{ HARI-KATHA IN KULGACHIA }
Seek Shelter and Guidance

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kulgachia Gram, Howrah District
6 May 2018, part 22

 

[After the kirtans, His Divine Grace continues the class:]

মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

First of all, I am offering my full obeisance at the lotus feet of Om Vishnupad Jagad Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj begging him for his causeless mercy. After that, I am offering my obeisance to all Guru-varga, all the worldwide acharyas, to all my God-brothers and sisters, to all devotees and all of you praying for your mercy to this low soul.

Today, you have spent some time listening to Bhagavat-katha, Bhagavat-kirtan. The Name, form, qualities, pastimes, features and associates of the Lord are completely non-different from the Lord, and there is nobody except the Lord Himself or His very own associates who can distribute them. So, we must always listen to such kind of favourable talks—the talks that can give some benefit to us. We may feel in our mind that we do not like these talks, yet these talks do not do any harm to our souls. Just as curry (vegetables) are the food for the body, the food for the soul is Krishna Nama sankirtan (congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna). Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said,

যদি আমা'-প্রতি স্নেহ থাকে সবাকার ।
তবে কৃষ্ণ-ব্যতিরিক্ত না গাইবে আর ॥

yadi ama'-prati sneha thake sabakara
tabe krsna-vyatirikta na gaibe ara

"If you have any love and affection for Me, then only say 'Krishna'—do not say anything except 'Krishna.'"

(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, 28.27)

"Do not say anything except the Name of Krishna." We must listen to the Bhagavat-katha under the exclusive guidance of a bona fide devotee. You have heard also what Sivji Maharaj had said: "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 or may not know it." He who composed Bhagavatam may not know its meaning, but Sukadev, his disciple, knows it. Then, you can understand—where will you read Bhagavatam? You must understand that Hari-katha must be listened to through Guru-parampara. "Bhagavata pada Vaisnavera sthane, ekanta asraya kara Chaitanya-charane (ভাগবত পড় বৈষ্ণবের স্থানে, একান্ত আশ্রয় কর চৈতন্য-চরণে): Read Bhagavatam under guidance of a Vaishnav and take exclusive shelter of the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu."

পৃথিবীতে যত কথা ধর্ম্মনামে-চলে ।
ভাগবত কহে সব পরিপূর্ণ ছলে ॥

prthivite yaha kichu dharma name chale
bhagavata kahe taha paripurna chhale

"Bhagavatam says that what is happening in this world in the name of religion, is complete cheating."

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.2)

Srimad Bhagavad-gita also says,

সর্ব্বধর্ম্মান্ পরিত্যজ্য মামেকং শরণং ব্রজ ।
অহং ত্বাং সর্ব্বপাপেভ্যো মোক্ষয়িষ্যামি মা শুচঃ ॥

sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo, moksayisyami ma suchah

"Give up all kinds of religion and surrender to Me alone. I will liberate you from all sins, do not despair."

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 18.66)

"Give up all religions and surrender to Me, I will look after you." You must give up all kinds of religion. The Lord Himself says, "Whatever religion I have given in Vedanta and other scriptures, leave everything. Surrender to Me alone, I will look after you."

It is necessary to listen to Hari-katha following exclusively in the footsteps of a Vaishnav, or Guru-varga.

One time, Parvati Devi asked Sivji Maharaj, "Of all kinds of worship, what worship is the best?" He said, "The highest is the worship of Lord Vishnu." Parvati Devi became upset, thinking, "I worship Lord Siva, but he says that the worship of Lord Vishnu is the best..." Understanding her feelings, Lord Siva said then,

আরাধনানাং সর্ব্বেষাং বিষ্ণোরারাধনং পরম্ ।
তস্মাৎ পরতরং দেবি তদীয়ানাং সমর্চ্চনম্ ॥

aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarchanam

"Of all types of worship, worship of Lord Vishnu is best, and better than the worship of Lord Vishnu is the worship of His devotee, the Vaishnava."

"The worship of Lord Vishnu is the best, but even better than that is the worship of His devotee." Vaishnavs are those who serve Lord Vishnu, who are devotees of Lord Vishnu.

Worshippers of Lord Siva are called Saivites, worshippers of Surya are called Sauras, worshippers of Ganesh are called Ganapatyas, and worshippers of Shakti are called Saktas. These are the five kinds of worshippers in this world—Saktas, Saivites, Ganapatyas, Sauras, and Vaishnavs. Those who worship Shakti [Goddess Devi in any of her manifestations, such as Durga Devi, Parvati Devi, Saraswati, Lakshmi, et al.] go to heaven where that goddess stays—they enjoy there for many hundreds of years and in the end have to again return from heaven.

If you engage in pious works, you can also go to heaven, but you have to again come back to this mortal world. Only when you come to this world and engage in the service of the Lord, can you go to the abode of the Lord. As long as you are not able to engage in the chanting of the Lord's Names, in glorifying the Lord's qualities, you will have to keep on coming back, keep dying and being born again. We have got this human birth, the lifespan of this body is some hundred-hundred-twenty years, and fifty-sixty years have already passed, then who knows how much time you have left... If you want to get the Lord in this lifetime, you will not get Him by meditation, fire-sacrifice, or any yoga. Even if somebody says that one Holy Name equals a million fire-sacrifices, this is an offence. Even a million fire-sacrifices cannot equal chanting the Holy Name once—if you chant the Holy Name one time only, the result you will get is more than a million sacrifices. So,

চারি বর্ণাশ্রমী যদি কৃষ্ণ নাহি ভজে ।
স্বকর্ম্ম করিলেও সে রৌরবে পড়ি মজে ॥

chari varnasrami yadi krsna nahi bhaje
svakarma karileo se raurave padi maje

"Whatever varna (a priest, fighter, manager, or worker) or asram (a celibate, householder, renouncer of the household life, or monk) you may belong to, if you do not worship Krsna but engage in your prescribed duties, you will have to fall into a terrible hell."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.26)

If you practice brahmacharya (celibacy), grihastha (householders' duties), vanaprastha (duties of a retiree from household life), or sannyas (renounced order of life), whatever ashram you stay in, whatever varna you belong to, if you do not worship Lord Krishna, you will have to fall into a terrible hell and keep coming and going in this world and suffer a hellish existence. We must always think about this. How can we get the Lord? How can we get service of the Lord? If you want mercy, you must engage in service of the Lord and the Guru. Always remember this.

 

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Sannyas Lila:
Roaming the Land
'Mahaprabhu would go in a zigzag way—sometimes He went to the East, sometimes to the West, and the devotees followed Him not knowing where He was going...'

 

Durlabha manava-janma
'I eat luxuriously, look around, and dress carelessly, never considering that one day I will leave this body.'
দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম

Why did we take initiation? Why did we join the mission, take shelter in Gurudev?
It is all useless if we have come with material desires and do not try to progress.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"