Sacinandana Swami is one of my favorite teachers. He is specially focused on deepening the practice of chanting the Holy Name. Although his is not the voice of a woman, he is one of those men who has a highly evolved spiritually feminine side, being a devout worshiper of the divine feminine, Sri Radha.
~From a lecture by Sacinandana Swami in Goloka Dhäma, Germany, April 1st, 2018~
Today I would like to describe what has to happen for a normal conditioned soul to become a devotee. I would like to present the dynamics of transformation – how they are explained in the Vedas.It is not an easy transformation. Someone who wants to keep things the way they are cannot really enter into spiritual life and undergo transformation. Sometimes spiritual life is seen as an addition to ordinary life, but if we take it seriously it becomes our life and the ordinary one dissolves itself.
We have to start with a new sense of self: “I am a spiritual soul,a servant of Krishna or Srimati Radharani. I am not the labels I carry”. This new sense of self brings much with it: new thoughts, feelings, values, desires, actions and even dreams.
Usually transformation begins from a low-point in life when you feel limited and dissatisfied. From this low-point we cross a threshold leading us out of our old life into a liminal space – a situation or phase in life that is full of uncertainty, since we have left the old but don’t have a clear picture of the new yet. It is a space of not-knowing where we take a risk by leaving behind the known and becoming free for new things to happen. The liminal space is a still point full of new opportunities but can also be scary because we are in-between the old and new and walking forward on the basis of faith. Then, with the power of spiritual practices a new life emerges from this liminal space.
However, it is crucial that we revisit this liminal space again and again in order to keep on advancing. Again and again, we have to leave the old, enter the still point and discover new opportunities. The art of transformation should continue until we have reached perfection. If we are not willing to do this, we end up leading a compromised spiritual life; we will not wake up to our eternal identity as a devotee of Krishna. We will cheat ourselves and in the hour of death realize that we have not used the opportunities Krishna has given us. Advancement means you are on the move, you are moving forward. We are pilgrims in this world, and we shouldn’t build houses on a bridge. Life is a bridge to eternity and you can cross it by constantly purifying yourself.