Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj explains how we will proceed on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Question: Even though someone may say that they have not come face to face with or seen Kṛṣṇa or Mahāprabhu, still they must have some experience in their practice to know they are on the right path. Isn’t it?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: If I am trying to go to Delhi, I can read from a guidebook that tells me the correct path to Delhi. From the main road, there are many channels and sub-channels, but I need to go from here to Delhi. When I am sure that I want to go Delhi, then I shall go and take the road to Delhi, and on both sides I will see so many symptoms.
When I pass Bandel, I will see Bandel, and then Burdwan, Asansol, Dhanbad, and so on. If I see these symptoms, then I know, “Yes, I am going forward.” This is enough for me. It is not necessary to immediately see Delhi. When I read the guidebook, look on both sides of the road, and find, “I can see this, I can see that, I can see that”, then I must hopeful: “Yes, I am going the right way, and one day I must reach Delhi.” And when I reach Delhi, there a guide will also be necessary. Otherwise, I will not know where anything is. So, there also I must search for a guide. In this way, our destiny must give us our desired fulfilment.
If I immediately want to see Kṛṣṇa or Mahāprabhu, I can see everything but I cannot digest it. And it is not necessary. I can see Delhi in a photo, I can read about the environment of Delhi in a book—I can learn everything about Dehli. I cannot go to Delhi immediately , but it is possible to get there by flight within two hours. That is our sādhana-bhakti and rāga-bhakti; there are many ways to get there.
When I came and joined Śrīla Guru Maharaj, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj, I immediately went to Purī because Guru Mahārāj needed me with him there. For that reason I could go. Otherwise, I did not go to Kalna for maybe twenty-five years. Kalna is twenty-five kilometres from here, but I did not go there. Katwa is twenty-six or twenty-eight kilometres from here, but I did not go there. I had no scope to go.
When the super devotee gives us a chance to serve him, then we can easily go to Purī and Vṛndāvan, no problem. Within six months, I saw all the holy places in Vṛndāvan, Purī, and Delhi—everything. Why? Guru Mahārāj wanted me with him for his service, and in that way I went there.
Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj [Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāj Prabhupād] told me many times, “You come with me, and I will show you our centres all over the world. You must give a report to Guru Mahārāj about how they are going.” At that time, however, I had no scope to go with Swāmī Mahārāj. Guru Mahārāj was sick; I could not leave Guru Mahārāj. I said, “Yes, Mahārāj, later I shall see. Later I shall see.” I did not get scope at that time, but if I got the scope then, I would easily go, but with the association of the higher devotee. It is possible. I have never ridden in an aeroplane, and I have no hankering to ride in an aeroplane, but if any chance comes at any time, I shall ride one. That is not a problem, but I need the sevā of Guru Mahārāj. If it is necessary for sevā, then I must go, and the chance also must come to me.
Excerpt from an informal talk given by Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj, 8 August 1989.