His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
11 October 2013


Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told two stories:

Before, people used to travel by boat a lot. Some people set off in their boat in the evening and rowed the whole night, but in the morning they saw that the boat was still in the same place—they had forgotten to raise the anchor.

Similarly, when people do Harinam and make so many offences, only Namabhas can come, and through that Namabhas liberation can come, but not the actual result:

বহু জন্ম করে যদি শ্রবণ, কীর্ত্তন ।
তবু ত' না পায় কৃষ্ণপদে প্রেমধন ॥

bahu janma kare yadi sravana, kirtana
tabu ta' na paya krsna-pade prema-dhana

One can engage in sravan and kirtan for so many lifetimes, but still not get the wealth of love to Krishna's feet.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 8.16

The anchor must be raised, otherwise the boat will not move—the anchor means rup, ras, gandha, sabda, sparsa (enjoyment through form, taste, smell, sound, and touch), kanak, kamini, pratistha (desire for money, companions, respect).

And the other story is this:

Once, a strong and healthy woodcutter came to a wood dealer and asked him for a job. They agreed on some monthly payment, and the dealer gave him a big axe.

On the first day the man cut eighteen trees; the next day he cut fifteen trees; the next day he cut twelve trees, and so on. Every day he cut fewer trees. He was perplexed, "What is going on? I am spending the same amount of energy, doing the same hard labour, and it takes me the same time, but every day I cut fewer and fewer trees..." An intelligent man came to him and asked, "Prabhu, how many days have you not sharpened this axe?" The woodcutter replied, "I have no time. I only cut the trees, I have no time to sharpen the axe."

The axe means ourselves—we must clean ourselves through sravan, kirtan, Hari-katha, otherwise no matter how much we labour, the result will not come.

If you chant without following the guidance of your Guru, that chanting will be useless. You cannot become Haridas Thakur just by external chanting on your mala and doing nothing.

We must think about these things. We must try to understand what the Lord wants, what our Guru wants, then we will get benefit. Through sadhu-sanga sukriti will come, then service will follow—sukriti (pious activities) and punya (good activities) are not the same...


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