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3 things-pride, knowledge and how to surrender to God

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Hare Krsna to all
All glories to Srila Prabhupada who is forcing open our eyes with the
torchlight of knowledge.
Below are three short sections-
First-- a letter to Rayarama explaining that if one wants to
consider himself a "devotee", then  he has to associate with other devotees. I find it sad
that in todays world, some "devotees" would rather associate with outright karmis and mudhas,
in their daily lives, than associate during kirtan with other devotees. Even given that these devotees may
have some faults, still that association is a million times better than one second with those who
are against the Supreme Lord and His instructions.
Second-In BG the Lord says that unless one is free from pride which is caused by delusions
of all sorts, then the surrendering process will not take place. Prabhupada also gives
this process of how to surrender in this purport.
Third-Anyone who takes to any path but surrender to the spiritual master, if simply wasting his
valuable time. And this process of how to surrender as Prabhupada mentions, begins with
associating with devotees of the Lord. 
Hari bol
Damaghosa das
71-10-22.Ray               Letter: Rayarama             
Srila Rupa Goswami has described that
devotional service can be advanced by six processes. Perhaps you know
them. They are as follows: enthusiasm, patience, conviction, following
the regulative principles, being honest in one's profession, and in
the association of devotees.So this Krishna consciousness society is
especially meant for giving people the opportunity to associate with
Devotees means who are following the regulative principles.
One cannot be independent and at the same time become a devotee
because all devotional activities are based on surrender
. So in the
association of devotees we learn this important item--how to
surrender, but if we keep our independence and try to become devotees,
that is not possible.
   You write to say that you cannot feel any taste for temple life or
Deity worship. This means you are keeping the same temperament you
entertained before leaving our society. Our process is to accept both
the lines of bhagavata marga and pancaratriki marga
. Perhaps you might
have seen the picture of the Gaudiya mission. On one side there is the
bhagavata book and on the other side a picture of Laksmi Narayana for
Deity worship. You cannot make any progress in devotional service
unless simultaneously you follow both the lines
. Just as the tracks of
a railroad line; both must be there. Similarly temple worship is
essential for purifying us from the material contamination and without
being purified we cannot glorify the Lord. As it is stated in
Bhagavad-gita that the Lord is completely pure and we cannot approach
Krishna without being purified. So as you say that you do not feel
very much encouraged in Deity worship and temple life, I see that your
disease is still continuing. Under the circumstances simple academic
career will not help you.
If you want to live with us you must accept
temple life, namely cleanly shaven head, observing the regulative
principles, decorating the body with tilak, etc. You know all these
Bg 15.5 -- One who is free from illusion, false prestige, and false
association, who understands the eternal, who is done with material
lust and is freed from the duality of happiness and distress, and who
knows how to surrender unto the Supreme Person, attains to that
eternal kingdom.
   The surrendering process is described here very nicely. The first
qualification is that one should not be deluded by pride. Because the
conditioned soul is puffed up, thinking himself the lord of material
nature, it is very difficult for him to surrender unto the Supreme
Personality of Godhead.
One should know by the cultivation of real
knowledge that he is not lord of material nature; the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is the Lord. When one is free from delusion
caused by pride, he can begin the process of surrender
. For one who is
always expecting some honor in this material world, it is not possible
to surrender to the Supreme Person. Pride is due to illusion, for
although one comes here, stays for a brief time and then goes away, he
has the foolish notion that he is the lord of the world. He thus makes
all things complicated, and he is always in trouble. The whole world
moves under this impression. People
are considering that the land,
this earth, belongs to human society, and they have divided the land
under the false impression that they are the proprietors. One has to
get out of this false notion that human society is the proprietor of
this world. When one is freed from such a false notion, he becomes
free from all the false associations caused by familial, social and
national affections. These faulty associations bind one to this
material world. After this stage, one has to develop spiritual
One has to cultivate knowledge of what is actually his own
and what is actually not his own. And, when one has an understanding
of things as they are, he becomes free from all dual conceptions such
as happiness and distress, pleasure and pain. He becomes full in
knowledge; then it is possible for him to surrender to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead
Adi 17.257--When all the students thus resolved, criticizing Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, their intelligence was spoiled. Thus although they were
learned scholars, because of this offense the essence of knowledge was
not manifest in them.
   In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, mayayapahrta-jnana asuram bhavam
asritah: when one becomes inimical to the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, adopting an atheistic attitude (asuram bhavam), even if one
is a learned scholar the essence of knowledge does not become manifest
in him; in other words, the essence of his knowledge is stolen by the
illusory energy of the Lord
. In this connection Sri Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakura quotes a mantra from the Svetasvatara Upanisad
                       yasya deve para bhaktir
                        yatha deve tatha gurau
                      tasyaite kathita hy arthah
                        prakasante mahatmanah
   The purport of this verse is that one who is unflinchingly devoted
to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, and similarly devoted to
the spiritual master, with no ulterior motive, becomes a master of all
knowledge. In the heart of such a devotee, the real essence of the
Vedic knowledge becomes manifest
. This essence is nothing but
surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead
(vedais ca sarvair
aham eva vedyah). Only unto one who fully surrenders to the spiritual
master and the Supreme Lord does the essence of Vedic knowledge become
manifest, not to anyone else. ... Sridhara Svami
confirms in his commentary that first one must surrender to the
spiritual master; then the process of devotional service will develop.
It is not a fact that only one who diligently pursues an academic
career can become a devotee
. Even with no academic career, if one has
full faith in the spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, he develops in spiritual life and real knowledge of the
Vedas. The example of Maharaja Khatvanga confirms this. One who
surrenders is understood to have learned the subject matter of the
Vedas very nicely. One who adopts this Vedic process of surrender
learns devotional service and is certainly successful. One who is very
much proud, however, is unable to surrender either to the spiritual
master or to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he cannot
understand the essence of any Vedic literature
. Srimad-Bhagavatam
(Bhag. 11.11.18) declares:
                        sabda-brahmani nisnato
                        na nisnayat pare yadi
                       sramas tasya srama-phalo
                       hy adhenum iva raksatah

   "If one is learned in Vedic literature but is not a devotee of Lord
Visnu, his work is a useless waste of labor, just like the keeping of
a cow that does not give milk."
   Anyone who does not follow the surrendering process but is simply
interested in an academic career cannot make any advancement
. His
profit is only his labor for nothing. If one is expert in the study of
the Vedas but does not surrender to a spiritual master or Visnu, all
his cultivation of knowledge is but a waste of time and labor.
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