Beyond Visaya

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Translated from Bengali
9 December 2018, Tarakeshwar, part 10

 

When I first joined the Math, I came with only twelve rupees. I was working as a tutor at that time and had money, but the day when I came to the Math I came out of my room and started walking down the street and brushing my teeth—usually, nobody takes money when they go to brush their teeth. Those twelve rupees just happened to be in my pocket that day.

Sometimes, when I was in my room at the temple, I would lie down and remember my room, the things I had in it, I thought, "I should bring this thing," "I should bring that thing," but then I remembered Gurudev had told me that I should not use all those material things. When I came, I had the key from my room with me, and every time I saw the key I again remembered my room, my bed, almirah, etc. One day, I threw the key into Govinda Kunda. Then I only had my old clothes left. At first, I was given only one dhoti—I would wash it and while it was drying I would stay in the room in my panjabi (the pants and shirt I was wearing when I came to the temple). When I got a second dhoti, I burnt my panjabi. This is how I left my last visaya.

Mahaprabhu also made Sanatan Goswami give up his last visaya. When Sanatan Goswami was coming to Mahaprabhu, he had to stop at his sister-in-law's house and she gave him a nice expensive blanket-like shawl. Mahaprabhu would glance at it and wait... Sanatan Goswami wore old clothes and this new expensive shawl. One day he noticed Mahaprabhu looking at it, and he understood that Mahaprabhu did not like it. That day, he went out and saw one Gaudiya Vaishnav drying his torn kantha (কাঁথা, blanket). Sanatan Goswami came to him and asked, "Prabhu, will you exchange your kantha for my chador (shawl)?" The Gaudiya Vaishnav got angry at first,

"Are you joking with me?! You want to take my torn kantha and give me your expensive shawl? Is it a joke?"

Sanatan Goswami explained, "No, Prabhu, please do not get angry. I am not joking with you. You will do me a great favour if you give me your kantha. The thing is that Mahaprabhu does not like this shawl I use."

"Will you really take this torn kantha?"

"Yes, of course. Here, take this shawl," Sanatan Goswami opened the shawl and handed it to him. He took the kantha and went back to Mahaprabhu.

Earlier in the morning, Mahaprabhu had seen that Sanatan Goswami was leaving with the shawl on, but when he came back He saw that he did not have it any more, so He asked Sanatan Goswami, "Sanatan, where did your blanket go?" Sanatan Goswami told Him the story, "Prabhu, when You looked at it today, I understood that You did not like it. My sister-in-law had given it to me, but I understand that You do not like material things." Then Mahaprabhu said, "The Lord has given you his mercy—He made you leave your last visaya."

We must read about this. If we do not read about it, how will we understand these things? If you want to be a devotee, you must hear, read, and follow these things.

I can give another example also. You know that I often go to different places and buy rice, dal, etc. One day, I went to one of our temples and brought some things for each of the devotees there. I gave one of the devotees a shirt but he did not like the colour. He is an old man, but it looks like his heart is young—everyone knows that when someone is old, we give them colours that suit their age, and those who are young can be given bright coloured things. He told me, "I will not wear it." What was I to say? He has some other desires... At that time, I thought to myself: when Sanatan Goswami came to Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu asked Chandrasekhara Acharya to give him a new set of clothes. When Chandrasekhara Acharya came to Sanatan Goswami with new clothes, Sanatan Goswami said, "Prabhu, please, I do not want new clothes. If you have some old torn cloth of Mahaprabhu, give it to me, please." Chandrasekhara Acharya gave him one old dhoti. Sanatan Goswami tore it into two pieces and wore one piece as a dhoti and the other piece as a cloth to cover his upper body. When he washed the dhoti piece, he wore the upper cloth as a dhoti, and when it dried he wore it again on his upper body. That was his clothes. You can read about it even in the kirtan guide.

Also, how did Raghunath Das Goswami get to Puri? He walked there. How many days do you think it would take us if we were to walk there? One-two months. But he got there in twelve days! Not only that—during these twelve days he ate only three times. And what did he eat? Some milk. When he came to the house of some cowherd, he gave him some milk.

We must think about these things, then we will be able to serve our Guru, serve the Vaishnavs and the Lord—then we will get supreme benefit. We must remember how these great Vaishnavs maintained their life, how they lived, how they served the Lord. And we must preach our Gurudev's teaching, Vaishnavs' teaching, Mahaprabhu's teaching. We must chant the glories of Nityananda Prabhu. If we do this, we will get supreme benefit.

If we reach the Lord, we reach our destination. Back to God, back to home. Let us all go back to our home. For so long we have been changing lives and families—sometimes we were born in a goat's family, sometimes in a cat's family, sometimes in a dog's family, sometimes we had a tree's life, sometimes a mosquito's life, and so on. We have been wandering through so many different lives, but we have finally got this rare human birth. We must understand the meaning of this rare birth. If we do not practise Krishna consciousness—if we do not use this body for the service of Govinda—then it is better we do not keep this body at all because then this life is useless. If I cannot serve Govinda in this life, then my human birth is wasted.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!

 

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