His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami
Maharaj ki jay
I am very unqualified, you can say disqualified, but I am present today here in front of you, so I want to say something.
We have come to Krishna consciousness line:
ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
"Having travelled throughout the universe and got the mercy of Guru, Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.151)
Those who are fortunate souls have got, by the mercy of Gurudev and the Lord, the devotional seed. Gurudev has put it in our hearts, but we must properly protect it. We must properly understand this. If your land is fertile, you can put a seed in it. By sadhu-sanga, saintly association, your heart will become clean, and then Gurudev puts the seed of the creeper of devotion (bhakti-lata bij) in your heart; after that, we must water and protect this seed by practising sravanam (hearing about the Lord) and kirtanam (glorifying the Lord, chanting the Lord's Name):
মালী হঞা করে সেই বীজ আরোপণ ।
mali hana kare sei bija aropana
"Like a gardener, plant that seed and water it with practising: hearing and chanting."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.152)
Sravan and kirtan are the water. Practise properly by practising sravan and kirtan. Listen to Bhagavatam, listen about the Lord, chant kirtan. You all know that we have a kirtan guide, our Gaudiya Gitanjali book. Practise properly every day.
At the same time, many obstacles will come in our spiritual life, you know it. It is not easy to reach the proper place, to reach your goal in life. It is not so easy. Even the Lord Himself also suffered—Sriman Mahaprabhu (Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) also suffered in His time. Mahaprabhu appeared many hundreds of years ago, more than 550 years ago—Krishna Himself came to this world as a Guru, as a teacher, or practitioner, and He showed us what is spiritual practice. He is the example for us: the example of how we will practise spiritual life. Seeing His life and His teaching, we must understand clearly how we must practise spiritual life. Many obstacles will come: Maya is always ready to create obstacles and problems on our way towards spiritual life. You can see that in Sriman Mahaprabhu's time also, the Lord got some pain.
When Mahaprabhu declared:
যেই ভজে, সেই বড়, অভক্ত—হীন, ছার ।
yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta—hina, chhara
"Only a non-devotee can be considered as worthless and abominable: anyone who takes to devotional service is great—there is no consideration of class, caste, or any other status for those who have taken up service to Krishna."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.67)
He said that there is no discrimination: a person from any caste, any religion, any country can come to this line. Our identification is not that we are Indian, American, British, or Spanish. We are all jiva souls, you know that. This is our identification, but because of our karma we are now born in many different places, and we have got so many different bodies: a cow's body, a dog's body, a cat's body, a fish's body, a buffalo's body, a pig's body, etc. Yet, we can understand that even if you live in America, it is not a problem—you can stay in America, you can stay in London, you can stay in Singapore or Mauritius, it is not a question; the main thing is that you must understand what for you have got this human body and how it must be used. Which caste you have come from, what religion you practised before—this is not a question. We have finally come to surrender to the Lord, we have finally come to surrender to our Guru. Then, Mahaprabhu also told:
কিবা বিপ্র, কিবা ন্যাসী, শূদ্র কেনে নয় ।
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
"Whether one is a brahman, a sannyasi, or a sudra, regardless of what one is, one can become a spiritual master if they know the science of Krishna."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.128)
Why will only brahmans be a guru? Why will only a sannyasi be a guru? Why cannot a sudra (a civil caste person) be a guru? No, a person from any caste can be a guru. When Mahaprabhu declared this, the brahman samaj in Nabadwip (the society of priests) could not tolerate it, and they came to Mahaprabhu to kick Him out. They were ready to fight and debate with Mahaprabhu. This is why Mahaprabhu thought that Nabadwip was not a proper place for Him and He decided to take sannyas.
Even taking sannyas was not so easy for Him. When He went to Bangladesh, Laksmi Priya felt much separation from Him, and in her extreme sadness she left her body. After that, Mother Sachi became very sad, and when Mahaprabhu returned from Bangladesh, He gave much nourishment to her. He showed His pastimes of taking care of His mother, and He accepted Sanatan Misra's daughter Vishnupriya as His other sakti. After that, how much Vishnupriya sacrificed in her life! If Vishnupriya had not made this sacrifice in her life, how would we have got Mahaprabhu? How would Mahaprabhu have left to take sannyas and stay in Puri?
After sannyas, Mahaprabhu visited many places, and then He finally came to stay in Puri. While He was staying in Puri, He showed His vipralamba-lila (pastimes of separation). Just as Krishna spent much time with Lalita and Visakha, Mahaprabhu also spent much time with their incarnations, Svarup Damodar and Raya Ramananda. They always stayed with Mahaprabhu. So many obstacles came in Mahaprabhu's life. This is an example for us all.
We can also understand it if we see the example of Sriman Nityananda Prabhu. When Mahaprabhu told Him to preach Krishna's Name, Nityananda Prabhu thought that it was very difficult to preach about Krishna, so He decided that if He preached about Mahaprabhu, it would be much easier. So, He started preaching first with Haridas Thakur in Nabadwip. You have heard about Jagai and Madhai—Nityananda Prabhu was even beaten by Madhai (His forehead was cut, and blood fell!), but still, He did not stop His preaching:
ভজ গৌরাঙ্গ, কহ গৌরাঙ্গ, লহ গৌরাঙ্গের নাম রে
bhaja gauranga, kaha gauranga, laha gaurangera nama re
"Worship Gauranga! Say Gauranga! Take Gauranga's Name! Those who worship Gauranga are My heart and soul!"
He went door to door. Mahaprabhu also went door to door. Nityananda Prabhu said, "You can buy Me if you worship Gauranga! (Amara kiniya bhaja Gauranga Mahaprabhu!)" Mahaprabhu also preached:
যদি আমা'-প্রতি স্নেহ থাকে সবাকার ।
yadi ama'-prati sneha thake sabakara
"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)
Before Mahaprabhu left Nabadwip, He told all His well-wishers who had come to see Him at Srivas Pandit's house, "If you have some love and affection for Me, then you must always chant Krishna's Name, chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Always speak about Krishna, always think about Krishna. When you are eating, sleeping, or sitting, always chant the Holy Name." Mahaprabhu gave His order, but we always think we are followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (there are many sampradayas who say, "We are followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu"), but how many of us (how many sampradayas) are actually following Mahaprabhu's order, following Mahaprabhu's request?
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