Sincerity in Service
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
We must understand what is favourable to devotion and accept it, and we must reject what is unfavourable to devotion. What know what the offences of the Holy Name are, we know what sadhu-ninda (criticism of sadhus) is—we must be always careful with this. We know what can happen to those who criticise the sadhu, it is very dangerous. Gurudev, Vaishnavs can protect us if we make some mistake, but who will help us if we criticise Gurudev and Vaishnavs? We must understand this. You know what Ambarish Maharaj did and Durvasa Muni did, you know what happened (it is described in Srimad Bhagavatam).
Our life is very short. Khatvanga Maharaj learned that he had only forty-eight minutes left in his life. What did he do? He did not spend that time on gossiping or listening to gossips. We must ignore it. This is how we must manage the temple, manage our service. These are the main things.
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur also says, "Amara jivana sada pape rata nahika punyera lesha...: my life is always full of sin, there is nothing in it except sin. I give so much stress and anxiety to others!" This is not good.
Sriman Mahaprabhu shows us what sincerity is. Sincerity, nistha, means when you do something, you must do it properly and do it regularly. You eat every day, you sleep every day, you go to work every day—in the same way, you must sometimes give time to your Guru, to the Lord. You can make a family, but that family must be Krishna's family. You can run and live in Krishna's family, but instead you are wasting time on nonsense, on talking nonsense. This is not good for you.
I am telling to all the devotees: you must wake up for mangal arati, make an offering to the Deities (first offer some balya bhog, then your wife can cook and offer the bhog to the Deities), take prasadam, take something with you for lunch, and when you come home from work in the evening sing some songs. Do not waste your time on other things. This is called sincerity.
Mahaprabhu's servitor showed what sincerity is. His name is Govinda Das, he was actually a disciple of Ishwar Puri, but he was a servitor of Mahaprabhu. Once, having chanted and danced the whole day, Mahaprabhu came to His room in Gambhira and fell asleep in the doorway. Govinda used to come every day to massage His feet, but that day he could not enter because Mahaprabhu was lying in the doorway and it was impossible to enter the room without having to cross Mahaprabhu's body. Govinda asked Mahaprabhu,
"Prabhu, could You move a little?"
"No, I am very tired," said Mahaprabhu. "I cannot removed."
"But I do this service every day..."
"That is your matter. Whether you do it or not, it is up to you, you will think about it."
Govinda thought, "For His service, I will have to cross Him"—then, put his cloth on Mahaprabhu's body and entered the room crossing Him. After he massaged Mahaprabhu's feet, Mahaprabhu got a good rest.
At midnight, Mahaprabhu woke up and saw Govinda in the room. He asked him,
"Govinda, you are still here? Did you not go to take prasadam? Why did you not go to sleep?"
Govinda replied, "Prabhu, how will I go crossing You?"
"How did you come then? You crossed Me then."
"Prabhu, I came here for service—I came to massage Your feet; but I cannot cross Your body for my atmendriya tarpan, for my own interest (to take food, prasadam or to sleep). I cannot do that."
Then you can think that for the service to the Guru, for the service to the Lord, you can make any offence, you can accept it. Gurudev told me also, "If I tell you I have much pain in my shoulder and ask you to hit me, this is not beating—it is seva." You will think, "Oh, I am beating my Guru!" but this is not so—if your Guru says he has pain and tells you to hit him, this is seva and you can do that. The main thing is that you cannot use your Guru for your own interest, for your own enjoyment—you must serve your Guru. If Gurudev says something, you cannot argue with him—if Gurudev says anything, it is Veda-vakya (instruction of the Vedas). We must follow this.
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj believed in my Gurudev. I remember Gurudev told me one story. When he just came to the temple, Srila Sridhar Maharaj told him, "Gaurendu, do not follow what you mind tells you. You must follow what I tell you." At that time, there was not so much money in the temple, and when there was some prasadam left in the evening, everybody would take it in the morning the next day. One day, there were some rice and dal leftovers, but somebody did not cover the dal at night, so when they served that dal to Gurudev, he saw there were insects in it. At first, Gurudev thought, "There are insects in the dal!" but then he quickly realised, "Oh, my mind is telling this to me, but I should take it!" and he took the insects out and took the dal. Srila Sridhar Maharaj was walking nearby, chanting the Holy Name, and saw what Gaurendu did. He said to Gurudev, "Gaurendu, come to me after you finish taking prasadam." Gurudev came to Param Guru Maharaj, paid his dandavat and asked, "Did you call me? What service can I do?" Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said, "I saw when you were taking prasadam you seemed not to like the dal, but you still took it—why?" Gurudev replied, "Because you told me not to follow my mind. My mind was telling me not to take it, but you always say that we must not throw prasadam away, we must take it. That is why I took prasadam. I must follow my Guru's instruction." Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj was very happy to hear it.
So, for your service, for the Deities, for the Guru, you can make an offence, you cannot make any offence, you cannot do anything for your own interest. Do not use your Guru for your own enjoyment, for your own interest. That is my message today.
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