Association and Assimilation
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
"Bhakta-sangena parijayate: devotion comes from devotees' association." (Brhan-naradiya Purana) It is said, "Bhagavata pada Vaisnavera sthane, ekanta asraya kara Chaitanya-charane (ভাগবত পড় বৈষ্ণবের স্থানে, একান্ত আশ্রয় কর চৈতন্য-চরণে): "Read Bhagavatam under the guidance of bona fide Vaishnavs and take shelter at Mahaprabhu's lotus feet." How will you know the siddhanta (spiritual truths)? If you keep the association of Gaura's devotees every day, if you keep the association of Krishna's devotees every day, then you will be able to understand the waves of the ocean of devotion to Krishna:
চৈতন্যের ভক্তগণের নিত্য কর ‘সঙ্গ’ ।
chaitanyera bhakta-ganera nitya kara 'sanga'
[Svarupa Damodara said,] "Always associate with the devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then only will you understand the waves of the ocean of devotional service."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 5.132)
Otherwise how will you ever understand it?
There is one working householder devotee who every Sunday (no matter whether it rains or not) takes his bicycle and goes to a house to speak Hari-katha: he sits on the veranda of that house and gives a class for one hour. Local people from the neighbourhood come to listen to him—old people, ladies, etc. Twenty-twenty-five people come to his class every Sunday. When I came there, I told them, "Just look. A doctor comes to your house every day, but you cannot bring your wife, your children to this path. He has been coming and giving class for two years already, but still people see sadhu, Guru, Vaishnavs and they do not even pay obeisance. The house has three floors, and they sit on the top floor and do not come to hear the class, but those who live nearby come. Even the son and the son's wife of the house do not come, but his parents do—they come, listen to the class, they have become vegetarian."
We must be our own doctors and bring ourselves to the path of devotion to the Lord, then our disease of material existence will be cured. What did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu say? Whoever you see, tell them to chant the Name of Krishna (yare dekho tare kaho koro Krishna Nam)!
যারে দেখ, তারে কহ ‘কৃষ্ণ’ উপদেশ ।
yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa
"Whover you see tell them about the teachings of Lord Krishna. On My order, become a Guru and rescue this land."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 7.128)
Mahaprabhu instructed, "I am giving you My order—become a Guru in this land! Rescue the souls of this world." If you only listen to Hari-katha but cannot give anything to others, then you are very unfortunate. You must always think about it, always remember it. What did Sriman Nityananda Prabhu give to you? He gave what Mahaprabhu could not give—He gave what was beyond Mahaprabhu's power to give. Think about it then—what is the Guru able to give you? You cannot even think of it.
Nityananda Prabhu was hit, blood fell from His head, and He cried—why did He cry? Did He cry because His head was bleeding? No. What did He cry for then? For Madhai. He said to Mahaprabhu, "Prabhu, You must save, You must protect Madhai! If You cast him aside, who will save him then? There is no second person who can do it in this world."
You must always think about these teachings, remember Nityananda Prabhu's tolerance and patience. If somebody tells you something bad, if somebody chastises you, you become upset, you get angry with them, but this is not your conception—your Gurudev never taught you this, Nityananda Prabhu never taught you this. If somebody does not give you respect, you become upset, this is also not right. Be humble, tolerant and give honour to others—you must be humble as a blade of grass, as tolerant as a tree...
I told it yesterday also—many of you are thinking what will happen? Will we not go on parikrama? After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left Nabadwip and took sannyas, where did He stay? Did He have His own house? Did He have a place to stay? He spent the rest of His life in Puri—in whose house? In Gambhira, Kashi Mishra's house. Where did Nityananda Prabhu stay, tell me? When He left Ekachakra, where did He stay? Yet, how many temples did He make? Think about it. We too will manage and spend our life in this way. As the Guru wishes, as the Lord wishes, so be it. The temple is where the Guru is. The devotees gather wherever the Guru stays.
Devotee: Hari bol!
Those who come to the temple because they see a nice building, do not love the Guru. Those who love the Guru will come to him even if he stays in the jungle—they will go there and find him there. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj at first stayed in a thatched hut in the jungle, but thousands of people came to see him. The temple, the ashram, everything is wherever the Guru is.
Then you can understand that we have come here for spiritual matter, we have not come to the Guru for a nice building. Somebody may even come to Nabadwip and not get spiritual things there. You must think about this.
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