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Ignorance Is Bliss?

By His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham
31 May 2013


We must try—if we try, we will get it, but if our mind tells us, "I will not do it... I cannot chant the Holy Name, so I will not chant," that is another thing. Somebody thinks, "I cannot do service, I do not believe it, so I will not do service." This is not so. If we try, we must be successful. It is necessary to try, then we will get the result, we will get mercy. If we have desire, we will get mercy; if we have no desire, mercy will not come. Try. If there is both our effort and Krishna's mercy together, then we will get result.

There is one story in this regard that was told by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.

There were two very naughty brothers, Lalu and Kalu. The brothers did not go to school, did not study—they always mixed with some bad boys, bad association, and even took up a bad habit of smoking, taking tobacco. This is how they passed their time. Their father had a grocery shop, and he had brought so many teachers to teach his sons, but all teachers failed. They all left thinking, "I am taking money from their father, but the students, his sons, are very naughty, they do not want to learn anything! They are not even trying to learn anything."

So, the father was very anxious. He thought, "It is necessary to keep some accounts in my grocery shop... I am becoming old, who will take care of this family? Who will run my shop? I need to find some good teacher..." Then, he made an advertisement where he said he was looking for a teacher, he wrote the salary, promised to provide fooding, lodging, etc. A poor brahmin saw the advertisement and thought, "I can do it." He came to the father of the boys and said, "I am a perfect teacher for your sons." The father replied, "Very nice, I am very happy you have come." Then he called his sons, Lalu and Kalu and said to them, "This is your teacher. You are to always stay with him—sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, etc. you must always be with him." And then he said to the teacher, "My sons are very naughty. As soon as you give some slack, they will go to bad association and smoke. They are very bad boys." The teacher had already understood it, but he agreed and stayed with them.

One evening, the teacher told the boys, "Now it is bed time. Take your food and go to sleep! Tomorrow, in the afternoon I will teach you something, you will have some lessons." The younger brother was more naughty, and he said to his brother when the teacher could not hear them, "Hey, brother! We must make the teacher sleep. If we do not sleep, the teacher will not sleep too and we will not be able to go out. Pretend you are sleeping!" So, they immediately went to bed and pretended to be asleep and snoring. The teacher thought, "Oh, very good boys! They are sleeping! Now I can take some rest too..." The teacher went to take some rest and was soon asleep.

In the meantime, the younger brother said to his brother, "Hey, the teacher is sleeping! We can go out now!" And they both left to take tobacco, smoking, with their friends. When they returned, the teacher was still sleeping and they came quietly into the room and went to bed. In the morning, the teacher woke up and was surprised, "What is this tobacco? How is it possible?" He came to the boys and pushed them,

"Hey! Are you still sleeping?! Why is there so much smell of tobacco in the house?! Did you go out and take tobacco?!"

"How? No, we did not! We went to sleep before you. When you left we were in the room, sleeping. We did not go anywhere!"

"Then how is possible that the tobacco smell is coming from you?!"

"I do not know, I can show you my hand, I did not smoke," said the younger brother.

"Oof! The smell is coming from your hand! You are telling a lie! You again took tobacco!"

"No, maybe when we were sleeping somebody came into our room and they put tobacco in our hands!"

"You are lying!" the teacher was very angry and disturbed.

He thought what to do with these very naughty boys, and then said, "OK, come with me for a walk."

The boys did not want to learn anything, the teacher tried to teach them, but they just would not learn. As they were walking, the teacher was thinking, "How will I teach them mathematics? They need to learn something..." Then, he saw a cow passing by and he asked Lalu, "Lalu, can you count how many legs this cow has?" Lalu began to count with his finger, "One, two, three..." and he was about to say it, but then the younger brother said to him, "Brother, do not say anything! He is trying to teach you! Do not be a fool, he wants to teach us mathematics! Do not say anything!" He knows that the teacher wants to teach him something, but his desire is not to learn anything...

So, if somebody wants to learn something, they can learn it easily, but if somebody does not want to learn, does not want to follow their Guru's instruction, that is another thing. Our life is like that too—we do not want to learn, we do not want to follow our Guru. If we actually wanted to follow Gurudev's instruction, Mahaprabhu's instruction, we could easily get the result. But because we do not want to learn anything, we cannot get it... The main problem is that we do not want to learn anything.


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'Bhakti Vinod places a straw between his teeth and falls before Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu and Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu, clasping their feet.'
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