AFFECTIONATE GUIDANCE: CHAPTER TEN


A Life of Service

 

Srila Govinda Maharaj: This year Srila Guru Maharaj is residing in his Samadhi Mandir and we are trying to serve him through his instructions, through his guidance and with his blessings. Although I do not speak English very well, still Krishna consciousness is moving heart to heart. Language is not as communicative as transcendental sound. The Hare Krishna Mahamantra and so many other mantras are revealed in the Vedas. We may not know their meaning but by chanting them the meaning is revealed. We are meditating on the mantras and we are receiving light from them. In this way we can understand that only the devotional spirit can help us, and devotion is the highest and only real means for practising Krishna consciousness, for serving the Vaisnavas. If I see a man drowning in the river, should I go to learn the local language and then try to help? No! I will have to do what I can immediately. And our position is also equally desperate. We are drowning in the ocean of maya, so whatever we now have we will have to utilise that for our rescue from maya.

Guru and Vaisnava are coming from the transcendental world, from Chinmaya Dham which is purely spiritual and we are also essentially spiritual so they can easily communicate with us—soul to soul. Soul to soul communication is the best method and in this way when we are reciting the mantram, when we are trying to follow their advice, in whatever way, they are helping us for our transcendental progress. The sadhus, the saints, are establishing maths only for the benefit of the conditioned souls. They are so kind that only to help us they are arranging rooms, accommodation, and making so many arrangements just so we may have a chance to serve the centre, to help us progress easily towards our spiritual destination.

In the association of other devotional souls there will be no fear. In their company we become fearless, therefore we should always be very enthusiastic to see the devotees and have their company. We have been following Srila Guru Maharaj for so long and we were always happy in his presence and even now we are happy because now his instructions are coming in a supramental way. In the presence of Guru Maharaj he would directly give his instruction and so it was very easy to know his direction, and now if we find ourselves wanting for any direction we are meditating on him and the instruction is coming and we are gladly doing some seva, some service. Union in separation is our supreme goal and that is the lila of Radha-Krishna, and we can meditate on the Pastimes of our Guru Maharaj in the same way, in the mood of separation.

I am very happy if you can all stay for the Gaura- Purnima festival. Actually you may all stay as long as you like and if the Government will give you permission then you may stay forever in this Math. There may have to be some mundane arrangements for visas, passports, etc., but we will always welcome you. This building and everything here, that is only for the devotees.

Devotee: We want a visa for the transcendental world.

Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes, the supreme authority is Gurudev and he will give the visa to the transcendental world. He is the authority, of that there is no doubt. From the mundane to the other world, to Krishna's dham, Gurudev is giving that visa. He is the Asraya-vigraha, the Lord we accept as our shelter. We must try to chant and follow his instructions and then no real problems will come into our lives. This is the way to make our fortune in life. First we must be initiated into the supramental power of Harinama, the Mahamantra, and here we find there is no limit to how many rounds we can chant but the minimum must be 16 rounds. Guru Maharaj was so merciful, he said if you are engaged busily with the service of Guru, Vaisnava and Krishna, then that divine seva must be fulfilled, but the mala (japa beads) must not fast. Therefore even in exceptional circumstances you must chant four rounds minimum. Normally sixteen rounds only takes about one and a half hours, so to chant sixteen rounds is not so much. Srila Haridas Thakur would take three lakhs Names every day, that is 192 rounds, and only after completing that would he take Prasadam. When Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad was living at the Yogapitha Mandir in Mayapur, he would take one lakh (sixty-four rounds) every day, but as the service of the Lord and the Vaisnavas becomes more and more, then naturally the chanting will become less and less.

Service is our life, we must always try to serve. "I do not know who is Krishna, who is Bhagavan, I do not know what is what, but Guru and Vaisnava they know and they are always serving their Lord properly." With this mentality we can help ourselves. I can help myself by always serving the Vaisnavas and my Gurudev. This is the proper channel.

If somebody is giving some money to the Math, they may think that they are helping this Math but actually they are helping their own self by their energy. Money comes through the exertion of energy. A man is trying to gain money and in so many ways he may be giving his energy for the collection of money, and when that money is given to the Math then that means that his energy is now coming to serve Guru and Vaisnava.

When I was living as a brahmachari, Guru Maharaj would send me out to do collection, but no matter how hard I tried I would not gain very much money, still Guru Maharaj would continue sending me. "Go door to door and beg for something. If they give one rupee or 100 rupees, that doesn't matter but you must go door to door." I was very hesitant and every morning I would be very unhappy to go begging and so every day Guru Maharaj would teach me, "You are not going to beg for yourself, you are going for Guru-seva, for the service of your Guru, and when they give you something, they are not being kind to you, they are being kind to themselves. They are collecting money in so many ways and if they give some of that to you then their money will be used for Guru- Vaisnava-seva. That money comes to Gurudev and he is offering that to the Lord, and those that gave, they are gaining spiritual benefit." In this way Guru Maharaj would preach to me.

I was sixteen or seventeen years old and it was very difficult for me but Guru Maharaj was always pushing me, "Go for begging!" and I got two types of benefit from that. Sometimes the people I met would ask me why I was not using my time for the mundane pursuits. Why had I left home? Why had I neglected my worldly duties? Why was I not with my mother and father? And so many other questions. I would have to give the answers to their questions and in so doing I would clarify myself within. Then secondly, I am collecting some money for my Gurudev and he is offering that to his Gurudev and Lord Krishna and in this way I am gaining my spiritual benefit.
Having a human body means we must maintain it nicely, but for what purpose? For the service of Guru, Vaisnava and Krishna—only for seva. And if I can keep up this ideal then no maya can come and overpower me. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Sanatan Goswami, Srila Svarupa Damodara Goswami, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad, our Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad, all of them are preaching, and if I also try to preach to this world then I shall be benefited and somebody who hears that must also be benefited. This is the way of Krishna consciousness.

 


 

 

⇐ (9) "Transcendental Knowledge
and The Fortunate Soul"

(11) "Emotion or Devotion?" ⇒

Contents

Section 1 — 'Siddhanta'
1 The Divine Service of Krishna
2 In Praise of the Devotees
3 Secure at Home
4 Our Life-line of Devotional Practice
5 Affection
6 Going Deeper
7 Transcendental World
8 Divine Service
9 Transcendental Knowledge and The Fortunate Soul
10 A Life of Service
11 Emotion or Devotion?
12 Our Lord’s Beloved Power
13 The Plane of Dedication

Section 2 — 'Biographical'
14 Srila Madhavendra Puripad—the Sprout of Love Divine
15 The Appearance of Sri Gaurasundar
16 The Flow of Mahaprabhu's Line
17 In Praise of Srila Narottam Das Thakur

Section 3 — 'Our Devotional Line'
18 Message to Massage the Devotees' Hearts
19 Harmony is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's conception
20 The One Channel of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math
21 The Eternal Service of Sri-Gaura-Saraswati
22 The Voice of Sri Chaitanyadev
23 Puri Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Jagannathdev, and His Dham
24 A Day at Hapaniya
25 Caringly Educating
26 Address to the Assembled Devotees

Section 4
27 Excerpts from Letters
28 Treasures

Appendix 1
Appendix 2

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