Devotion to Devotees
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: Who was the first person to show us the importance of Srimati Radhika?
Krishna always shows the importance of Srimati Radharani. Krishna Himself served Radharani's lotus feet. This is a very high topic. You know that Krishna serves Srimati Radharani in seva-kunja, so He Himself shows how important Srimati Radharani is. Moreover, when Krishna played His flute and all the gopis ran there without Srimati Radharani's permission, no rasa-lila ever happened—when Srimati Radharani came there, Radha and Krishna ran away from that place of rasa-lila (the rasa-lila was broken). Such is Her importance.
যদি গৌর না হ'ত তবে কি হইত
yadi gaura na ha'ta tabe ki ha-ita
"If Gaura had not come, then what would have happened? How would we have maintained our lives? Who would have revealed to the world Radha's glory and the extremes of Her ecstatic divine love?"
(Srila Vasudev Ghosh Thakur)
Mahaprabhu shows also the importance of Srimati Radharani.
Are there any other questions?
Question: Is there a specific planet that belongs exclusively to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates, and can we ever get admission there?
Do you doubt yourself and your practice? Your duty is to try. When you are going somewhere by car or on foot, you can see so many milestones on the way that show you that you are on the right way and how many miles there are to your destination. For example, if you go from Kolkata to Nabadwip, you can see the milestones on the road that show how many more kilometres it is to Nabadwip. So, you can easily understand through your practice how far you still have to go.
Another thing is this. "'Avasya raksibe Krsna'—visvasa palana." It is necessary to have such strongest faith that, "Yes, Krishna will protect me. Gurudev said so, then yes, it is so." Gurudev says if you practise in this way, you can enter that kind of planet—and you must believe your Guru! You must have faith in your Guru, "Yes, Gurudev said that if I preach and practise properly, then I can enter that kind of planet." When your Guru says something, you must believe it without second thoughts. Why do you have such doubts?
Also, the scriptures say that we must never differentiate between Gaura-lila and Krishna-lila. There is never any difference between the two. At the same time, one time, when I had just joined the Mission and knew almost nothing about Gaura-lila, Gurudev asked me, "What lila do you like more, Gaura-lila or Krishna-lila?" I said Gaura-lila, and Gurudev was very happy. Gaura-lila is the best, and this is realised through proper practising in our spiritual life. This is the main point in our spiritual life. Some people are interested only in Krishna-lila and they want to be or consider themselves Krishna-bhaktas, but our Gurudev, Param Gurudev, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, even Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu teach us that we must be 'dasa-dasa-dasanudasa'—servants of servants of servants.
নাহং বিপ্রো ন চ নরপতির্নাপি বৈশ্যো ন শূদ্রো
naham vipro na cha nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
"I am not a brahman, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmachari, a householder, a vanaprastha or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 13.80)
We must be servants of devotees—servants of the servant of devotees. That is our main line. This sort of inspiration comes from the Guru. Guru gives respect to devotees, Guru serves devotees, and Guru serves and follows His Guru's instruction; and a disciple should learn from their Guru, they will get inspiration from their Guru's service. We can explain it in this way also. Some preach that you must become a Krishna-bhakta, but we do not preach like this; we preach that you must be Krishna's devotees' devotee (Karshna-bhakta). There is 'Krishna' and 'Karshna'—'Karshna' means 'devotees of Krishna.' So, first become a Vaishnav-das (servant of Vaishnavs), then a Guru-das (servant of your Guru), and only after that a Krishna-das (servant of Krishna). First you must be a servant of Vaishnavs.
Srila Narottam Das Thakur and Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur always sing about the glories of Vaishnavs.
ঠাকুর বৈষ্ণবগণ করি এই নিবেদন
thakura vaisnava-gana kari ei nivedana
"O worshippable Vaisnavas, I offer you this prayer. I am very fallen and wicked."
This is a very nice mood.
গুরু কৃষ্ণরূপ হন শাস্ত্রের প্রমাণে ।
guru krsna-rupa hana sastrera pramane
"The scriptures confirm that Guru is a form of Krsna. In the form of Guru, Krishna bestows His mercy upon the fortunate."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 1.1.45)
Scriptures always give testimony that Guru is a form of the Lord, a form of Krishna—in other words, Krishna gives His mercy to devotees and comes in the form of a Guru.
Srila Narottam Das Thakur also sings,
ঠাকুর বৈষ্ণব পদ অবনীর সুসম্পদ
thakura vaisnava pada avanira susampada
"The feet of worshippable Vaishnavs are the greatest treasure on Earth. O brother! Listen to this with undivided attention. Krishna never leaves those who have taken shelter in Him. All others simply die in vain."
বৈষ্ণব চরণ-জল প্রেমভক্তি দিতে বল
vaisnava charana-jala prema-bhakti dite bala
"The water that washed the holy feet of Vaishnavs is capable of giving devotion. Nobody else possesses such power. If your head is not adorned with the dust from the holy feet of Vaishnavs, there is nothing beautiful within you."
তীর্থজল পবিত্র গুণে লিখিয়াছে পুরাণে
tirtha-jala pavitra gune likhiyachhe purane
"Scriptures describe the purifying qualities of the water from holy places of pilgrimage, but devotees consider all this water to be deception. No water from a holy place can compare with the water that washed the holy feet of Vaishnavs—this water fulfils all aspirations."
বৈষ্ণব সঙ্গেতে মন আনন্দিত অনুক্ষণ
vaisnava sangete mana anandita anuksana
"Mind always rejoices in the association of Vaishnavs—in their association, one always gets the transcendental association of Krishna. Poor Narottam is crying. My heart knows no patience, why have I fallen into this unfortunate state?"
The water of the Ganges or from some holy places of pilgrimage does not give as much hankering for devotion as the water that washed the feet of Vaishnavs does. The feet dust and the water that washed the feet of Vaishnavs are very important for our spiritual life. These are Srila Narottam Das Thakur's words. We even see in Sri Hari-bhakti-vilas that when we observe the appearance day of Sri Nrisinghadev in the month of Vaisakh, it is said that before worshipping Nrisinghadev, we must first worship Prahlad Maharaj. Krishna Himself also says, "Mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika. Devotees' worship is higher than My worship." (SB, 11.19.21) Krishna Himself says, "If you worship My devotees, it is better than if you worship Me."
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