Religions and Practices

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking to devotees in Caracas, Venezuela
31 August 2019, part 2

 

Do you have any questions? You can ask. I like you all, and you are all in my heart. Whatever condition you are in, whatever problem you have, I am always with you all. This is my promise.

Question: I was brought up in Christian religion and now that I am following Vaishnavism, do I have to follow only Vaishnavism or both Christianity and Vaishnavism?

No, no. We are not followers of Christianity, Vaishnavism, or anything other ism. We are jiva souls and we follow that which is the duty of the jiva soul. We preach only this. You chant the Holy Name because you are a jiva soul, and all jiva souls want to chant the Holy Name, but they have no power—trees, dogs, cats, they cannot chant, they can only stand silent or shout. People all over the world also shout or talk so much nonsense, but what is the duty of those who are fortunate? Their duty is to chant the Holy Name, and that is not Vaishnavism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, or any other ism.

Devotee: I wanted to ask if you could give your blessings to me.

May Krishna always bless you. Actually, if you get service, that is mercy. Gurudev said those who have no service, have no mercy, and those who no mercy have no service...

Any other questions?

Question: I would like to come to India.

Good, everybody is always welcome. We need people here, but I know your family financial condition is very bad, that is why I am very afraid to tell you or Purujit Prabhu also to send people here. I know the plane fare costs too much money and it is also very difficult to get out of the country also, but if anybody is able to come, you are always welcome.

Question: I went to the temple in Colombia recently and I want now to leave the country and live there.

Do you live alone? What are you going to do there?

Devotee: Yes, I live alone. I want to work there, help the devotees and send something to Parama Karuna.

OK, but you must always keep connection with the Caracas temple. Anywhere you stay, you must always remember Gurudev, Guru Maharaj and Parama Karuna Nitai Gaurachandra. Always keep connection with the temple, do not forget this connection, that is the main thing. If you go to some place for service and stay there, it is not a problem, but if you stay somewhere alone for your own enjoyment, your own interest, that is not good.

Question: I have heard that there is no difference between sannyasis, brahmacharis, grihasthas, but some devotees explain that there is difference.

It is generally thought that grihasthas serve 50% and the brahmacharis who serve without any selfish interest serve 100%. If you read my book (Guidance 3), you can see there a chapter called 'Householders and Renuciates', then you can understand it. I am going to read only one-two words from it. I wrote there also about hell, renunciation, etc.

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur wrote in the seventh chapter of his Jaiva-dharma:

1) In Kali-yuga, one should be a grihastha Vaishnav. One must not be afraid to fall down—it is possible to have a complete and flourishing devotion. There are many transcendental gurus among the grihastha Vaishnavs.

2) Some of the grihastha devotees are qualified to become griha-tyagi Vaishnavs (devotees who give up their home). Their number in this world is very little and it is very difficult to get their association.

3) Vrajanath asks old Babaji Mahasay in the seventeenth chapter of Jaiva-dharma, "If we call one a Vaishnav, does it mean that it is a 'griha-tyagi' (renounced) Vaishnav?" Babaji Mahasay replied, "A Vaishnav is a pure devotee of Krishna, be it a grihastha or a griha-tyagi, a brahman or a chandal (meat-eater), a rich man or a poor man. The extent to which one has devotion to Krishna is the extent to which they are a devotee of Krishna."

4) Old Babaji Mahasay said again in the twenty-second chapter of Jaiva-dharma that as long as one does not get the qualification or right to renounce their home (to become a griha-tyagi), one must serve Krishna as a grihastha. The pastimes Mahaprabhu performed during His first twenty-four years are an example for the grihastha Vaishnavs, and the pastimes He performed during His last twenty-four years are an example for the griha-tyagi Vaishnavs. So we do not think that one cannot attain the highest love for Krishna while being a grihastha: most of the recepients of Mahaprabhu's mercy are grihasthas, and the griha-tyagi Vaishnavs pray for the feet dust of such grihasthas.

Hearing all these instructions of Om Visnupad Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, many materialist householders were ready to get signed up as eternal slaves in the religion's ledger. If one can achieve the acme of perfection while carrying on enjoying, what intelligent person will want then to give up this kind of practice where you can have your bread buttered on both sides?

Followers of concocted religions resulting from the national sentimentalism as well as covetous materialists mix together enjoyment, renunciation and spiritual practise; this doctrine of prakrita-sahajiyas presented under disguise of spiritual search has been going on in this world since time immemorial. In fact, such views are distorted reflections of the teachings of the great souls in the mirror of sense gratification. To save us from this danger, our spiritual masters explain the distinction between two terms, 'griha-vrata' and 'grihastha'. Real grihasthas (housholders) are not devoted to their homes—they are devoted to Krishna. Real sannyasis are those who do not renounce Krishna and kasna (servant of Krishna)—they live as members of Krishna's family, or they are attached to the house of the Lord and His devotees. There is no difference between the essence of Vaishnava grihasthas and Vaishnava sannyasis.

Those who are attached to their homes are already fallen souls and at every moment face the slippery waterfall of spiritual failure, so there is no fear of falling down.

You can read this book later, it is coming out in Spanish language soon—the printing has already finished and now they are doing the binding. Get this book and read it every day.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.

I am always with you. Always remember Gurudev and Guru Maharaj, they will protect you all. I am thanking you all, muchos gracias.

Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
Visva-varenya Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
Jay saparikara Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Govinda Sundarjiu ki jay
Jay Om Vishnupad Bhagavan Sri Srila Prabhupad ki jay
Rupanuga guru-varga ki jay
Namacharya Haridas Thakur ki jay
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math ki jay
Parama Karuna Nitai Gaurachandra Prabhu ki jay
All the Caracas devotees ki jay
All the South American devotees ki jay
All the worldwide devotees ki jay
Harinam sankirtan ki jay
Jay Sripad Purujit Prabhu ki jay
Harinam sankirtan ki jay
All the worldwide devotees ki jay
Samagata sannyasi-vrinda, brahmachari-vrinda ki jay
Samagata Sri Gaura-bhakta-vrinda ki jay
Nitai Gaura premanande Hari bol

 

 

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Come to Your Home
You have to be chaste, have to be clear. Take Gurudev's boat, and one day that boat will take you to Vrindavan. You have to believe that..

 

Sri-guru-charana-padma
'He who gave me the gift of eyes is my lord, birth after birth. He manifested divine knowledge in my heart. He gives prema-bhakti and destroys ignorance. The Vedas sing of his character.'
শ্রীগুরুচরণ-পদ্ম

You must also control your tongue—tongue means bad talking and bad eating, or eating too much.

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