Part Three: The Written Word

From correspondence
by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj

 

Question: We want to go back to our real spiritual home and we are trying to do that but we find ourselves captured by seeking happiness in this world. What are we to do?

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj (Srila Maharaj) replied: It is very wonderful and essential for conditioned souls to get the mercy and blessings of the true Vaisnavas in order to go back to Godhead. In this way I think you are both very fortunate souls because you received the mercy of both Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj. All the conditioned souls are trying to find real happiness but you know it is not possible in this mundane world to achieve that. All happiness, all ecstasy, all joy, and victory's fountain are coming from Krishna and Krishna-loka. We are really all members of that transcendental service world, but by misfortune and misunderstanding we have been captured by illusory happiness in this mundane plane. But Krishna is very merciful and He has given us the chance to go to our own home through our Divine Masters. It is necessary to plant and cultivate what you have received from them and that is through sadhana (spiritual practice). If we follow their guidelines by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, reading the holy books, serving the real holy Vaisnavas, living without making offences, and maintaining our lives with their Prasadam, then we must return to our holy home. That is real sadhana and as you are trying to do this I am very happy.


Question: I am very unhappy and distressed because yesterday I was robbed by a man who pulled out a gun and stole my bag in which I had, as well as other things, my chanting beads. One of my relatives is a devotee and she has a spare set of beads that were blessed by Srila Guru Maharaj. I am asking what I should do and whether I should chant on these other beads.

Srila Maharaj replied: Although you express much misfortune I can say clearly that you display the real mood of a devotee. It is no-doubt a very bad thing that your beads have been lost but you can understand that Krishna is testing us in many ways. In this way you can consider this to be a test for your practising position. I also consider that Krishna protected you as you were not harmed during the robbery. For now you wait a few days and if still your beads do not come back then you may chant on the extra set of beads held with your relative.

The main thing required for our devotional practising life is that we try to develop the three qualities: prayer, sincerity and dedication. You have the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj and you live with devotees. In this way I can understand you to be fortunate.

Here at the Math and around Srila Guru Maharaj's centres in India we are receiving the association of many devotees from around the world. Although the situation of the environment is not the same everywhere, still everyone can tell others about Mahaprabhu and about our Srila Guru Maharaj. In this way they may also receive inspiration and guidance in order to cross this ocean of suffering and go to the brightest transcendental destination.


Question: My desire is that my wife will also come to this line of Krishna consciousness and that we can progress together. Gurudeva, I am always praying to Your Divine Grace and I aspire for your mercy.

Srila Maharaj replied: The negative and the positive rules of the Scriptures are:

smartavyah satatam visnum vismartavyo na jatuchit
sarve vidhi nisedhascha etayo veva kinkarah

Which means: we must not forget our transcendental duty to serve Sri Guru-Gauranga, and: we must always keep Krishna in our consciousness.

I think that with your association your wife's mood is now changing gradually towards Krishna consciousness. She is a good lady and she is very much affectionate to you. When she herself will be prepared from her side to offer everything to Krishna, and by her having your association, she will then be able to understand proper Krishna consciousness and all her disturbances of mind will go out.

After Sriman Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu withdrew Their manifest pastimes many of Their higher devotees came to this mundane plane to preach in order to rescue the fallen souls. Also much advice has been given to us in the many Scriptures; but that was within a system of Vedic culture. Also within that advice there is hidden-treasure that is not exposed to everybody.

By the influence of the age of Kali gradually transcendental knowledge disappeared in a shrinking way and after that the illusory activities of Maya tried to conquer everything. But through the mercy of Sriman Mahaprabhu's dearmost eternal devotee, Srila Thakur Bhakti Vinod, we have had in this age of the late 19th and early 20th century Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur who was exalted and who again magnanimously distributed Krishna consciousness in every direction. From that Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada we have presently been graced with two expert, exclusive servitor-generals of Krishna: our beloved Divine Masters Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj who are my honourable Diksa-Guru and Siksa-Guru respectively. They constitute the overflowing reservoir of the fountain distributing Krishna consciousness as well as Krishna prema-bhakti to every direction all over the world. We can see we are very fortunate in that we have the chance to touch and participate in their nectarine programme. I have no doubt that as much as is possible by us we have received mercy from that upper level but now we must proceed with our tiny property and utilise our freedom in the proper channel in order to make ourselves able to receive more and more.

Sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja—to totally reject all kinds of religion is the primary directive of Sri Krishna. And: mad bhaktanam cha ye bhaktas, te me bhaktatamah matah—"I consider one who serves My devotee to be the real bhakta," is the final directive in the Scriptures.


Question: We have read that Srila Gaura Kisor Das Babaji Maharaj lived very strictly and would not eat anything prepared by others even if it was offered to the Lord. So in our case, can we only offer cooked preparations made by ourselves or can we also offer foodstuffs prepared by others? Is there any difference between making offerings to Srila Guru Maharaj and making offerings to the Deities? In other words can we offer things to Srila Guru Maharaj that can't be offered to the Deities?

Srila Maharaj replied: What you mentioned in the name of Srila Gaura Kisor Das Babaji Maharaj is the general rule no-doubt, and it is coming from his exclusive, direct, serving mood to Sri Radha-Krishna; that is he is a bhajananandi babaji. But in another way we see that our Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Swami Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur used everything for the service of Krishna in relation to time, place and circumstance in order to assist the preaching mission. In that way they distributed their mercy to all over the world's fallen souls, also they showed their unlimited feelings and serving attitude—Vaikuntha-vrtti.

In addition there are other rules in the Scriptures. In the smrti-sastra, the Scripture of smrti, it is told: dravyam mulyena suddhati—if we will give in exchange for something the value of that thing, what we will buy will not bring with it the karma of the person who made it.

We are followers of our merciful, exalted Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada then we are to follow their example in a humble way.

Whatever we shall offer to Srila Guru Maharaj must also be offerable to the Deity. Really the main point is that whatever is offered by the fully dedicated soul is accepted by Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.


Question: Srila Maharaj, there are many differences amongst the devotees here and several devotees do not wish to follow the leader of the local programme. Due to their Indian family traditions some are worshipping Avataras and demigods in addition to Krishna. Furthermore one key brahmacari has returned to his family because they were asking more maintenance money which was not forthcoming. Because of these and other incidents our leader has the desire to step down and I am suggesting that if you give your permission I shall also withdraw from my humble position of assisting in the leadership, though I pray you may continue to give me engagement in some other way.

Srila Maharaj replied: We can understand that there is an ideal, but side by side we must notice all the different qualities of the devotees' moods. It is necessary to harmonise these with our missionary programme. In the time of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur many things happened like this that I know of and have heard of from Srila Guru Maharaj. Also in the mission of Srila Guru Maharaj in this Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math I have seen since my joining in 1947 many, many things but by the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj we successfully faced those difficulties that came from outside and inside also. Similarly in the time of Sriman Mahaprabhu you can remember reading the character of Murari Gupta who was the close devotee of Sri Ramachandra. He worshipped Him in a temple which is still in Sri Mayapur. Also when Mahaprabhu went to preach in Daksindesa (South India), He met with many different kinds of devotees, but they were not all worshippers of Krishna or even worshippers of any of the many different types of Krishna Murti. In the time of Sriman Mahaprabhu there were many examples and we can read about some of these in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. There also we find that many types of devotees could not be tolerated by Mahaprabhu but even they were harmonised by Sri Nityananda Prabhu and the other devotees. Also you can remember the attitude of the son-in-law of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya as well as many other similar examples.

In the time of Srila Guru Maharaj, as well, we find that many things happened, but he also tolerated. What he could not tolerate was, by his order, harmonised by myself, and he would tell others, "Wait and see."

When we observe the character of Sriman Mahaprabhu sometimes we may feel ourselves to be in a hopeless position. But when we notice the merciful attitude of Sri Nityananda Prabhu as well as that of our Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj we can remember Srila Saraswati Thakur and thereby feel much hope to proceed in our life of transcendental practice. Ousting or throwing out others is very easy, but engaging them for the service of Mahaprabhu is very hard. We see in the devotees' nature so many different types of mentality, different types of activity, and different types of devotion, but a good manager or a good preacher must try in a harmonious way to engage them in the service of the Lord. This world where we live is actually the faulty plane: it is an illusory environment. Not only do we need mercy but we need the causeless mercy of Nityananda Prabhu and the patita-pavana Vaisnavas otherwise how shall we gain spiritual strength for our practising life?

In this mundane world we also can learn something by looking at the family attitude. Many kinds of boys, girls, men, and women live in a family but the responsibility of the head of the family is to maintain everybody by teaching, supplying, and taking what is necessary for their benefit. The family head must do everything with full affection. He may sometimes chastise them, but behind is working the mood of affection.

Under leadership and with the full, natural, willing service-energy of the local devotees it was possible to build up the mission there and in the future we are expecting to see there miracles. But in the meantime when I hear your hard news I feel much disturbance and I am trying to realise why this circumstance has come. Your local leader has a very good mould, but he has only one mould with a single vision and therefore he can understand only dada and gada like Bhimasen. Dada means the order of Yudhisthir and gada is the strength of his body and weapon, his mace. But it is necessary to realise other scriptural screens. When Mahaprabhu started His first Sanskrit School, He did so at the Chandi Mandap, the Durga Mandap, at Mukunda Sanjaya's house who was himself a devotee of Mahaprabhu. Then why in his house was there a Chandi Mandap and why did Sriman Mahaprabhu use that Chandi Mandap? Mahaprabhu did not demolish it, instead He used it to preach Krishna consciousness.

A leader must have many various qualities and if he does not have all of these then he must try to acquire them in order to be successful on the battlefield.

Please, I also ask that you pay attention to my prayer that you both try to harmonise with all the devotees. The devotees there are good, also perhaps some devotees may be less intelligent and they are going the wrong way, but it is necessary to polish them with your humble affection.

It is not proper policy to accept service from a brahmachari in exchange for giving money to his family. Here in this Math all the residential persons, the brahmacharis, sannyasis and varnaprasthas, they are not paid-men but they are serving willingly and in a hard manner. We are only engaging a few paid men in the service of the Math but they hold the position of outsiders. I did not make any remark before because I had no idea this was happening.


Question: I am trying, perhaps with a little difficulty, to follow the instructions of my senior Godbrothers here but sometimes I do not know what is seva. Please let me know so I can adjust myself.

Srila Maharaj replied: We can make service to Guru and Gauranga in all directions around us. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita Sri Krishna said: yogah karmasu kausalam, which means that within our devotional activities proper adjustment is necessary.

Adjustment of spiritual life or mundane life is not the same for every soul, then what is suitable for you may not be suitable for another. Also different types of service are not suitable for everybody—it depends on capacity and taste. In the transcendental world, or maybe also in the mundane world, super-rasa (mood) comes within the categories of santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura. For one who has the taste for madhura-rasa within his heart, he also has playing there the four other rasas. In Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita it is recorded that when Raghupati Upadhyaya was questioned by Mahaprabhu he replied, "Adya eva paro rasah," and Mahaprabhu was very happy to hear that. Without disturbing other devotees, I can say only this to Your Grace: that for favourable development and as suitable for your practising life make yourself with that mood.


Question: For some time the situation of a leading devotee here has been precarious but now he has fallen deeply into the illusion of women, intoxication, and aggressive behaviour. What is the cause of such a fall down, and what lessons can we learn?

Srila Maharaj replied: I am very unhappy and worried to see the results of Vaisnava-aparadha and the seeds of the big tree of sahajiyaism (imitation). Also now I can understand why the real bhakti-lata-bija of Srila Guru Maharaj cannot grow properly in the hearts of some of my so-called friends. I am reminded of a friend who had a nice garden and tried growing high quality roses but failed again and again. He eventually sought expert advice and found that a certain large tree was growing a little distance away, the roots of which were taking all the nourishment so the nice rose garden could not grow despite the best seeds and gardeners. If once sahajiyaism is planted in the heart, then, without cutting down and uprooting that tree, there is no chance that any good seeds can grow. Also another heavy cause that can destroy the bhakti-lata, and that reason you know, is Vaisnava-aparadha—offence to the Vaisnavas.

yadi vaisnava-aparadha uthe hati mata
upade va chinde, tara sukhi' yaya pata

For the translation see the Sixth Discourse.

This verse is given in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. Therefore it is my only prayer to you all who are the servitors and followers of Srila Guru Maharaj, "Please avoid Vaisnava-aparadha. And if in the garden of anyone's heart the tree of sahajiyaism is growing, then immediately uproot that plant of sahajiyaism." You are very humble and qualified therefore I think you have no problem with that. We can see from the example you cited of just where bad association and bad influence can take us. Then my prayer to the devotees of this Math is, "Please carefully avoid such dangers and try to proceed with humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others." This is our primary lesson of Vaisnavism and the final lesson also.


Question: Recently a devotee stayed for some days as a guest in my friend's house. While there he removed the picture of Srila Guru Maharaj from her altar, apparently because his own devotee guests would feel "more at home". We all felt this was very wrong but we need your clarification.

Srila Maharaj replied: When something appears to be wrong then I have some duty to say something about that. Therefore, if it is true that the devotee's picture of her Sri Gurudeva, Srila Guru Maharaj, was removed from her altar then I have to clearly say that it was wrong to do so. An altar may consist of only one picture: that of the Guru. There may be so many Deities and other pictures on the altar but if the Guru's picture is not there then all is lost. Not only that, but we are to respect the Guru of another sister-mission even if they are not of exactly the same family line. A clear example of this you will find in Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada's Mission's central Math, Sri Chaitanya Math in Mayapur, where Sri Ramanuja Acharya, Sri Madhva Acharya, Sri Nimbarka Acharya and Sri Visnuswami in Deity-form are on each side of the main temple. They are duly respected and worshipped whether we are, or are not, directly belonging to their respective sampradayas.


Question: A local sannyasi representing the Math has recently invited many of the devotees here to his wedding and in doing so has caused much disturbance in their minds. My daughter asked how he could take a wife if he is a sannyasi but I could not answer her.

Srila Maharaj replied: What he has done is very painful for our sampradaya. What your beloved daughter told is true and we cannot support his change of position in life. He took sannyasa from Srila Guru Maharaj but the jiva, the soul, is independent. Krishna does not interfere with that independence, therefore each jiva has the freedom whether to go to hell or to heaven and that is the jiva's own responsibility. Krishna can only search and cry for His lost servant. I am also very upset to hear the report about this sannyasi, although earlier I did receive the shadow of this news.

After the disappearance of Srila Guru Maharaj we see everywhere that many things have changed. Some changes may be good and some may be bad but we must tolerate everything from a neutral position and we cannot ignore our own promise and service to Sri-Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharva-Govindasundarjiu. With our transcendental serving mood we must try to proceed enthusiastically towards our bright destination. You are an experienced, old devotee and you know what is what, therefore you please try to maintain there the devotees' service and mood within this clean and proper way.

We can say clearly that the recent activities of this sannyasi are his deviation, not progress, within our sampradaya. There is possibility everywhere for deviation therefore we must be careful for our own spiritual lives.


Question: I keep good company with serious Vaisnavas and I engage in some lecturing and writing. I try to chant properly but always I pray for your divine advice.

Srila Maharaj replied: Your hopeful preaching programme must give inspiration to other Vaisnavas and Godbrothers. Srila Guru Maharaj said that when we are chanting and meditating on the Mahamantra and Gayatri Mantram—which are Krishna's non-different manifestations—there is mostly some fault, whether consciously or unconsciously, and therefore we do not obtain the proper result of chanting japa. But when we try to glorify our beloved Lords and Divine Masters by way of preaching, there we cannot consciously preach wrongly. In addition our one hundred per-cent attention must go there, and in that way we can develop our faithful service life. Chanting is essential. Chanting Sri Harinama is always beneficial for the conditioned souls but preaching to others gives us strength of devotional life and more and more opportunity to practise Krishna consciousness. Therefore we can happily say your mood of devotion is beneficial for everybody. Chanting is very good but chanting with preaching is more positive and progressive.


Question: Living far away from India what service can my wife and I do?

Srila Maharaj replied: When the devotees would ask Srila Guru Maharaj what service they could do he would always request them to keep a service connection directly with this Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. You are sincerely trying in this way and you are sacrificing for that very purpose. If you can maintain this service while establishing and running a preaching centre, that will be very good.

When devotees are in distant countries there are two principle ways of service. One is service to the Vaisnava community in the local area by distributing books, preaching by lectures and other means, giving hospitality to the Vaisnavas, etc. And the second is direct service to this central Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math which, when far away, means helping with service donations, goods, etc. for the seva activities of the Math. This is very valuable service and very carefully we are always trying to please Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharva-Govindasundarjiu in so many ways. Of course, when it is possible, you can come here from time to time and can directly do service to the Deities, devotees, cows, paraphernalia, etc., of our Srila Guru Maharaj at the Math with all your activities. Anyhow, you both can understand the will of Srila Guru Maharaj and therefore you are eager to please him by your actions. No doubt Srila Guru Maharaj gives his blessings to you and we are all very happy for that.

For every one of us we only have a few days in our hand. This life is very short but we must look for the seva of our Sri Gurudeva. Everywhere and anywhere we may have to face so many problems but we must focus only on going forwards. Certainly we must receive backing from above and there is no other way that is even slightly thinkable than to go onwards, come what may.


Question: I am facing many difficulties and my present family circumstances sometimes cause me to feel very lonely. I do not know whether we can continue to preach here or not and I cannot understand the will of the Lord for our programme here.

Srila Maharaj replied: Krishna consciousness is not like a mundane tree, therefore we must become confused if we are not strong enough with our transcendental knowledge. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita Krishna says:

urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham, asvatham prahur avyayam
chhandamsi yasya parnani, yas tam veda sa veda-vit

The translation and explanation from Appendix A:
The Supreme Lord said: (Created for the purpose of satisfying the fruitive desires of the fallen souls, who are averse to the Lord, this material world is described by the Scriptures in this way:) "Its root is uppermost, that is, its root is situated in aversion to, and comes away from the supreme uppermost fundamental truth, the Lord. Its branches face downwards, that is, the demigods headed by Lord Brahma are its branches, and it is endless for those persons who misuse the soul's independence to adopt the life of karmma or fruitive action—in this respect it is avyayam, or indestructible; and yet, as far as devotionally orientated persons are concerned, it cannot remain even until the next day. In this respect it is 'Asvattha,' which means, 'perishable and transient.' All the aphorisms of the Vedas that promote fruitive action are represented as the protective leaves of that Asvattha tree in the form of this material world." One who knows in this way that tree representing the mundane world, such a person is a knower of the purport of the Vedas.

Actually one who knows that Krishna consciousness is coming down in this way can maintain his full faith with that and he can follow the conception of Srila Guru Maharaj properly. Mahamaya (illusion) is always trying to hit everyone in order to massacre the life of devotion, and in this way we can understand why the devotee will feel alone sometimes. But when one can see the mercy of Krishna and the real path of his life then he can ignore everything but he cannot leave his determination.


Question: I see others leaving devotional life and I sometimes feel unsure as to whether I should keep struggling in the attempt to do my present form of service. What to do?

Srila Maharaj replied: I have no other way and no other intention than the service of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga and Their mission. I know that there is no chance of any real servitor of Srila Guru Maharaj leaving his service. If anyone has really seen and considered about the transcendental activities of Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj, he can easily understand that satyam, sivam and sundaram is Krishna and our only duty is to serve Him. These mundane world's difficulties always stay around us like the current of a river in which we, the souls, are being tossed about. We now have achieved this body which is like a boat and we are to carefully, without offence, cross over this troublesome river. Otherwise, if that boat will spring a leak by being hit, it will flounder and sink in the river of difficulties. There is danger but we are always to have hope and confidence in our spiritual guides because Guru and Krishna are our saviours and protectors.

Actually, about the Western World I have no real idea of living affairs but in a general way I can only say:

pasu paksi haye thaki swarge va niraye
lava bhakti rahu bhaktivinoda-hrdaye

We can stay anywhere, in any position, and in any circumstance but we must make there Their Lordships' own devotional living space.


Question: I feel that I have been exploited time and time again in this world and my desire is to withdraw. What advice can you give me?

Srila Maharaj replied: Certainly this world is a place of exploitation. Everybody is trying for his own benefit by exploiting others. Both through the Scripture and by our own experience we can understand this reality. Jivo jivasya jivanam. Unless we exploit others we cannot live for even one second: we cannot breath, we cannot eat, we cannot walk or run, and we cannot talk even. But we are to understand that there is another plane that is also reactionary: it is the world which opposes this mundane environment. It is called the world of renunciation, but through that ideal we cannot actually satisfy ourselves. It is the line between two planes and there birth and death are extremely absent, however if there is no transcendental service connection then it is not possible to go to the plane above that abscissa.

Srila Rupa Goswami explained that we are to follow the middle path—yukta-vairagya—in which there is neither renunciation nor material attachment. With neither great attraction nor great repulsion we are to proceed without disturbance, and develop attachment to Krishna consciousness. What will come easily by way of wealth and necessities we can accept, but it is not good for us to expend too much effort for anything of this material plane. Certainly Krishna will provide according to our necessities and our allotted amount. Srila Guru Maharaj always emphasised that we are not to quarrel with the environment.


Question: Before engaging myself fully in devotional service I feel the need to fulfil some material duties, but I always hope in my heart that one day I will be able to render some service to Srila Guru Maharaj.

Srila Maharaj replied: I know in the line of transcendental service, illusion is always making obstructions. But nobody can consider that only after removing all disturbances can they then do Hari-seva. Our lifetime is very short in comparison to universal time, therefore with whatever we have in our hand at this moment we must try with that to make progress in our transcendental practising life. Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur wrote in one song:

samsara nirvaha kari jabo ami vrndavana,
khanatraya sodhivare karitechhi suyatana,
e asara nahi prayojan

It is impossible that only after finishing all mundane works can we only then serve Guru and the Vaisnavas. It is impossible, therefore we must follow the directives of Srila Guru Maharaj and in that way cut off the knot of material attachment by the weapon of knowledge, and without delay try to proceed. We will not achieve an easy position in this mundane plane: we must always face a hard time here, but when, in that hard time, we receive the help of real friends and the mercy of Sri Gurudeva, we cross over all the obstructions easily. I have no way to live without service to Srila Guru Maharaj.

Srila Guru Maharaj said, "Je sankirtanagni prajvalita kariyachhena." All over the world Srila Guru Maharaj arranged the fire sacrifice of sankirtana and we are the ingredients to fuel the flames of that fire, but if we hide ourselves from there then that is not real saving, but that is suiciding. That is, everything is transcendentally arranged there and therefore we cannot feel the burning sensation. Only we can feel the transcendental joyful nourishment of the mood of sacrifice.

*****

 

- Jewels -

More gems from correspondence by
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj

When all over the world the devotees are chanting and dancing with the Holy Name of Sri Krishna and receiving transcendental inspiration with their service-mood, then, by participating in that congregational chanting, we can feel real joyfulness and happiness. Once we have seen the goal of our life we must reach there through serving without stopping and without offence.

Krishna is the game-maker and our real position is that we are the eternal transcendental players in His game—His lila—and that life is fully joyful. If once we can have a glimpse of that reality then we will become most determined to become a good player. The good player automatically will always be given opportunities to play. From all directions service comes to him and he is always aiming to the goal.


This is the Age of Kali and the influence of demons is very strong. They are trying to enjoy with Krishna's property and that is an absolutely wrong and hellish mood. But within any environment the devotee always will try to serve his Divine Master as well as the Supreme Lord. That is the nature of the devotee.


In this Age of Kali it is Mahaprabhu's mercy that everybody has a chance to practise bhakti-yoga simply by chanting the Holy Names of Lord Krishna. If we can chant without offence then we must have hope of reaching our happy destination of an eternal service position to the Lord. We are fallen souls but if we can be good students, then our Divine Master can cleverly take us over the ocean of Maya. After so many births we have received this very auspicious and fortunate human form and we must try to utilise this sincerely and properly which means we must try to serve Guru with our full surrender.

Our beloved Divine Master, Srila Guru Maharaj, only knew service to Krishna. He had no other duty. Now with the help of his affectionate servitors from all over the world I am trying heart and soul to continue his Mission here nicely.

Then you can try to chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra without offence, read the sastras, particularly Srila Guru Maharaj's books, and try to do some service for this the Mother Math. I know Krishna will see, and you will be benefitted.


Krishna is our all-powerful, fully independent Lord and in this way we cannot say in what ways he will choose to purify His beloved servitors. It is rare for a conditioned soul from this mundane world to want to come out and serve his beloved Lord. But Krishna Himself is also very eager to meet with such conditioned souls. Sometimes circumstances can be difficult but what else can we do? We had the great fortune of receiving the mercy of our dearmost Srila Guru Maharaj and by his grace we have hope of progressing to our happy spiritual destination. Some stalwarts may fall away but we must courageously continue to practise Krishna consciousness whatever the circumstances.


By sending me problems in my service, Krishna is taking my blood! And if I do not give my blood, how shall I get that service? We shall proceed happily with problems. If problems will not come, then we should think that it is not possible to receive mercy in a relaxed mood. With a relaxed mood, it is not possible.

Throughout my whole life there have been problems; but I am very satisfied that I did not give any problems to Guru Maharaj. All the problems that happened downstairs, whether brahmacaris fighting with one another, or women fighting with each other, or whatever, I always solved the problem downstairs. I did not throw them upstairs to cause Srila Guru Maharaj disturbance.


Transcendental knowledge is not so easy to attain or receive. It is only possible by the grace of Sri Gurudeva and full surrender to his lotus feet, otherwise the illusory environment of Maya, one of Krishna's potencies, will take the jivas to the world of imitation, making them sahajiya and thus causing them to completely lose their fortune.

We are servitors of Srila Guru Maharaj who manifested himself as a superior paramahamsa [the nature of a paramahamsa is to be able to separate service from the unwanted things of the mundane world as a swan takes only the milk from a mixture of milk and water], and who gave his directives in a practical way. Therefore we shall try to separate the milk from the water for his service. The world situation now everywhere is in a very difficult position and the mentality of the general mass is going in the way of atheism but we cannot interrupt our own transcendental service to Sri Guru and Gauranga.


By the mercy of our Gurudeva, practically we are reading and practising within the same class as Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Lord Narada, Lord Sukadeva, etc. But when any disturbance of destruction will come like chaos in our practising life then we must steadily try to get a good, merciful, Vaisnava's association, and try to follow the guidelines of Srila Guru Maharaj.


Sankirtan means that all together we are chanting the Holy Names and offering service whole-heartedly to our Divine Master and our Lord. Krishna only looks at this qualification and no other. Here our beloved Srila Guru Maharaj began the great Sankirtan fire sacrifice and up to date I am seeing that Sankirtan fire, day by day, spreading all over the world through his devotees. All the devotees are trying whole-heartedly to fuel that fire. Each one is like an auspicious stick of wood fully dedicating himself for the exaltation of Srila Guru Maharaj by entering into the Sankirtan fire sacrifice. These sticks are burning happily because they do not receive pain, only purification. I feel myself to be fully satisfied that I have offered myself for my Divine Master's desire and that you are all also always trying to fulfil the desire of his Divine Grace.

It is my only prayer to you all that you must look to this central Math where there is continuous service to the Deities and Srila Guru Maharaj as well as the living Sankirtan fire-sacrifice which is always continuing here.

*****

 

⇐ PART 2, CHAPTER 6

APPENDIX A ⇒

Contents


Editorial

Part One:
Chapter One:
Vaishnava Thakur
Chapter Two:
The Original Current
Chapter Three:
Divine Desire and Directives

Part Two:
First Discourse:
Descent of Knowledge
Second Discourse:
Lessons in Giving
Third Discourse:
Protected Journey
Fourth Discourse:
Adjusting to His Account
Fifth Discourse:
Present Position, Brightest Prospect
Sixth Discourse:
Fortunate Indeed

Part Three:
The Written Word
(Answers through Letters)
Appendix A
Appendix B:
The Ten Offences to the Holy Name

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