Renounce Pride, Not Practice
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: When people read too many books, too many scriptures, they may become a little proud of all that knowledge. It makes me a little scared, why then should we read books?
It happens, but it did not happen to Gurudev, neither did it happen in the case of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. You can see their example. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami and so many others did not go crazy. Why are you scared of that? We must not be proud. That is why Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur says that we will not go to read so many books, so many scriptures—it can sometimes make us crazy.
Devotee: Because of that I sometimes feel some rejection, I feel I do not want to know anything at all.
No, no, no. We can read. Reading is not bad. And if you do not read, it is also not bad—then it will be jnana-sunya bhakti, "I do not want to know anything, I only know service." I have told many times that Srimati Radharani never went to Oxford University or Cambridge University.
At the same time, it is sometimes necessary to learn something for preaching. For example, Sripad Shanta Maharaj preaches to scientists, but if somebody asked me anything about biology, I would not be able to say a single word—I do not know anything about biology. I know some mathematics, but not biology.
So, reading is not a problem, but we must remember that we should not become proud. Everybody has their own limitation, and if we cross our limit, we will be in a very dangerous position. I was explaining today,
'আমি ত বৈষ্ণব' এ বুদ্ধি হইলে
'ami ta vaisnava' e buddhi haile
"If I think, 'I am a Vaishnav,' then I will never stop expecting honour from others—my heart will become polluted by the desire for fame and I will end up in hell."
Do you understand the meaning? These are very strong words. If you want name and fame—if you think you know everything, if you think you are a great scholar, a very big pandit—this desire for pratistha will pollute your heart, and the road to hell will be open for you (you will clear your way to go straight to hell). This is the result of desire for pratistha. This is what Vaishnav Thakur writes. Therefore, we must always give up false ego (guru-abhimana tyaji)—we shall always remain disciples (sisya thakibo sarvada). Some crazy person may become crazy—somebody knows some slokas and they think, "I am a very great personality, I know everything!" Somebody reads Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, learns to recite some slokas, and they think they have become great scholars, great pandits, or Vaishnav. If they like, they can do that—we do not want to criticise anyone, but as for us, we are their humble servants. This is our position. We only want to be humble servants.
...There are not so many devotees in Memari (Purba Bardhaman, West Bengal). They used to go to some rich people for collections, but rich people's behaviour is not good, so I stopped this several years ago (perhaps, three-four years). We have now a temple nearby, in Tarakeshwar, and many devotees go to the temple, many people have got initiation, and their behaviour is good. Our experience of going to their houses is very nice. Every house we go to, they give much respect to every one of us, and we are happy to visit them. I am also more interested in going to poor people's houses and collected a little from each person. If we collect five hundred bags of potato from five hundred people, it is good, what is the problem? This is Mahaprabhu's style. Mahaprabhu would not take so many things from rich people, but He would take bananas, banana flowers, etc. from Sri Sridhar Prabhu.
ভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু লুটিপুটি খায়
bhakter jinish prabhu lutiputi khay
"The Lord eats anything and everything when a devotee offers it, but He does not want anything from a non-devotee."
Non-devotees, rich people actually have much ego. They are puffed up thinking, "Oh, we are giving top quality potato!", "We are giving ten bags!", "We are giving twenty bags!" If a poor farmer gives us one bag, that is sufficient. Not only that—they will give you a bag of potato and they will carry it to the car on their own heads also. It is good. Yesterday we went to the house of one disciple of Gurudev (or perhaps my disciple), and they gave us two bags of potato. Kamalendu carried one bag and the man carried the other bag. On top of that, they gave us some nice sweet, some samosas, etc., they also gave some money for the temple. They are all very nice people.
Question: How can I overcome depression?
Only by chanting the Holy Name. Take shelter of a bona fide Guru and chant the Holy Name, then you can overcome depression. Whatever comes, good or bad, it is not a problem—depend on the Lord in everything. You must surrender to the Lord, surrender to your Guru. It is necessary to have saranagati,
ষড়ঙ্গ শরণাগতি হইবে যাঁহার ।
sad-anga saranagati ha-ibe yahara
Sri Krishna hears the prayers of those who surrender in this six-fold way.
If you have six types of surrender (if you surrender fully) to Gurudev and the Lord, then Lord Krishna will hear you.
I am finishing for today. Please forgive my offences. Make some festival and remember the Vasanta Panchami day—the appearance day of Sri Vishnupriya Devi, Sri Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami; remember Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur. You must always remember them. Also, Sriman Nityananda Prabhu's appearance day is coming soon... We will meet again next Sunday before the festival. I do not know where we will be on that day, in Nrisingha Palli or Ekachakra, but we will be here next Sunday and we can make a programme from wherever we are. It is not a problem.
Everybody should try to serve Nityananda Prabhu. Please pray for me so that I can continue serving like this until my death. I am very happy to go house to house, door to door. Somebody said, "Oh, you are becoming old day by day, how will you go?" When I cannot go, if I cannot walk, no problem—then I will make a wheelchair and go door to door in a wheelchair.
Jay Gurudev. Jay Nrisinghadev.
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