Enjoyer, Controller, Provider

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
3 January 2019, part 3

 

I have mentioned just now that we commit so many sins in the course of our lives. If you want to know the solution, it is easy to understand it from Srimad Bhagavad-gita. There, Krishna says, "Everything that exists in this world, what I have created through Brahma, exists for My enjoyment, not your enjoyment."

It does not mean you must leave everything—you can live a family life, it is not a problem. Prabhupad Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur told a very good thing: somebody may live a family life, but if they always think about Krishna, if their life is surrendered to Krishna, Gurudev, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, then they are not a mere householder (grihastha), they are like a vanaprastha or a sannyasi. You cannot detect this through someone's outer clothes—it depends on whether the person serves the Lord with heart and soul, it depends on how much one is surrendered to Krishna, how much affection one has for Krishna.

There are so many gurus in this world—kaulik gurus (Kali-yuga gurus), laukik gurus (family gurus), karmi gurus, jnani gurus, yogi gurus. You can see they wear all kinds of clothes, they do all kinds of things. As Prabhupad Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur also said, some wear a ten-feet-long cloth, some may even wear a five-feet-long cloth. Someone may walk without shoes, someone may have long hair, jata (dreadlocks), beard, etc. You see such people and think that it is a big guru, but you cannot identify this through one's clothes and outer appearance. We are not into renunciation. A guru cannot be recognised through these things.

Who is a real guru? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur explains it. A real guru is one who practises properly, who follows Krishna consciousness, and whose whole life is surrendered to the Lord, whose life is fully offered to his guru (saranagati). Gurudev also said (Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Prabhupad also told this) that if you want to be a guru, you must first be a good disciple. A guru's first identity is that he is a proper disciple of his guru, and a disciple is a person who is always surrendered (avanata mastak, অবনত মস্তক, lit. with lowered head, humble), who always follows rules and regulations (sasan mane, শাসন মানে, lit. obedient, disciplined) and who always follows the instruction of his guru.

So, the main thing, as Srimad Bhagavad-gita says, is that everything in this world exists for the Lord's enjoyment. Because of our ego we always think that this property is my property, these things are my things. You should understand that nothing is yours: when you came to this world, you did not bring anything with you, and when you leave this world, you will not take anything with you. Nothing in this world is yours. If you think that everything belongs to you and enjoy with everything, it means that you are attacked by Maya Devi.

Through good association you can realise that there is somebody who controls you, that you are not the controller, and you must know where He is, what His duty is, and what our duty is. Following that, you will understand that we are only servants, nothing more than that. We must be servants of devotees, servants of the Lord. That is our only identity.

As for the family life, I will tell you how you should live such life. Suppose you are cooking and eating something—you can cook, but you should not cook for yourself or your family; you should cook for the Lord, offer it to the Lord and take prasadam after that. If you do not do that, then, as Krishna said in Srimad Bhagavad-gita, "If you take something without offering it to Me, it means you are stealing My things, you are committing a sin and the reaction will come to you."

You may like this food, that food, and you think you have the right to eat it. You may plant a tree at your house, and you think you own the tree. You buy some fruit for yourself, and you think that you earn the money you buy it with. Your wife cooks and thinks, "I am cooking." This is all ego. You should understand that we have no power, we cannot do anything and nothing belongs to us. Krishna does everything, He is the owner of everything. Suppose you plant a mango tree. When the mangoes come, you think that you will eat it, your husband or wife will eat it, your father, mother will eat it. This is ego. You can plant a mango tree, but you cannot give life to it. Who gives life to a tree? Krishna. Krishna gave life to this tree and Krishna is the owner of that tree, so you must first offer the mango to Krishna, after that you can take prasad. Do you think that if you offer something to Krishna, He will take everything for Himself? This is not so. Krishna is very merciful—He gave us this life and He also provides food, provides everything for us.

কৃষ্ণ ভুলি' সেই জীব অনাদি-বহির্ম্মুখ ।
অতএব মায়া তারে দেয় সংসারাদি-দুঃখ ॥

krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsaradi-duhkha

Having forgotten Krishna, the soul wanders throughout the universe. Being thus covered by illusion, the soul goes through all kinds of material suffering.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117)

The problem is that we have forgotten Krishna. We must remember Krishna, and the purpose of good association is that sadhus, Vaishnavs remind us about Him, they give us proper instructions, they tell us about our proper identity. We must listen to them attentively.

 

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