Been There, Heard That

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham
28 February 2012


In 1940, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj was the president of the Devananda Gaudiya Math here in Nabadwip, and in those day nobody used to come to the class—they would almost all come to the temple library and read the books on their own. Some brahmachari would say, "What will I hear at the class? They say one and the same thing every day, every sannyasi says the same thing—I am not this body, I am atma. I know all this! Why will I go to the class?" I always tell about this example. Gurudev also said, "I cannot put water in a glass with a hole. I can only pour water into a perfect glass." There is also a story, a very good example:

There was a simple-living, high-thinking sadhu who always sat in one place doing bhajan. One day, one man decided to see that sadhu. The man some ego, "That man is giving lecture, he is teaching everybody, but I know what he knows! I know everything. Let me go and test him!" So, the man, suited-booted (wearing a coat, pants, a tie), came there, sat on a chair and said to the sadhu, "Sadhu! I have heard that you have so much knowledge. Can you teach me something of your knowledge?" The sadhu understood that the man had not come in a surrendered mood, that he had come to test or play a trick on him, and sat there without saying anything.

(Tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya, তদ্­বিদ্ধি প্রণিপাতেন পরিপ্রশ্নেন সেবয়া. Three things are necessary—surrender, honest enquiry, and service. This is the proper way to approach the Guru.)

So, what did the sadhu do in the end? He brought a glass with water and a jug with sweet water and put them on the table in front of the man, and then started pouring sweet water into the glass full of water. The water started falling from the glass, and the man exclaimed, "Hey, sadhu, what are you doing?! I heard you had so much knowledge, but you are behaving like a fool! The glass is full of water, what are putting more water into it for?? What is this?!" The sadhu replied, "What can I do, baba? You are full of knowledge inside and have no place to take my knowledge. If I give you some knowledge, where will you keep it?"

If you have some ego, if you think, "I know so much, I know everything," you cannot accept any knowledge. If you come to your Gurudev thinking, "I know more than the Guru," then you will not be able to take anything from your Guru. It is necessary to have humility. You must think about this.


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Strongest Faith in Guru
'I may not be fully qualified, but Gurudev is the most qualified devotee, a great Vaishnav, so if I have his association and have faith in him, he can give everything to me.'


Durlabha manava-janma
'Constant thoughts of my body, home, wife, and so on, arise in my heart and spoil my intelligence.'
দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম

A grihastha can do what even a sannyasi cannot do.