Vaishnav's Quality

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking to the devotees in London
9 October 2011, part 2


Srila Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu taught us how we must practise, how Vaishnav's quality will come. When he was a young boy, Mahaprabhu taught him, "Gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe (গ্রাম্যকথা না শুনিবে, গ্রাম্যবার্ত্তা না কহিবে): do not talk any nonsense talks, and do not listen to nonsense things. Bhala na khaibe (ভাল না খাইবে): do not eat so much opulent food—

বৈরাগীর কৃত্য—সদা নাম-সঙ্কীর্ত্তন ।
শাক-পত্র-ফল-মূলে উদর-ভরণ ॥

vairagira krtya—sada nama-sankirtana
saka-patra-phala-mule udara-bharana

"The duty of a renunciate is to always engage in Nama-sankirtan, and maintain your stomach with vegetables, leaves, fruit, and roots."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.226)

A vairagi takes some sak, a little of some subji—not paneer, not anything opulent, not so many sweetmeats or curds. "Vairagira krtya—sada nama-sankirtana." What is the duty of a vairagi (brahmachari)? Only Nama-sankirtan." Mahaprabhu told this to Das Goswami Prabhu, and Das Goswami Prabhu taught this to the devotees.

বৈরাগীর কৃত্য—সদা নাম-সঙ্কীর্ত্তন ।
শাক-পত্র-ফল-মূলে উদর-ভরণ ॥

vairagira krtya—sada nama-sankirtana
saka-patra-phala-mule udara-bharana

"The duty of a renunciate is to always engage in Nama-sankirtan, and maintain your stomach with vegetables, leaves, fruit, and roots."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.226)

It is necessary to take something for your health, for your stomach, then it is OK, take a little of some subji—offer something simple to your guru or your Deity and take that.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told in his written stories—how will a brahmachari live in your temple? You do not give him ghee, you do not give him pulao (pilaf), you do not give him kurma (pumpkin), you do not give him sweet rice or choice rice, paneer—how will a brahmachari then stay in your temple? Prabhupad also said, "Oh, this Maharaj is not good because this Maharaj does not give me shirt, does not give me a mobile phone, does not give me a computer. And this Maharaj is good—he gives me a computer, he gives me a mobile phone, he gives me enjoyment. That Maharaj only gives me service—every time I come to him he engages me always and tells me to go work, work, work. I will not go to him, he is a very bad person!" If you read Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's stories, you can understand it easily.

Prabhupad explains also what bhajan (service, devotional practice) is. "Jiver seva korte korte atma kalyan labha haya": you are chanting the Holy Name, you are doing service, but you must engage others in chanting the Holy name, you must engage others in service. That is called jiver seva (service to the jiva souls), that is jive daya (being kind to other jiva souls). If you do this, then you will see that you will get some fresh energy, you will get relief, and your soul will be very pure through that (atma-kalyan—you will prosper in your spiritual life).

Prabhupad also said that if you follow your mind (maner khela khusimata), if you listen to whatever comes to your mind, then it will be karma, not seva. If Gurudev tells you to do something and you think, "Oh, there is no job there, but Gurudev told me to do it, then I must do it," that is seva. But if Gurudev tells you to do something and you think, "No, that is not a good job, I can do something better," then your work becomes karma. It may be some good karma, you may go to heaven after that, but what is the result of karma? If you engage in karma, you become bound by it—some bondage to the illusory environment comes—and the result of this bondage is narak yantrana (going to hell). This is what the sastras tell, Srila Sanatan Goswami and Srila Rupa Goswami also told so. Everybody does some service, but some service is actually service and some "service" is actually karma, and the result of karma is very bad (bondage with the karma).

So, we must realise these things. Das Goswami Prabhu's mind also told him, "I will go to the Jagannath temple and stand there—people will come with prasadam, and I will take what they give me." But later he thought it was not good: "simha-dvare bhiksa-vrtti—vesyara achara (Cc, 3.6.284). Mahaprabhu also thought so. So, he left that place and went to the Ananda Bazaar (Pleasure Market) at the Jagannath Temple. They sell Jagannath prasadam at this market and there is one place there where the sellers keep discarded prasadam that they cannot sell. Das Goswami Prabhu went there and took some rotten rice that even cows could not eat: he would wash it and take it with salt. One day, Mahaprabhu and Svarup Damodar came to him and forcefully tasted it too. Mahaprabhu said, "You are taking it yourself and not giving to Me!" and He forecefully took some too.

Also, Das Goswami Prabhu's father used to send him money every month. He thought, "Oh, my son has gone there but he is not getting proper food, he is begging!" His father (his name was Govardhan) was a big landlord, so every month he sent Das Goswami Prabhu four hundred rupees. At that time it was very valuable, like four hundred thousand rupees now. Das Goswami Prabhu used that money to make Vaishnav seva—twice a month so many Vaishnavs would come and he would distribute prasadam to them. All Vaishnavs were very happy, but Mahaprabhu was not because He saw that some pratistha (name and fame) were coming through that Vaishnav seva ("Oh, he is distributing prasadam!"). When Das Goswami Prabhu understood it, he rejected that money and stopped this Vaishnav seva. Mahaprabhu approved of it.

This was his lifestyle. Finally, Das Goswami Prabhu lived at the end of his life at Radha Kunda where he left his body also. That was his Vaishnav seva. He is an example for us.

It is necessary to practise properly. If we do not practise, if we do what comes to our mind, this is not service!


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