"My Devotee Is Always with Me"
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
I am giving a full obeisance to my Divine Master Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj's lotus feet.
Actually those who serve Gurudev and the Lord full-heartedly, always stay with the Lord and Gurudev.
You know, one time Sriman Mahaprabhu went to East Bengal to preach Krishna consciousness and distribute the Holy Name. He went there alone, and His mother and wife Laksmi Priya Devi stayed in Mayapur, Nabadwip. While He was there, Laksmi Priya expired. She cannot tolerate the separation, so she left her body and went to Mahaprabhu. Seeing her in East Bengal, Mahaprabhu was surprised, "Laksmi Priya?! You have come here, leaving My mother alone there?" She said, "Prabhu, I cannot tolerate so much separation from You..."
Here in Nabadwip, everybody saw that Laksmi Priya had bitten by a snake and died. Actually that snake is called "viraha-rupa sarpa," that snake (সর্প, sarpa) came from separation (বিরহ, viraha).
Mahaprabhu immediately left East Bengal and came to His mother. His mother, Sachi Devi, was very sad. She thought in the vatsalya-rasa, "What answer will I give to Nimai? He left His wife here, but she has died—what will I tell Him?" She was so sad—she sat there with her head buried in her knees (tri-matha, ত্রি-মাথা, "three heads"—a head and two knees). Mahaprabhu already knew everything because Laksmi Priya had come to Him, so He was not sad. He came to His mother and said, "Mother, you are so sad because Laksmi Priya has left, aren't you?" Sachi Mata was surprised, "How does He know?" "I know everything," said Mahaprabhu, "Do not be sad. Everybody's life is uncertain, we all can go at any time. Her time has come, that is why she has left..."
You have heard also how even Srivas Pandit's only son left. Mahaprabhu and all the devotees would every day go to Srivas Pandit's house and chant kirtan there. One day, when Mahaprabhu went there, He felt that there was not so much joy in the kirtan so He asked Srivas Pandit, "Srivas Pandit, what has happened today at your house? Why am I not getting pleasure from the kirtan today?" Srivas Pandit explained, "Prabhu, I did not tell You, but my only son has died today, his body is in the house..."
Internally Mahaprabhu was very happy, but externally He showed some anger towards Srivas Pandit, "Why have you not told Me before?!" Srivas Pandit said, "Prabhu, Your kirtan would be disturbed, that is why I did not tell You..."
Mahaprabhu went to the room where the body of his son was kept and spoke to the boy, "Why have you left us? Why have you left Srivas Pandit?" The boy answered, "My time has come... I had some connection with Srivas Pandit, but now that connection has finished. You are calling me, so I am going to You..."
So, those who always serve closely, heart and soul, who are dear to the Lord, they always stay with their Lord.
Sometimes Mahaprabhu also punished devotees, but you know that when Gurudev chastises you, that is also his mercy. You can see that when Mahaprabhu chastised Jagadananda Prabhu, Sanatan Goswami cried thinking, "Mahaprabhu does not chastise me, He does not give mercy to me. He always gives His mercy to Jagadananda!"
You know also what kind of punishment Mahaprabhu once gave to Chhota Haridas. Mahaprabhu knew that a good punishment for him would be suicide, but that was actually His mercy, it was not a punishment. Chhota Haridas committed suicide in Triveni (a place where three rivers, Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, come together). What wrong did he do? "Vairagi kare prakrti sambhasan" (বৈরাগী করে প্রকৃতি সম্ভাষণ, Cc, 3.2.117) Mahaprabhu chastised him, "You are a renounced person, a vairagi, but you have so much attachment with a girl." That girl was an old woman, Madhavi Devi, and she was a great devotee of Mahaprabhu—it is said that Mahaprabhu had three and a half close servitors, she was the half devotee. To teach us, Mahaprabhu said, "It is not good, you are associating with a woman, but it is better you committed suicide rather than doing that."
Chhota Haridas died, and when later, after his body had been burnt and all funeral ceremonies had been finished, Mahaprabhu went with some devotees to Prayag and suddenly said to Mukunda or Sivananda Sen,
"Can you call Chhota Haridas? I want to hear a kirtan from him." One of the devotees answered,
"Prabhu, You want to hear him sing a kirtan, but we told you many times that Chhota Haridas had done a small offence, we asked You to please forgive his offence, but You did not listen to us at that time... He is dead now."
"What are you saying?! My devotee can never die!"
"Prabhu, yes, he died. We have finished the Vaishnav service, the sraddha ceremony, everything..."
"You do not believe Me, but you will see just now..." Mahaprabhu answered and called out to Chhota Haridas, "O Haridas! Can you please sing a song?"
Suddenly they heard Chhota Haridas singing, and Mahaprabhu asked them, "Can you hear the song?" The devotees became afraid thinking maybe it was a ghost, but Mahaprabhu said, "Krishna's devotee, Lord's devotee never becomes a ghost. They are always with Me."
Mahaprabhu Himself showed that.
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!
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