Sri Krishna Janmastami:
Celebrate and Realise

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
22 August, 2011

 

I am very happy today because today is Sri Sri Krishna Janmastami Maha-mahotsav. Everyone is celebrating it all over the world, and our centres are also making festivals. It is an important day for us. In some countries, like here in India, they are already doing the arati, and in some countries they are only starting the morning of Janmastami.

Today is a very auspicious day. We are celebrating Yasomati Nandan's appearance day in a very gorgeous way, we are making a grand offering to the Lord, but how will we offer it? We have no quality or qualification, so how can we offer anything? If I, however, surrender to my Gurudev, he will purify me. Good association of Gurudev, Vaishnavs and all the devotees can purify us, that is why we must speak Krishna-katha today. This day does not come in every life so easily—it is rare to get this opportunity to hear Krishna-katha, hear about Krishna's Pastimes.

Today everybody is celebrating so much, and I am always remembering Gurudev and how much nourishment and glorification he always gave to the devotees. Today we must offer everything to our Guru, to the Vaishnavs, Bhagavan, and we must surrender fully, not to be in the jealous mood, not to be in the 'ego mood'. If I show externally that I am a sadhu, Vaishnav, but inside there is another thing, that is not good—that is kapatata (কপটতা, hypocrisy) and phalgu-vairagya (ফল্গু-বৈরাগ্য, false renunciation). That is not good for us on this day. We must think and realise what Gurudev wants, what his mood is, what his service mood is. We must realise and understand it with love and affection, otherwise we cannot progress in our spiritual life.

We have got some sukriti, some good fortune, and through that good fortune we have got a great bona fide Guru, but Gurudev said, "If somebody already has one leg in Goloka, Vaikuntha and the other leg is outside, they can still come out of that place." We must be careful about our line and conception because it is very easy to fall down—to lose your service and go to hell. You have been practising for so many years, and even doing some Vaishnav aparadh, Guru aparadh, seva aparadh, Nama aparadh, but Vaishnav aparadh and Guru aparadh are very heavy. It is very bad and creates a critical situation in our spiritual life. We must always watch out for that.

We think, "The temple cannot run without me," but it is ego. Krishna does all arrangement for His service—you must understand that even if everybody dies, Krishna will still arrange everything for His service. Once, Srila Sridhar Maharaj became angry because his disciple had done something wrong, and chastised that devotee, "Get out from here! I will here stay alone, it is not necessary for anybody to stay here!" We must understand that Gurudev can oust us, but we must keep our feet firmly fixed to the ground.

I remember once Gurudev chastised me so much, but later when I was sitting in front of him and others were there, Gurudev said, "I can chastise only one person, I know he will not run away from me. If I chastise anyone else, they will run away, 'Keep your temple to yourself, I will not stay here.'" We must have full faith, full love and affection. Gurudev chastised me, but when he would talk to me later, I would forget everything. I actually did not think that Gurudev was chastising me, I thought it was good for me.

When your Guru chastises you, it is good for you. When Mahaprabhu chastised Jagadananda Pandit, Sanatan Goswami was crying, "Prabhu, you are giving bitter to me, and giving sweet to Jagadananda Pandit!"

Gurudev said to me, "বৃহৎ স্বার্থ পাইতে হইলে, ক্ষুদ্র স্বার্থ ত্যাগ করতে হবে, brihat svartha paite haile, ksudra svartha tyaga korte habe." If you want to get great things, you must avoid small matters. Big things are waiting for you, then why are you running after small things?" Gurudev said it, and I whole-heartedly believe it.

So, today, I must offer whatever good that comes to my Guru and the Vaishnavs. I want to serve all the godbrothers of Guru Maharaj, of Gurudev. I want to serve those who want to serve Gurudev. That is my feeling, that is my realisation, that is my religion.

 

You must understand what we are making the Janmastami festival for. To show ourselves and our big ego? No. We are making this festival to give much nourishment to the devotees through Hari-katha, through Krishna-katha, by giving good things to them. Also we make this festival because it gives an opportunity for communication. Such festivals do not happen every day, and we lose our faith, we lose our devotional activities because there is this communication gap. We must realise and understand this.

What do we need? What should we do? Why have we come into this world? Why have we surrendered to Gurudev? To get something from him? Get what? Get benefit? What benefit? Some money? Name? Fame? To become a guru? No! Not to become a Guru, but to become a great servant! That should be our mood. We should be a great servant—not a great manager, a great temple president, or a great guru. We want to serve our Guru, but how can we serve him? How can we fulfil his desire? We must realise what he wants, what he tells.

আসক্তিরহিত সম্বন্ধসহিত
বিষয়সমূহ সকলি মাধব ।

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

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

'Vaishnav ke?' 12 by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur

Some think, "This is my temple, this temple is my property," or "This temple is my parents' property," but it is not so. It is Gurudev's property. Gurudev said many times that if all devotees stay together, it is good for us. Somebody can make many mistakes, but we should not throw them out—we should correct them. If you pull threads out of a blanket, there will be no blanket left soon.

Everybody has some fault, we are not fully pure—everybody has some quality, and everybody has some fault, and we must take the good quality and avoid the bad quality. Why should you see anybody's fault? See their good side. If we see bad things, our eyes will become blind—if I always look for bad things, I will always see bad things. If there is much dust on a mirror, you cannot see anything—you must first clean that dust.

 

So, today is a very auspicious day. Today we must serve Mother Yasoda, serve Nanda Maharaj. If you have no love for Nanda Maharaj, no love for Yasoda Mayi, you will not get mercy from Krishna. They are so powerful—they got the Lord as their son! It is important that we serve the Lord's devotees.

Gurudev said, "If you want to love me, you must first love my dog." I am Gurudev's dog, that is my quality. I always admit that I no qualification, but Gurudev gave me this position to serve you all, and I am trying to serve you all. I also always want to hear your advice, but if somebody thinks, "I am giving him advice, so I am the boss," that is not good for their spiritual life.

We are going through some critical time now, and it is good for us that we are making a festival on this day. I am very happy. At present my position is such that sometimes I cannot go to the temple, sometimes I am giving a class to the devotees on the phone. You know that some people are trying to making some problem for me, want to throw me out, but it is my earnest desire to anyhow stay and try to serve my Guru, serve his mission and his devotees.

Today, on this very special day, you are making an offering to the Lord, but the Lord is Krishna Himself, Saksad Vrajendra Nandan! He is not a doll, He is not just a Deity, He is Saksad Vrajendra Nandan! Rupa Goswami served Govinda, Sanatan Goswami served Madan Mohan, Madhu Pandit served Gopinath, and they talked with the Deity, played with the Deity.

You can play football with Lord Krishna if you can serve properly. Proper service comes through your Guru. You must have full faith in your Guru, then you can get that kind of realisation. Your Guru is Radharani, and Srimati Radhika always captures Krishna, so if you serve Radharani, you will get Krishna immediately, there is no doubt about it. If you invite Lord Krishna, He will not come, but if you invite Mother Yasoda, then Mother Yasoda will bring Lord Krishna to your house.

যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি
গৃহেতে গোলোক ভায় ।
চরণসীধু দেখিয়া গঙ্গা
সুখ না সীম পায় ॥

ye-dina grhe, bhajana dekhi,
grhete goloka bhaya
charana-sidhu, dekhiya ganga,
sukha na sima paya

On days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there. Seeing the Ganges, the nectar from the Lord's feet, my happiness has no limit.

'Suddha bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur

You cook every day for the Lord, and Krishna takes it from your hand. Why do you not believe it? You heard that Sanatan Goswami would give burnt roti to Madan Mohan, but Madan Mohan would take that. Madan Mohan also made His own temple. There are many Pastimes of the Lord, you cannot even image how many. You can see some in Mahabharata, Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishna-prema-tarangini, Srimad Bhagavatam—there are many Pastimes there, but we must have the qualification to read them. For example, we do not have the eyes to see or the power to digest the madhura-lila of Krishna. We do not have qualification to hear about all Pastimes...

 

So, today is a very important day and tomorrow also we are making a big festival—we must make Nanda Maharaj happy. Tomorrow is also our Jagad-Guru, Vishva-Guru, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Srila Prabhupad's appearance day.

This Krishna consciousness movement is all over the world now, but who spread it? It was spread A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Srila Prabhupad—he made the tunnel, laid the route, and our Gurudev, our Guru Maharaj went through that tunnel. You can also say that Srila Swami Maharaj prepared the land, and our Gurudev put there the seeds and some fertiliser, and those seeds have sprouted and grown into mango trees, and we are now happily taking that mango.

ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
গুরু-কৃষ্ণ-প্রসাদে পায় ভক্তিলতা-বীজ ॥

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"Having travelled throughout the universe and having got the mercy of Guru and Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.151

This is how we get the bhakti-lata-bij (the seed of Lord Krishna's prema). "জনম সফল তার, কৃষ্ণ-দরশন যার, janama saphala tara krsna-darasana yara: if you get to see Krishna, your life is fulfilled." How can we see Krishna? We have no eyes:

অন্ধীভূত চক্ষু যার বিষয় ধূলিতে ।
কিরূপে সে পরতত্ত্ব পাইবে দেখিতে ॥

andhibhuta chaksu yara visaya dhulite
ki rupe se para-tattva paibe dekhite

"Our eyes are full of material dust (visaya) and we cannot see the good things..." We can clean our hearts by good association. In our heart we have other eyes, and through those eyes we can see what is good for us and what is bad for us. Good association is necessary, and that is why we have gathered today.

Everybody is dancing, chanting and enjoying with everything, but how many people come to this line? How many people become great and pure devotees? You will need a microscope to see that...

In some countries, devotees do not have a big temple, but if they think that in some country there is a big temple and everything is grand there, it is not so. Krishna goes to every devotee's house. Krishna went to all gopis' houses, so why cannot Krishna go to all the devotees' houses? If we fully surrender to our Guru, then Gurudev himself, who is non-different from Krishna, will come. If you offer everything to your Guru properly, then Krishna will give mercy to you.

On this important and very special for us holy day I am praying to all the devotees that they will follow Gurudev's line, they will serve their Guru, follow their Guru's order, instruction. This is the prayer from my heart and soul. I am also praying to the devotees that they may please forgive my offence.

Jaya Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!
Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!

 

 

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Parikrama of Sri Govardhan
'How do we do parikrama? Govardhan is like a peacock, our temple is near Manasa Ganga, at the mouth of Govardhan, and we start the parikrama from the tail and do half portion one day, and the second half the next day.'

 

Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'Beholding your intensely merciful form, the fortunate souls faint with divine love.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

Krishna sent him to rescue us, to take us home, but we do not want to go.
Krishna is pulling us one way, and we are grasping onto our house pillar.

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