A Rare Quality
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
It is said in the scriptures that there is one wise man among ten million selfish workers, there is one liberated soul among ten million wise men, and among ten million of such liberated souls there is one devotee of Krishna. Mahaprabhu rejected everything—even what we say:
সর্ব্বধর্ম্মান্ পরিত্যজ্য মামেকং শরণং ব্রজ ।
sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
"Give up all kinds of religion and surrender to Me alone. I will liberate you from all sins, do not despair."
Mahaprabhu rejected this as much as He did karma-misra bhakti—He said, "This is external, go further." This is the last sloka of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, but Mahaprabhu said, "Reject it!" This is what Mahaprabhu said when He was talking with Ramananda Ray on the bank of the Godavari River. You have been there with me this year, you have seen that place. I was there for the first time also. This is the place where Mahaprabhu showed Ramananda Ray His Rasa-raj Maha-bhav form.
When we go to South India with the parikrama, we will first go to Kurmaksetra (you all know Kurmadev, the tortoise incarnation), and after that there are many other places we shall visit. There is Nava Nrisingha, Pana Nrisingha and many other temples. Pana Nrisingha temple is a very beautiful place—when you offer some water to Lord Nrisinghadev there, the Lord drinks half of it and sends the other half for His devotees—the other half of the water comes out. Mahaprabhu visited that temple and many other temples of Lord Nrisinghadev in South India, He also visited the temple of Kurmadev. When Mahaprabhu was at Kurmaksetra, He met there the famous brahman who would read Srimad Bhagavad-gita and cry. We will go there later this year to take the darshan of all these places after the Ratha-yatra in Puri. We will visit the places that Mahaprabhu visited:
গৌর আমার যে সব স্থানে
gaura amara ye-saba sthane
"In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes."
Also, in this song, "Sarvasva tomara charane sampiya," we sing,
তব নিজ-জন প্রসাদ সেবিয়া
taba nija-jana prasada seviya
"Whatever remnants your devotees leave behind after honouring Your prasad, I will eat that every day in great ecstasy."
You all know the story of a brahman named Kalidas. Many devotees tried to touch Mahaprabhu's feet when they paid an obeisance to Him, but Mahaprabhu did not allow them to. This is Mahaprabhu's teaching and this is the rule we follow also—we consider ourselves very low and poor. Why will you touch the feet of such a fallen person as myself with the hand you serve the Lord with? Such was Mahaprabhu's humility. Indian devotees think that if you pay obeisance and not touch the feet, then it is not an obeisance, such is our samskar here (social culture, upbringing), but we do not consider this right—unless we leave these acquired habits and change, we will never be able to get anywhere. And we pray to you so you may try to change.
So, as I was saying, Mahaprabhu did not allow anyone to touch His feet, but there was one person whom He did allow it—He gave that right to Kalidas. When Kalidas touched Mahaprabhu's feet, everybody rushed to stop him, "Do not touch the Lord's feet!" but Mahaprabhu told them, "Leave him, do not stop him." Do you see? Kalidas was a poor brahman, not dressed well, etc., but what was his quality? He had extreme humility. His quality was such that he would never take prasadam together with Vaishnavs. He would always come to Vaishnav seva, but he would never sit in the line with all the Vaishnavs; instead, he would go to the place where they threw their banana leaf plates after taking prasadam and he would lick those plates. That is why Mahaprabhu said, "He has taken remnants of all Vaishnavs and he has became a great Vaishnav himself. You are not to stop him, he can touch My feet."
We must have Vaishnav qualities, but when it comes to prasadam time we run to sit first. I have seen many times devotees who serve prasadam keep some paneer rasa away for themselves because they think they will take prasadam last and there will not be any left for them.
It is necessary to have Vaishnav qualities...
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