"I Am Proud, I Am Astonished,
and I Am Very Grateful"

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 13 September 2020, part 3

 

Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj told our Gurudev (Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj), "I cannot mix with these foreign devotees properly, neither can I understand their culture so much, but if you take charge of the foreign devotees, it will be good for me and it will make me happy." And Gurudev did that. Gurudev took charge of all foreign devotees, and I saw in Gurudev's time from 1992 that Gurudev gave much attention to the foreign devotees. If somebody was Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's disciple or Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupad's disciple, they actually got much more association, relation and time from our Gurudev Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj than from their own Guru (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj or Srila Sridhar Maharaj). Gurudev engaged everybody through the teaching of Mahaprabhu ("be humble, tolerant and give honour to others"). Gurudev gave so much respect to many devotees. I have seen many disciples of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, there are still so many sannyasi even now who have got much association of our Gurudev. Gurudev gave them his association and so much respect—he gave them more respect than they even had. That is why, they can never forget that kind of association, they cannot forget Gurudev.

This is the reason why I am also getting now so much love and affection from all the foreign devotees all over the world—because of my Guru, because Gurudev selected me as his successor. I have no qualities, no qualification, but Gurudev selected me, and for this reason they give me so much love and affection. I am proud, I am astonished, and I am very grateful to them for their love and affection.

In this pandemic situation, I am also trying to give them respect, and even when this situation passes, I am thinking that I must give them a class every Sunday, no matter where I am. I travel all over Bengal six days a week running the temples, but wherever I may be, I come back to Kolkata on Sunday just to get your good association. I see your smiling faces and I know that your love and affection has no alloy—your love and affection is not cheating, it is actual love and affection. Here in the Indian section, I am cheated all the time—I have believed them so many times, but every time I end up cheated by them, but I know that almost all foreign devotees will not cheat me because they love me as their child, as their son, as their brother, or as me, and they give me more love and affection than I can hope for, and I am very happy.

I am very happy. I may not be able to make a big festival here now because we cannot gather many people in one place, but it is not a problem because I can see all the devotees every Sunday and I see that they are practising wherever they are—at home, in their house or at the temple—and they come to my class, they come to stay with me. Srila Janardan Maharaj, Srila Ashram Maharaj, Srila Trivikram Maharaj, Sripad Puri Maharaj, Sripad Shanta Maharaj, Sripad Muni Maharaj are there; there are also many sannyasis who live with me—Sripad Sadhu Maharaj, Sripad Parivrajak Maharaj, Sripad Sajjan Maharaj; they are all very kind, they are doing service. Also, there are many devotees who stay here—they give so much attention to me, they give everything to me. It is my great fortune. Besides, there are devotees in so many other countries all over the world who also support me—all South American countries (Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador), some devotees from Russia, Singaporean devotees, Malaysian devotees, Mauritius devotees, Australian devotees, Philippine devotees, Turkish devotees, Spanish devotees, London devotees, Hawaii devotees, and so many other countries.

Devotees practise all over the world, and I also told them—whichever country you live in, practise properly, preach properly. Even if you are alone, like in Sweden—there is only one boy living there and sometimes he feels bad that he does not get devotees' association, but I told him, "Prabhu, you are alone, but you can make devotees there and take their association. Gurudev also says that. Try to preach there." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj were also alone at first. When Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj first went to America, he was alone there, and, when he had lost everything, he sat alone under a tree and sang with karatals. After that, so many people joined that sankirtan movement—there appeared so many devotees. This is how ISKCON appeared. So, do not be discouraged, do not be disheartened. Wherever you live, give your association to others, and your association will give benefit to fallen souls. This is the main thing. This is what a preaching movement is about. All gurus all over the world say the same thing—you must practise properly. For example, today is an ekadasi day—it is a very good day for us, and we follow every ekadasi wherever we live. If you practise properly, it is good for you.

 

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Odds and Ends
'We live for service. We do not want to die; we want to live for more service. When our service finishes, then Krishna can take us, no problem.'

 

Sujanarvuda-radhita-pada-yugam
'He is the leader of the great souls who are endowed with devotion and the sole, greatly merciful shelter for the fallen. His inconceivable feet are the shelter of even the deceitful by deceiving them. Eternally I offer my obeisance to my master's lotus feet.'
সুজনার্ব্বুদরাধিতপাদযুগং

You think your mind wants this and that, and you always give food to it, then it becomes strong and it can take you away from your service and from Krishna consciousness.

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