Purposeful Preaching

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 6 September 2020, part 7

 

[His Divine Grace responds regarding several preaching programmes organised by the devotees:]

May Krishna bless you. Gurudev is always with you. It is necessary to preach well to the educated people. Sripad Bon Maharaj said that our Param Gurudev Srila Sridhar Maharaj is the best preacher for the educated people. You are also doing some preaching to scientists; they are all running behind maya, they are controlled by Lord Krishna's maya (illusory environment). Try to take them out of there.

Preaching is necessary. When you preach, you get pleasure, you get everything. I have told you that when I tell something, I myself get energy—devotees listen to it and I am also listening to it and I myself become purified. I speak about Srila Gurudev's katha—Srila Guru Maharaj's lectures, Srila Gurudev's lecture—I speak about the character of devotees, the character of Vaishnavs, about the divine character of Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Gurudev—and it gives so much nourishment to me, it gives purification to me. We all have so many faults, we have so many unwanted elements, but, still, we must give everything we have to Srila Gurudev's lotus feet and Srila Guru Maharaj's lotus feet. That is the main thing.

Question: We heard an expression "Vaikuntha-vritti" of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur—he was ready to make any necessary arrangement to attract the public, he even said he was ready to serve restaurant food in London if it was necessary. Srila Guru Maharaj objected to it saying that it may not look good for the mission, and then Srila Saraswati Thakur said, "We must be Vaikuntha-vritti." So, how can we balance this open-mindedness in preaching and at the same time maintain the unalloyed message and purity of our endeavour?

When Srila Sridhar Maharaj joined Gaudiya Math in 1926, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur mentioned one sloka from Srimad Bhagavad-gita (3.21),

yad yad acharati sresthas, tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute, lokas tad anuvartate

"The masses follow the ways of great men, following the standards they set."

Ordinary people who do not know about Krishna consciousness, always follow a great personality because they think this great personality always does something good. So, Srila Prabhupad said, "I am very happy today because such an educated person as Ramendra Sundar has joined Mahaprabhu's mission, he come to participate in Mahaprabhu's mission. I am more than happy about that." So, if somebody comes to Krishna consciousness—if somebody practises Krishna consciousness—it gives us very much pleasure, as Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told to Srila Sridhar Maharaj.

Devotee: Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupad also used that sloka saying, "All world is following America, so let me go to America and change them, then everybody will also follow them and join the Krishna consciousness movement."

Yes, that is why Nityananda Prabhu first went to covert Madhai and Jagai. We are even more unqualified than Jagai and Madhai because Jagai and Madhai had done many many nonsense things but they had never done a Vaishnav-aparadh, but we always make Vaishnav-aparadh. Somebody asked me once, "How can that be? They beat Nityananda Prabhu! How is it possible that they did not make a Vaishnav-aparadh?" The answer is this—if they had not beaten Nityananda Prabhu, then how would the glory of Nityananda Prabhu be revealed in this world?

 

I am praying for everybody that you may all remain in good health. I will see you next week. You are giving all your affection, love, everything to Gurudev, and it is a great fortune for me because you are all giving me some small place in your heart. That is my great luck and great fortune. I have no quality, but you keep me in your heart for Gurudev, and I will also try to keep you all in my heart.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.

 


 

[Additional reading on the subject of preaching and maintaining the purity of purpose. From Guidance 4, Chapter "Satisfying the Lord is very life of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Krishnanusilana Sangha":]

There is a regular assembly in our Sangha. Distinguished Vaisnavs have assembled here today. We should be always conscious of our main purpose. Servitude to Lord Krishna, striving to bring happiness to Lord Krishna are the main purposes of our Mission. This search for Sri Krishna is the only and main duty of jiva souls.

"jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya-dasa"

"By their nature, jiva souls are eternal servants of Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, 2.20.108)

Great souls have established this sangha so that others can attain servitude to Krishna and love for Krishna—they have made this sangha so that every jiva soul, individually and collectively, could attain Lord Sri Krishna. We must accept whatever is necessary for the loving service of Lord Sri Krishna, but we must also give up that which is unfavourable to devotion. That is why a great soul said, "Anukulyasya samkalpah, pratikulya vivarjjanam. Accept what is favourable, reject what is unfavourable." (Vaisnava-tantra)

Thinking how to bring benefit to the souls of this age, the guru-varga has established this sangha to practise Krishna consciousness timely and regularly. This is their great contribution: everyone should appreciate their way of bestowing mercy in the manner that is suitable for the current age. The centre of this Mission's heart is satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. If we do something without heart, only forcing our mind and body, we will be inevitably cheated—we will leave guru-varga's mercy. It is necessary to temporarily hold many external functions to go along with the outside people so that the main purpose of this Mission does not become disturbed or covered. This is arranged to let the outside people enjoy. For example, we arrange for security of the door, gate, or wall so that everyone could sit inside and practise devotional life without intrusion. However, if we place too much emphasis on the wall and gate, this is not right. By our constitution we like to give priority to some things, it is true, but the managers must be intently alert to make sure that we never forget the inner mood or main spirit of the Sangha. We must never allow the core of our lives to be concealed; if the core of our Mission's heart becomes concealed, then the Mission becomes futile. Some cumbersome to our constitution situations often want to conceal the main purpose—at such times we must be very cautious; at such times, we must bring the main purpose (satisfaction of the Supreme Lord) to the forefront.

Srimati Vinoda-vani made a very beautiful expression in her homage. She called the external pomp 'sensational deeds.' Outside people value an outward show. In the name of devotion, many do things to impress others, but such sensational deeds or spectacular deeds are external demonstration. If we become busy with demonstration in the name of devotion to impress outside people, then this life is absolutely useless. In the domain of devotion, even if you publish many books, there is some intellectual show in it. The glare of spectacular deeds in the domain of knowledge (printing many books, magazines, etc.) strikes our eye. If we give big lectures, gather large assemblies, get many people to applaud—there is demonstrative value in it. All these things can help us in the domain of devotion as long as we remain acutely aware of the main purpose, the root of such external activities. A little of such sensational deeds is not harmful, but if the glare of such things blinds our eyes and we forget the main purpose, then it is wrong and should be rejected. Many times, when devotees were going to make some arrangement, they would first write to Srila Prabhupad. He is maha-bhagavata-uttama (the highest Vaisnav)—for him, all these things are beautiful, and even if he was making all these demonstrative things, his vision never wavered. He utilised everything for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. He has such a strong acumen, he is such a great expert in devotional service that through publishing many books, establishing many temples, gathering large committees, he brought happiness to his worshippable Lord. Because his quality was such, it was possible. However, if we imitate Srila Prabhupad and do what he did, there is a possibility that in the name of satisfying the Lord we will deviate from the main course. Actually, if somebody has the qualification for this, then if they do such things, they will increase the beauty of the domain of devotion.

Srila Prabhupad is the greatest priest in the satisfaction of the Lord. He does not pretend to be a guru—he appeared in this material world as a self-realised great soul. If you try to imitate him, declaring and shouting that because something was done by Srila Prabhupad, you can do it too, such an angle of vision is of a very low plane. People imitate him thinking this is the highest goal in life. If you try to imitate Srila Prabhupad on account of being his disciple, but inside you do not appreciate the spirit of his service style, then you can never be successful in your life. Karma-kanda (material life) and jnana-kanda (life for knowledge) give more emphasis on spectacular deeds. If somebody places more emphasis only on rituals on account of being a disciple, but there is no heart beat in it, then as a result of such imitation, they will be removed far away from the domain of devotion—such 'disciples' are drowning in an unfathomable ocean and do not make it to the domain of devotion. Imitating Srila Prabhupad, many are opening temples, making exhibitions, assemblies, committees, and publishing books. This is nothing else but lifeless transgression of one's rights. It is more beneficial to follow the path of devotion according to your own rights without taking interest in the activities of the outside world.

sve sve 'dhikare ya nistha sa gunah parikirtitah
viparyayas tu dosah syad ubhayor esa nischayah

"Steadiness in one's own position is declared to be actual piety, whereas deviation from one's position is considered impiety. In this way the two are definitely ascertained."

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.21.2)

If you live according to your right, or qualification, it is good for you. Sri Sri Gaurasundar will be pleased with that. Try to satisfy Him with whatever you have. You have money, knowledge, intelligence and health—give everything for His pleasure and service, you cannot but be benefitted. Whatever resources you have—you have money, people, etc.—serve with everything you have. Such great souls as Srila Rupa Goswamipad, Srila Raya Ramananda, Srila Prabhupad, and others, showed their love for Sri Sri Gaurasundar through everything they had. We should follow their exalted ideal. If we try to imitate them without following their ideal, it will be a mistake. Srila Rupa Goswamipad stayed under a different tree each night when he was in Vrndavan—he would chew dry chickpea and compose scriptures out of love for Sri Sri Gaurasundar. If you try to imitate his extremely exalted example, you will invite a catastrophe into your life. This is sheer grimacing. In the same way, it is not necessary to imitate Srila Prabhupad. Try to follow him in your life. As much capacity you have, try to serve—it will make Sri Sri Gaurasundar happy. If you do what He does not want from you, it will be not right. If you have manpower, you have money, or anything else, do not cheat with it, do not let it make you idle. "O Supreme All-Pervading Lord! Please give me the intelligence so that I may not be deceitful in Your service or may not transgress my rights." Deceit, fame, competition, other desires obstruct the path of devotion. It is necessary to be particularly careful not to get into the habit of looking at others, imitating others, not to let the outer glitter pull us away from the beauty of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Gaurasundar.

Where does my strength lie? It is such a great fortune to get the association of a few sincere pure Vaisnavs, such fortune has no comparison. Association of one sincere Vaisnav is sufficient for one's life. They do not come to the Mission with any evil diabolic plan, nor do they want to get any position. They may not have so much qualification, but this does not matter. My only fear is that I can deviate from the service to your holy lotus feet. I do not want thousands of disciples or temples along the Ganges. I do not need millions of rupees. I do not want an assemblage of people driven by the material modes of ignorance. I do not want quantitative success, I want qualitative success. When there are many people, they start fighting with sticks. If you give a danda (a holy staff of a mendicant monk, sannyasi) to many people, they will end up fighting with these dandas. If a sannyasi's danda turns into a stick, then you are in for a great disaster approaching the domain of devotion. We must watch out that our danda does not turn into a stick and make sure our devotional strength increases. If we become renunciates, we must watch out that we do not spend our life in laziness. If you get even fifteen sincere pure Vaisnavs, then devotion will not be overcast. So many scriptures are being published, so many temples are being opened that often devotion becomes overcast. When service necessity comes, we should not sleep—and if I do fall asleep, my friends will guide me.

 

— : • : —

 

 

 

 

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Chaste and Selfless
'If you have attachment to service for your own happiness, not for the happiness of your Guru, if your own happiness means more to you than the happiness of your Guru, then it is a problem.'

 

Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'When will this soul attain such mercy and become fulfilled?'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

If we think that we lose our service and
it is somebody's fault—that is an offence, seva-aparadh.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"