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Cementing Your Faith

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking to devotees in Canada
16 October 2011, part 2


"Anasakta hana visaya bhunja': serve accepting material things, but without attachment" (অনাসক্ত হঞা বিষয় ভুঞ্জ', Cc, 2.16.238). Mahaprabhu told this to Raghunath Das Goswami, and Raghunath Das Goswami went back to his house. When Krishna gives you His mercy—when He decides, "I need you for My full service," He will use you—He will engage you through Gurudev, through a great devotee.

Devotees always engage everybody and everything in service of the Lord. In this world, everything comes for service to the Lord, but not everything can do it. So, devotees always use everything—fruit, flower trees, even some plants, etc. for the service of the Lord. For example, you can eat some fruit, but if you offer it to the Guru, that will give benefit to the plant or tree where that fruit came from. Do you understand it?

You go to beg for rice or you eat rice, you eat a chapati—if you offer whatever you eat to the Guru, offer it to the Lord, then the plant, the soil, etc. gets benefit. All demigods—sun, wind, moon, water, etc.—want to serve the Lord, but they cannot do it themselves. However, they can serve the Lord through a great devotee.

In this way, devotees always use everything for the service of the Lord and get sukriti like this. Through sukriti comes sraddha, faith. It is necessary to have strongest faith. Strongest faith comes through service, through practising. There are four types of faith—kamala-sraddha, taranga-sraddha, drdha-sraddha, sudrdha-sraddha. "Sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari (শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী)" (Cc, 2.22.64)—bhakti, devotion comes through faith. If you have a strong faith, a strong platform, then no one can break you—your house will not fall down.

Do you have any questions?

Question: I always think about faith, I always think how to increase my faith?

Faith comes through practising. If you practise properly—go to mangal arati, read the Gita, read Gurudev's lecture, etc.—and follow what Gurudev says, follow his instruction, then faith will gradually come on its own. Our faith will be strong if we follow Gurudev's instruction. Do not follow your mind, follow the instruction of Gurudev. You must not think, "Oh, maybe what Gurudev said is not good, maybe what I am doing is good." This is the problem. It is necessary to follow what Gurudev tells you, to follow his instruction fully. Gurudev gave one example. Suppose you see a snake, but Gurudev tells you it is not a snake, it is rope—then you must believe that, you must believe that it is a piece of rope. If you do not believe Gurudev's words, then you will gradually lose your faith.

Also, "gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe"—do not hear so many bad things, do not say so many bad things; only "radha-krsna seva manase karibe" (only serve Radha-Krishna in your mind)—only follow what Gurudev says, only follow his instruction, do service. If you practise in this way, faith will be gradually strong, the platform will be strong. The more cement you use, the stronger the platform will be—the stronger the iron rod will be. So, the strongest faith is following Gurudev's instruction. That is faith.

You must understand Sri Guru and His Grace. Srila Sridhar Maharaj described the Guru and the disciple in his book Sri Guru and His Grace. Suppose a lotus is blooming in a pond, there is so much heat coming from the sun, but the lotus does not dry, it looks good. But if you take that lotus out of the soil and water, it will immediately dry. So, if we take shelter, if we have faith and believe our Guru, then Krishna cannot remove us, Krishna cannot harm us. Do you understand it? In the example with the lotus, the sun is Krishna, the lotus is ourselves, and the soil and water is the Guru. If we are under the shelter of our Guru, Krishna cannot remove us, Krishna cannot do anything.

"Krsna rusta hale Guru rakhibare pare" (কৃষ্ণ রূষ্ট হলে গুরু রাখিবারে পারে)—if Krishna is angry, the Guru can protect you, but if the Guru becomes angry with you, Krishna cannot protect you. Vrindavan Das Thakur said also, "Guru bade Gauranga bhaje, sei papi raurave padi maje." It means that those who worship Gauranga without the Guru, are great sinners, and life after life, birth after birth, death after death they will be in hell.

Sometimes, we do something that our mind tells us to do and we think it is service, but it is not—it is karma. Service means fulfilling Gurudev's desire, doing what makes Gurudev happy. For example, a non-devotee is cooking something and a devotee is also cooking it—they are cooking the same thing, but it is actually different because one is karma, one is service. Service goes to Krishna, and karma leads to karma-bandhan (bondage with the karma), and the result of karma-bandhan is suffering in hell (narak-yantrana)...


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Ganga Mata Goswamini
'There was once a young girl, a daughter of a good Odisha king, who got much mercy from Jagannath. She always served in the Jagannath temple—made garlands and did whatever other service there was..'


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'All glory to Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami, the leading general of the tridandi-sannyasis!'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

We are all here by the mercy of Gurudev. Without the mercy of Guru and Vaishnavs
we cannot even make one step forward.