Austerity: Part of Service

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
19 July 2013


Question: Why do pure devotees face obstacles and opposition?

Krishna always tests His devotees—He tests them to see, "How much tolerance, how much patience do they have? How much can they sacrifice for Me? If they get austerity, will they leave Me or not?" He tests them to find this out.

Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami said that we are smaller, worse than insects in the stool, so Krishna wants to clean us, wants to clean His devotees. That is why pure devotees always face so many problems. This world is actually completely different from that world, and Krishna will take us from this material world to our own place, to His place to stay there forever—He wants to clean us, so He gives us tests.

That is why it is necessary to have some austerity. If you think that there is no austerity coming through your service, then it is not service, it is only aram (আরাম), easy life, a life of enjoyment. You must understand that austerity must come through service. If a devotee has attachment to the Lord, has attachment to their Guru, then they will not leave their Guru in face of austerity. That is why Krishna always tests us through service and always gives very hard service.

All pure devotees had austerity, there were always tests everywhere, even in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's life—the Lord Himself also faces so much austerity. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was also beaten and tortured by the people of this world. You can see the life history and life style of all mahajans, you will see that all of them were in the same position, everybody got austerity—Raghunath Das Goswami, Haridas Thakur, Sanatan Goswami, Rupa Goswami, and others. Even Krishna, the Lord Himself, was born in jail, then you can realise that austerity will always be there.


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