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Devotional Substance

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Tarakeshwar area, second afternoon programme
12 February 2021, part 4
Translated from Bengali


There are many gurus in this world—there are clan gurus, there are pranam-taking (obeisance-taking) gurus, pranami-taking (donation-taking) gurus. That is why it is said that if you want to read Srimad Bhagavatam, you must come to a Vaishnav and take exclusive shelter in Sri Chaitanya (Bhagavata pada Vaisnavera sthane, ekanta asraya kara Chaitanya-charane; ভাগবত পড় বৈষ্ণবের স্থানে, একান্ত আশ্রয় কর চৈতন্য-চরণে)

অসাধুসঙ্গে ভাই কৃষ্ণনাম নাহি হয় ।

নামাক্ষর বাহিরায় বটে তবু নাম কভু নয় ॥

asadhu-sange bhai krsna-nama nahi haya
namaksara bahiraya bate tabu nama kabhu naya

"Brother, the Name of Krishna never appears in bad association: the letters of the Name may appear, but the Name never does."

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 7.1)

If you chant the Holy Name in bad association, it is only alphabet. Offensive chanting and the chanting of the Holy Name look the same—karma (material activity) and seva (service) look the same. There are cows at the temple, we make buildings at the temple—do we keep cows or make buildings for ourselves? The buildings are made in the Deities' name. When we built this temple in Tarakeshwar, in whose name is it? It is in the Deities' name. It is said in Srimad Bhagavad-gita that if you do something avoiding the Lord, if you take something without offering it to the Lord, it will be stealing. Do you think that if you give something to the Lord, He will take it all away? You worship the Ganges with the Ganges water! So many devotees chant the Holy Name, but it is association that is important. I have told you before—one does not become a disciple just by taking initiation. What does it mean to be a disciple? A disciple is the one who can mould their life according to the chastisement of their Guru. Disciples listen to what they are told and live accordingly.

I always tell everyone, even my disciples: practise sravan and kirtan.

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)

What does Mathura-vas (living in Mathura) mean? Does it mean you have to go to Mathura or Nabadwip and live there? No.

যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
গৃহেতে গোলোক ভায় ॥

ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
grhete goloka bhaya

On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.

('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

When there is service of the Lord happening every day, eternally in some house, this house becomes Goloka! We eat five times a day—people drink tea when they wake up, then they have breakfast, then they have lunch, then they have some muri and snacks in the afternoon, and then they have supper in the evening. How many times do people eat? Five times. Therefore, you must feed the Lord five times also. You must give bhog to the Lord five times a day.


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