The Time of Your Lives
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Today is Vamanadev avirbhav tithi (appearance day), tomorrow is Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur's appearance day, and the day after tomorrow is Haridas Thakur's niryan tithi (disappearance day). These three days are very nice. It is a great fortune for us in our spiritual life that in this life we can always hear Hari-katha, Krishna-katha.
শ্রবণং কীর্ত্তনং বিষ্ণোঃ স্মরণং পাদসেবনম্ ।
sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
Hearing, practising (chanting), remembering the Lord, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, serving the Deity, offering obeisances, considering oneself a servant, thinking of the Lord as of a friend, and full surrender.
Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.23
Sravan and kirtan are very good for us.
When Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur was making some construction, he would manage the construction and chant the Holy Name on his japa mala. Our Gaudiya sampradaya line is also known as Bhaktivinod-dhara—Bhakti Vinod Thakur is the carrier of our pure line. From him, the line came down to Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, then to our Param Guru Maharaj Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and then to our Gurupadpadma. This is the line that we follow.
To come to this line, one must have sukriti—without sukriti no one can hear about this line, no one can become attached to this line.
এ ঘোর-সংসারে পড়িয়া মানব
e ghora-samsare padiya manava
Those who have fallen into this terrible world never cease to suffer...
'E ghora-samsare' from Jaiva-dharma by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur
We are born in this Age of Kali and suffering so much, but actually we are very fortunate because in this age Mahaprabhu comes in the form of the Holy Name and sends also our Guruvarga, our Gurudev, as our spiritual master—Krishna sends our Guru to us in the form of a spiritual master to save us, to pick us up and take us to our own place. We are fallen souls, but Krishna sent him to bring us back to Him.
It is our fortune that we have got a bona fide Guru. It means that in our previous lives we got some sukriti, through that sukriti we got some faith, sraddha, then through faith we got some good association, and through that good association we have got a bona fide Guru. Without sukriti, you cannot get a bona fide Guru.
ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
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
Through our Guru we have got the bhakti-lata-bij, the devotional seed, and we must now protect it through practising—through sravan, kirtan. Now we must practise properly.
Somebody may think, "We have no temple, how will we practise?" You can practise anywhere. If you worship your Guru, if you chant the Holy Name, then wherever you live that place is Goloka Vrindavan. Bhakti Vinod Thakur writes in the Ekadasi song,
যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.
'Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur
You can worship your Guru in any place—even if you stay under a tree and worship your Guru from that place, that is Goloka Vrindavan. It does not matter if you live in a hut, in a small house, or have a very poor life.
When we got this body we promised that we would use this body only for the service to the Lord. We got many bodies before in our previous lives, but why did we get a human body? Why did Krishna send me here with this body? Before, Krishna sent me in a cat's body, in a dog's body, and so on, but why did He not send me in a cat's body this time? What is this life for? Eating, sleeping, and enjoying? Yes, enjoy, but enjoy with love and affection, enjoy with Krishna, Reality the Beautiful—enjoy with that!
Everybody is doing some work, but some work goes to karma, some work goes to seva—there is a difference. Somebody cooks for himself, and somebody cooks for the Deity, the Guru. Somebody works for himself, and somebody works for their Guru. These are different things. You know, once a devotee told me, "For me, first is my Guru, then Nityananda Prabhu, then my family." I was very happy to hear his words.
"ভক্ত-সঙ্গেতে মন আনন্দিত অনুক্ষণ, bhakta-sangete mana anandita anuksana": I feel pleasure talking with the devotee.
Some gurus think about money, but I am thinking about Gurudev's service. Gurudev told me, "You do not have to worry about money. Serve the Vaishnavs, serve my devotees, and money will come—Krishna will send money." Serve your Guru, protect your Guru's mission, preach and do not think about your own benefit, then Krishna will always help you. Anyhow, when all Guruvarga is with me, why should I be afraid? I am never afraid, I know that I was born one day and one day I will day, and if I die for the service to my Guru, I do not mind it.
So, practise. Gurudev said one thing: it does not matter where you are staying, maintain your practising life, Krishna consciousness life.
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