Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: There are two kinds of śraddhā: one is worldly śraddhā, worldly faith, and the second is transcendental faith. Worldly śraddhā is always komala, shaky and very weak. On the other hand, if one has transcendental śraddhā (like Haridāsa Ṭhākura) he will think, “Even if you cut me into thousands of pieces, I will not give up my chanting and my worship.”
You can now judge for yourselves if you have transcendental śraddhā or not. Without transcendental śraddhā you cannot develop; therefore, from today you should promise, “No matter how many problems may come; even if the greatest problems come to me, I will never give up my chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa.” Only by having a mood such as this will the bhakti seed sprout; otherwise it will take a very long time. Sādhu-saṅga is always required, for without it your faith will always be weak and you will eventually give up following the process. If you don’t follow the process, even if your bhakti-lata-bija has already sprouted it will eventually dry up.
Devotee: You said that when transcendental śraddhā comes, one doesn’t care if he is cut into pieces; he will still chant and remember. But you also said at another time that when transcendental śraddhā first appears, one serves out of fear and respect, and duty, according to śāstra, and he considers that if he doesn’t serve he will go to hell. My question is: how can the śraddhā of one who serves Kṛṣṇa out of fear and duty be strong enough to be called transcendental?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Without transcendental śraddhā, you cannot develop in your bhakti, and therefore you must first of all come to that stage. Until transcendental śraddhā has developed, śraddhā will be mixed; it will be both worldly and transcendental. However, by practice under the guidance and association of Gurudeva, transcendental śraddhā will gradually develop, and at the same time worldly śraddhā will gradually disappear. When full transcendental faith has developed, you will be like Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Devotee: Śrīla Gurudeva, please kindly tell us: on which level do we have transcendental faith? Is it niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti, or what?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It will begin from the beginning and slowly increase. As your ignorance and anarthas are removed, faith becomes stronger. At the stage of ruci faith is very strong, and it is then transcendental. Something of transcendental faith or bhakti is somewhat in all devotees, and as much as you continue to hear in the association of Vaiṣṇavas, meditate on what you’ve heard, and try to go deeply in these topics, your śraddhā will increase and gradually all anarthas will disappear. Bhakti is there at the beginning, but it is at the lowest point. Then by chanting, hearing and remembering Kṛṣṇa in sādhu-saṅga, the scale of transcendental śraddhā will gradually increase and simultaneously worldly śraddhā will decrease.
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