Fulfilment of Life

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
3 December 2014

 

জীবন অনিত্য জানহ সার
তাহে নানাবিধ বিপদ-ভার ।
নামাশ্রয় করি' যতনে তুমি
থাকহ আপন কাজে ॥

jivana anitya janaha sara
tahe nana-vidha vipada-bhara
namasraya kari' yatane tumi
thakaha apana kaje

"Understand the essence: life is temporary and filled with all sorts of adversity. Carefully taking shelter of the Name, engage in your work."

ভজিব বলিয়া এসে সংসার-ভিতরে ।
ভুলিয়া রহিলে তুমি অবিদ্যার ভরে ॥

bhajiba baliya ese samsara-bhitare
bhuliya rahile tumi avidyara bhare

"You came into this world saying, 'O Lord, I will serve You', but, having forgotten this promise, you have remained in ignorance."

We do not understand the value of this life. Ahara, nidra, bhay, maithuna (আহার, নিদ্রা, ভয়, মৈথুন, eating, sleeping, defending, mating)—in any life we can get it. It is said in the scriptures that in any life we will get mother, father, and friends. Even a dog has a father and a mother, but it is not in any life that you can get a Guru, not in any life you can engage in Hari-kirtan, not in any life you will get Bhagavan. Therefore,

দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম লভিয়া সংসারে ।
কৃষ্ণ না ভজিনু দুঃখ কহিব কাহারে ॥

durlabha manava janma labhiya samsare
krsna na bhajinu duhkha kahiba kahare?

I attained a human birth, which is most rare in this world, but did not serve Krishna. To whom shall I express my sorrow?

We have got a rare life, but if we do not serve our Guru, this life is nothing: it is wasted in vain.

Once, when Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was in Benares, Kashi, and went to bathe in the Ganges, he saw many people coming to a man with a long beard and hair. People would ask him for medicine or to help solve some family problems. The man did not say anything. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur watched him for some time and then asked somebody why that man did not speak. Somebody explained to him, "He is a mauni baba—he has not spoken for more than twenty years." Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was disappointed, "O Krishna, You gave him a good mouth, a good tongue for speaking, but he does not speak. What will become of him next life?"

What is this mouth for? This mouth is not for talking nonsense or gossiping. This mouth is for preaching Krishna consciousness. What are these hands for? To do service for the Lord. What are these eyes for? To get the darshan of the Lord's form, vigraha. What are these legs for? To do parikrama around the holy dham. Even those who cannot go to the holy places, they must do parikrama around Tulasi Devi at their home—if you do parikrama around Tulasi Devi, you get the same result as when you do parikrama around Vrindavan. As you sow, so you reap.

Uddhav Maharaj said, "Why is our head so heavy? How to make it light? If you pay obeisance to the Lord, to your Guru, to the Vaishnavs, then your head will be light."

You must understand that Gurudev always protects us.

দুর্দ্দৈবে সেবক যদি যায় অন্য-স্থানে ।
সেই ঠাকুর ধন্য তারে চুলে ধরি' আনে ॥

durdaive sevaka yadi yaya anya sthane
sei thakura dhanya tare chule dhari' ane

If by chance a servant falls down and goes somewhere else, glorious is that master who captures him and brings him back by the hair.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.47

Our mind goes everywhere, and we do not have any power, but our Guru is very powerful. He can do anything, but we cannot understand it. Even Brahma said, "I do not know so much about Krishna. Somebody can say, 'I know Krishna,' but I do not know Him." What did Sivji Maharaj say?

When there was a debate between the Sankar Acharya sampradaya and the Vaishnav Sri sampradaya, the Sankar Acharya sampradaya said, "We do not follow Sridhar Swami's tika, commentary. Only if Sivji Maharaj tells us, we will follow it." They put the book in a temple of Siva, and when they took it out, Sivji Maharaj pronounced, "Aham vetti, Suka vetti, Vyasa vetti na vetti va. I know it, Sukadev Goswami, the son of Vyasadev, knows it, but Vyasadev himself, who composed Srimad Bhagavatam, may not know it."

Krishna Himself may or may not know, but His associates know everything. The Lord resides in the hearts of His devotees.

Once Ramanuja Acharya heard there was a Guru who had a mantra that could liberate anyone. He went to that Guru and asked him, "Prabhu, I want to be your disciple. Can you give me the mantra that can give liberation?"

"Yes, I can give you that mantra, but there is one condition. You cannot give that mantra to anyone."

Ramanuja Acharya agrees, but after he took initiation many people surrounded him, "Oh, you have got that mantra... Please give that mantra to me! I too want to be liberated." Ramanuja Acharya gave that mantra to everyone. His guru was angry, "You promised me not to give that mantra to anyone, but now you are giving it to everyone! Why are you doing this? Do you know what is going to happen to you?"

"Yes, Gurudev, I know. I will go to hell; but your mantra is very powerful, it can rescue anyone from hell—it can give liberation."

You must have faith—faith in the mantra of your Guru. You must be firm, determined (sudridha).

'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
কৃষ্ণে ভক্তি কৈলে সর্ব্বকর্ম্ম কৃত হয় ॥

'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

"Sraddha is firm, determined faith that by service to Krishna all actions are accomplished."

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62

We must not bargain with Bhagavan like in a grocery shop, "I am serving the Guru, and I will get something in return."

There is karma-misra-bhakti, jnana-misra-bhakti, jnana-sunya-bhakti, suddha-bhakti. Krishna said in Bhagavat-gita, "Sarva dharman parityajya...", but Mahaprabhu said, "Leave that, go forward." Then there is jnana-misra-bhakti, "I am doing service and want some material happiness, wealth, knowledge, beautiful body, tasty food, beautiful companions, etc." Pure devotees serve only for the happiness of the Lord.

What service did Vraja gopis do? When they were prepared to give their foot dust for Krishna, Narad Goswami asked them, "Do you know what will happen to you?" They replied, "Yes, we know that. We will go to hell, but it is alright as long as the Lord is happy." That is the love of Vraja gopis to Krishna.

Where we will go, what we will do—we do not know anything. Sadhu, Guru, Vaishnavs come here to rescue us. We sing this song:

তব নিজ-জন কোন মহাজনে
পাঠাইয়া দিলে তুমি

tava nija-jana kona mahajane
pathaiya dile tumi

You have sent a great soul, Your associate (to rescue me).

দয়া করি' মোরে পতিত দেখিয়া
কহিল আমারে গিয়া ।
ওহে দীনজন শুন ভাল কথা
উল্লসিত হবে হিয়া ॥

daya kari more patita dekhiya
kahila amare giya
ohe dina-jana suna bhala katha
ullasita ha'be hiya

Seeing me so fallen and being merciful, he came to me and said, “O humble soul, listen to this wonderful message and your heart will rejoice.

তোমারে তারিতে শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য
নবদ্বীপে অবতার ।
তোমা হেন কত দীনহীন জনে
করিলেন ভবপার ॥

tomare tarite sri-krsna-chaitanya
navadvipe avatara
toma hena kata dina-hina jane
karilena bhava-para

"Sri Krishna Chaitanya has appeared in Nabadwip to deliver you. He has brought many humble souls just like you to the shore of the ocean of material existence."

We are swimming in an ocean, and somebody throws some log into the ocean to help us reach the shore, then we must try to get there. We can try to practise—this is what Guru Maharaj, Gurudev established this Math for.

Gurudev is very kind. If I have ego, he will not come to me, but If I have no ego, he will come to me—I am a fallen soul, and it is his duty to rescue the fallen souls.

Vraja gopis and Srimati Radhika said to Krishna, "You made us cry because of separation. All the Vraja gopis are crying. You must also come to cry." In Kali-yuga, Mahaprabhu also cries—He cries for the jiva souls.

জীব জাগ, জীব জাগ, গোরাচাঁদ বলে ।
কত নিদ্রা যাও মায়া-পিশাচীর কোলে ॥

jiva jago, jiva jago, gorachanda bale
kata nidra yao maya-pisachira kole

Sri Gorachand calls, “O souls, awake! O souls, awake! How long will you sleep in the clutches of the witch Maya?

তোমারে লইতে আমি হইনু অবতার ।
আমি বিনা বন্ধু আর কে আছে তোমার ॥

tomare la-ite ami ha-inu avatara
ami vina bandhu ara ke achhe tomara

"I have descended to save you. Other than Me, who is your friend?"

Who is your real friend in this world? Your father? Your mother? Your friends?

গুরুর্ন স স্যাৎ স্বজনো ন স স্যাৎ, পিতা ন স স্যাজ্জননী ন সা স্যাৎ ।
দৈবং ন তৎ স্যান্ন পরিশ্চ স স্যান্ন, মোচয়েদ্ যঃ সমুপেতমৃত্যুম্ ॥

gurur na sa syat svajano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis cha sa syan
na mochayed yah samupeta-mrtyam

"One who cannot save other souls from the world of impending death—that is, one who cannot teach the path of devotion—he cannot be a teacher, although he may be called 'guru'; he cannot be a relative—he is not worthy of the designation; he cannot be a father—he is not qualified to beget a son; she cannot be a mother—she should not bear a child; he cannot be a god—the demigods who cannot deliver others from material bondage are not entitled to accept worship from human society; and he cannot be a husband—his hand is not fit to accept in marriage."

Srimad Bhagavatam, 5.5.18

Srimad Bhagavatam said, "Those who do not help me in Krishna consciousness are not my relatives—if somebody does not help me in Krishna consciousness, they are not my father, they are not my mother, they are not my husband, not my wife, they are not my Guru." Very strong words.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "Many sannyasis, gurus will come in this world. Some will give cloth, some will give medicine, and so on." Some sannyasis give some material benefit, and people think, "Oh, this guru is very nice. He is the best guru!" But those who give advice, give spiritual knowledge, who rescue and engage in service to Krishna, are considered not good, "Whenever I go to him, he tells me to do this, to do that. He is not good." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told this in his lecture.

Those who cannot rescue you from material death, are not your Guru. If you take initiation but that Guru does not engage you in spiritual activities, you can leave that Guru, no problem. You should accept as your Guru the one who engages you in service, in spiritual activities. This is very important to understand.

 

 

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Practical Questions
How to treat 'non-devotees'? How to always remember Krishna? Why cannot we follow the instructions properly? How to survive in the material environment? How can we connect our daily activities with Krishna?

 

Yadi gaura na ha'ta
'If Sri Gaura had not come, what would have happened? How would we have maintained our lives? Who would have revealed to the world Sri Radha's glory and the extremes of Her ecstatic divine love?'
যদি, গৌর না হ'ত

If you want to be bigger than a Vaishnav, if you want to be a great Vaishnav,
that is not devotion.

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