His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Today is the most auspicious day of our life—Gurudev's appearance day. We celebrated it here in a very gorgeous way, and many thousands of people came for the festival. The festival was very big.
Gurudev conquered the whole world with his love and affection. Many people throughout the world do not know English language or cannot fully understand it, but they could understand Gurudev through their heart.
When Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj gave sannyas to Gurudev, he gave him the name Bhakti Sundar Govinda. Gurudev asked him, "Why did you give me the name Govinda? It is a name of the Lord and a very common name." Guru Maharaj explained to him, "My Deity is Govinda and my kunda is Govinda, so the name of my pure devotee will also be Govinda." He transferred Govinda and whatever was in his heart to the heart of Gurudev.
Gurudev is nondifferent from Krishna. Krishna Himself came as a Guru from Goloka Vrindavan. Gurudev appeared in a family, but he teaches us just as Mahaprabhu does when He comes in this world.
One time, Gurudev told me, a municipal officer, a brahmin, came here to measure the kitchen area, and he wanted to enter the kitchen wearing his shoes. Gurudev objected, "You can take the measurements from outside. This is Govinda's kitchen, Mahaprabhu's kitchen, Krishna's kitchen, and you cannot go inside, especially with your shoes on. This is not the culture." When Gurudev saw that the man still wanted to enter the kitchen forcefully, he said, "If you try to go there, I will cut off your leg." The man became very angry and went to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj to complain, "You kept a boy there, and that boy wants to cut off my leg!" Srila Sridhar Maharaj asked him what he wanted to do, and when the man explained it, Srila Sridhar Maharaj said, "Yes, he wants to do right."
It shows that from the very beginning Gurudev had no fear, and he protected his Gurudev's temple properly.
Gurudev also told me that there was so much problem. In 1993 I started Gurudev's Vyasa Puja festival. Srivas Pandit made Vyasa Puja of Mahaprabhu in his house, Srivas Angan, and I also started Vyasa Puja mahamahotsav of Gurudev. Before, they wrote in the invitation cards 'Acharya Abhivandan'—they did not write 'Vyasa Puja'. I thought at that time that there were so many Gurus, and their disciples celebrated Vyasa Puja of their Gurus, then why would my Guru not have Vyasa Puja?
That is how I started Vyasa Puja celebration in 1993. Later, for the Vyasa Puja '94 I made some decoration with light and other things, and some of Gurudev's godbrothers went to Gurudev to complain, "That boy is new here, but he is spending so much money!" Gurudev called me and asked, "Why are you making these lights on my house? Why are you painting my house? Why do you not just paint my house black instead?" Gurudev showed he was sad, but actually he was extremely happy with what I was doing for that day. He was sad that his godbrothers were complaining. Gurudev told me, "My godbrothers may spit in my face, no problem, but you must do your job." You can see how much Gurudev tolerated and what his desire was.
I still think that Gurudev is always there behind us. Yesterday one of my disciples asked me, "How can I make you happy? What kind of service can I do?" I said, "If you serve my Guru, I will be happy. That is my happiness." That is the main things.
Once Gurudev told one of his Western devotees, "Your service is to sit in front of me." The devotee sat there, only listening to Hari-katha, and Gurudev told everybody else to do some service. After four-five days he thought, "Everybody is doing some service—Gurudev told everybody to do some service, but I am doing nothing. I am only sitting, listening and doing nothing. Maybe I should go to the arati and kirtans, do some service. Maybe Gurudev will be happier." He started doing something else, and, busy with his other service, he did not come to see Gurudev for three-four days. Gurudev asked him politely, "Prabhu, have I done anything wrong? Why are you not coming to me anymore?" The devotee began to cry. This is what Gurudev's love and affection was like.
Another time, I was sitting in the office, in the Centenary building, and I heard the sound of Gurudev's car going out. I immediately left everything and came out—I did not even close the office. I paid dandavat, and Gurudev told the driver to stop the car and asked me, "Will you go with me?"
"You are asking where—you have no chastity. If your Gurudev goes to hell, you must go with him." That is the main thing—there should be no question, and that kind of chastity is necessary. Gurudev taught us so many things.
Also, you know that Gurudev is a very good mridanga player, but for many years he had not played it, and during his last time he asked me, "Can you buy a mridanga for me?" I got him a small mridanga, but somebody broke it, and Gurudev said to me, "Why are people jealous of me? I only have a small mridanga, but they broke it..."
Gurudev said that he tolerated so much. He said, "Everyone wants to be a guru, but I know this Acharya chair has so many big problems, it is very austere, that is why I did not want to take it. For thirty years Guru Maharaj wanted to give that chair to me, and he was waiting, but I knew how dangerous his chair was. Finally, Guru Maharaj said that if I did not take the chair, he would give the Deities to his godbrother and break the temple." Then Gurudev took some of Guru Maharaj's burden.
That is why Gurudev kept us. Our duty is not only to take initiation and that is it—we have some duty.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "So many people accepted me as their Guru, but I do not accept them as my disciples—I see them as my Guru." Do you understand? These are very authentic things. When anybody paid obeisance to Prabhupad, he would say, "Daso 'smi—I am your servant."
This is how Gurudev shows us how to conquer the Guru's heart, he is an example of it. He does not hide it, he openly tells about it—once he said in a public meeting, "Everybody knows that I am a very naughty boy and I had no hope to come back again to Krishna consciousness, but my Gurudev is very powerful."
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told about Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, "I could not recognise who Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur was; all I can say is that those who took shelter of Bhakti Vinod Thakur's lotus feet, are very fortunate." I also can say, "I could not recognise my Guru, but I can say now that those who took initiation from Gurudev, who took shelter of my Gurudev's lotus feet, are very fortunate."
Do you have any questions?
Devotee: When will you come to London?...
I am always with you all, at all times. You many not see it, but if you see through your heart, you will be able to see it. Gopinath Acharya said, "You cannot recognise Mahaprabhu with your brain, knowledge, or education, but you can recognise Him through your heart." I may be in India physically, but I am always with the devotees—mind, heart, and soul. When, by his mercy, Gurudev gives me chance to come out of India, I will definitely come.
All devotees are a family, and Gurudev also loved us as his own family. If we can stay in Gurudev's boat, then we can go where the boat will go. Yet, we are simple-hearted and we are always cheated by bogus gurus. That is our problem. There are so many gurus in this world—karmi guru, jnani guru, yogi guru...
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said, "Instead of serving your Guru, you are using your Guru." That is very important to understand. We use our Guru for our own purpose, own benefit. Gurudev told, "We have got some time for the service to the Lord, but Maya Devi is taking our time for her own service." If we remember Gurudev's lecture, Gurudev's instruction, Gurudev's words, and practise properly, then we can get a small room in Gurudev's place and continue our service. Service mood is necessary.
We are chanting, chanting, but we do not get the result. Gurudev also said, "Bad words and criticism of Vaishnavs will not come to the mouth that chants the Holy Name," but we are not getting the result because instead of the Holy Name, Nama aparadh always comes.
Once Sri Nityananda Prabhu came to Jagannath Mishra's house naked. Mahaprabhu immediately gave some cloth to Him. That time Sachi Mata, Vishnupriya and many other devotees were there in Jagannath Mishra's house, and Mahaprabhu knew they could think bad about Nityananda Prabhu, and He thought of a solution—He asked Nityananda Prabhu for a piece of His cloth:
"Prabhu, can You give Me a piece of Your cloth?"
"What are You going to do with that cloth?:
"Please, give it to Me, I need it for something."
Nityananda Prabhu gave some cloth to Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu tore it into small pieces and distributed them to all the devotees with the words, "You can make a kavach with this cloth and wear it on your neck like tulasi." Mahaprabhu knew if some devotees thought bad about Nityananda Prabhu they would go to hell, that is why He protected them.
Without mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, you will not get mercy of Mahaprabhu. The question is how can we get mercy of Nityananda Prabhu: by serving Mahaprabhu's devotees.
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