{ HARI-KATHA IN KULGACHIA }
Devotee Association

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kulgachia Gram, Howrah District
6 May 2018, part 8

 

ভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু লুটিপুটি খায়
অভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু উলটি নাহি খায়

bhakter jinish prabhu lutiputi khay
abhakter jinish prabhu ulti nahi khay

"The Lord eats anything and everything when a devotee offers it, but He does not take anything from a non-devotee."

A non-devotee cannot give anything to the Lord. A "non-devotee" means "sakam bhakta" (devotee with ulterior motives), they give something to the Lord and want to get something from the Lord in return ("Lord, give me this, give that"). They irritate the Lord with their perpetual requests. When people do demigod puja, they always say, "Give me wealth, give me knowledge, make me beautiful, give me a good wife, make me a poet, etc." What did Mahaprabhu say?

ন ধনং ন জনং ন সুন্দরীং কবিতাং বা জগদীশ কাময়ে ।
মম জন্মনি জন্মনীশ্বরে ভবতাদ্ভক্তিরহৈতুকী ত্বয়ি ॥

na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

"I do not want wealth, I do not want knowledge, I do not want beauty, I do not want to be a poet. I only want causeless devotion to Your lotus feet. Give me that kind of devotion to Your lotus feet so that I could do Your service life after life."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 20.29)

নাহি মাগি দেহসুখ বিদ্যা ধন জন ॥
নাহি মাগি স্বর্গ আর মোক্ষ নাহি মাগি ।
না করি প্রার্থনা কোন বিভূতির লাগি ॥

nahi magi deha-sukha, vidya, dhana, jana
nahi magi svarga ara moksa nahi magi
na kari prarthana kona vibhutira lagi

"I do not pray for bodily pleasure, learning, wealth, or followers. I do not pray for heaven, I do not pray for liberation, and I do not pray for any supernatural powers."

(Sri Siksastakam, 4.1-2, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

"I do not pray for heaven, I do not pray for liberation. I do not pray for any supernatural powers." We want neither heaven, nor liberation.

It is said in the scriptures that if you circumambulate four places of pilgrimage (Kedarnath, Badrinath, etc.) you will get liberation. We do not want liberation, so what will go to those places for? It is said that among millions of karmis there is one wise person, among millions of wise people there is one liberated soul, and among millions of such liberated souls there is only one devotee of Krishna. When we can get the Lord by chanting His Holy Name, what is the use for us circumambulating all those holy places? What will we get by that? Why will we exert ourselves so much?

তীর্থযাত্রা পরিশ্রম কেবল মনের ভ্রম,
সর্ব্বসিদ্ধি গোবিন্দচরণ

tirtha-yatra parisrama kevala manera bhrama
sarva-siddhi govinda-charana

"The trouble of visiting holy places is simply a mental delusion—all possible perfection is the feet of Govinda."

(Srila Narottam Das Thakur, "Anya-abhilasa chhadi...")

You can get all perfection just by serving the lotus feet of Govinda. Remember this. It is necessary to serve the feet of Govinda. It is necessary to make garlands for Govinda, it is necessary to offer bhog to Govinda, it is necessary to do arati for Govinda, it is necessary to worship Govinda. Who is this Govinda? Where will you get Govinda? He is there in His Deity form, be it Gopal or a picture of the Lord. If there is a picture of the Lord, you can serve that picture.

It is also said that if you practise just one of the devotional practices, you will get the result of practising all sixty-four devotional practices. You do not need to follow all sixty-four practices. If you go to the Math, you do not need to worry that there is nobody at home to worship that picture now. When you come to the Math, you listen to Hari-katha there, you chant kirtan, etc., through that the worship of your Deity (picture) is done. If you have a Deity, you can keep it, then it is necessary to worship, but if it is a picture you do not need to worry. When you come to the Math, you hear about Govinda, about the Lord, chant kirtan, take prasad, there too the Lord is offered bhog, then your picture's service is done automatically too. "Gopinath amara se eka-i anga haya" (Cc, 2.4.160), have you not heard it? When Madhavendra Puripad started walking to Vrindavan with sandalwood and camphor, Gopal said, "You do not need to carry it all the way to Vrindavan. Gopinath and My body are non-different from each other. They are one and the same. Give the sandalwood and camphor to the pujari, he will offer it to Gopinath, then My service will be done automatically too."

This is how you must think.

So, you do not have to practise all sixty-four types of devotional practices. The main practices are,

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)

Sadhu-sanga is the main thing. If you associate with non-devotees, your devotion to Krishna will be destroyed. If you mix with those who are offensive to Vaishnavs, you will become an offender too.

'সাধুসঙ্গ', 'সাধুসঙ্গ'—সর্ব্বশাস্ত্রে কয় ।
লবমাত্র সাধুসঙ্গে সর্ব্বসিদ্ধি হয় ॥

'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'—sarva sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu sange sarva siddhi haya

"Good association", "good association," all the scriptures keep saying. Only by good association can you get all perfection.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.22.54)

In good association, you will chant the Holy Name. You must practise Nama-sankirtan, Bhagavat-sravan. You must chant the Holy Name, you must listen to Bhagavatam. Next is Mathura-vasa. Does it mean you must go live in Mathura? No.

যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
গৃহেতে গোলোক ভায় ॥

ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
grhete goloka bhaya

On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.

('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

The house where there is service of the Lord going on every day (where bhog is offered, where devotees are served) is Goloka Vrindavan. It is not necessary to go to Mathura. The place where perpetual service is going on is actually Goloka Vrindavan, then why is it necessary to go to Mathura? It is necessary to do parikrama in sadhu-sanga. We sing in one of the kirtans, "Ekaki amara nahi paya bala hari-nama-sankirtane" (alone I do not have the ability to properly chant the Lord's Name). That is why it is necessary to associate with devotees, that is why we go to Vrindavan, Puri together. To go to the holy places with devotees is good, but it is not necessary to go there on your own. When you go to a holy place with devotees, you hear about the glories of this place, you hear Hari-katha from their mouths. This 'builds' devotion. Your mind becomes absorbed by it. If your devotion does not increase, then taste will not come. It is necessary to have taste—when taste comes, then gradually attachment comes, and after that bhav, mahabhav, prema, asta-satvika vikara (eight kinds of transcendental transformations), etc. These things come later, there is no question of it now—such things came to Mahaprabhu, to great devotees...

 

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Our Grand Heritage
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj is speaking on the unparalleled gift, mercy, and purity of our Guru-varga..

 

Samsara-davanala
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