Sri Gaura Purnima Address (1)

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Spoken on Sri Gaura Purnima day
Sri Nrisingha Palli, 28 March 2021, part 1

 

মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

First I am giving my full obeisance at the lotus feet of my beloved Gurudev Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, to all my Guru-varga, godbrothers, godsisters, and all the devotees.

Many foreign devotees could not come this year due to the current pandemic situation with covid-19, but they could see our parikrama through the internet, skype, etc., they could see the photographs from our programmes, and I know they are very happy with that.

My Gurudev gave me the responsibility for arranging Sri Gaura Purnima Festival and Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama in 1994, and Gurudev always checked everything, always gave me so much mercy all these years. I have also got the mercy, the love and affection from all foreign and Indian devotees. Owing to all that, we have never stopped this Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama and Sri Gaura Purnima Festival since 1994 (this parikrama has been going on non-stop from 1994 until present, 2021). When I left the headquarters of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip in 2017, the temple here in Sri Nrisingha Palli had not been finished at that time, but we still did this parikrama from here in 2018. Many foreign devotees also came that year...

Many of the Gaudiya Maths did not make a parikrama this year fearing the coronavirus and worrying whether the government would give permission or not. I never depend on the government's permission—I always depend on and get the permission from my Gurudev, from devotees, and from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The only permission that is necessary to get is the permission from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu—if I can get permission from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that is sufficient to make this festival.

Although many Indian and foreign devotees could not come this year, they still helped this grand festival financially and in many other ways. I miss Srila Ashram Maharaj, Srila Janardan Maharaj, Srila Trivikram Maharaj this year, but they are giving me enthusiasm to make this parikrama, and they have also helped to make this temple, to make the guesthouse. Many devotees from Venezuela, America, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Mauritius, South Africa and other countries helped so much to make this festival and to build the guesthouse. You will see in the future also—we are making a Prasadam Hall now next to the temple, and I want to make a guest house for Indian devotees above it—I will make another three or even more floors (total seventy rooms). Then, you will not have to go so far next year. Foreign devotees can stay in the guesthouse that is a little distance from the temple. I know everybody is a little reluctant to live so far and it is not comfortable for you all to come here walking all the time. Next year, you will be able to stay near, above the Prasadam Hall.

Actually, there is something I want to tell you all. When somebody comes to me to take initiation, I do not think that I am giving initiation to them—I think that they have actually come to give me their mercy. I want your mercy, I want your help, your assistance. I always need it. This is your home, your real home, so you can come here at any time and stay here. You stay 365 days a year in a place that you think is your home, but you must come and stay here every two-three months. You can come here for seven days every three months, do some service here, etc. It would be very good. This is your real home here. You must come.

You think you are taking care of your family, but I am also your family member—you must come here and take care of the temples. If you come only once a year, dance, chant, "Hari bol! Hari bol!" and when the festival finishes, you go back to maya, to the land of illusory environment, and you forget you must come next year. Come from time to time and do some service directly here. This is what the relationship between the guru and the disciple is. This relationship must be tight, it must be established and maintained properly. It is not like you sprinkle some water on a banana leaf and then brush it off. Not like this. You must tie your devotion through your service.

So, come from time to time, keep connection with your Guru. You come thinking, "I have given some fruit, some money on a plate, took initiation and got my beads, now I can go away—I have taken initiation and become a disciple!" If you want to become a disciple, you have some responsibility. When a father gets a son, the relationship does not end there; his son has some duty—he must serve his father, he must help and look after his father, etc. In the same way, disciples also have to serve their Guru.

You have got a devotional seed from your Guru and you need to cultivate it. If you plant some fruit tree, some rice paddy, etc. and do not take care of that seed after that, the seed will dry. The same is true to spiritual life. You have entered this relationship with your Gurudev—Gurudev has planted the holy seed of devotional creeper (bhakti-lata-bij) in your heart, and you must take care of that seed through nava-vidha bhaktisravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, pada-sevanam, archanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam (hearing, chanting, remembering the Lord, serving the Lord's lotus feet, worshipping the Deity of the Lord, offering obeisance, rendering service as a servitor, as a friend, and self-submission). You must cultivate your devotion through these practices, through surrender, through developing real faith (sraddha). Otherwise, if you do not take care of this seed, it will eventually dry or rot, and die...

 

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Jaya jaya gurudever
'Your divine form's arms extend to your knees. You possess infinite genius and divine qualities.'
জয় জয় গুরুদেবের

Have we become a Vaishnav or do we only wear the dress of a Vaishnav? Do we practise
properly or do we pretend and show false renunciation? We must ask ourselves.

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