice and the people plating advices in the devotional field are many and there are many groups who discuss problems and they are many who try to mete out spiritual solutions. Every talk is given using the name of Krishna. Preaching has become a habit with people and everyone seems to be dishing out easy solutions for difficult problems saying that everything is the will of Krishna and that He will sort out things irrespective of the nature of problem.
People quote from the Srimad Bhagavatham or from Srimad Bhagavad Gita. This sort of behaviour is not the best to display for a Vaishnava. Vaishnavism is actually transformation of the nature of the soul. The position of the soul is altered from being the servant of Maya to being a servant of Krishna. This status change is not easily achieved simply by chanting a few rounds of Hare Krishna Mantra everyday for a few years. People talk about seniority as a “chanter” and take the position of “messiah”, a solution provider. This is the height of ignorance. We hear many times that people who attain Hari Nama sanskaar, stop performing “Shraddha” ceremony or ablutions for the departed ones, saying that one is surrendered to Krishna. Chanting Krishna’s name is not surrender. Surrender is the breaking of all bonds in the heart. Only a true sadhaka can experience such surrender and acceptance from Krishna. It should be noted that unless one has surrendered to a God-realized Spiritual Master and accepts the Gopala Mantra, one cannot forsake ablutions for the departed parents. Unless the Sadhguru provides the umbrella of protection from Karma and unless one does intense sadhana with the support of the Deeksha Mantras, one is sure to be under the influence of Karmic Cycle. A person cannot whimsically give up the Dharmic duties of one’s birth and caste till he attains the stage of a shishya who takes up sadhana with a goal to becoming a sadhaka and has given up the traditional duties having taken shelter through Deeksha.
Many people try to preach using quotes from Vaishnavic Scriptures and try to guide the common public. Although this activity appears to be on the platform in the mode of goodness, it will not have a lasting effect. One should take up Sadhana to be effective with respect to one’s own “Dharma”. The highest Dharma for anyone is the Dharma towards self. It is not necessary to feel for society in the first place, because to start with the one who is feeling itself is in the bound condition. One has to work on the six enemies of lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy. This process also cannot be direct. Prolonged and intense chanting of the Deeksha Mantras and Hari Nama is the only way to relieve oneself of the heat of the six vices. As one is elevated by such Sadhana, the Supreme Lord will then work through the sadhaka. The aspect of material “ego” works through all the so-called preachers who have taken up the role of a messiah for the pleasure of Krishna and Guru. However this is not a recommended process. It will only have a debilitating effect. The more one preaches, the more will be one’s sense of pride. It is very regular to see high profile preachers falling down from a high pedestal. This is because preaching cannot be directly considered “sadhana”. Intensive Sadhana however has the capacity to curtail our outgoing tendencies which will make the sadhaka mellow and subdued. Such sadhana will be focused inwards towards the self. Understanding Krishna’s real intentions and obeying His orders is only possible for a sadhaka. Just hearing a few lectures and getting inspired to serve and preach is a “monkey’s-mind” approach. If anyone desires long-lasting effect of the Krishna Conscious process, one should perform Ekanta Bhajana for an extended period. Once one is ready for service, the Lord will automatically guide the sadhaka for higher services.