His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
[His Divine Grace starts the evening class by reciting Sri Jaya Dhvani and then chants "Gurudev krpa bindu diya" and "E-bara karuna kara."]
Sri Krishna said in Srimad Bhagavatam: "Acharyam mam vijaniyan. Know Acharya to be non-different from Me." Who is called an acharya? Acharya is the one who both practises and preaches. However, there are many gurus in this world. Mahaprabhu told:
আপনে আচরে কেহ, না করে প্রচার ।
apane achare keha, na kare prachara
"Some follow rules and regulations but do not preach Krishna consciousness; some preach Krishna consciousness but do not follow rules and regulation. You perform both duties in relation to the Holy Name by your personal behavior and by your preaching, therefore you are the spiritual master of the entire world, you are the most advanced person in the world."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.102-103)
There are gurus who preach but do not follow the rules (they do not follow any rules and regulations but they preach). Some gurus come to you all the time to do kirtan, etc. They sing well (the Supreme Lord and Saraswati gave them a good voice), and they go house to house singing kirtans. What does Bhagavatam say? Somebody reads Bhagavatam for money, somebody chants kirtan for money, somebody speaks Hari-katha for money—if you listen to such things, it brings inauspiciousness to your life and you will be making an offence (Nama-aparadh). There are four kinds of offences: offences to the Holy Name, to service, to the holy places, and also to Vaishnavs. We were just singing:
এইবার করুণা কর বৈষ্ণব গোসাঞি ।
ei-bara karuna kara vaisnava gosai
O worshippable Vaisnava, be merciful to me this time. O saviour of the fallen, without you there is no one.
"Please be merciful to me. There is no one in this world who is as merciful as You are."
কাহার নিকটে গেলে পাপ দূরে যায় ।
kahara nikate gele papa dure yaya
"If anyone comes to you, their sins go away. Where can such a merciful master be found?"
গঙ্গার পরশ হৈলে পশ্চাতে পাবন ।
gangara-parasa ha-ile paschate pavana
If the Ganges touches someone, he is later purified, but you purify souls simply by seeing them—such is your power.
If you bathe in the Ganges, then you become pure. People become pure by touching the Ganges, but one can become pure just by seeing (getting the darsan of) a Vaishnav. Who is a Vaishnav? One who dresses as a Vaishnav, wears tilaks and neckbeads and chants on beads? Vaishnavs are those who practise Vaishnavism. Always remember this.
Who can chant kirtan? Mahaprabhu said also, "Who has the right to chant kirtan?"
তৃণাদপি সুনীচেন তরোরিব সহিষ্ণুনা ।
trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
"One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree, who gives due honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.239)
তৃণাধিক হীন দীন অকিঞ্চন ছার ।
trnadhika hina, dina, akinchana chhara
Give up your false ego, and always consider yourself lower than grass, poor, needy, and mean. Practise tolerance like a tree. Give up vengeance and nurture others.
(Gitavali, Sri Siksastakam Giti, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)
We must give up our own happiness for others' happiness. Those who come to the line of Gaudiya Vaishanvs never think about their own happiness, clothes, an easy life, etc. They have no consciousness of a wife, sons, friends, relatives, et al. Our wealth are devotees of the Lord—they are our real family; they are our greatest wealth and greatest friends. There are thousands and thousands of disciples all over the world (they are my disciples or Gurudev's disciples), but we do not say they are our disciples. When somebody comes to take initiation from me, I feel, "They have come to give mercy to me, that is why they have come to take initiation from me. I am not the one giving mercy." Such humility must be there.
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