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Highest Perfection

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nrisingha Palli, evening class
17 March 2019, translated from Bengali, part 4


We must preach about the Lord and practise Krishna consciousness. I tell you something, you hear it, but when you hear about Krishna consciousness, you should then preach about these things to others properly. I see so many people have come for the parikrama, and what did I tell you? If one person comes, then preaches to one other person about Krishna consciousness and brings them to the Math, to the lotus feet of the Guru and Vaishnavs, then the number will double. Is it not so? But we are not able to do this because we cannot convert our own selves, we cannot practise properly ourselves—we cannot follow ourselves what we preach. Therefore, always be surrendered, always take shelter of the Guru and Vaishnavs. Be surrendered.

দৈন্য, আত্মনিবেদন, গোপ্তৃত্বে বরণ ।
'অবশ্য রক্ষিবে কৃষ্ণ'—বিশ্বাস পালন ॥
ভক্তি-অনুকূল মাত্র কার্য্যের স্বীকার ।
ভক্তি-প্রতিকূল ভব—বর্জ্জনাঙ্গীকার ॥

dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
'avasya raksibe krsna'—visvasa palana
bhakti-anukula matra karyera svikara
bhakti-pratikula bhava—varjanangikara

"(1) Humility, (2) self-submission, (3) embracing the Lord's guardianship, (4) maintaining the faith that 'Krishna will certainly protect me', (5) engaging only in activities that are favourable to devotion, (6) rejecting everything unfavourable to devotion."

Humility, self-submission, Krishna maintains and Krishna protects, and accepting what is favourable to devotion and rejecting what is unfavourable—this is surrender. You cannot do what is favourable without rejecting what is unfavourable. You think you will drink milk and along with that you will smoke, but then all the good property of the milk will be gone. Suppose you are sitting and doing a fire sacrifice—if you put one spoon ghee and then one spoon water into the fire, will the fire burn? It will not. Gurudev tells you something, and you think, "I will listen to these three things, and I will not listen to those two other things." This is wrong. You must listen to all five out of five things. You must listen and try to do whatever your Guru tells you.

Remember it very well.

Some do service for one day and then say, "Oh, I cannot do it!" and they laugh at others, "What are you doing? Why don't you do it?" We must give this up—do not look at who is doing what. Why do you try to become a manager? There is only one manager, and the manager will manage, you must not push in—you must only try to serve with your heart and soul, think about the Lord with every fibre of your soul. How will you think about the Lord? The Lord will take care of that—we must have such faith.

'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
কৃষ্ণে ভক্তি কৈলে সর্ব্বকর্ম্ম কৃত হয় ॥

'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

"Sraddha is firm, determined faith that by service to Krishna all actions are accomplished."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62)

Strongest faith is necessary. "Drdha kari' dhara nitaira paya (দৃঢ় করি ধর নিতাই পায়)—firmly grasp Nitai's feet." We must hold onto the feet of Vaishnavs strongly—and not just holding onto them and at the same time looking some other side.

Today is also ekadasi tithi, you know it.

[His Divine Grace sings Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu:]

bhakata-seva parama-siddhi
prema-latikara mula [1]

The dust of pure devotees' feet is favourable to devotion. Serving the devotees is the supreme fulfilment and the root of the creeper of divine love.

Service to devotees is the highest perfection. Do you know how one serves devotees? Doing what pleases your mind is not service to devotees—it is service to maya. You know, there was one devotee who used to cook for Guru Maharaj (Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj) and later took sannyas from me. One day, Guru Maharaj told him, "Cook some neem begun [bitter eggplant dish] today." That devotee went to the market, got some begun and other things. When he came back, he made so many dishes for Gurudev, but he did not make the neem begun. When he served prasadam to Gurudev, Gurudev asked him, "Where is the neem begun?" He said, "Gurudev, how can I give you only neem begun? I have made so many other things for you instead!"

You know also Madhavendra Puri had a disciple named Ramachandra Puri. Madhavendra Puri would often recite the "Ayi dina-dayardra natha he" sloka and cry, "O Mathuranath! Be merciful to me! How will I ever get the Lord?" So, one day Ramachandra Puri came to him and asked, "Why are you crying? Everything is brahman, what is there to cry about?" Madhavendra Puri got angry, "Get out, you sinner! I am dying with pain and you come to give me even more pain!" He is suffering from the agony of separation from Krishna, and Ramachandra Puri comes and asks, "Why are you crying?" Then you know what happened to that Ramachandra Puri in the end...

So, service is what Gurudev wants—service is doing what Vaishnavs want. If you do what you think is right (if you follow the whims of your mind), this is not service, it is karma—if you do karma, you will become bound by it and the result of karma's bondage is submerging into visaya and enduring hellish suffering time and time again. Always remember it.

madhava-tithi bhakti-janani
yatane palana kari
krsna-vasati vasati bali'
parama adare vari [2]

I carefully observe the holy days related to Madhava. They are the mother of devotion. With great adoration, I embrace the abode of Krishna as my own.

gaura amara ye-saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se-saba sthana heriba ami
pranayi-bhakata-sange [3]

In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar visited during His Pastimes.

"Se-saba sthana heriba ami (I behold all the places)": what does 'heriba' [lit. 'see, behold'] mean?

Devotee: To see.

'To see'? No. It means to have a darshan. We must see these places with the eyes of our heart. If you stay in the association of Vaishnavs and if Vaishnavs give you their mercy, then you can have the darshan of those pastimes and places; otherwise not. You can behold the water, peacocks, feel pleasant wind, etc. All plants, trees, etc. here are Vaishnavs. Even the very dust is devotees. The Lord Himself came to this abode, roamed it, and played here. We only come here to circumambulate it with kirtan.

As for "pranayi-bhakata-sange" (in the company of loving devotees): we must enter into relationship with devotees and pray at their feet that we may be able to do this parikrama...

mrdanga-vadya sunite mana
avasara sada yache
gaura-vihita kirtana suni'
anande hrdaya nache [4]

My heart always begs for the opportunity to hear the sound of the mrdanga. Hearing the kirtan prescribed by Sri Gaurasundar, my heart dances with joy.

yugala-murti dekhiya mora
parama-ananda haya
prasada-seva karite haya
sakala prapancha jaya [5]

Beholding the Deity forms of the Divine Couple, I feel the greatest joy. By honouring prasad, I overcome the entire material illusion.

Prapancha means there are five (panch) diseases (roga)—avidya (ignorance), asmita (false identification), raga (misdirected love), dvesa (aversion to anything that goes against one's enjoyment), and abhinivesa (being unable to give up unfavourable habits).

This is written in the [Bengali] calendar. Take it with you home. You will find there what is favourable to devotion, what is unfavourable, what is enthusiasm, what the obstacles to devotion are, what the six urges are, what the six faults are, etc. Always read it and try to correct yourself. We see others' faults, but we do not see our own faults, but Vaishnavs are adosa-darasi, they never see others' fault, they always see their own faults. We must remember this.

"Gaura-vihita kirtana suni'": what kirtan should we listen to? Not gramya-kirtan (village kirtans), not gramya-varta (village news), not panchmisali gramya-katha (hodge-podge village talks). If you listen to all these things even for millions of lifetimes, you will never get the Lord through that.

You know, before Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur came, people used to use and sell Mahaprabhu. What does it mean? People used to use Mahaprabhu to earn money for themselves. There are temples even here in Nabadwip where you have to pay 5-10 rupees' entrance fee—they say that if you buy a ten-rupee ticket, you can see the Lord. They sell Gaura, they sell kirtan...

ye-dina grhe bhajana dekhi
grhete goloka bhaya
charana-sidhu dekhiya ganga
sukha na sima paya [6]

On days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there. Seeing the Ganges, the nectar from the Lord's feet, my happiness has no limit.

tulasi dekhi' judaya prana
madhava-tosani jani'
gaura-priya saka-sevane
jivana sarthaka mani [7]

Seeing Tulasi Devi soothes my soul, for I know she pleases Madhava. Honouring sak, Sri Gaurasundar's favourite, I consider my life successful.

Mahaprabhu's favourite things are panch-tarkari (mixed vegetables), thor, mocha (banana stem and banana flower), chhana rasa (paneer rasa), pulao, etc. We should have taste for and attachment to the things that the Lord likes; in this way, our life can become successful. We should honour (i.e. serve) the sak that is dear to Gaura. There is no need for big things.

bhakativinoda krsna-bhajane
anukula paya yaha
prati-divase parama-sukhe
svikara karaye taha [8]

Whatever Bhakti Vinod obtains that is favourable to Krsna's service, he accepts every day with the greatest joy.


[His Divine Grace then chants 'Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna', 'Hari Haraye Name Krishna', the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, and the jaya dhvani, finishing thus the evening class on the first day of Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama.]


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