Wholehearted Engagement

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking to the devotees in London
9 October 2011, part 1

 

I am very happy today because yesterday there was a Vaishnav seva festival—Srila Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu's disappearance festival, Srila Raghunath Bhatta Goswami Prabhu's disappearance festival, and Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami's disappearance festival. It was a good day.

Actually, this day is a day of Vaishnav seva. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu taught us what must be the quality of a Vaishnav and what must be the quality of your practising. Mahaprabhu taught Das Goswami Prabhu, and what Das Goswami Prabhu showed, how he himself practised, is an example for us—it is for our benefit.

It is a day of Vaishnav seva, but we have no quality or qualification—ki rupe paibo seva muni durachar ("I am so wicked, how will I ever get service?")—we have no qualification to serve great Vaishnavs. That is our main problem. But this qualification comes through practising, through good association, through great association, by following Gurudev's order, Guru Maharaj's order, Guru Maharaj's line, conception, following the Rupanuga line (Srila Rupa Goswami's line). We must follow it properly and perfectly. Our problem is that we become blind with material desires (andhibhuta chaksu yara visaya dhulite, অন্ধীভূত চক্ষু যার বিষয ধূলিতে); we cannot see the proper things because we take bad association and also because of poor practice (not practising so much or so well).

It is necessary to practise more. You can understand it by looking at how much Raghunath Das Goswami practised.

Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu wanted to go to Mahaprabhu many times, but Mahaprabhu told him, "Go back to your home! It is not necessary to show phalgu vairagya, markat vairagya (false monkey renunciation). Leave your false renunciation. You can become a householder, it is not a problem. It is not necessary to show false renunciation, you can show internal sincerity (antare nistha), that is good for you. Do not show outer renunciation, it is necessary to have internal renunciation."

অন্তরে নিষ্ঠা কর, বাহ্যে লোক-ব্যবহার ।
অচিরাৎ কৃষ্ণ তোমায় করিবে উদ্ধার ॥

antare nistha kara, bahye loka-vyavahara
achirat krsna tomaya karibe uddhara

"Be fixed internally, and behave like everyone else externally. Krishna will rescue you soon."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 16.239)

Bahye loka-vyavahara (behave like everyone else): you can do everything, you can work, you can live in family life, but your family must be Krishna's family. Then, achirat Krsna tomaya karibe uddhara: Krishna will very soon rescue you from the material environment, from the illusory environment. Do not worry, Krishna will rescue you, go back to your home."

This is what Mahaprabhu told Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, and Das Goswami Prabhu followed it to the point. He followed everything. He went back home and later took shelter of Nityananda Prabhu. When he came to Nityananda Prabhu, Nityananda Prabhu told him to arrange some Vaishnav seva, and he did it. Then, Das Goswami Prabhu got the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu—Nityananda Prabhu put His lotus feet on his head and said, "Now you can go to Mahaprabhu, He will accept you." And Mahaprabhu accepted him.

The point is, "Yatha-yogya visaya bhunja' anasakta hana (যথাযোগ্য বিষয় ভুঞ্জ' অনাসক্ত হঞা, Cc, 2.16.238)—you can serve your family but without any attachment."

আসক্তিরহিত সম্বন্ধসহিত ।
বিষয়সমূহ সকলি মাধব ॥

'asakti-rahita,' 'sambandha-sahita,'
visaya-samuha sakali 'madhava'

"When you are free from material attachment and establish relationship with the Lord, then you will see that everything around you is Lord Madhav Himself."

('Vaishnav ke?' verse 12)

Serve without any attachment, but with sambandha—there must be relation. Serve with a relationship, keep love and affection and serve seriously, with relation. When you serve a Deity, you should think, "I am serving my children," or, "I am serving my old parents." When you serve your Guru, think, "I am serving my father." When you serve, serve as a son, as a daughter. Sometimes, when Gurudev becomes old, he becomes like a baby, and you must serve the same way as when take care of your baby. When Gurudev becomes old, his servitors serve him like they would serve a baby. You must understand that it is necessary to have a relation.

বিষয়ে যে প্রীতি এবে আছয়ে আমার ।
সেই মত প্রীতি হউক চরণে তোমার ॥

visaye ye priti ebe achhaye amara
sei-mata priti hauk charane tomara

"May I have the same affection and attraction to your feet that I now have for material things."

(Gitavali, 4.5, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

You have love and affection for your family, your parents or other blood relatives, and the same connection, the same love and affection must come towards your spiritual master, spiritual leader—towards the Guru and Vaishnavs.

Raghunath Das Goswami showed what Vaishnavs' quality is, he showed it for us. When he joined Mahaprabhu in Puri, how did he eat? How much service did he do? He served for twenty-two and a half hours and used only one and a half hours for sleeping, eating, etc. But we are doing the opposite—we sleep for twenty-two and a half hours and serve for one and a half hours. We do the opposite and we have so many hopes and aspirations—we want this, we want that, we want that. It is material environment. Das Goswami Prabhu used only one and a half hours for his own job. How much he served, how much time he gave for his Guru! But we are giving time for our own enjoyment, that is why we are not getting so much benefit. What is Gurudev's fault? It is our own fault! Why are we not getting benefit? Because we use ourselves for our own enjoyment. We must use ourselves for Gurudev's enjoyment, for the Deities' enjoyment—we must give ourselves for their enjoyment. If you give yourself for your own enjoyment, how will you get relief and benefit? This is what Srila Das Goswami Prabhu teaches us.

 

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