Cutting No Return Ticket
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
When Gurudev, our Guru Maharaj (Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj), came and joined the Mission, all of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's godbrothers went preaching; at that time Gurudev used to play football in the day time and play mridanga in the evening. Devotees asked him, "Do you want to join our Mission? Can you come with us today?" Gurudev answered, "Yes. If you take me today, I can go." And he came here.
A few days after that, Gurudev's mother with his two brothers (one was four years old, and the other one was seven years old) came to the Math to take him back. Gurudev's mother pulled him in one direction, and Gurudev, holding onto a window grill, was pulling in the other direction. Hearing the noise, Srila Sridhar Maharaj came and said to her,
"Your son does not want to go. Leave him." Crying, she explained that she did not have a husband (he had passed away by that time) and her income was only twenty rupees per month.
"Then what are you taking your son for?" answered Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
"He is the only working member of my family!"
"OK, I will send you the money he earns per month."
Then, a few days later, a car with many gundas came from Gurudev's village, Bamunpara—they came to take him away. Gurudev was riding a bicycle, and all the gundas caught him and wanted to forcefully put him into the car. Gurudev began to shout and some local Nabadwip man came there. Gurudev said, "These people want to take me away forcefully!" They all came to Srila Sridhar Maharaj's temple and Srila Sridhar Maharaj asked the village men,
"Why are you taking this boy?"
"He is our village boy! We want to take him back."
"But he does not want to go."
"It is better if he serves his parents than serving a Guru or God!"
"All right, stay here for three days. If you can defeat me during these three days, you can take your boy."
Three days later, they all ran away...
It is necessary to have such strong faith and chastity: no matter what problem can come in our life but we will not leave Krishna consciousness.
There is also a story from Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's times.
At the time when Chaitanya Math had not been made yet, Prabhupad would stay in a small house in Kolkata and give lectures there. At that time, Srila Sridhar Maharaj was a law student. He heard once that some sadhu, saint, was giving very good lectures and he started going there every day. He would just sit and listen without asking any questions. When he heard Prabhupad's lecture, he thought, "I have heard so many lectures, I have read so many scriptures, but I have never heard such lecture in my life."
At that time, India was under the British government, and the temple manager thought, "This boy comes and sits quietly without asking any questions—he only hears the class and goes away. Maybe he is a British spy!" The manager told Srila Sridhar Maharaj not to come again.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj left. He went to Kali-ghat, the bank of the Ganges and was sitting there sadly, thinking, "What do I go there for? I have no want of money, I have no want of anything. I only come to hear the lecture for my own spiritual benefit. But why did that man tell me not to come?" Then he suddenly thought, "Even if the temple manager beats me with a broom and tells me not to come, I must still come."
Srila Prabhupad noticed that Srila Sridhar Maharaj (his previous name was Ramendra) did not come again and asked the devotees, "Why did that boy Ramendra not come today?" The devotees were afraid of the manager (he was very strict), so they did not tell that the manager had told him not to come. They tried to make some excuse, but Prabhupad had understood it. He told everybody, "That boy will come every day. Do not tell anybody not to come. He must always be allowed to come."
Next day, Ramendra (Srila Sridhar Maharaj) came again, and Prabhupad asked him why he had not come the day before. Srila Sridhar Maharaj did not tell anybody's name, he only said that something had happened and he could not come.
This kind of chastity is necessary for Krishna consciousness.
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