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Cultivating the Heart

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Vrindavan, 5 September 2011


If you want to grow some fruit trees or some other trees and plants in a jungle, you must first prepare the place. You must first clean the place, then cultivate and plant—otherwise if you plant something in a jungle, it will not grow. In the same way, those who are fortunate souls (brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva, ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব), get initiation, get some seed, but after that it is necessary to give nourishment to that seed. Nourishment means you must give water. What does "water" mean? Can you say what, in our conception's line, water means?

Devotee: Service?

No. Where will you get service first?

ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
গুরু-কৃষ্ণ-প্রসাদে পায় ভক্তিলতা-বীজ ॥

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"Having travelled throughout the universe and got the mercy of Guru, Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.151)


মালী হঞা করে সেই বীজ আরোপণ ।
শ্রবণ-কীর্ত্তন-জলে করয়ে সেচন ॥

mali hana kare sei bija aropana
sravana-kirtana-jale karaye sechana

As a gardener, they must plant that seed and water it with practising: hearing and chanting.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.152

Water means sravan and kirtan. This is written in Chaitanya-charitamrita. "Sravana-kirtana-jale karaye sechana": if you put a flower plants into the soil, you must water it. If you take initiation but do not practise sravan and kirtan first, how will you get service?

What is service and what is emotion? There is a book of Srila Guru Maharaj called Emotion and Devotion, you should read it. Emotion means some emotion comes and you do some work but then you stop doing it. Emotion and devotion is not the same, there is a difference. It is written about it in many books, and you must read these books.

"Sravan kirtan jale karaye sechan": first is not seva (service), first is sravan, kirtansukriti, sadhu-sanga, then sravan, kirtan. First it is necessary to have sukriti. Sukriti (spiritual merit) is not punya (pious works). If you do some good job, it is called punya, it is karma, vikarma, but sukriti means "tad vastu tadiya sevaya": using everything for the service to the Lord. For example, if you plant a mango tree and the tree gives a flower or a fruit, you can give it to the Lord and then take it yourself. You cannot plant and keep the fruit for yourself—you can take the mango, give it to the Lord, and then get it as prasadam. This is called then sukriti, or ajnata sukriti. There are two types of sukriti: ajnata and jnata (knowing and unknowing).

After sukriti, there is sraddha (faith). There are four types of sraddha: kamala sraddha, taranga sraddha, drdha sraddha and sudrdha sraddha.

For example, somebody says about you, "Look, he wears tilak, kanti-mala and has got chanting beads now! He has become a sadhu!" You hear it and remove the tilak, remove the kanti-mala. You do not think, "You are not giving food to me, you do not give me nourishment, so why should I listen to you?" Such faith is called kamala sraddha, it is like a lotus (kamala)—once it is out of of the water, it immediately falls down. Such faith is small, it is not strong. Then, there is taranga sraddha, such faith comes in waves. When there is some festival, everybody comes, does sankirtan, but after the festival everyone is gone and the kirtan and proper practice finishes. When the wind comes, there comes a wave, but when the wind finishes, the wave finishes too. That is called taranga sraddha. Then, there is drdha sraddha. It means constant chanting, constant practising. You can live anywhere, in a forest, in a jungle, in a small house, in a big house, or in a hotel, it is not a question—you can maintain your spiritual life properly wherever you are, wherever you live. Finally, there is sudrdha sraddha. This is the faith that Haridas Thakur has. There is a sloka that describes it:

খণ্ড খণ্ড হই দেহ যায় যদি প্রাণ ।
তবু আমি বদনে না ছাড়ি হরিনাম ॥

khanda khanda hai deha yaya yadi prana
tabu ami vadane na chadi harinama

"Even if my body is cut into pieces and I give up my life, I will never give up chanting the Holy Name."

(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Adi-khanda, 16.94)

They beat Haridas Thakur so much, but his mouth did not leave Krishna. He has the strongest faith.

Gurudev always says there is a 10% devotee, a 20% devotee, and so on. "Sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari (শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী)": the kind of devotion you will get depends on how much faith you have.

These things are necessary for our spiritual life...



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