Choose Your Association Wisely

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
13 October 2018, Dum Dum Park, part 3

 

I am trying to follow Gurudev's instruction and do the service that Gurudev gave me as much as possible. So many difficulties, so many problems come and I happily accept it. Gurudev had told me that some problem would come after him. When I returned from Australia, I came to Gurudev—he was lying down, I paid dandavat to him, and he called me close to his bed. Then, he caught my hand and asked, "Will you not run away from these problems?" I said, "Gurudev, as long as I have blood in my body, I will try to follow your instruction, I will try to do the service you have given me." That is why I am here. So many problems, so many things are coming but I never run away from these problems. Gurudev had warned me about it in many ways.

Sometimes we cannot understand what we are doing. We always search others' fault. I may be not qualified, I may have so many faults, and I always say that I am not qualified, but Gurudev gives me energy, gives me strength. I get strength from my Guru.

Gurudev also always tells that we should be careful with our association—we must always reject bad association. It is necessary because we can become bad in bad association and it can remove us from the spiritual service. That is the main thing.

When I was new (when I just came to the temple) and started to do some service, there was one disciple of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, a householder, who was helping Gurudev—he would go to crops field, do the marketing, etc. Gurudev gave him his own bicycle (that bicycle is still there in Nabadwip, in the Centenary building), and he used it to do the marketing, to go to the crops field, etc. I would see him going out of the temple. Some time later, one of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's disciples who was the manager of the temple at the time, told me, "Prabhu, you must start go to the field. I cannot always go there myself, but one of my faithful men, also a disciple of Srila Sridhar Maharaj, always goes the crops field, but if you can give me a proper report whether the workers are working there or not and what is going on there, that will be good." Gradually, he gave me many other services.

One day, I went to the crops field and asked the disciple of Srila Sridhar Maharaj who lived there (his name is Keshto Prabhu, he left his body a few months ago), "The temple manager always sends a supervisor to the crops field, where is he?" Keshto Prabhu told me that he had not come to supervise for three-four days. I reported that to the manager, and he understood what was happening—that devotee was doing some other business for his family instead and was not taking proper care to supervise the field for the temple.

What did I do one day? I locked his bicycle. I was a new person, and he got very angry and upset. He went to Gurudev to complain: "This new boy came and locked my bicycle!" Gurudev called me and asked, "Have you locked his bicycle? He always goes to the market, crops field and does other services." I told Gurudev, "He does not go to the crops field. He is not doing proper service with the bicycle, he is using it for his own job. When the manager Prabhu was reading the scriptures, he said that everything that exists in the world, and everything that exists in the temple especially, is for the service of the Lord; but you gave the bicycle to him and he is not using it for the service of the Guru and the temple, he is using it for his own purpose. That is why I locked it." Gurudev was like astonished for a few seconds: "He is a new boy, how does he know the siddhanta?" He looked at me for some time and then said, "OK, I will see to it. Give the bicycle to him now." I unlocked the bicycle and gave it to him. Later, Gurudev told me, "What you said was very good. If Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj was alive and heard what you said, he would be very happy. I was thinking what a good thing you said."

But we are in the mundane world—we are conditioned souls and we do not follow Gurudev's instruction properly; we use everything for ourselves, for our own purpose, for our own business and interest. Why did we come to the temple? Why did we joined Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math? We came to serve the Guru, we came to serve the temple, we came to help the Deities and devotees, and if we do not do it properly—if we follow a wrong conception and do wrong things—it is not good for the devotees, for our spiritual life; it does not help devotees. That is why, we must see who gives a good instruction, who follows Gurudev's instruction and gives what Gurudev told, his conception, properly.

Actually, we cannot understand, we cannot recognise a sadhu with our mundane eyes and by someone's mundane activities. Jagadananda Pandit also says in Sri Prema-vivarta:

“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।

গোরার আচার, গোরার বিচার লইলে ফল ফলে ॥

"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
gorara achara, gorara vichara la-ile phala phale

Just saying, "I am Gora's! I am Gora's!" does not do. Only when you follow Gora's practices and Gora's conception will you get the proper result.

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6)

You cannot recognise if one is a sadhu by their material, external, activities. Somebody can show externally that they have become a sadhu, but they may have some material desires, some personally interest inside. You must see with your heart, then you can understand it. That is the main thing.

Think with your heart—there is a mahanta-guru and a chaitya-guru; you have a Guru in your heart—you can ask your heart and that chaitya-guru can give you the proper instruction who will be your Guru, who can give you proper advice and guidance, who will direct you towards the proper line.

We must understand and follow this line. In Padma Purana, Sivji Maharaj also says that in this age of Kali the number of vitta harankari guru is great, but the number of santap harankari guru is very small—it means some gurus can steal your money (vitta) and there are many gurus of this kind in this world; but santap harankari guru who can relieve your tritap jvala (adhibhautik, adhidaivik, adhyatmik, miseries caused by one's body, by the nature, and other souls) are very rare. We are sick, we are suffering so much from mundane problems—for example, we are suffering from mental problems so much—but if you can accept the Guru who can relieve that, it is good for you—that will give you relief and so much benefit. These are the main things.

 

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The Ball Is in Your Court
Now is the time to make the best of your good fortune: fulfil your Guru's desire, practise, and become successful!

 

Sri-krsna-chaitanya prabhu jive daya kari'
'Engaging only in activities that are favourable to devotion, rejecting everything unfavourable to devotion...'
শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য প্রভু
জীবে দয়া করি'

What I am telling you are your things, property of your heart, and it is
what you want—but you must listen to me properly with your mind.

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