Service without Attachment
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
I remember when I once went to Govardhan, a monkey stole a brahmachari's shoes and he came to me to complain, "Maharaj, my shoes were gone today." I replied to him, "It is good! When you stay in Govardhan and Vrindavan, you must walk on your head, but you are using shoes and the monkey could not tolerate it."
When Sanatan Goswami rejected the last thing he had—he gave his bhota kambal (ভোটকম্বল), blanket, to a Gaudiya Vaishnav—and, when asked, told about this to Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu said, "At last all your material attachment has come to an end. You have given up, discarded your last material possession."
When I just joined the temple, I was staying in the Indian guest house here. During the day I would do much service and my mind was busy, but at night time when I went to bed, I could not sleep at first. Every day I would dream about writing on the blackboard, teaching at school—every night it would be on my mind. I could not tolerate it, but what could I do? When I came, I only brought one set of punjabi, and because every day, whenever I saw it, I would remember my house, I burnt it. Then was my room key. I had my own room, and I would remember the things in my room, the almira, the bed, and so many other favourite things, but it was too much disturbance, so one day I threw that key into Govinda Kunda. I wanted to forget all that, and slowly, slowly Krishna, Gurudev removed it all.
Whatever birth you take, you will always get a father and a mother, but it is not in every life that you can get a bona fide, honest Guru; but it is possible in this life, this is why I was chastising this man recently. He had service to Nityananda Prabhu, but he went to arrange his nephew's wedding ceremony...
তোমার সেবায় দুঃখ হয় যত,
tomara sevaya, duhkha haya yata,
All the distress I encounter in Your service is also my greatest happiness.
Even Brahma may come and show us so much opulence, but we have no time to go there. One way or another, you must use yourself for the service to your Guru, for the service to your Lord, otherwise, as I told that man, you are committing suicide—leaving your service, disobeying your Gurudev's order is the same as committing suicide. We sing every day:
লোচন বলে হেন নিতাই যেবা না ভজিল ।
lochan bale hena nitai yeba na bhajila
Lochan Das says, "Anyone who did not serve Nitai knowingly committed suicide."
Song "Nitai gunamani amara"
Lochan Das says it—it is not my words.
Bhajan means 'bhaj dhatu', bhaj means seva. Srila Prabhupad also gave an explanation of the meaning of bhajan. জীবের সেবা করতে করতে আত্মা কল্যাণ লাভ হয়, jiver seva korte korte atma kalyan labha haya. 'Jiver seva' does not mean giving some medicine to people. Jiver seva means you must engage the jiva soul (any kind of jiva souls) in some service to the Lord.
Sometimes it may come to your mind that what you are doing is bhajan, service, but it may be all karma.
When I joined the temple, from 1992 to 1999 I never asked Gurudev, "I want to go to Vrindavan," "I want to go to Puri," or "I want to go to Ekachakra." Never. Gurudev would send me in my brahmachari life for begging and rice collection, and only in 1999 for the first time he sent me to Puri for some service. I had never been in Puri, and when I was at the Howrah station I did not even have a ticket, I just gave some money to somebody at the station. I had to do a big service there in Puri, and I prayed to Jagannath and Gurudev, "Gurudev, you have sent me here for your matter. You will settle the problem." Everybody has some plan, but Krishna said, "I have My own plan, and you must go with My plan." So, He does everything, and you must engage yourself in His service.
If you follow your Gurudev, serve the Vaishnavs, then you can easily call it service.
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