Letter to: Trista Hubbarth , Bombay , 1975-05-03
Dear Trista Hubbarth,
Please accept my greetings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 25th, which I have only received recently due to touring.
You have very thoughtfully asked me what do I think of the Self Realization yoga and meditation. We are not concerned with other religions or yogas in terms of competition or sectarian spirit. Actual spiritual knowledge is to take the authoritative statements from the scriptures and from the great acaryas, spiritual masters in disciplic succession. Other's opinions are not important. For example, in the Bhagavad gita, Lord Krsna gives His opinion, but He is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by all the great sages of the Vedic philosophy including Vyasadeva the compiler of all the scriptures, as well as Narada, Brahma, Siva and in the modern time, Ramanuja, Sankaracarya, Lord Caitanya, etc. They all confirm that Krsna is the supreme truth, the Personality of Godhead. Although this is plainly described throughout the Vedas, you will not find it in the teachings of the so called swamis and yogis who are teaching nowadays. Therefore you have intelligently discovered that in my Bhagavad-gita the approach is very different from what you have found elsewhere. That is because I am not trying to avoid Krsna or give some misinterpretation, but I have accepted the actual Bhagavad-gita, wherein Krsna says, Mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7], there is no higher than Me. Nowadays so called gurus are promising us that we ourselves can become equal to God or that God is impersonal, or that everyone is God, but nowhere is this stated in the Bhagavad-gita or any other Vedic literature, nor is it taught by any of the great spiritual masters above mentioned.
My point is that when we say "self realization" it does no means that one should realize that He is the Supreme. Real self realization means to understand that you are the eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and perfection is to develop love or bhakti, loving service in relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who teaches other conclusion from that of the Bhagavad-gita and the succession of acaryas is certainly not a guru, and in fact according to Lord Krsna, he is a fool, (the word Krsna uses is mudha, ass, rascal). So we have to examine whether the person who is presenting himself as our guru is actually in knowledge of the science of Krsna or whether he is leading us away from Krsna, or leading us to hell in the name of yoga mysticism. In this connection, the chanting of Hare Krsna is very efficacious because it develops personal relationship with the Personality of Godhead and cleans the heart of sinful reactions. Please go on reading our literatures and pray to Krsna to give you the right direction from within how to approach a bona fide spiritual master for advancing in spiritual life.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami