690616 - Letter to Visala written from New Vrindaban, USA
June 16, 1969
My Dear Visala Das,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated June 10, 1969, and I have noted the contents. I have not heard anything from you for some time so I am very pleased to receive your letter. you have asked three nice questions and I shall give you the answers herewith. Regarding your first question, what is the difference in full between the Spiritual Master, Krishna, and the devotee? The answer is that Krishna is the source of all energies of the spiritual and material creations, the devotee is the part and parcel servant of Krishna, and the Spiritual Master is the transparent via media for leading the conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead. All living entities are the servants of Krishna, but the living entities who have fallen into this conditioned life are forgetful of their eternal relationship with the Lord. The role of the bona fide Spiritual Master is to lead the conditioned souls out of forgetfulness and back into pure consciousness of serving the Lord in transcendental loving service. In material consciousness one is identifying himself with his particular body, and he is forgetting that he is spirit soul, servant of Krishna. Then by the association and instructions of the purified servants of Krishna, the living entity gradually comes to remember that I am not part of this miserable material world, but I too am the eternal servant of Krishna, and my only business is to give pleasure to the Lord in pure Krishna Consciousness. In this way, such devotee becomes himself eligible to lead other back to the path of devotional service and thus he too may become a Spiritual Master. This process is called parampara, or the line of disciplic succession.
Your next question is if Visala Das will be your name eternally. As I have told you in San Francisco, Visala means Krishna, the Greatest, and Das means the servant of. So eternally you are the servant of visal, or Krishna, and thus you are always Visala Das. Krishna has so many different names because He is unlimited in all respects, and you are Krishna's eternal servant. What your name will be eternally is not a very important subject at the present moment, but it is sufficient for you to know that you are always the servant of Visala, Krishna.
Your final question is how can you become a pure devotee, and the answer to this is given in Bhagavad-gita. Krishna instructs Arjuna that the mahatma, the pure devotee, is he who has fully surrendered himself unto the spiritual nature. And how can we tell if one is completely surrendered unto the spiritual nature? He is always fully engaged in devotional service to Krishna. So this is the process of becoming a pure devotee. We have to engage all of our words, thoughts, and activities in Krishna Consciousness under the direction of the Spiritual Master. Therefore, at every moment you should be busy in some way in serving Krishna and His pure devotees, and automatically you will become purified in Krishna Consciousness. Krishna is always willing to shower His mercy upon His devotees, so we have simply to become receptive to this mercy by devotional service, and then the path is very easy. I hope this will sufficiently answer your questions.
Please convey my blessings to the others. I hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami