On Jun 15, 2020, Tom wrote:
Dear B.K. Giri Maharaja,
Please accept humble obeisances.
I would like to apologise for my unthoughtful request, and thank you for your well-aimed response, giving me pause to reflect hopefully more deeply than before.
On Jun 15, 2020, Sripada Giri Maharaja replied:
Dear Sriman Tom,
To reply in the same coin as “your well-aimed response”, I thank you for your carefully calibrated one. Unfortunately, in my experience, most persons would have taken offense to my reply and run away rather than look deeper to find the validity in it. I am happy to see your more thoughtful acceptance and response.
You understood I meant no offense by my remarks but only recognition of the ‘facts of the case’, so to speak. Krishna explained why he chose Arjuna as a proper recipient of “confidentail knowledge”:
śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ
iṣṭo ’si me dṛḍham iti
tato vakṣyāmi te hitam
Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you My supreme instruction, the most confidential knowledge of all. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.
Every jiva is entitled to receive this “confidential knowledge” but not without the pre-qualification mentioned in the above verse: “Because you are My very dear friend.”
The foundation for the necessary friendship is stated in the verse I previously referred you to, “praṇipātena, paripraśnena sevayā” — surrender, sincere inquiry and service; the latter being the most important of the three elements.
His attitude must be of this type: pranipat, pariprasna and sevaya. pranipat means surrender to such knowledge. The knowledge we are approaching is not an ordinary class of knowledge. It is a subject which we cannot make an object to our subjective self. We must understand it to be a supersubjective thing, which is superior to me. So pranipat means I must surrender to that superior thing. I want Him, He is not an objective thing which I can make an object with myself as subject. This sort of attitude must be there. pranipat also means that I have finished my interest in the outside world of experience. I have no charm for anything in the world where I have already travelled. I am offering myself exclusively at Your altar and I want to have Your Grace. In such a mood we shall approach the higher knowledge.
Then pariprasna, honest enquiry is always allowed, but not with any tendency for discussion or in the way of argument. All efforts should be concentrated in a positive line, leaving aside the state of doubt and suspicion. With all attention we shall try to understand because it is coming from a higher plane with which I am unfamiliar and which is ever new.
But the most important thing is seva. Not that I am going to get knowledge, that I shall get the help of that plane and use it for the persons living here. Higher knowledge won’t come to serve the interests of the lower plane but I must pledge to serve that plane. With this attitude I shall approach that plane and that knowledge.
— Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Loving Search for the Lost Servant
Arjuna’s first step towards confidential knowledge was to surrender to Krishna, accepting Him as his spiritual master: śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam, “Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.” But, as you know, he was already well-known to, and an intimate friend of, Krishna.
It is a natural tendency to want to know everything immediately. However, if we make such a demand upon God He will immediately recognize our attempt at usurpation of His Supremacy and His protector, Maya Devi (acting on His behalf), will remove us to the back of the line, if not out of the que.
Please be eager, but also patient, in your search for Sri Krishna, knowing full well He will respond on His own terms and on His own time frame.
I pray this finds you well in all respects.
Swami B.K. Giri
PS: I will be visiting Manila during March of next year. It is not so far from Hong Kong. If it is possible for you to come there I will be happy to meet you.