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Follow Vaishnavs' Example

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama Adhivas, evening
Sri Nrisingha Palli, 22 March 2021, part 9
Translated from Bengali

 

If you have any questions, you can ask later. If there is anything you do not understand, you can ask me later, I do not mind it. But the question must be honest enquiry (pariprasna), nothing else.

তদ্­বিদ্ধি প্রণিপাতেন পরিপ্রশ্নেন সেবয়া ।
উপদেক্ষ্যন্তি তে জ্ঞানং জ্ঞানিনস্তত্ত্বদর্শিনঃ ॥

tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"You will be able to attain knowledge by satisfying the divine master with submission, relevant inquiry, and sincere service. The enlightened souls who are learned in scriptural knowledge and endowed with direct realisation of the Supreme Absolute Truth will impart divine knowledge to you."

(Bhagavad-gita, 4.34)

Surrender (tad viddhi pranipata). Once you surrender, you can ask questions. Next is service mood or temper (sevaya). You must keep yourself engaged in service. You must run your life following what Guru and Vaishnavs tell. Follow their example.

Many of you have seen an old lady staying here affectionately known as Asha Ma. When I was preaching in Bardhaman, Sripad Vishnu Maharaj called me and said she had left her body. I was sitting at a rice mill at that time, collecting rice. (At that time, I was going to different rice mills, sugar shops, gur shops, etc.) Actually, we do not feel very sad—there is some separation, but we understand that everything happens by the will of the Lord. So many old ladies left their bodies in Nabadwip, but I never got a chance to be there at that time—I was always busy preaching outside. When Gurudev's mother passed away, Shankari Didi passed away, Rama Didi passed away, I was not there on any of these days. I was always preaching somewhere outside at that time and could not come. And I have hardly ever been to the cremation ghat. I never usually go there. But Asha Didi's fortune was such that I did go. She always treated me as her son although I never liked to hear such 'motherly' talks because I am a sannyasi and I get annoyed by such things. Anyhow, I told Sripad Niriha Maharaj to arrange for an A/C car at the municipality to take the dead body and I told him, "Give me seven hours, I will come." I finished collection that day, took prasadam at our temple in Bardhaman, and started out from there at three-four o'clock. Ashok Prabhu from Bankura came with me. I told him, "You do not have to come with me, you have been walking and working so much the whole day, I will just take the dead body." He still came. And Asha Didi is very fortunate—such was the will of the Lord. When we arrived at the cremation ghat, we were able to burn her body immediately. It often happens that when you come there, you have to wait for as long as ten hours sometimes, the whole night can pass before a furnace becomes available and you can burn the body, but by the will of the Lord when we came I saw there was nobody there. Just as I put the dead body into the furnace, I saw some other body had come, so we were lucky. By the will of the Lord, I did not have to stay there for a long time. Her nieces, daughters sent some money and I told them I would make some Vaishnav seva and a hom yajna for Asha Didi.

Such is the fortune of those staying at the temple. They pass away and sadhus take their bodies, carry it on their shoulders, put it into a car, sprinkle or bathe it with the Ganges water, etc. There is a tradition that prescribes putting fire into the mouth of the dead body, but when the mouth was used for chanting the Holy Name, you never put fire into it.

গঙ্গার পরশ হৈলে পশ্চাতে পাবন ।
দর্শনে পবিত্র কর এই তোমার গুণ ॥

gangara-parasa ha-ile paschate pavana
darsane pavitra kara—ei tomara guna

If the Ganges touches someone, he is later purified, but you purify souls simply by seeing them—such is your power.

When sadhus carry the body on their own shoulders and when Ganges water touches the body, nothing else is left to be done. This is all that is required. Until the dead body is placed into the furnace, we always chant kirtan, and we never say "Bolo Hari." [A common tradition in India.] Somebody said, "Bolo Hari," and I told him, "Hey, quiet! Only Hare Krishna maha-mantra must be chanted!" People do not understand it. When the person is alive, you never tell them to chant the Holy Name, and when they are dead, when you are carrying the dead body of the person and tell the body to take the Name of the Lord ('bolo' means 'say', and 'Hari' is the Name of the Lord). Whom are you telling to chant? No matter how much you tell it to the body, the dead body will never say it. Such is the idea of the people. We always do everything different from what outside people do, our tradition is just the opposite.

 

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Srila Raghunath Das Goswami: Running From Pratistha
'You can give up kanak, you can give up kamini, but it not easy to give up pratistha. Mahaprabhu teaches to be humble, tolerant, and give honour to others, but if you think you are a great Vaishnav, you cannot give honour to others.'

 

Durlabha manava-janma
'What sort of world is this? It is like a play of shadows. While I affectionately take it as my own, my days pass by in vain.'
দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম

We are not separate, we are together.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"