Benefactors

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
7 January 2019, part 2

 

You should also understand this. You live in Vijayawada where there are so many people who work and work the whole day, from morning to night, just for a little bit of happiness—for eating, sleeping and enjoying; people are always busy thinking about their temporary happiness, about keeping good health, about their bodies, but they do not think about their real self, there are only few people who follow Krishna consciousness, only few people think about their own benefit.

I have come here two-three times before, and some devotees surrendered to Gurudev, to the Lord. You have come to Krishna consciousness, and your duty is not only chant the Holy Name yourself; you must not only keep the wealth you have got from your Guru, the wealth you have got from the good association of sadhus and Vaishnavs for yourself—you must also distribute it.

Sometimes, when you come to distribute these things, karmi people, other people will not want to listen to you, they will tell you other things, they will tell you bad nonsense things, but that is also good for you because through that you will become humbler, more tolerant and you will learn to give honour to others. Others can do anything they want, but you will do your job—you will distribute the wealth, the property you have got from your Guru. You must tell about that property to your friends and well-wishers.

I told you yesterday about Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Hriday Bon Maharaj, an acharya of Chaitanya Math. He was one of the most senior sannyasis in Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's time (there were only a few sannyasis at that time; only twenty-two sannyasis took sannyas directly from Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, one of them is also our founder acharya Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj). One day, that Sripad Bon Maharaj went preaching and collecting little by little door to door in Kolkata. He did not know the city well, so suddenly he appeared in a lane and only when he entered the lane did he understand that it was a pros-quarter lane. All the prostitutes gave him whatever they could—some gave ten rupees, some five rupees, one rupee, two rupees, and so on. Sripad Bon Maharaj got very shy because he did not know at first what place it was and when he understood where he was he thought, "What a big offence I have made! All my bhajan, whatever I have done so far is all gone!" Then he came back to Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He paid obeisance to Srila Prabhupad and cried, "Prabhupad, I am ruined! I have made a big mistake today." Srila Prabhupad asked him, "What have you done? Tell me." Sripad Bon Maharaj told everything to Srila Prabhupad, and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "It is not an offence. I am doing the same thing as you did—if you think you have done wrong, am I also doing wrong? I also send so many brahmacharis and sannyasis to people who are attached to the illusory environment, it is the same thing. Those women do business with their bodies, and these people also work the whole day, they do not think about themselves. It is the same thing. Therefore, you have made no mistake—you took money from the prostitutes and their money is going to be used at the Deities's place, it is going to be used for the service of Vaishnavs and Deities, and they will get some benefit, some sukriti through that—it will help them."

There is also a story about the temple when Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj took the second initiation. Just as yesterday also, Prabhu took initiation—there was a fire sacrifice, and after that he went begging. When I took second initiation and sannyas, I also went begging, but at that time, and in the time of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj and Srila Prabhupad, devotees were told not to beg inside the temple—they had to beg house to house, door to door. So, when Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj took second initiation, he went begging and came to a house of a widow lady. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said, "Bhavati bhiksam dehi. Please, give some donation." The lady was working around her mud house, she was cleaning the floor, perhaps, and said said, "I am very busy, I cannot give you anything!" but Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said, "Please, this is my first time, it was my brahman initiation, I must take something from you." The lady got even angrier. Now people cook using gas and electric stoves, but in those days they used wood. So, when the lady got very angry, she took some ash and gave it to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj!

Upset, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj came back to Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Srila Prabhupad asked him, "What has happened? Why are you crying?" Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj told, "I will never do collection again. Some lady has given me ash!" Prabhupad replied, "Why are you crying?! You have done very well. The lady has given you some ash—you can use it to clean Deities' plates, through that the lady will get some sukriti!"

What happened the next day? The next day that lady came to Prabhupad and said, "Yesterday a sadhu came to me, but I was busy at that time and got a little angry. I gave him, and I feel bad about it now. Can I see that sadhu?" Prabhupad said, "He may be chanting at the gate, I do not know where he is. You can go and find him." The lady went to the gate, but she could not recognise Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj—there were many brahmacharis and sannyasis there. Then, she asked someone, "Do you know who went begging yesterday?" and the person pointed at Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, "This sadhu went to your house." The lady came to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj and asked him, "Please forgive my offence, I have made a mistake. Please, you must come to my house, I will give something to you." Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj replied, "I cannot go now, but I can come in the afternoon with some brahmachari or sannyasi for kirtan. I cannot go alone now." The lady happily agreed and left. Later that day, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj came to her house with another brahmachari and started some Hari-katha at her house, he gave some lecture. When the lady heard everything, when she heard what was the purpose of her life, she was very impressed. One-two days later, she again came to Prabhupad and said, "Prabhupad, I do not want to live in my house! I want to stay here. I want to give my house for the service to Vaishnavs and the Deities. I do not want to keep anything, I want to give everything to the sadhus." Prabhupad told Kunja Babu (the temple manager) and Vinod Babu, "She wants to join the temple, you can give a room to her." From that time, the lady stayed at the temple and gave everything, her house and her land, to the temple. Everybody gave her respect and called her pishima (auntie).

Good association is the main thing. This is what the sadhus come to you for. Sivji Maharaj told Parvati Devi, "O Devi! There are many gurus in this world who will come to take away your property and money, but there are very few gurus who will come to take away your material misery." So many gurus in this world take your property, take your money, but these are very few gurus who can rescue conditioned souls from their mundane position, from the material environment—who can grab them from their conditioned position and bring them to a liberation position, who can engage them in the service of the Deities—only such guru is a perfect guru. That is the main thing.

 

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Reforming Others
Three educational stories from the life of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and his disciple Sripad B.D. Madhav Maharaj..

 

Gaya Gora madhur svare
'Stay at home, or stay in a forest, regardless, always call out 'Hari!' In happiness and in sadness, don't forget: chant the Lord's Name aloud.'
গায় গোরা মধুর স্বরে

Everybody should think, 'How can I protect Gurudev's mission, Gurudev's devotees?
How can I fulfil Gurudev's desire?'

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