Sri Guru: Merciful Shelter

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Bengali class on the eve of Srila Gurudev's
Appearance Day, 11 December 2011


মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

"With Gurudev's mercy, a dumb person can speak, a lame person can climb a mountain." First, I am offering my full obeisance onto the lotus feet of my Gurupadpadma Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj begging him for his causeless mercy, then I am offering obeisance to all Guru-varga, to all godbrothers and sisters and the devotees and all those present here asking you all for your mercy.

Today is a very fortunate day for us because today is the eve (adhivas) of Gurudev's holy appearance day and you have all assembled here on this day on this occasion.

As I said before, "নিতাইয়ের করুণা হবে ব্রজে রাধাকৃষ্ণ পাবে, ধর নিতাইয়ের চরণ দুঃখানি, Nitaiyer karuna habe Vraje Radha Krsna pabe, dhara nitaiyer charan duhkhani—When Nitai bestows His mercy you will reach Radha-Krsna in Vraja. Grasp Nitai's feet!" Nityananda Prabhu is Guru-tattva, that is Nityananda Prabhu is non-different from the Guru. He is also known as asraya vigraha (embodiment of shelter). There is asraya vigraha (shelter) and visaya vigraha (the subject of worship)—Gurudev is called asraya vigraha, and the Lord is visaya vigraha. Mahaprabhu is visaya vigraha and Nityananda Prabhu, as well as Gurudev, is asraya vigraha.

The scriptures say that the Guru is sent to this world. What is he sent for? From the time immemorial we have turned against Krishna forgetting the Lord,

ভজিব বলিয়া এসে সংসার-ভিতরে ।
ভুলিয়া রহিলে তুমি অবিদ্যার ভরে ॥

bhajibo boliya ese samsara-bhitare
bhuliya rohile tumi avidyara bhare

"You came into this world saying, 'O Lord, I will serve You', but, having forgotten this promise, you have remained in ignorance."

('Jiva Jago Jiva Jago' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

Immersed in ignorance (in material knowledge) we forgot the Lord and as a result we have fallen into the net of trifold miseries.

I will tell you something, you will be happy to hear it.

One time, when asked by some man about dogs, Srila Sridhar Maharaj said, "Usually, if you serve a dog, it does not change anything—a dog remains a dog. But here, in our Gaudiya Math, there are some dogs and we transform these dogs into humans."

আহার-নিদ্রা-ভয়-মৈথুনং চ
সামান্যম এতৎ পশুভির নরাণাম ।
ধর্ম্মো হি তেষাম অধিকো বিশেষো
ধর্ম্মেণ হীনাঃ পশুভিঃ সমানাঃ ॥

ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam cha
samanyam etat pasubhir naranam
dharmo hi tesam adhiko viseso
dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah

"Eating, sleeping, sex, and defence—these four principles are common to both human beings and animals. The distinction between human life and animal life is that a man can search after God but an animal cannot. Therefore a man without that urge for searching after God is no better than an animal."

The scriptures say that without dharma, religion, a man is but an animal. So, Srila Sridhar Maharaj said to that man, "When you serve a dog, the dog remain a dog, but here in the Math there are so many dogs in the bodies of men, and what we do is we make them human."

When you get a human birth, you get it for the service of the Lord—when one gets good association and takes shelter of the lotus feet of Gurudev, then they start doing service of the Lord. How is it possible? It is possible through the Guru. We were dogs before, but when we came here from the street, we were transformed into humans. What is the duty of a human? What did we get this human birth for? Not only for eating! We did this before—Guru Maharaj said when we were elephants we finished so many banana trees. But now, by the mercy of Gurudev, from dogs we have been transformed into humans, and now we can serve, we can worship the Lord. We got this human body, but we did not do what a human should be doing. We were spending our life busy with eating, sleeping, mating, defending (dogs, goats, cats, sheep, etc. do all this and we did the same), but our Gurudev has brought us to this path.

We had spent nine-ten months in womb of our mother, and finally we prayed to the Lord,

"Prabhu, please! I cannot stay here any longer! Let me out!"

The Lord said, "But if I let you out, you will forget Me..."

"No, Prabhu, I will not forget You!"

"OK. Then I am giving you eyes so that you can see My vigraha. I am giving you hands so that you can do My service with these hands. I am giving you legs so you can do parikrama of the holy places..."

"Tulasi dekhi' judaya prana madhava-tosani jani' (তুলসী দেখি' জুড়ায় প্রাণ, মাধবতোষণী জানি'): seeing Tulasi Devi soothes my soul, for I know she pleases Madhava." Those who cannot do parikrama of Vrindavan Dham, Nabadwip Dham, can plant Tulasi in their house and always do parikrama around Tulasi four times a day. How much time does it take?)

So, having wandered throughout 8,400,000 lifetimes you have finally got his human body. Who knows when you will get it next time? In his last days, Guru Maharaj said sadly, "Whom will I tell it and who will listen to it?" This is jive daya, mercy to the jiva-souls. Jive daya, Name ruchi, Vaishnava seva. Remember it. You must be merciful to the jiva-souls who have turned away from Krishna, you must bring them to this path. For example, you can plant some flowers at your house and offer the flowers to the lotus feet of Govinda—in this way you will give some benefit to the plant.


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Developing Detachment
'It is a gradual process. You must serve with full faith and surrender, if you can serve with full surrender, then attachment will be removed automatically. If you think more about service, if you remember, 'This is not my body,' eventually that attachment will go.'


Namo namah tulasi maharani
'Siva, Sukadev, Narad, Brahma, the other demigods, and the great learned sages all circumambulate you, O Tulasi.'
নমো নমঃ তুলসী মহারাণি

Who can chant the Holy Name, who has the right to chant the Holy Name? Only those who have these qualities—who can tolerate, can be humble, can give honour to others.