Why So Many Paths?

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham, India
24 July 2013

 

Question: Why do the scriptures explain and give so many different paths?

Yes, they give different paths because if night does not come, you will not be able to understand what is day. Do you understand? If it was always night and everything would be dark, it is not good—but when the day comes, then you can understand what is light. That is why the scriptures arrange different ways for different people, they show different paths.

For example, you can go to Paramatala from here by rikshaw, you can go by car, you can go by bicycle or you can go on foot, but you should take the easier and the more perfect way.

Krishna also does not talk directly about bhakti-yoga at first. First He told about karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, moksa-yoga, etc.—He had spoken about many yogas. He did not say at first directly, "Hey, first is the bhakti-yoga!" When Mahaprabhu also heard about different conceptions from Ramananda Ray, they first discussed karma-misra bhakti, then jnana-misra bhakti, then jnana-sunya bhakti, etc.—only after that they finally came to sadhya-sadhana sara [the very gist of the goal and the means of attaining it], which is prema-bhakti.

There is santa (neutral relationship), dasya (servitude), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental relationship), and the last is madhura-rasa (paramour relationship). There is also first nava-vidha bhakti (nine practices of devotion) that begin from sraddha (faith), then sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha-nirvitti, tato nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, and prema. First taste (ruchi) comes, then attachment (asakti), then divine love (prema) comes in the last stage.

So, first Mahaprabhu had told many things, and then only He spoke about the final destination and how you would get it. It is a very nice process.

 

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