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Know the Relationship

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama Adhivas, evening
Sri Nrisingha Palli, 22 March 2021, part 6
Translated from Bengali


[His Divine Grace chants 'Gurudev bara krpa kara,' 'Krpa kara vaisnava thakura':]

কৃপা কর বৈষ্ণব ঠাকুর ।
সম্বন্ধ জানিয়া ভজিতে ভজিতে
অভিমান হউ দূর ॥

krpa kara vaisnava thakura
sambandha janiya bhajite bhajite
abhimana hau dura

"O Vaishnav Thakur! Please be merciful! Knowing the true relationship I will worship You and my ego will go far away."

It is necessary to understand relationship (sambandha). I was telling you yesterday—none of us should want to be a master (prabhu), but the problem is that we are all becoming masters, none of us wants to be a servant (das). Everybody has become a great Vaishnav now. We do not understand the relationship! If we keep practising Krishna consciousness with the knowledge of relationship, then our ego will go away. Ego is the greatest fault. Somebody is proud of their wealth, somebody is proud of their followers (family, friends, etc.), somebody is proud of their beauty, somebody is proud of their qualities, and so on. Somebody can sing kirtans very well and they are proud of it. When will all this ego go away? When we can understand the relationship—when we understand, "I am an eternal servant of Lord Krishna."

'কৃষ্ণ-নিত্যদাস'—জীব তাহা ভুলি' গেল ।
এই দোষে মায়া তার গলায় বান্ধিল ॥

'krsna-nitya-dasa'—jiva taha bhuli' gela
ei dose maya tara galaya bandhila

"When the jiva soul makes the mistake of forgetting that it is an eternal servant of Krishna, Maya captures the soul by its neck."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.24)

One day, one great pandit who was extremely learned in Vedas, Vedanta, and all the scriptures, said to Mahaprabhu, "What is this? You are a sadhu, but You are dancing and chanting here. Have You read any Vedas or Vedanta?" Mahaprabhu replied, "My Guru thought I was a fool, so he prohibited Me to read Vedas and Vedanta. He never told me to read all this—considering Me a fool, he never gave Me this right." You can see how humble Mahaprabhu is about himself. He said, "My Guru only told me to chant the Holy Name."

কিবা মন্ত্র দিলা, গোসাঞি, কিবা তার বল ।
জপিতে জপিতে মন্ত্র করিল পাগল ॥

kiba mantra dila, gosani, kiba tara bala
japite japite mantra karila pagala

"My lord, what kind of mantra have you given Me? What kind of power does it possess? Chanting this maha-mantra made me mad!"

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 7.81)

When Guru and Vaishnavs bestow their mercy on us, then we can attain everything. The problem is that we are not able to give honour to others...

'আমি ত বৈষ্ণব' এ বুদ্ধি হইলে
অমানী না হ'ব আমি ।
প্রতিষ্ঠাশা আসি' হৃদয় দূষিবে
হইব নিরয়গামী ॥

'ami ta vaisnava' e buddhi haile
amani na ha'ba ami
pratisthasa asi' hrdaya dusibe
haiba nirayagami

"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."

If I think that I have become a Vaishnav, I will not be able to give honour to others and then I will have no other way except to go to hell. I will feel a great desire to get honour and it will contaminate my heart. I myself will clear the road to hell. There is no other way. Therefore, it is necessary to be very careful!

তোমার কিঙ্কর আপনে জানিব
'গুরু'-অভিমান ত্যজি' ।
তোমার উচ্ছিষ্ট পদজলরেণু
সদা নিষ্কপটে ভজি ॥

tomara kinkara apane janiba
'guru'-abhimana tyaji'
tomara uchchhista pada-jala-renu
sada niskapate bhaji

"I will consider myself Your servant and give up the ego of a guru. I will always earnestly take Your remnants, Your foot dust, the water that has washed Your feet."

"I will know myself as your servant, your menial worker." Many come and say, "Gurudev, give me your prasadam." Sometimes, you have not even started taking prasadam yet, and they come and say, "Give me your prasadam." This is a show-off devotion. If you want to get some prasadam, you must wait—when Gurudev takes prasadam, his glass and plate will be taken away to be cleaned, then you can take something from there. Otherwise people have no service mood, but their mood is such that they want to impress others. This is called, "Loka dekhana gora bhaja—worshipping Gora just to impress others." We must learn from Kalidas. What did Kalidas do? Kalidas never sat together with Vaishnavs to take prasadam. Many think, "I will go first and sit at the front of the line!" But Kalidas would hide and wait from afar. When the Vaishnavs finished taking prasadam, they would throw their plates away in some place, and Kalidas would go there and take that prasadam from their discarded plates like a dog. This is what is called "tomara uchchhista pada-jala-renu sada niskapate bhaji—I will always earnestly take Your food remnants, Your foot dust, the water that has washed Your feet." Why does it say here 'earnestly' (niskapate—'without any deceit or other desires')? Because we are all deceitful. We show false renunciation (phalgu-vairagya). Our renunciation must be yukta (proper), not phalgu (false). We do not need to show anything to impress others. We say to people, "I do not need anything! I will leave and go to stay in a forest or a cave!" But you forget that you will go to live in a cave, but your stomach will go with you. You will end up following what your stomach wants... You know the story of Gita's samsar.

People worry so much about their rooms, their food, but when your body falls dead on the street, it may rain on it, etc. We do not understand this.

দিন যায় মিছা কাজে নিশা নিদ্রাবশে ।
নাহি ভাবি মরণ নিকটে আছে বসে ॥

dina yaya michha kaje nisa nidra-base
nahi bhavi marana nikate achhe base

My days are passed in useless work and nights are wasted on sleeping. It never occurs to me that there is death sitting next to me.

('Durlabha manava janma labhiya' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

We do not know when we will fall silent and go away—my body will fall dead on the ground and dogs and jackals will feast on it. We all have to go from here. Gurudev often said that when you go to primary school, you have many classmates, when you go to high school, only five people will be left, and when you enter college or university, there will be only one-two people from those who you started studying with. Even if you come last, but you must pass.

We do not practise false renunciation. There are things that are necessary. If we were to walk the whole day tomorrow, we would not be able to go anywhere the next day. That is why, a bus is necessary, to have a bus it is necessary to have some money. Even to cross the Ganges you need that one-two rupees—you cannot cross it without any money or ticket. It is necessary to have some money to serve the Lord. You cannot say that you do not need anything. Even to buy one nice flower garland you need fifty rupees. Those who say, "I do not need anything," say it to impress others, but they have desires inside them. I do not like this at all. If you say you do not need anything, how will you live? If you do not run the fan here, if there was no electric current here, if there was no generator, no oil for the generator, then everybody would suffer. There are so many things that are necessary for service. We must always think about this.

So, I was telling you about Kalidas. Mahaprabhu gave him the right to touch His feet. Everybody tried to touch Mahaprabhu's feet, but not everybody could get this right. Mahaprabhu gave this right only to Kalidas. At the entrance of Jagannath Temple there is a place where you wash your feet before entering the temple. When anyone tried to come near Mahaprabhu, devotees would stop them, but when Kalidas came and tried to drink the water which Mahaprabhu's feet had been washed with (such was his mood—he was always a beggar), everybody tried to stop him thinking he was a nobody, but Mahaprabhu stopped them saying, "No, do not stop him." Everybody laughed at him—his clothes were torn, he ate others' remnants, nobody liked him and tried to shoo him away. Yet, Mahaprabhu told everybody not to stop Kalidas. Why? Because Kalidas ate the holy remnants of Gaudiya Vaishnavs—he became a great expert Vaishnav (Mahaprabhu called him 'jhanu vaishnav', 'a seasoned, or expert, Vaishnav')! This is how he got the right to touch Mahaprabhu's feet.

You know how Srila Narottam Das Thakur came from Bangladesh. Srila Lokanath Das Goswami said he would not take a single disciple in this life, but Srila Narottam Das Thakur said he would take only one guru, he felt, "I will not take initiation from anyone except him. He is a genuine Vaishnav, I will take initiation from him." He came to Vrindavan from Bangladesh taking thirty rupees from his mother. He pled with his mother, "Mother, please do not stop me. Please let me go to Vrindavan." You know that even if the father gets angry and kicks his son out of the house saying, "I do not want to see his face again!", the mother still secretly sends food for her son—mothers are always more affectionate. So, Narottam Das Thakur's mother sent him to Vrindavan. She is a real mother. A real mother is she who gives her son for the service of the Lord. A real husband or a real wife is the one who disregards their own enjoyment for the sake of the service of the Lord. Those who obstruct their relatives or family members from serving the Lord are very unfortunate. Some devotees recently heard their son would take sannyas, they called me shedding crocodile tears, "Who will look after us?" I told them, "What do you mean who will look after you? If you give everything up to the Lord, then the Lord will take care of you, but you have no faith in that." They have no faith that "Krishna will certainly protect you" ('avasya raksibe krsna'). Who is looking after me? The Lord. My parents are not looking after me! You can see also Sripad Niriha Maharaj. His father told me, "I will file a court case againt you! You have taken my son away!" After a while he understood that his son was not his, that he belonged to the Lord-he understood that he was under the spell of illusion—and he has now also come to this path, হe too has now left everything and is serving the Lord.


তোমার উচ্ছিষ্ট পদজলরেণু
সদা নিষ্কপটে ভজি ॥

tomara uchchhista pada-jala-renu
sada niskapate bhaji

"I will always earnestly take Your remnants, Your foot dust, the water that has washed Your feet."

We must not do all this to impress others. When you come to somebody's house, they want to wash your feet just to take that water after that. People go crazy just to wash your feet. If I tell them, "Do this service," they refuse—they say, "No, we must wash your feet now!" Even if you tell them you have no time, they do not listen. Gurudev says that even if Brahma comes in front of you and says, "Come with me. There is no need for you to stay here, come with me," even if Indra (the king of heaven) comes to you and says, "Come, I will take you to heaven," you must say, "No! Go away! I have my service to do!"

নাহি মাগি দেহসুখ বিদ্যা ধন জন ॥
নাহি মাগি স্বর্গ আর মোক্ষ নাহি মাগি ।
না করি প্রার্থনা কোন বিভূতির লাগি ॥

nahi magi deha-sukha, vidya, dhana, jana
nahi magi svarga ara moksa nahi magi
na kari prarthana kona vibhutira lagi

"I do not pray for bodily pleasure, learning, wealth, or followers. I do not pray for heaven, I do not pray for liberation, and I do not pray for any supernatural powers."

(Sri Siksastakam, 4.1-2, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

We do not want heaven, we do not want liberation. Sadhus know that heaven is temporary and if you go there, you will have to come back. Do you think you can stay there forever? Whether you go to hell or heaven, you will have to go back from there. Only if you go back to your home, will you not have to come back from there. If you stay in a rented house, today or tomorrow you will have to leave it—today you will have this problem, tomorrow another problem, and so on.; in the end, you will think, "Better I buy some small land and make a thatched house, that is better than keep on moving from place to place." If, however, you understand that you have lost your home, that you have come to this world leaving your own home, then you will not feel any peace until and unless you have reached your home. We must return to our own home. This is a rented place, we cannot stay here for long, we have to leave one day, but when you reach your own home, nobody will chase you from there. This is what this Krishna consciousness is for. Yet we live in this world surrounded by buildings, houses, rooms, and all kinds of other worries. Where will all that be? There is no end of this cycle of birth and death.

These are such beautiful words. If you do not read about this all the time, it will not stay in your mind. That is why, you should chant kirtans, chant all the time, out loud. We have printed so many books—read them, chant the kirtans, practise out loud.

What for do we worry much?

এদেহ পতন হ'লে কি রবে আমার ।
কেহ সুখ নাহি দিবে পুত্র পরিবার ॥

e deha patana ha'le ki rabe amara?
keha sukha nahi dibe putra paribara

When this body drops dead, what will remain ‘mine'? Upon death neither my sons nor my family will give me any satisfaction.

Nobody and nothing will make us happy here. Therefore, it is said that we must leave all deceit and worship the holy remnants of Guru, Vaishnavs and the Lord.

নিজে শ্রেষ্ঠ জানি' উচ্ছিষ্টাদি দানে
হবে অভিমান-ভার ।
তাই শিষ্য তব থাকিয়া সর্ব্বদা
না লইব পূজা কা'র ॥

nije srestha jani' uchchhistadi dane
habe abhimana-bhara
tai sisya tava thakiya sarvada
na laiba puja ka'ra

"If I, loving myself more than anyone else, bestow my remnants, etc. on others, then I will become filled with ego. Therefore, I will always remain Your disciple, I will not take worship from anyone."

Why do real Vaishnavs never give their prasad to others? Because if they do, they will become proud—they will feel they are the greatest because everyone is taking their remnants. We must always consider ourselves disciples. "I do not need to become a guru, I will always stay a disciple." Before anyone becomes a guru, they must first become a disciple, and you do not become a disciple just by taking a mantra. If you are to become a disciple, you must be able to digest chastisement of your Guru and you must be able to change yourself accordingly. I have written about this in the book, you can see it there (Guidance, Volume 4).

অমানী মানদ হইলে কীর্ত্তনে
অধিকার দিবে তুমি ।
তোমার চরণে নিষ্কপটে আমি
কাঁদিয়া লুটিব ভূমি ॥

amani manada haile kirtane
adhikara dibe tumi
tomara charane niskapate ami
kandiya lutiba bhumi

"When I become free from the desire for honour and be able to give honour to others, you will give me the right to chant Your kirtan. I will earnestly roll on the ground and cry at Your holy feet."

When will Vaishnav Thakur give me the right to chant kirtan? When I become free from any desire for honour, when I learn to give honour to others, when I learn to tolerate everything, and when I become lower than a blade of grass.

[His Divine Grace then chants 'Nitai-guna-mani amara', 'Yadi Gaura na haite', 'Jaya Radha Madhava', Hare Krishna maha-mantra.]


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'We must clean ourselves through sravan, kirtan, Hari-katha, otherwise no matter how much we labour, the result will not come.'


Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'When will this soul attain such mercy and become fulfilled?'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

If you cannot use this body for the service to the Lord, it is useless then.