Kalyana Dasa's siddha-svarupa

    Posted on December 4, 2016

Kalyana Dasa, a second-initiated Bengali devotee who lived outside the temple and worked as an insurance agent and school teacher, came to Mayapur to see Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada asked him about his spiritual life and also inquired about his wife and children. It was a sweet, warm exchange. Then Kalyana asked, "Srila Prabhupada, what is my siddha-svarupa?" What, he wanted to know, was his spiritual identity.

This idea, to learn one's spiritual identity at the time of initiation, was a sahajiya, or deviant, practice, and Srila Prabhupada's mood changed immediately. He became extremely angry, and with his voice roaring and his lips quivering, he repeated, "You rascal. Your siddha-svarupa...You rascal. Your siddha-svarupa..." Finally, when he had cooled down but with his voice still raised, he told Kalyana, "Don't worry about your siddha-svarupa. When you become qualified, I will personally come and reveal it to you."

I was surprised by Srila Prabhupada's vehement reply, but I could also see two things clearly. The first was that as devotees we did not have to worry about our spiritual identity; we simply had to be engaged in devotional service. The rest would happen automatically, and our spiritual identity would be revealed by the mercy of guru and Krsna. The second was that Prabhupada would always be there for us. He would take us back to Godhead; it was just a matter of our becoming qualified.

Kalyana was very apologetic and begged Srila Prabhupada's forgiveness. After a moment, Prabhupada regained his natural serene and merciful mood and explained to Kalyana that when both the guru and disciple were qualified, the guru might reveal the disciple's spiritual identity. If, however; either tried to proceed improperly, it could not only create chaos but also destroy the spiritual life of both.

Told by Bhakti Charu Swami in "Ocean of Mercy" (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 2016), pp 111-2.

 

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