Fundamentals

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
23 June 2001

 

When you chant the Holy Name (the alphabet, or letters, of the Holy Name), the Holy Name cannot come your tongue, but it will be better if you get service and chant Harinam through service, and we should try to avoid bad association. For preaching we have to go to many places, mix with different people, but other than this the scriptures say, and Prabhupad also advised, we should try to avoid bad association.

When Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur came this time, you know there were so many things at that time, there were so many people who imitated devotion—they would wear tilaks, wear neck beads, they chanted, but did many wrong things. That is why Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur made this Gaudiya Mission. He made a Nama-hatta and said, "I am a sweeper of Nama-hata!" Nama-hata means "namer hata" (নামের হাট), or "market of the Holy Names." He cleaned these Holy Names, he cleaned the society from all bad and dirty things. That is why he said, "I am a sweeper."

There is a sloka in Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.34)

তদ্­বিদ্ধি প্রণিপাতেন পরিপ্রশ্নেন সেবয়া ।
উপদেক্ষ্যন্তি তে জ্ঞানং জ্ঞানিনস্তত্ত্বদর্শিনঃ ॥

tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"You will be able to attain knowledge by satisfying the divine master with submission, relevant inquiry, and sincere service. The enlightened souls who are learned in scriptural knowledge and endowed with direct realisation of the Supreme Absolute Truth will impart divine knowledge to you."

Pranipat means full surrender, pariprasna is honest enquiry, and sevaya is service temper. We must have tad viddhi pranipatena, we must surrender to Gurudev fully. We do not only pay dandavat—a full dandavat (sastanga dandavat) means, "Gurudev, you have a sword, and I cannot see anything. You can beat me, you can do anything you like, whatever you do I will obey your rules and regulations."

দীক্ষাকালে ভক্ত করে আত্মসমর্পণ ।
সেইকালে কৃষ্ণ তারে করে আত্মসম ॥

diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama

"At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Krishna accepts them as His very own."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.192)

When devotees take initiation and surrender to Lord Krishna, Krishna sees such devotees as His very heart.

Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur also said that we must not be afraid. Many things will happen, many people will criticise you, many will do bad and wrong things to you, but you must not be afraid. Prabhupad said: when an elephant is going down the road and some dog is barking, it is not a problem for the elephant. Yesterday, when we were going down the street and chanting, somebody criticised us, somebody laughed, but it is not a problem. The crazy people, the bad people think many things, but we do not think like this. They do not chant, do not do anything, but we do it and we know what we are doing is the best. We must do what we are doing, and we must tell others that it is the best. If others do not do what we do, why will we be afraid? We must do out duty.

So, we should always keep a good relation with our family. We live in a family, in one house with our father, mother, children, wife, etc. but it must be asakti-rahita, without attachment. There should be no attachment, and there should be relation with the Lord. We will surrender and see all subjects as meant only for Krishna. Krishna always says, "I am the creator of all creation. I have created everything for Myself, not for you!" That is why all must be Madhava.

আসক্তিরহিত সম্বন্ধসহিত ।
বিষয়সমূহ সকলি মাধব ॥

'asakti-rahita,' 'sambandha-sahita,'
visaya-samuha sakali 'madhava'

('Vaishnav ke?' verse 12)

"There must be no attachment and the only relation we must have with the things is that everything if for Him, not for us." This is how we should think.

So, I am telling everybody: please be humble, tolerant, give honour to others. Everybody should pay dandavat to each other. You have an enemy, you fight with somebody, but if you pay dandavat to them, if you talk to them, they will not be your enemy then, they must be your friend. If you think, "Oh, he is fighting with me, he is quarrelling with me, I will not talk to him!" this is not good. Pay dandavat to them, give them some honour, talk to them, and they will not be your enemy, they will be your best friends. Actually, I am myself my best friend, and I am myself my worst enemy also—nobody is my enemy, I am the only worst enemy to myself...

I am the most fallen soul, I have no qualification, and I am asking you for your mercy. If we get your mercy, it will bring benefit to all of us, and to me also. And please come to Nabadwip. I am paying dandavat to everybody, do not take my offence. If I have made any offence, please excuse me...

 

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Service and Karma
'Sometimes some service comes to you, and you are not satisfied with it, you want to do something else, but here is an example from Gurudev's times...'

 

Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O Damodara! O Ananta! O Visnu! O Master! O my Lord, be pleased upon me. By showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who is immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.'
শ্রীশ্রীদামোদরাষ্টকম্

If we remember Gurudev's words, and practise properly, then we can get
a small room in Gurudev's place and continue our service.

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