His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Today is Gurudev's appearance day. You all know everything—where Gurudev was born, how he came to the mission, etc. I do not want to describe so many things now. However, there are some who criticise Gurudev, and I would like to give some message to them.
Actually, Gurudev said that we are all paraphernalia. For example, when you do the Deities' arati, you sometimes use a pancha pradip, sometimes a candle, etc.—you take some pot or some vessel, clean it and then use it for the worship. Gurudev said that he did leave Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math at some point, but he never left his Guru. Gurudev said, "I may have left Chaitanya Saraswat Math, but I always keep Chaitanya Saraswat Math in my heart."
When Gurudev lived as a householder, he had a printing press—he used a little bit from whatever money he earned for his family and sent the rest for Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Mission. Moreover, Srila Sridhar Maharaj himself never changed his mind—from the beginning, Gurudev was the secretary of Chaitanya Saraswat Math and Srila Sridhar Maharaj was the president, and Srila Sridhar Maharaj never removed Gurudev from this position. Gurudev may have changed his cloth only, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj decided that Gurudev would be his successor from the beginning, from the time when Gurudev was a brahmachari, and he never changed his decision.
Many years later, Srila Sridhar Maharaj brought Gurudev back and said that he had been waiting to give his chair to Gurudev for thirty years and did not want to wait any longer. Gurudev tried to argue saying, "My lifetime is very short, my horoscope says I will live only fifty-five years. Why are you giving this position to me?" But Srila Sridhar Maharaj did not listen, he said, "Throw your horoscope away! I am giving you eighty-two years of life." In his own life also, Srila Sridhar Maharaj was told by an astrologer that he would die early, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj ended up living ninety-two years. In the end, Srila Sridhar Maharaj wanted to give his chair to Gurudev and leave this world, but Gurudev did not want that. Gurudev said, "If Guru Maharaj stays longer and longer, it will be good for all devotees and all the world too. He must stay longer in this world because even all the Gaudiya Vaishnavs, all the Gaudiya acharyas come to Srila Sridhar Maharaj to hear his Hari-katha!" They all knew that if you wanted to hear Hari-katha of Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, then you should come to Srila Sridhar Maharaj, and they came. In this way, Gurudev got an opportunity to serve all the Vaishnavs, all the godbrothers of Srila Sridhar Maharaj—he was Srila Sridhar Maharaj's servitor at that time, and when all the godbrothers came to see Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Gurudev served everybody.
Gurudev told me many things, and I know that he protected the Mission in so many ways. He told me some of his childhood stories from his brahmachari life, and he taught me so many things.
Once, I came to complain to Gurudev about something, and Gurudev told me, "I have kept an Alsatian dog downstairs and when some danger comes, that Alsatian dog jumps on my shoulder and cries, 'Please save me! Please save me!'" Gurudev taught me in this way. When you are a manager, you must be humble, but sometimes you also have to take a stick in your hand. Both is necessary for management if you want to protect the Mission.
I remember Gurudev told one story from the time when he was a brahmachari. Srila Sridhar Maharaj had given Gurudev a bicycle, and Gurudev would always go everywhere by bicycle. (I kept that bicycle in the museum in Nabadwip, but I do not know if it is still there or not, I do not know what they did to it. There was Gurudev's name carved on it.) One day, when Gurudev was about to leave on his bicycle, one surveyor, or overseer, came from the Nabadwip municipality office to measure the kitchen building. Srila Sridhar Maharaj was upstairs at that time, so Gurudev spoke to him. Gurudev told him, "All right, you can take the measurement from outside!" If he measured from outside, the territory, and subsequently tax, would be bigger, so the surveyor should be happy with that, but the surveyor said, "Why I cannot enter the kitchen?" He was going to go there with his shoes on, so Gurudev said, "It is the kitchen of the Deities, so you cannot go inside." The man got angry, "Why not? I am a brahman!" Then Gurudev said, "If you try to enter the kitchen again, I will cut your leg!" The man went to Srila Sridhar Maharaj and complained, "This small boy threatened that he would cut my leg! What is this?" Srila Sridhar Maharaj asked calmly, "What boy? Bring him here, maybe he has made a mistake, it happens..." The boy came and Srila Sridhar Maharaj saw it was Gurudev (Gaurendu Brahmachari at that time). Srila Sridhar Maharaj asked him, "Gaurendu, did you say you will cut his leg?" Gurudev said, "Yes, I did." "Why did you say it?" Gurudev explained, "He says he is a brahman, but he wants to enter the kitchen with his shoes on!" Then Srila Sridhar Maharaj said to the surveyor, "Oh, then he is right. You cannot enter the kitchen. He told you not to go, but you still wanted to enter the kitchen forcefully. If you want to measure the building for taxation, you can measure it from outside. Why is it necessary for you to enter the building? The boy is right. He did not make any mistake. If you try to enter forcefully, what to do? He will cut your leg..."
This is how Gurudev protected this mission, this Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
There was also another story. It happened in 1978 when there was a big flood at Chaitanya Saraswat Math, just like in 2000. In 1978, there was no boundary wall at the temple (the temple was very poor), so all the territory of the temple was heavily flooded. Gurudev made a raft from some banana trees tied together and would move around the temple on that raft. One day, he saw a man who was about to cut some banana tree. Gurudev went to the man in the raft and said, "What are you doing here?" The man said, "Oh, my cow is hungry, I wanted to ask for a banana tree to give it some food." Gurudev said, "You did not ask me for it before. You have already come to the temple compound and you came from behind, not from the front. Because you have come to steal, I will not give you any banana trees." The man got angry and tried to protest, but Gurudev said, "No problem, I am the security of the temple, and you are a thief. Let us see how you will steal this banana tree!" This is another example how Gurudev protected Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
Gurudev said also: Like a dog, I have fallen into a hole, a big well, and was barking for help. Nobody came to my rescue, but my Guru Maharaj caught me by my hand and took me out of that well—he cleaned me and used me again for the service to Chaitanya Saraswat Math...
I say, what is the problem? You know, even Mahaprabhu Himself told Sri Govinda Ghosh to get married and live as a householder. Moreover, Mahaprabhu told Sri Raghunath Das Goswami,
স্থির হঞা ঘরে যাও, না হও বাতুল
sthira haya ghare yao, na hao batula
"Be sensible, go back to your home. Do not be crazy. One reaches the shore of material existence gradually. Do not show your false renunciation to people. Serve accepting material things, but without attachment."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.16.237-238)
Go back to family life, but do not show so much attachment to family life—give your life, sacrifice your life for service. Do not be so much attached to material things. Do you understand? Mahaprabhu told Srila Raghunath Das Goswami not to behave like a monkey.
In this way, Gurudev told me so many things and taught me in so many ways, and I am very happy because I realise I am very fortunate to have got this kind of Gurudev, and I think that you all are also fortunate because you have got this kind of personality, this kind of representative of the the Lord. Gurudev is not an ordinary person! He is sent here by the Lord, and we have got the fortune to take shelter at his lotus feet. This is our greatest fortune.
I am a simple beggar, and I pray to you all, I beg you all to give me some mercy so that I can serve my Guru until my death. This is all I beg you for. Please give me some mercy that I can increase my service position day by day, so that I can serve the mission of my Gurudev, the devotees and Deities of my Gurudev more and more every day. I am begging you all for this mercy.
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.
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