Ego: a Play of Kali

His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
8 December 2010


We sing in the morning,

ভক্তি-অনুকূল মাত্র কার্য্যের স্বীকার ।
ভক্তি-প্রতিকূল ভব—বর্জ্জনাঙ্গীকার ॥

bhakti-anukula matra karyera svikara
bhakti-pratikula bhava—varjanangikara

Saranagati, 1, by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur

We must accept what is in favour of devotion and reject what is not in favour of devotion.

'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
কৃষ্ণে ভক্তি কৈলে সর্ব্বকর্ম্ম কৃত হয় ॥

'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

"Sraddha is firm, determined faith that by service to Krishna all actions are accomplished."

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62

It depends upon faith, strongest faith, and practice. Scriptures give us so much advice, and we must follow it: sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam (hearing, chanting, remembering, offering obeisance, rendering service as a servitor, as a friend, and self-submission). Atma-nivedanam: we must be surrendered souls:

ষড়ঙ্গ শরণাগতি হইবে যাঁহার ।
তাঁহার প্রার্থনা শুনে শ্রীনন্দকুমার ॥

sad-anga saranagati ha-ibe yahara
tahara prarthana sune sri-nanda-kumara

"Sri Krishna hears the prayers of one who surrenders in this six-fold way."

There are six types of saranagati:

দৈন্য, আত্মনিবেদন, গোপ্তৃত্বে বরণ ।
'অবশ্য রক্ষিবে কৃষ্ণ'—বিশ্বাস পালন ॥
ভক্তি-অনুকূল মাত্র কার্য্যের স্বীকার ।
ভক্তি-প্রতিকূল ভব—বর্জ্জনাঙ্গীকার ॥

dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
'avasya raksibe krsna'—visvasa palana
bhakti-anukula matra karyera svikara
bhakti-pratikula bhava—varjanangikara

"Humility, self-submission, embracing the Lord's guardianship, maintaining the faith that 'Krishna will certainly protect me', engaging only in activities that are favourable to devotion, rejecting everything unfavourable to devotion."

This is necessary, otherwise we cannot proceed in our spiritual life—we cannot develop, cannot improve our spiritual life; and also great fortune is necessary.

Param Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, made this centre, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and Gurudev's also protecting this temple and Rupanuga-sampradaya, but it is very difficult to find a pure devotee now. It is very difficult, and it is also very sad. Gurudev said once, "If you want pure devotion, you have to associate with a pure devotee." And sometimes he asked, "Who will you associate with?" You can learn something from a great devotee, but if you mix with those who do not know the proper conception, you will be polluted by them. That is a very difficult matter.

Once Yudhisthir was asked, "Where does the Lord, Bhagavan, stay? What does Bhagavan eat?" And Yudhisthir replied, "Bhagavan eats people's ego, ahankar." That is the problem, that is our greatest difficulty. Atma-samman [feeling of self-importance] and abhiman [the world of "me" and "mine"] means ego, and it is very bad.

Even a young boy can have atma-samman. I heard yesterday that a 13- or 14-year-old girl hung herself. Why did she do that? It is abhiman. Her bosom friend lost her mobile phone at school, and it was found in that girl's bag. Her friend charged her, "You are my bosom friend and you have stolen my mobile phone?!" The girl was surprised, she did not know who had put the phone into her bag, and she could not tolerate that her bosom friend had called her a thief. She left school and at midnight she committed suicide, hung herself from a tree...

A 14-year-old girl is creating abhiman. Do you see? You can understand that it is so easy to create it—not only 25-30-year-old men can have ego, even a 14-year-old can have it.

It is Kali-yuga and atma-samman, so we cannot tolerate. Somebody says something to me, somebody calls me something, and I cannot tolerate that—it is a play of Kali. Kalau dosa nidhi, Kali kalaha yug [Kali is the age of quarrel and it is like an ocean of faults]. It is spreading very quickly. I know about these kinds of things better than you... That is very difficult. অহঙ্কারে মত্ত হৈঞা নিতাই-পদ পাসরিয়া অসত্যেরে সত্য করি' মানি, ahankare matta haina, Nitai-pada pasariya, asatyere satya kori mani: "Maddened with pride, forgetting Nitai's feet, I accept untruth as truth." But Krishna will arrange everything. It depends upon Krishna, and He will harmonise everything. I just wait and see. Gurudev would always say, "Wait and see."

Question: We hear about abhiman all the time, but still we cannot overcome it. Sometimes people get some qualification, but instead of abhiman going down, it goes up... How to proceed and get rid of it?

Only by the mercy from Vaishnavs, mercy from Gurudev. No other way. Ego is very bad.

Even through service some ego comes. Somebody may be a temple manager, and they do not want to clean toilets, "I am the temple president, why should I clean the bathroom?"

But I saw Siddhanti Maharaj. When Gurudev went to a foreign country, Siddhanti Maharaj always sat by Gurudev's side. He always helped Gurudev, but he had no ego: he would come to Nabadwip and clean the toilets. I saw it. And I saw Ashram Maharaj also: he is the head of a temple, but still he goes to goshala and serves there. You must learn something from them.

When I was a brahmachari, it was 1994 or 1995, I went to Hapaniya to supervise the land cultivation, and there was a man ploughing a field. I rushed to him, "You do not know how to do it, I will do it." Another brahmachari became angry with me and said to me, "You are a brahmachari, you came here to supervise the temple, and now you are ploughing. What will the people say?" I told him, "What? It is my work! What is he going to say if I cultivate the land? What of that? What is the difference, a brahmachari or a sannyasi?"

And I also saw Gurudev. When I joined I saw Gurudev was managing everything. He did everything—looked after the goshala, ordered bricks, ordered cement. He did everything himself.

Once a man asked Gurudev for sannyas. Gurudev told him it was not necessary to wear a sannyasi dress. It is not necessary to show, 'Oh, I am a sannyasi,' and think it is an opportunity to use somebody to serve me. In Srila Prabhupad's time also: many sannyasis served Kunja Babu. Many babajis and sannyasis served Bhakti Vinod Thakur—they would pay full obeisance from afar, "Oh, such a big man is coming!" And many sannyasis also paid their obeisance to Pundarik Vidyanidhi. Even Mahaprabhu paid obeisance to Pundarik Vidyanidhi!...



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