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Remembering Saranga Murari

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Tarakeshwar area, noon programme
13 February 2021, part 2
Translated from Bengali


Pastime number two. Another place we go to during Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama is Mamgachhi. We come there last, and after that take prasadam. The place I want to tell you about is visited just before Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur's birthplace. It is a very small place and it is hard to enter it when there is a large crowd. You can only come and quickly pay obeisance and come out. We do not get a chance to speak there, and after we take prasadam, everyone starts running away to return. Actually, when people come there, they run past the place to quickly take prasad, and after prasad they run to return. Only one-pointed devotees go there. So, the temple that we visit just before Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur's birthplace is the place of Murari Gupta and Saranga Thakur. The Deities of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath are still there, Their service is continuing to this day from the times of Mahaprabhu.

It is a common tradition to install Deities, but not many think who will take care of the Deities after that. Those who install Deities must make sure they bring up their children in such a way that they can take care of the Deities after them. Otherwise, Deities become nigraha ('confinement, burden'), and then galagraha ('throttling'). You can often see that people stop worshipping Deities and bring them to the temple—you have seen such Deities in temples, have you not? That is why when you come to this line, you must try to bring your children to this path as well. Otherwise, it will be a problem if you keep Deities. I never tell anyone to keep Deities—you can keep a photo, it is not a problem. If you keep Deities and leave, who will serve the Deities? If there is no one, you have to take your Gopal with you and keep Him at the temple. That is why I always tell everyone to keep photographs—the photograph of your Gurudev and the photograph of Deities in our temples in Nabadwip, Nrisingha Palli or Ekachakra. You can worship in this way. By the influence of emotions, you buy Gopal in Nabadwip and take Him home, but you have to serve Gopal; otherwise, you bring Gopal home, but who will serve Him? After that, you will want to go to the house of your Guru, to do the parikrama, what will you do with Gopal then? You will have to take Him with you. Is that not a problem? That is why I tell you that you must keep a photograph of Deities, not Deities, because when you go somewhere, if you do not give bhoga to a photograph, Their service is going on at Gurudev's temple (if you keep the photograph of Nabadwip or Nrisingha Palli Deities and cannot make an offering because you have to go somewhere, it is not a problem because the service of those Deities is going on every day in Nabadwip or Nrisingha Palli). There is Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Madan-mohan in Tarakeshwar, you can keep Their photograph at your prayer room, and you can worship Them—even if you have to go somewhere, it is not an offence because Their service is done every day at the temple. I tell this to everyone. Gurudev told this, and I am telling the same thing. People come and emotionally buy Gopal's or Mahaprabhu's Deity, but if you do not serve those Deities after that, it will be an offence

So, I was telling you about Saranga Thakur. When Saranga Thakur became old and had no strength to even put a garland on the Deities or dress the Deities. So, he cried to the Deities, "Gopinath! Please give me somebody who would be able to do this service!" He cried to the Lord every day, and one day, the Lord came to him in a dream, saying, "You go to bathe in the Ganges every day, so you must give initiation to whoever you see first tomorrow. He will do your service: he will come and stay with you."

In the morning, Saranga Thakur woke up and went to bathe in the Ganges. On the way, he saw a banana tree raft floating in the river. A boy died from a snake bite in some family, and they did not burn his body—they just set it floating down the Ganges. The raft drifted to the bank, and Saranga Thakur saw there was a boy on it. He gave Harinam to this dead boy—as he chanted the Holy Name (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) into his ear, the dead boy suddenly opened his eyes! Then, he got up and paid a full obeisance to his Gurudev. Taking his Guru by the hand, he came to his ashram. He was eight years old at that time. His name was Murari, and when his Guru initiated him, he gave him the name Saranga's Murari (Saranga Murari), saying, "You are now mine, nobody else's."

When the boys parents later got the news that their son was alive, they came to the temple to take him back, but Murari said, "No, I am not yours. I now belong to my Gurudev. I am Saranga's Murari, I am not your Murari any more. I will not come back to you." From that time, Saranga Murari served his Guru, and when Saranga Thakur left his body, Saranga Murari made his samadhi. He served at that temple all his life. When we come to that temple, we speak about this pastime.

If we do not listen to these pastimes and glories of the holy abode, then how do you do a parikrama? Who will tell you these things if you go to Mayapur by bus (as a tourist)?


— : • : —





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Chaste and Selfless
'If you have attachment to service for your own happiness, not for the happiness of your Guru, if your own happiness means more to you than the happiness of your Guru, then it is a problem.'


Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by Mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.'

I am a Guru for one hour only—you will listen to my lecture for an hour, after that you will go home and forget everything.