Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj explains the basis of his angle of vision.
My nature is non-interfering, from the beginning. So much so that I am called an ease-lover. I am not aggressive in a preaching mood, but only to know. The knowing aspect, the listening aspect, the aspect of inquisitiveness, predominates within me: to find new light from the scripture, from the words heard from my Guru Mahārāj. Every day, I can see, I can feel, new colour. Everything is infinite. Every word, every letter, is of infinite characteristic. I am internally busy with that in my last days.
Prabhu has written in his letter, “Your Prapanna-jīvanāmṛta and your tapes will enliven, will supply deeper roots, to the international society of devotees. If people come across this book and these tapes, their faith will be more consolidated in that society.” That is his conception, and I also conceive like that. After the departure of a general, there may come a general depression, but these things will help them, will give them similar food.
My expressions—the nature of my expressions and my representation—were appreciated by my Guru Mahārāj, and also mostly by all the scholars in our Maṭh. They present an ontological conception based on pure chit-vilās [spiritual play—the play of the Sweet Absolute]. That is, whatever I see, whatever I have in view, must cross the level of Brahmaloka. I see things to be not of this world, but of the other world, as chit-vilās-lakṣaṇ [expressions of spiritual play]. The smallest things that we mention here [in this regard] are placed above renunciation and liberation. They are not of that side. Rather, they are śuddha-sattva, viśuddha-sattva [aspects of pure existence]. They are not related to liberation or emancipation, or to sattva-guṇa. They are viśuddha-sattva, nirguṇa, chit-vilās [pure, nonmaterial, spiritual play]. Every word, every syllable, that I express and give out is from the plane of viśuddha-sattva. That is the special characteristic of my sayings. So, many stalwarts who are Āchāryas—Madhusūdan Mahārāj, Giri Mahārāj, and others—appreciate my talks very much. They are ever-new. They are not a stereotyped thing. Whenever I approach, whenever I give an explanation of a particular verse, every time some new thing will come—not any mere repetition but something coming with some touch of the Infinite. Whatever I say must have some touch with conception of the Infinite. That is their peculiarity, and they are to increase faith. Faith, śraddhā, the basis, the foundation, always that will be more consolidated by my sayings. So, I am not an enemy to any person. In a most generalised way, not referring to any particular section, I deal with things.
Student: We are all indebted to you, Mahārāj.
Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Hare Kṛṣṇa. We are indebted to the source, our Guru Mahārāj. If I can carry the current, then I am fortunate. It is his, and it may be stopped any moment.
I do not have many disciples, but I am never afraid that my disciples will mix with others and become discouraged. They come and they go; they can’t understand me, but I am here. Still, I am not afraid that by mixing with other parties, they will be weakened.
If a country’s internal industry cannot compete with foreign industries, then duties, taxes, should be imposed on imports. But suppose there is disease, and a new medicine is invented that is better than an existing medicine in curing the disease. From a humanitarian standpoint, what are we to do? Should we impose import taxes on that medicine? If another country has produced a medicine of higher utility, which my countrymen have not been able to produce, should we impose import duties on that medicine?
Student: It depends on the goal: is the goal to get well or is the goal to get wealthy? If the goal is to get well, then there should not be any duty. But if the goal is to become wealthy, then taxes should be imposed.
Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Gold is above everything, even the health of one’s countrymen?
jagad dhanamayaṁ lubdhāḥ kāmukāḥ kāminīmayam
[“Those who are greedy see that the world is full of wealth, and those who are lustful see that the world is full of women.”]
We are all students, and we must be conscious that we are travelling the path towards the Infinite. So, no one can conceive themselves to be perfect, especially the preacher class. The paramahaṁsa who has nothing to do and sees everything everywhere as Kṛṣṇa is different. The preacher class is supposed to live in an environment of progress and have the attitude of a student. We have not finished the Infinite.
After attaining perfection, what comes next? The body begins to rot. The way to death: after rising to the zenith, then you have to come down, and continue to progress towards the unlimited. That will always go on. Vaikuṇṭha-vās: we are living in Vaikuṇṭha, and what is that? It is the surroundings of the Infinite. Everything has its infinite character, and I am living within that. All of it is un-understandable. Everything has infinite character. We must live in that world.
Spoken on 2 March 1982 in Śrī Nabadwīp Dhām.