Dear Tarun Ji, sharing about “spiritual” things is wonderful, but what about sharing about material obstacles that block or hinder my path through bhakti.
I am very afraid to share these things because I think many will say that this is just maya [illusion].
In regards to „material“ issues or problems a sadhaka (devotee) may face during his journey through bhakti:
When I was in ISKCON / GM (1989 – 2001), I met quite a few devotees suffering from mental problems either caused by material circumstances or already slumbering inside the person…
Usually, the treatment was: “Chant Hare Krishna and be happy. Everything will be cured.”
Unfortunately, this idea is absolutely wrong and unfortunately, I witnessed personally HOW wrong such a “therapy” can be when applied to suffering souls with SEVERE personal problems.
It is true however that the Holy Name and BHAKTI Herself can perform miracles…but is the recipient READY to receive such miraculous mercy? Is a severely disturbed person able to practice BHAKTI in a proper way?
After what I witnessed, I have to say: NEVER. It will not work. This is not diminishing the glories of BHAKTI or the Holy Name. It is about the soul being able to embrace the mercy and thus progress nicely.
I remember a schizophrenic devotee who one day loved BHAKTI, sadhu sanga, prasadam, etc… and the next day he blasphemed whatever came his way…
How can such a soul REALLY progress? It really CANNOT.
We need to face our “material” issues properly. And, depending on the seriousness of the personal problem/issue, I am talking about professional help.
Sometimes professional therapy is the ONLY way to be able to continue or even start properly with BHAKTI.
Not every doctor or therapist or psychologist is “automatically” a demon or a rascal.
I know many good-hearted professionals in the matter “out there” and not just a few are even devotees themselves.
“Sit down and chant.” This is well-intended and very nice… but depending on the problems of a person, he might not be able to even SIT DOWN…
Sripad Sadhu Maharaja was the first guru I met who clearly voted for addressing the problem at hand and not just say: “Bah…that is just material. Go and chant and serve.”
Material problems must always be addressed, and a solution must be found to be able to properly practice BHAKTI.
If we are always under guidance of Sri Gurudeva and our dear brothers, we need to embrace every help we can.
We have a body, a mind and we ARE the soul…
Every part must be taken care of.
If we neglect one part, the trinity (body, mind, soul) will not work.
You cannot cure a broken leg with the Holy Name either. You need a doctor for that.
[Advaita das Ji].
Ultimately, Guru kripa will HEAL everything, but we have to be in the right frame of mind to be able to accept this kripa.
A broken vessel cannot receive and keep ANY liquid.
In my humble opinion, it is VERY necessary to be able to share about EVERYTHING that concerns our journey through bhakti.
We just must know with WHOM.
When you approach Sripad Sadhu Maharaja for example, he will never say:
“Oh…this is just MAYA!!!”
It depends to whom you reveal your personal life.
You can reveal these things only to people you trust and love and to those who trust you and love you.
Also, it is very good if there are some senior or more advanced devotees you share your personal issues with and best of all, share them with your Gurudeva.
A genuine sadhu will always see the “big picture” and he will help you in every way.