Whole-Hearted Service

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
16 June 2010

 

Narottam Das Thakur was born in Sripat Keturi (Bangladesh now) and in his life he composed many Vaishnav songs, mostly these are Vaishnav vandana songs.

When Mahaprabhu once went to preach in Bangladesh, He came to the Padma River. In India it is Ganga Devi, and the same Ganga that flows in Bangladesh is called Padma. It is very wide and very, very long, at some places you cannot even see the opposite bank—compared to the Padma, the Ganga is small. When Mahaprabhu came into the Padma, He took some water in His hand, touched it to His forehead and threw it back into the river shouting, "Narottam! Narottam! Narottam!" At that time, even Narottam's father and mother were not born, and all devotees wondered, "Who is Narottam? What is Narottam?" Nobody knew it. Later, not just a few years later, but many years later, maybe a hundred years later, Narottam was born in that area as a devotee, you know it.

When Narottam Das Thakur grew up, he said to his mother, "Mother, I want to go to Vrindavan. Please do not stop me—if you do not let me go there, I will die! Please give me permission to go to Vrindavan." He was a young boy at that time, perhaps eight-nine years old. Without his father knowing anything, Narottam's mother gave him some money (Gurudev said it was about thirty rupees) and told him to go.

Narottam Das Thakur preached Mahaprabhu's conception and he was the last one who preached it widely, after that it was Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Narottam Das Thakur preached with Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Shyamananda Prabhu. After they left, so much misconception came...

One devotee of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur wrote about Prabhupad,

sripat khetari dhama thakura sri narottama
tomate tanhara guna dekhi

This is written very nicely. "Narottam Das Thakur was born in Keturi, and he preached so much. I can see that you, Prabhupad, are doing the same kind of preaching now, and I can see all kinds of good qualities of Srila Narottam Das Thakur in you."

Actually, all our Guru-varga serve the Lord and serve their Guru whole-heartedly, with kaya, mana, vakya (body, mind, and speech). They used all their heart and body for the service to their Guru. Mahaprabhu also said that you must use all instruments of your body for the service to your Guru. Ramanuja Acharya said that you can use and serve with your body from your head down to your navel (you cannot use your legs in service, for example), but Mahaprabhu said it was not correct—you must serve with everything. Mahaprabhu said when you have Krishna-prema—when you have love for Krishna, when you have love for your Guru—then you can serve with your legs even. Rupa, rasa, gandha, sabda, sparsa (senses that perceive form, taste, smell, sound, touch)—you can use everything. Arjun, for example, always paid obeisance with his head and eyes only, but if you bow at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, it pleases Him more. Krishna is pleased more with Sridham-sakha, Subal-sakha. Sridham and Subal can even climb with their legs on top of Krishna's shoulders, and Krishna becomes very happy. Krishna feels more happiness than when He is with Arjun. Mahaprabhu gave this example.

Acharya Ramanuja would travel everywhere, and one time he came to Tirupati, Sailapurna ashram. He stayed there for one month. There, he had a very good servitor whose name was Govinda. Govinda always made Ramanuja Acharya's bed, and after he made his bed, he lay on it for a few minutes. One day, Ramanuja Acharya got to know about it and asked Govinda,

"Govinda, what are you doing? I hear that you sleep in my bed! Do you not know that if you use your Gurudev's bed you will have to go to hell?"

"Yes, Gurudev, I know that..." answered Govinda.

"Then why do you sleep on my bed?"

"Prabhu, when I make the bed for you, I want to know if that bed is comfortable or not because you will sleep in it. That is why I test it."

"Oh, OK, I understand now..."

Govinda thought, "For your service, Gurudev, I can even go to hell, it is not a problem."

There are many other examples of this. For the service to the Lord, to Krishna, to your Guru, you can do anything actually, but not for your indriya tarpan—for our own enjoyment we cannot do anything.

 

 

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See the Guru
with Your Heart
'Arjun followed his Guru properly. What his Guru told him, he carefully listened to that through his mind and heart, and he followed properly his instruction, direction. This is necessary: you have to follow carefully what the Guru tells you.'

 

Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'O manifestation of the principle of inconceivable difference and nondifference (union in separation)! This humble servant chants your glories and worships you with joy.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

Lord Himself took sannyas—He Himself shows us how we must practise,
how we must serve...

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"