Stages in Krishna Consciousness: Receiving Devotional Seed

                                                                  Q. How to understand the mercy which descends from Sri Guru? How can/do we recognize such mercy? Must we endeavor to receive such mercy?

                                                                  To address this question, I would like to quote this very nice purport from Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya Lila 19.152 which talks about the word Guru- prasada or spiritual master's mercy.

                                                                  Q. Was it destined when I was born that I would one day become associated with ISKCON and do all these spiritual activities? If yes, then why do we preach? Won't people destined to join ISKCON join it, and those not destined to join ISKCON not join it? If no, then does it mean that joining ISKCON is outside the influence of destiny?

                                                                  Q. If a person takes to Krishna consciousness based on his or her prior karma, then what is the need to preach to them? Is that why there is no really no concept of preaching in Hinduism?

                                                                  Q. What is the secret of advancing in Krishna Bhakti from the Sadhana Bhakti (regulated devotional service) to the next stages?

                                                                  Bhakti is independent. In Digest 42, Q-2 we discussed how the appearance of bhakti in one's heart is independent of any material activity, and that bhakti is the cause of bhakti. One gets bhakti through the medium of a devotee, a carrier of bhakti. This holds true not only in the beginning but in the later stages of bhakti also.

                                                                  Q. 1. When does the "devotional seed" get implanted in the heart. As soon as someone gets in contact with the Hare Krishna Mantra or when the Guru gives initiation?