Exclusive Attention

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nrisingha Palli, morning class
16 March 2019, translated from Bengali, part 3

 

"Taba nija-jana prasada seviya uchchhistha rakhibe yaha (তব নিজ-জন প্রসাদ সেবিয়া উচ্ছিষ্ট রাখিবে যাহা)—whatever remnants Vaishnavs leave, I shall take that every day." One time, a brahmachari got married and told about it to Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj. Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj told him, "Yes, you did good, I have no objection. However, your duty will be such that when your wife cooks bhoga, offers it, and the prasadam comes from the Deities' room, she must take that prasadam first, and after she takes it, you must take your wife's remnants." Do you know why he said that? So that the man would not think, "I have got married, so now I shall enjoy my wife. She is an object of my enjoyment." Rather, he must think, "My wife is a servitor of the Lord. She serves the Lord, and I am her servant. I have come to this world to serve the Lord. My wife is not for my enjoyment. Krishna is the only enjoyer—only He can enjoy, and I am only her servant." Such service mood must come.

This should be our main quality, we must understand this. "My wife is the servant of the Lord, and I shall be her servant"—such conception must come. "I will be her servant." We must always remember this. "My wife is my servant, I am the master of the house, I am the man, I earn money"—such mood must not come, this is wrong. You may be working, but you do not earn the money—the Lord provides the money, He arranges for it, and you are merely keeping the Lord's money. All householder devotees, or any other devotees, should understand that you may have some money, but that money is not yours, that is the Lord's money, Krishna's money. Sadhus do you a favour—they take your money and use it for the service of the Lord. Actually, whatever money you may have does not belong to you—Krishna merely keeps that money in your hand. We must always think in this way.

We forget what our duty is, what for we have come to this world, what for we have got this kind of body, but we must use everything, including this body, for the service of the Lord.

I remember Gurudev told me one time that once an ISKCON devotee came to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj to take sannyas. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj told him, "You are a devotee of Krishna, so you must wait before you take sannyas. First you must become Radharani's devotee, Gauranga's devotee, then I can give you sannyas." What does it mean to be a devotee of Gauranga Mahaprabhu? Mahaprabhu was always in separation mood—He always hankered, "Where did Krishna go? Where can I find Him?" He was relishing this mood of the Vraja gopis. And what do we know? We do not even have the basic sambandha-jnana (knowledge of what is what, the relationship with the Lord), but we say that we have already become great Vaishnavs. We put on tilaks, wear Tulasi beads, and we think we have become great Vaishnavs. One does not become a Vaishnav just by putting tilaks and wearing Tulasi beads.

“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।

গোরার আচার, গোরার বিচার লইলে ফল ফলে ॥

"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
gorara achara, gorara vichara la-ile phala phale

Just saying, "I am Gora's! I am Gora's!" does not do. Only when you follow Gora's practices and Gora's conception will you get the proper result.

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6)

What did Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad also say? One time, when Gaura Purnima was over, everybody came to Srila Prabhupad to give some pranami and say they were leaving, but all of a sudden they could not find Srila Prabhupad anywhere. They searched everywhere and in the end they found him hiding in his room and crying. Srila Prabhupad was crying! Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj was there and stayed a little far, but he heard Prabhupad say, "Do not cheat me!" He was surprised to hear it, but then Prabhupad explained, "Do not forget me! You have done parikrama with us for seven days, you have entered into some relationship with us—do not forget us now! Do not cheat me!" What was Prabhupad telling? He also said, "You say you are going home? Why are you going there? Even if your house is burning, let it be, you do not have to go there!" But we do not want to hear all this—we do not want to hear, we do not want to understand what the Guru is telling us... Always remember this...

When you listen to what the Guru is saying, you must listen with one-pointed determination, attention, you must listen with your heart—this is our only duty. There are sixty-four devotional practices, but if you practice even one of them, then all sixty-four practices are accomplished. Have you heard about this? Do you understand the meaning of these words? Among those sixty-four practices, there are also these five best practices:

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith."

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124

I have written both these five and the sixty-four devotional practices in the Bengali calendar, you can read it there. What is sadhu-sanga? It is only Krishna-katha—you must listen to only Krishna-katha. If you sit at a class and do your mala, how can you concentrate on either of them? You cannot listen to the class and do mala at the same time—it will be Nama-aparadh. I have seen many times that when Bhagavat-katha is going on, some sit and do mala, but the result is they are not doing either of the practices properly—if you are doing mala, you cannot listen to Hari-katha. When Hari-katha is going on, your mind must be all attentive. Suppose you are cooking or cutting vegetables—do not talk nonsense, do not talk about this and that; only think about Krishna. If you are cooking, cutting vegetables, you cannot be chanting on your beads at that time, but when you cook for Krishna, your cooking will be Krishna-Nam. Cooking too can be chanting. Remember this.

সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণনামে—এই মাত্র চাই ।

সংসার জিনিতে আর কোন বস্তু নাই ॥

sadhu-sange krsna-nama—ei matra chai
samsara jinite ara kona vastu nai

I desire only to chant the Name of Krishna in the association of the sadhus. There is no other way to conquer samsara.

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 6.13)

If you practise even one of the devotional practices, then all sixty-four practices are accomplished. This is also written in the book about the glories of the Holy Name that you all got at the time of initiation. When you hear Bhagavatam or when you for example chant the kirtan, "Ohe Vaishnava Thakura dayara sagara e dase karuna kari'"—can you be chanting this and chanting Hare Krishna at the same time? You can say yourself that it does not work that way. That is why when you practise one of the practices, you must give full attention to that practice:

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith."

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124

In the same way, when there is Nama-sankirtan, you cannot be chanting on your beads at that time. When you practise sravan-kirtan, then the chanting of the Holy Name is automatically done. One time, somebody asked Prabhupad, "How can we practise all sixty-four practices at the same time?" Prabhupad said, "If you practise even one of those practices, then all the sixty-four practices are accomplished." Try to understand what I am saying.

Devotee: What about chanting on mala during parikrama?

It is not necessary! Only go and chant with the kirtan otherwise you will be doing much Nama-aparadh (offence) instead of the Holy Name.

 

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Come to Your Senses
'You have got a human birth and it is an opportunity to finish your wandering throughout the samsar. This human birth is so auspicious, but if we do not worship the Lord properly, do not practise properly, then time and time again we will have to keep returning to this world of birth, death, old age, and disease.'

 

Jaya jaya gurudever
'Your eternally liberated associates sing your glories in Goloka, the realm of your Pastimes.'
জয় জয় গুরুদেবের

Because of our ego we think we have done so many things and we are doing
so many things—that is why we become tired and hopeless.

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