Time for Sravan
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
You have all come here by the mercy of the Lord, Gurudev and Vaishnavs to go on the parikrama that is starting tomorrow. Now it is necessary to listen well (it is necessary to practise sravan and kirtan properly).
How can you see a sadhu, with your eyes or your ears? You must see the sadhu with your ears, because you cannot see a sadhu with your eyes. This is actually not a place for play or tourism, this is a place for sravan and kirtan.
The other day Sripad Shanta Maharaj reminded me of one story, I heard it from Gurudev but have not told it for a long time.
We sing in the kirtan, "Ramachandra-sanga mage Narottama Dasa" (Narrotam Das is praying for the association of Ramachandra Kaviraj). What does this mean? You would think that it means that Ramachandra was the guru of Narottam Das Thakur and that at the end of the kirtan, as it is usually done, he wrote the name of his Guru. In fact, what happened is this:
One time, Acharya Srinivas was sitting with Narottam Das Thakur in one place, when Ramachandra Prabhu, who had just got married, passed that place in a palanquin with his wife. Seeing the groom's palanquin, Acharya Srinivas spoke out loud, "Oh God, this man has fallen into maya! Maya has caught him!" These word reached the ears of Ramachandra Prabhu. When he heard it, he began to think about it all the time, "Have I fallen into maya? What is this? What did that sadhu mean?"
Thinking, "I must find out about it," he found that sadhu the next day and asked him, "Prabhu, when I was passing this place in my palanquin yesterday, some words reached my ears—you said that I had fallen into maya..." Then, Srinivas Acharya explained everything to him nicely—he told him what is called maya, how one falls into maya, what becomes of such a person, etc. After listening to him, Ramachandra said, "I want to take initiation from you."
So, he took initiation from Srinivas Acharya. After that, Srinivas Acharya told him to go home, but when he came home he did not like it there any more, so he came back. Srinivas Acharya was surprised, "What is this? You have come again? You have just got married, you have a young wife—you took initiation just yesterday and next day you say want to stay. Go back to your home." He preached to him, but Ramachandra Prabhu still came there again. He kept coming to Srinivas Acharya again and again. In the end, no matter what Srinivas Acharya told him, Ramachandra Prabhu did not go back, so he stayed with him. That is why Narottam Das Thakur is saying, "I want the association of Ramachandra Kaviraj (Ramachandra-sanga mage Narottama Dasa)"
This is what is called sadhu-sanga. If you listen properly, you can see the result of such listening—Ramachandra Kaviraj listened to his guru's instructions just once but very attentively, with his heart, and you can see that by the power of that good association he surrendered to his bona fide guru, began to serve the Lord and, leaving home, joined his Guru full time. From this example, you can understand what is the result of sravan. You must listen with your heart.
'সাধুসঙ্গ', 'সাধুসঙ্গ'—সর্ব্বশাস্ত্রে কয় ।
'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'—sarva sastre kaya
"Good association", "good association," all the scriptures keep saying. Only by good association can you get all perfection.
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.22.54)
If you keep good association, you can get supreme benefit.
অসাধুসঙ্গে ভাই কৃষ্ণনাম নাহি হয় ।
asadhu-sange bhai krsna-nama nahi haya
"Brother, the Name of Krishna never appears in bad association: the letters of the Name may appear, but the Name never does."
(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 7.1)
Even if you get a moment of such association, you will get all perfection (sarva-siddhi).
That is why you come here again and again. If you really take good association, you can reach far, but if you think that the sadhu eats like me, the sadhu goes to the bathroom like me, the sadhu bathes like, he is human like me, then you cannot understand these things—it means you see the sadhu as something external and you will not be able to see the real things.
We must take real good association.
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