Shri Bijay Krishna Goswami was a saint of very high degree. In his childhood, he used to play with Krishna with marbles. The idol of Krishna at his home temple used to come out of the temple and play marbles with him. Once Krishna stole his marbles and ran away inside the temple. Little Bijay Krishna started crying and complained to his mother about Krishna's mischief. His mother didn't believe his story and said, "What are you saying?! You are just joking with me, right? How and why would Krishna steal your marbles?" But Bijay Krishna insisted that his mother should go inside the temple and see. Consoling the little child, mother went inside the temple and to her amazement, her child's marbles were in the hands of Krishna!
This happens according to the samskaras (the impressions on one's character influenced by his acts and thoughts over a long period of time or even through many lives) and stage of a sadhak. Nobody can say when would a sadhak experience the mercy of God. Sometimes we see ignorant people who didn't care about bhajan suddenly become so tired of materialism, they start taking exceptional interest in bhajan and also experience a lot of transcendental incidents related to Radha Krishna. From our physical point of view, we feel that this person never chants harinaam, never indulges with sadhus or rather is disrespectful of sadhus. But suddenly his life changes and he becomes a devotee overnight. This is due to samskar of previous lives.
Suppose you studied at one school and then you left the place for some reason. When you take admission in another school, you will be admitted into the class next to your passed class. For instance, if you passed 4th class and took admission in another school, you will be admitted into 5th class on showing your 4th class pass certificate. In the same way, when a sadhak leaves one body, the stage of spiritual enlightenment decides where would he be reborn. After rebirth, he will continue his spiritual journey from where he had stopped in his previous life. So you can't say this person is aged and so he is spiritually more enlightened than a young sadhak who has just become a devotee. The sadhak ascends the stages of bhakti through shraddha, sadhu sanga, bhajan kriya, anartha nivritti, nishtha, ruchi, asakti, bhav and finally, prem bhakti. The stage where a sadhak leaves one body, when he is reborn, he has to continue his bhajan from that stage itself. Like Shri Bijay Krishna Goswami was said to have left his previous life's body in a very high stage. That is why he could see Krishna and play with him from his very childhood. And a sadhak who had reached the stage of anartha nivritti in his previous life, has no transcendental experience however hard he does bhajan. And sometimes it happens that a sadhak has no experience whatsoever but suddenly his fortune blooms and he reaches such a stage of bhakti, he never even expected himself. A sadhak who had reached a high stage of bhakti in his previous life but for some reason got allured to materialistic desires, may seem to be an ignorant person in his next life, to fulfill his major desires he cannot overcome through thoughtful reflection and show the miserable result of materialistic desires. But suddenly, through sadhu sanga or some incident, the life of the sadhak changes and he realizes the stage of bhakti he had reached the previous life and continues his journey from there.
There was a bhakta called Namdev. He was a dangerous dacoit. He used to murder people at the least disagreement. He used to live in a deep forest. He was a worshipper of goddess Kali. He used to visit a Kali mandir in the forest every night to offer his obeisances to the goddess. One night he saw a woman with two children sitting in front of the goddess and crying bitterly. He dismounted his horse and asked the woman, "Mother, who are you? And where have you come from to this deep forest? Why are you crying?" She started crying even more. She said, "Baba, what to say, some dacoits have killed my husband. Now there is no place for me at my husband's place. They feel I am a harbinger of bad luck for them and a burden for their family. I have no one at my father's home too. My parents are dead and I don't have any brother. So here I am with my two children, clueless where should I go and who will look after my children. I was praying to mother goddess to tell me what to do and where to go." She started crying again. The dacoit felt sympathetic at her sight. He said, "Whoever did this to you is very cruel! Tell me, where did you live? What is the name of your husband?" She told him. The dacoit realizes that he knows their village and her husband too. He asked again, "On which date did this murder occur?" She told the date. Now the dacoit remembered that he himself had murdered the man. He was a rich man. They had invaded his house and when the rich man tried to stop them, he had murdered him. This realization sent him into a state of utter shock and repentance. "Oh, what have I done! I have destroyed the future of these three people and made them homeless and helpless. No wonder I have left many such people wandering homeless to fulfill my own interests. I have devastated so many families! What have I done!" he repented. He became mad with remorse and entered the inner temple and picked up the sword from the hands of ths goddess. He was about to kill himself when his follower dacoits came up and stopped him. They snatched away the sword from him and took him to his house. They locked him inside the house. The dacoit continued repenting, remembering all the murders he had done in his life and imagining the problems and misery he must have caused to the people related. When the other dacoits left, he broke open the window and ran away.
See, it was the result of some wrong action in his previous life that this person had to lead such a life of cruelty, hatred, violence and inhuman deeds. Suddenly, that bhoga (result of our actions) ceased and so a new chapter began in this bhakta's life.
Namdev joined some pilgrims in their pilgrimage. He was constantly burning in the repentance of his deeds and this purified his heart and mind. Consequently, he found a highly enlightened saint in his pilgrimage. He took initiation from the saint and started doing bhajan alongwith his constant repentance for his deeds. This fire of repentance is very important for any sadhak. This fire purifies your heart and accelerates your ascend towards Prema bhakti. A sadhak who doesn't repent for his deeds which were not meant for liberation and acquiring bhakti, is not able to make much progress.
Namdev quickly became a highly enlightened saint himself. One morning he was sitting in deep meditation outside a temple at Badrikashram. A generous person was distributing rotis (indian breads) to the sadhus and the poor. The man left two rotis and some curd in a leaf cup in Namdev's hands and went away. Namdev was so absorbed in his meditation that he was unaware of this. Meanwhile, a hungry dog came smelling ghee on hot rotis and stealthily took away the two rotis with perfect expertise! When Namdev saw that the dog is running away with the two rotis, he followed the dog with the curd in his hands, shouting "Prabhu, prabhu, please take this curd too. How will you eat the rotis dry? Please, prabhu!" See, the bhakta Namdev sees his prabhu, his lord in each and every creature. This is a very high stage of bhakti. Now tell, how will you recognize who is in which stage of bhakti? Also, there have been incidents where sadhaks of seemingly high stage have indulged in materialistic desires in later life. So nobody can say where will Prabhu take you from your present stage of bhakti, where will you end up. It totally depends upon the will of Krishna. But a sadhak must not leave his sadhan chesta, his dedication for bhajan. He must try with all his effort to progress in his journey towards Prema bhakti. Suppose your parents didn't leave any property or money for you and died. Will you die of hunger too? No. You will have to work hard and earn your living. Similarly, suppose we don't have all that good samskars to do bhajan, then shall we give up and drown in the ocean of material desires and the miserable result of such desires? No, we have to try hard, put our total effort to progress forward. We will die trying to do bhajan. We will not let even a second go useless. We will not let even a second go by without harinaam and Radha Krishna's chintan. Naam prabhu will not deceive us. Nota single harinaam will go futile.
"Mukh me naam, kar me kaam aur man me dhyan"
Chant harinaam in the mouth, do sewa and deeds which Krishna would like with your hands and contemplate Krishna and his pastimes in your mind.
This is bhajan kriya. With such sincere and absolute effort you will beget Krishna's mercy very quickly. And if you sit in the hope that some highly enlightened saint will suddenly come to your house and hug you like Shri Chaitanya mahaprabhu did and you will be liberated of the material world, then there are slim chances for your liberation! Do akhand (continuous) Naam, do not let your time go waste in materialistic actions. Whether you are eating, walking, sitting or lying down, just chant harinaam all the time. Do not think that let me complete this work then I will sit and chant. Or let me perform these duties or solve these problems, then I will go to Vrindavan and do bhajan. Nobody knows what will happen the very next second! How can you expect to find some wonderful time for doing bhajan in the future?! If you utilise time, time will not deceive you. If you waste time in the hope that somebody will suddenly shower mercy upon you, then time will deceive you. If you think that a wonderful time will come when you will have no worries and no duties, then you will sit and do bhajan, then be sure that you will never be able to do bhajan. This simply doesn't happen. If you sit at the shore of the sea and think that let the waves die out then I will bath, then you will never be able to bath in the sea because the waves will never die out!
Do not sit and look for mercy too. Without your dedication and deliberation, mercy will not befall on you. Suppose there is no mercy on you, will you give up? No! We know that Naam prabhu can take us to the highest stage of bhakti. So we will not leave Naam prabhu. Hold on to Naam prabhu.