In this excerpt from Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s correspondence, His Divine Grace encapsulates the essence of our teachings and also highlights the most important guidelines for our practising life.
Please accept my well wishes and blessings in remembrance of my divine master. I am very happy to receive your letter of 27 May 1995 and have read carefully the contents.
Our material life’s root is existing in misconception and through misconception we are now suffering in this material world, within the wave of death and birth.
Actually, everyone’s spiritual form as ‘atma’ is very clean, and in that clean position his only duty is to serve in the transcendental service world to his dearmost Lord Krishna. There the service duties exist in varieties of ways. By the grace of hladini-shakti and through his earnest, clean desire he gets a specific service as appropriate for his devotional mood. That service comes within five forms of relationship with his dearmost beloved Lord. That is the real and normal position and service duty. Through that dutiful mood, his eternal caste and creed automatically manifests within him. Actually all the healthy jiva souls are existing within that transcendental devotional service plane, whereas the jiva souls here are living within the society of misconception and need to take the opportunity to render some service to Guru-Gauranga.
Attachment to Krishna cannot grow automatically within us and no one who is bound within misconception can give it to us. Then, your activities must be for increasing your mood of devotion, and to do that you must follow the nine kinds of devotional processes (sravanam, kirtanam…) and also try to engage your self and mind for the satisfaction of the Vaishnavs.
The nature of the mundane world is: taking birth, suffering in so many ways, death; birth, suffering, and death—repeatedly. It is only possibly to leave this misconception by getting the good devotees’ merciful connection and through that ‘electricity’ we will get our real beneficial exalted service life. This is the main thing, and all scriptures show this. What more can I say!
The Srimad Bhagavatam said that we cannot be successful through our own endeavour, it is only possible through the sadhus’ grace and the grace of Sri Gurudev. For that purpose and by the Lord’s grace He appears in the form of Sadhu-Guru for uplifting the conditioned souls. For the Lord’s connection we will connect with His agent in the form of sadhu and guru.
Here all the duties, like the rivers’ flow, must be directed to flow into the ocean of ecstasy to Krishna—this is the main thing.
Srila Rupa Goswami, in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, gave:
anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham-upayuñjataḥ,
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam uchyate
Try to detach yourself from mundane affairs and material necessities. Living within this mundane environment some necessities and requirements will come; take them in a harmonising way for the peace and maintenance of your body and mind. To become detached try to see everything in relation to Krishna and use everything for His service. Make the focus of all your activities service to Sri Krishna—that is sadhana.
Again my blessings and well wishes to you and dandavat pranams and well wishes as appropriate to all the devotees in your association.
Swami B.S. Govinda
[This letter was first published in Sri Gaudiya Darshan, 1995 Rathayatra Edition]