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Service Consciousness

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham
15 November 2010

 

Gurudev always says that you can take something but if you take it you must be able to digest it. You can take something but not for yourself—you must use everything (whether it is some money, land or anything else) for the service of the Lord.

Three-four days ago a lady came to me and said she wanted to give me some land, I said, "No, I cannot take your land because I cannot use it for any service." If you take something you must use it for the service to your Guru, for the service to the Lord, then you can take it, otherwise it will become a bondage, karma-bandhan. If you take something and cannot use it for service, some problem will come to your spiritual life.

"Jivana anitya janaha sara tahe nana-vidha vipada-bhara (জীবন অনিত্য জানহ সার তাহে নানাবিধ বিপদ-ভার)": life is uncertain, any time danger can come...

 

Question: There is this verse in Sri Isopanisad ("Isavasyam idam sarvam...") where Krishna says that everyone is given their quota and one must not take another person's quota knowing that it belongs to Krishna. Could you explain this verse?

Of course it belongs to Krishna—everything that is created in this world exists for the Lord, for Krishna. If you think, "It exists for me," then there will be bondage. You must use everything for the Lord.

When somebody would come to take some banana leaves from our Math, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj did not give it. At that time there were so many banana trees at Govinda Kunda, and when people did some puja, they would come here for banana leaves, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj said no. Moreover, he did not allow to take even dry leaves that fell from the trees. At that time there was no gas and no so much coal and they cooked using only some wood and dry leaves. So, Srila Sridhar Maharaj explained: when a tree's leaves are used for cooking for the Deities and devotees, the tree gets some benefit, but if you take it and use for your own purpose the tree will not get any benefit. Banana leaves are also used for service—they are used as plates for the devotees to take prasadam—so the banana trees also get some benefit. Why should you take the leaves for your demigods? This is how the trees get sukriti...

What was your question?

 

Question: For example, Krishna gives me some money, but I have to maintain the family and have other responsibilities, how can then this money be used for service?

If you have a family, it is not a problem because your family practises Krishna consciousness. "Kariya Krsnera samsara chhadi' anachar (করিয়া কৃষ্ণের সংসার ছাড়ি' অনাচার)"—your family is Krishna's family, you must make a family life for Krishna, then it is not a problem. Here in Bengal they get married and think, "My wife will be servant." It is not so. Your wife is not your servant, your wife is a dasi—she is Krishna's maidservant. "Anachar" means bad habits, bad things that are done in family life—this is not good, it must be rejected ("chhadi' anachar").

Gurudev also often said: "They think it is not a problem if a brahmachari becomes a householder, but if I lose a brahmachari, it means I lose at least 50% of that devotee. A brahmachari or a sannyasi can engage in service to the temple fully, but a grihastha has to maintain his life so he uses 50% of his energy for his family." That is true.

How much did Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu serve? He served twenty-two and a half hours a day, and used only one and a half hours for other purpose (sleeping, prasadam, toilet, etc.). But we are doing the opposite...

 

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Poison-Free Service
'You do Vaishnav seva and become proud, 'I am spending money', 'I am doing this', 'I am doing that'—this kind of mentality can come, but our mood should be, 'I am not doing anything', 'I cannot do anything.''

 

Ki jani ki bale
'Everything is Yours. I am only a servant. Certainly You will deliver me. I have embraced Your feet and no longer belong to myself.'
কি জানি কি বলে

I do not know what my benefit is, and I have no capacity to understand it, but my Guru, Krishna know what will be good for me.

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