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Bitter Pill to Swallow

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nrisingha Palli, evening class
17 March 2019, translated from Bengali, part 2


Many of you are doing this parikrama, and many others also do this parikrama, but how many people actually, truly serve the Lord? Gurudev once asked me, "Maharaj, you have gone village to village, preached in so many various places and brought so many people to me for initiation, but tell me honestly, how many percent people really practise Krishna consciousness?" Prabhupad also said, "How many percent people can I actually call my disciple? How many disciples do I actually have?" Who is called a disciple? Prabhupad always thought, "I do not see you as my disciple, rather I see you as the Lord Himself. I am trying to give you a relation with the Lord so that you could engage yourself in His service, that is why I am serving you." Taking disciples does not mean making servants and maidservants for oneself. So, what I am saying is this—how many people have 100% chastity? How many have actually left the material world (visaya)?

Bhaktivinod Thakur says,

নিদ্রলস্য-হত সুকার্য্যে বিরত
অকার্য্যে উদ্যোগী আমি

nidralasya hata sukarya
virata akarya udyogi ami

"I am ruined by laziness and sleep, averse to performing good deeds, and eager to perform sinful deeds."

We are ruined by laziness and sleep... We spend our days on sleeping, etc. but do we have time on all this? Do we have time for the material life? How much longer will you live? You cannot even say if you will live for one year longer. There are millions of life forms in this universe, and you have already passed millions of lifetimes—compared to that, one year or seven years of life is nothing, it is so small. Although we have got this human birth by a great fortune, but we are wasting this previous time.

If you give chanting beads to a pig, dog, or goat, what will they do with it? If you give a garland to a goat, it will eat it, and there is no use trying to explain anything to it. There are different types of consciousness—achchhadita-chetan (fully covered consciousness), sankuchita-chetan (closed, subdued consciousness), mukulita-chetan (budding consciousness), vikachita-chetan (blooming consciousness), and purna-vikachita-chetan (fully blossomed consciousness). Having got this human birth, we have learnt higher truths, but in the meantime our days pass in endless hurrying and running around, how much time we waste...

Only taking beads from the Guru is not what is called initiation. When you hear what Gurudev says and follow it, practise it, when you engage yourself in his service, when you surrender yourself fully and have faith, then you can call it initiation. If we can serve our Guru and Vaishnavs, then we can get the supreme benefit. What shall I say? I keep telling you the same thing over and over again, but you cannot hear me. You prefer talking village talks and listening to village news. We only pretend to be practising, but we do not understand what it actually means to practise Krishna consciousness. We do not know what is called practising Krishna consciousness.

Srila Prabhupad said, "If you serve jiva souls, it gives benefit to your soul as well." The general idea of the service to the jiva souls found in this world is not service because almost all souls in this world are averse. You can give somebody some clothes, you give somebody some food or money, but this is external—you can give somebody some medicine and they will get relief, but their soul will not get any benefit. You must think of your own benefit also—eating well, doing some materially good deeds does not give you benefit. You only think about this body, but you do not think about your own self. Sadhus, Gurus, and Vaishnavs tell you again and again, again and again, again and again, again and again, but we give preference to gramya-katha and amusing talks. You know, when we were going on the parikrama today, I kept watching how many people chant kirtan and how many people do other things or just walk silently. I saw that some were actually walking and telling stories to each other. I stand high on the cart during the parikrama and from time to time I look behind and observe what everyone is doing, and I have seen that people cannot chant the Holy Name—they are busy telling stories to each other. I chant for ten hours a day and feel happy. We must be like this. We only worry about the happiness of this body, but when will we give up our material ego?

গলবস্ত্র কৃতাঞ্জলি বৈষ্ণব নিকটে ।
দন্তে তৃণ করি দাঁড়াইব নিষ্কপটে ॥

gala-vastra krtanjali vaisnava-nikate
dante trna kari' dandaiba niskapate

With a cloth around my neck, joined palms, and straw between my teeth, I will sincerely submit myself at the Vaishnav's feet.

We must not pretend saying this, we must not cheat—we do not grasp the feet of Vaishnavs just to impress people:

“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.

লোক দেখান গোরা ভজা তিলক মাত্র ধরি ।

গোপনেতে অত্যাচার গোরা ধরে চুরি ॥

loka dekhana gora bhaja tilaka matra dhari'
gopanete atyachara gora dhare churi

You show the world you serve Gora simply by wearing tilak but secretly you misbehave. Gora will catch you, you thief!

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6-7)

Gora knows it! People shed floods of tears, but who of them actually knows what is the real practice of Krishna consciousness? Krishna consciousness means chaste adherence to Vaishnavs (anugatya), serving Vaishnavs. We pray that we may not become proud—that we do not think that we have become a Vaishnav, we have become an acharya:

'আমি ত' বৈষ্ণব', এ বুদ্ধি হইলে
অমানী না হ'ব আমি ।

"ami ta' vaisnava," e-buddhi ha-ile,
amani na ha'ba ami

"If I think, 'I am a Vaishnav,' then I will never stop expecting honour from others (I will never become void of the desire for honour)."

(Kalyan-kalpataru, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

দৈন্য, দয়া, অন্যে মান, প্রতিষ্ঠা বর্জ্জন ।
চারিগুণে গুণী হই করহ কীর্ত্তন ॥

dainya, daya, anye mana, pratistha-varjana
chari-gune guni hai karaha kirtana

Humility, mercy, consideration of others, and giving up position are the four qualities needed to perform kirtan.

Humility, compassion are the true qualities, but we are so much attached to material things. We have so many material attachments.

আসক্তিরহিত সম্বন্ধসহিত ।
বিষয়সমূহ সকলি মাধব ॥

'asakti-rahita,' 'sambandha-sahita,'
visaya-samuha sakali 'madhava'

"When you are free from material attachment and establish relationship with the Lord, then you will see that everything around you is Lord Madhav Himself."

('Vaishnav ke?' verse 12)

You have heard about this. There must be no attachment and there must be relation with the Lord. Chaitanya-charitamrita explains what sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana are—if you read it, you will understand what is relation with the Guru, how to build and keep it. It is necessary to know these things. We think that the Guru is an ordinary mortal man and we do not heed the order of the Guru. Instead, we are eager to use our wife and children for our own service as our menial servants—we do not even make an attempt to engage them in the service to the Lord...


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