Answers by HH Romapada Swami
Q: During one of our recent discussions in our study group there was a discussion on siddha svarup.
One of the devotees said that the spiritual master would reveal one’s svarup at some point of time when such a disciple has reached such a stage. My humble opinion is that such a practice is not there in ISKCON and as and when a devotee reaches such a stage of advancement it will be known to him naturally.
Can I humbly request you to kindly clarify this?
Answer: Every living entity has an eternal constitutional relationship with Krishna, and when one attains the liberated platform he automatically understands this relationship. It is not the system supported by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur that one’s spiritual identity be artificially declared before the stage when Krishna reveals this, especially when one is still affected by the modes of nature. Srila Prabhupada clearly taught that just as we cannot force the sun to rise at our convenience or by our pronouncements, but it rises of its own accord at the right time, similarly our constitutional position becomes manifest at the right time.
Sometimes less mature devotees are misled by a false sense of enthusiasm to prematurely understand their relationship with Krishna. They may consider this justifiable as a means that would enable them to practice and cultivate the eagerness for such a relationship. Unfortunately, however, this is not the recommended process given by our founder-acharya, and almost always proves dangerous for the tender devotional creeper of less qualified sadhakas. Without cultivating the fundamental spiritual qualities of submission to one’s spiritual master, a selfless service mood, sense-control and completely uprooting one’s materialistic conceptions, one is certain to impose some material conceptions upon one’s so-called svarupa or eternal nature. The Nectar of Devotion confirms that this type of longing or prayer for some spiritual perfectional stage, technically called the ‘lalasamayi’ stage of submission, actually comes in the stage of perfect liberation and spiritual advancement, and is not to be artificially induced. (Cf. NOD Ch 9, Submission)
You are correct when you indicate that the procedure of HOW the revealing of one’s svarupa takes place is not spelled out in great detail. However, the other BV member is also correct: the fundamental faith of a sincere devotee is that their spiritual master connects them with Krishna via the disciplic succession, and by the collective descending mercy of the guru parampara all truths become naturally revealed. This is our natural process, without having before us the micro-technology of this mystical process.