Do Not Play With Fire

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Govardhan Puja Adhivas day
Kolkata—Worldwide, 15 November 2020, part 4

 

Everything that has happened, is happening and will happen in this world, happens by the will of the Lord. I have told you just now that even if somebody becomes an acharya, if somebody becomes a guru, it is also the will of the Lord, the will of Krishna.

I have told you many times—everybody must serve according to their own position, or within their own position. Everybody has some limit, and you must not cross the line otherwise Krishna has given you everything and Krishna can also take everything away from you—if you commit seva-aparadh, dhama-aparadh, Vaishnav-aparadh, you can lose your service through such offences. That is why I am telling everybody: you must control yourself. Give up the ego that, "I am doing everything!", "I am collecting!", "I am maintaining the temple!" and so on. No. Who are you? You think you are managing the temple? Who are you?! You are only a servant of a servant! Have you forgotten your identification that you are a servant of the Lord? It is necessary for everybody to remember this.

There is also another thing I want to say to everybody today.

I remember one day I also came to Gurudev and complained, "Gurudev, they do not recite your pranam mantra at the nat mandir." Do you know what Gurudev said? He said to me, "You are my disciple, so you must recite my pranam mantra, but if my godbrothers and godsisters do not do it, I cannot tell them to do it. It is up to them. They must see what they want to do and what they think—whether they want to keep me in their heart or they want to throw me out of their hearts. It is their choice. However, if it is my disciple, they should worship, recite the pranam mantra or sing the arati of their Guru." So, for a disciple, these things are necessary, but we cannot force anybody! "Oh, you have to sing this!" I do not tell anyone to do this! I never tell even any of my disciples, neither do I ever ask my godbrothers or godsisters to tell my pranam mantra or sing that arati song they made. I do not tell this to anyone. Why are you using my name? I cannot understand it. It makes it very difficult for me. You are using my name and getting me into trouble by doing this! I have not told anyone to do such things. I know I am a very bad person, I have no quality, no qualification, and my heart, my mind is always full of dirt, full of material things, I know I cannot keep Gurudev in my heart; but I have faith—I have got some inspiration from my Gurudev, I have got some instruction, some power from my Gurudev, and this is something that I cannot deny.

One time, Gurudev said, "I have taken everything from Acharya Maharaj, I have taken all power from his hands, but still I cannot stop him from doing service. I can take money away from him, I can take position away from him, but I cannot stop him from serving the temple. I have failed to do that." There is some history behind these words.

Srila Gurudev used to keep money with one grihastha person who lived in Paramatala (he already expired), and at some point Gurudev put *** in charge of money. One time, I told Gurudev, "I always pay obeisance to ***, but he does not accept my dandavat." Gurudev told me, "It is OK, you must still offer him pranam every day." I did that. Many months later, when Gurudev came back to Nabadwip, I paid dandavat to ***, but he ran away without saying a word, and this happened in front of Gurudev's house (near the old raised kitchen—the new prasadam hall was not constructed, not even started, at that time; and there is also a jackfruit tree there). Gurudev saw it and called both of us to his room. Then in front of everybody (there were many people present at that time), Gurudev told directly to me, "You must never pay obeisance to *** again. I have seen what he did. I know you have been following my instruction, you have been paying him obeisance all this time, I have seen that today, and I have seen what he did also. Never pay obeisance to him any more." After that, I would still greet ***, offering him obeisance with just folded palms, but when I did it I always remembered Gurudev's instruction. So, at some point, Gurudev made *** the manager of the temple in Nabadwip Dham. He was formally the manager, but I still did all the services—construction, etc. I did not stop my service, I had service in Puri, Bamunpara, I had service in many places. Who will stop me? Gurudev's desire is Gurudev's desire. Then, in the end, Gurudev said, "Everybody tells me, 'Take all charge from Acharya Maharaj!' I did that, but he is still doing service. I cannot stop it. I tried, but I have failed. What can I do?"

You know that I have left the main temple in Nabadwip, but when Gurudev declared me his successor on 4 December 2009, he said soon after that to those who were making disturbance, "All right, if you do not follow my instruction, I will take Acharya Maharaj with me and make another Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip through him."

Another time, Gurudev was here in Sevak Bhavan in Dum Dum Park, where we are staying now, and there were other devotees present at that time, when Gurudev said very clearly, "I have taken away service and managership from Acharya Maharaj, but I cannot stop him from doing service." Then he said to that devotee ***, "You know Acharya Maharaj has taken sannyas, but you do not give him any respect. I have given him the name 'Acharya Maharaj,' but you always call him Vinod. Let it be, but my point is how many people have you brought from the West or from India through preaching? But Acharya Maharaj is bringing people—he goes house to house, preaches and brings thousands of people to me for initiation. How many people have you brought after you took sannyas?" *** was quiet, he did not say anything.

So I am telling everyone clearly. I have not given any instruction to anyone to recite my pranam mantra. Whenever you chant my glorification, I become very shy. Gurudev himself chanted my glorification, he has given his certificate to me, and this is sufficient for me. I do not expect anybody to give me respect, to recite my pranam mantra, etc. Sripad Srutasrava Prabhu (later he took sannyas and became Sripad Vaishnav Maharaj) published what Srila Gurudev said about me in Gaudiya Darshan. I saw it and read it, but I did not feel proud of that. Gurudev said what he wanted to say, it does not affect me. I know my mind is always dirty, I know I cannot keep Gurudev in my heart, but I have faith that Gurudev kept me in his heart. Of that I am sure.

I have to go through so many problems, I have to tolerate so many things, and I am doing that. Before, I could not tolerate anything, but now I am thinking how much I am able to tolerate, and I am still alive, I am still praying for service, I still want to follow devotees' instruction. Some devotees love me, give me respect, but I know they do it only because of Gurudev. I have no qualities—only because of Gurudev they are giving me respect, honour, etc. This is only because of Gurudev. How many disciples do I have, anyway? Almost everyone is Gurudev's disciples. So, I do not tell anyone, "Please, chant my glorification," "Recite my pranam mantra," etc. It is not necessary. If Gurudev gives inspiration to you, then one day you will understand what is what.

So, please understand. You can preach for Gurudev, you can preach Krishna consciousness—you have so much service in this world! So, I am telling to you all—please do not fight about such things. You have so much service in this world—do your service. I have told you before—do your service within your capacity, do not cross the line. This is very dangerous for your spiritual life.

Gurudev says that if you can please your guru, you will get the mercy of the Lord. There are so many services, and it is necessary to have proper instruction. Even if you are staying in a temple, not everything is service. Sometimes, you do something and it is not service, it is karma. You know that the result of karma is karma-bandhan (material bondage), and the result of this bondage is suffering in hell. You will get that. You think that you do something, you think that you are doing everything, but this is asmita (false identification; one of the five material diseases)—it is a mistake; it is wrong to think like this. If something comes to you, it comes to you by the will of the Lord, by the will of Gurudev—service can come to you and you can also lose your service because of offences (seva-aparadh, Vaishnav-aparadh, dhama-aparadh, Nama-aparadh).

Whatever service you do, do not create any trouble—do not use the Guru's name. You know, Gurudev gave me so many instructions, but I never used Gurudev's name. I can give you one example from Gurudev's times.

There is some background history about another devotee *** and his relationship with Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Gurudev told me many things about it. Gurudev kept *** in the temple for the sake of keeping peace and even gave him some manager's service, but actually Gurudev knew that he did not follow him (Srila Govinda Maharaj) because he thought he had come to the temple at the same time as him, but Srila Govinda Maharaj had gone to grihastha life and Srila Sridhar Maharaj later brought him back again to give him the acharyaship, and *** was a brahmachari from his childhood even though Srila Sridhar Maharaj never gave him sannyas. Also, Gurudev told me about the relationship *** had with Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Srila Sridhar Maharaj left this world on a dark moon day (amavasya) of 12 Sravan/August 1988, during the rainy season. Before that, in his lifetime, Srila Sridhar Maharaj had prohibited *** to come upstairs to him. Everybody could come except ***—he could not even come to pay dandavat to Srila Sridhar Maharaj. So, he never went upstairs. Just before Srila Sridhar Maharaj left his body, Srila Sridhar Maharaj was lying down and *** came and touched his hand; Srila Sridhar Maharaj always had his eyes closed, but he had some other, extra, sense—he understood who had touched him and immediately moved his hand away. Everybody was surprised to see it. After that, when Gurudev kept his hand on Srila Sridhar Maharaj's hand, Srila Sridhar Maharaj took his hand and rubbed it on his chest, as if massaging his chest. This was the difference between *** and Gurudev. I am telling some background history to you now.

And the example I wanted to tell you about is this. *** lived on the ground floor of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's bhajan kutir all his life (that is, many years). Some year, *** was sick and I was going to repair the ground floor veranda of that old building of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's bhajan kutir. Aranya Maharaj lived there too, and he moved to Rama Devi's house, behind the building, and I sent *** to a room on the ground floor of the old Western Devotees' Guesthouse. When moving, *** told me, "I will come back to my room when you finish your renovation." Then, I do not know how, but Gurudev got to know about all this and called me from America (it was 2007, and he was abroad) instructing me, "Are you renovating ***'s room?" (I said, "Yes.") "There is a toilet in his room, lock it up! You will understand later." I did not ask why or anything—it was Gurudev's order and I must follow it, I never asked why. Then, I finished the renovation, locked up the toilet in that room, and made there an office. When Gurudev came back from his tour, *** complained, "Why is he not giving my room back? He must give my room back!" Gurudev said, "Oh, you have so much attachment to this room? But what can I do? Acharya Maharaj has closed the toilet! How will you stay there?" You see? How clever Gurudev is! And I never used Gurudev's name—Gurudev told me to close the toilet and I did it, I never mentioned Gurudev's name.

Gurudev gave all responsibility to my shoulders, and I digested everything—all curses, everything, just to please my Guru. Somebody may have cursed me to death, but if somebody curses me or prays for my death because I please my Gurudev, I have no problem with that. If I can please my Gurudev, that is sufficient for me—this is actually everything to me.

 

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Sanatan-siksa: Spontaneous Loving Devotion
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