THE DIVINE SERVITOR : PART TWO (DISCOURSES)
We are not renounced sannyasis; we are more than grhasthas, but this 'grha' is the house of Sri-Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharva-Govindasundar. In this way we are actually members of Their house, not sannyasis. We are members of Sri-Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharva-Govindasundar's servitors' group and therefore we have much responsibility. The highest responsibility is to serve the sadhu, the Guru and the Vaisnavas. In the scriptures it is said that every grhastha must do some Vaishnava-seva, some Guru-seva, and in this way they can increase their devotional life. Our service to Sri-Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharva-Govindasundar is also like the service of a householder. Many devotees are coming and going, and for the purpose of preaching we are making many programmes, so this is also one kind of grhastha life. In the book Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu, in which Rupa Goswami gives the science of devotion, he has written one sloka:
anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah
We are followers of Prabhupada Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati and Sriman Mahaprabhu, as well as our Srila Guru Maharaj. We are trying to maintain our devotional life with this conception of yukta-vairagya. We must invite into our lives that which is necessary for devotion, and leave aside whatever may be harmful. Mahaprabhu said that we are not brahmanas, we are not ksatriyas, we are not vaisyas and we are not sudras. Also we are not vanaprasthas, we are not grhasthas and we are not sannyasis, but our only identification is that we are the servitors of the servitors of the servitors of the servitor's servitors of Sri Krishna. And what kind of Krishna? Gopi-bharttuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah. Not Kuruksetra Krishna and not Dwaraka Krishna, but He who is protecting the cows. He who is Lord of the Gopis, and He who is playing in Vridavan and on Govardhan Hill; that type of Krishna, cowherd boy Krishna: we are to be the servant of the servant of Him. To be such a servant is our main line and goal of life.
naham vipro na cha nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
Spontaneously we must try with our full devotion to establish and maintain this conception in our life. Twenty-four hours a day service to the Lord is necessary, but the nearest Lord is Guru, Vaishnava, and Mahaprabhu. We are to fully surrender there, not only surrender and lie down, but surrender and serve. We are to surrender and serve with our full energy twenty-four hours a day, and then we must reach our transcendental destination very easily and without caring about anything. That is the devotional mood.
One day during the translation from Sanskrit to Bengali of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, many pandits came to the Math here in Nabadwip. There was one very difficult sloka, the meaning of which the pandits could not fully understand. This sloka said, "I don't care for Baladev, and I don't care for Rukmini or Satyabhama, but I must do my service: that type of ego I have." But that is very difficult to understand. Baladev is Guru and Satyabhama is a super-servitor of Krishna, therefore how can anyone say that he does not care for them? So why has Rupa Goswami composed this verse?
The pandits were all puzzled and came to Srila Guru Maharaj. They were very satisfied to hear his reply. He told them, "Rupa Goswami composed this sloka with some purpose: to show what is the target of the devotee. 'O Baladev, O Satyabhama, You are both most worshipable to me, but please do not interfere with me now. I am busy with my service and have no time to spare. I know that you are both super-servitors of Lord Krishna, but I am your servitor's servitor; I have some duty." If their master's table is dirty, will the master clean that? No! If the master will want to clean it, the devotee must give objection, "Please give me that opportunity, it is my duty not yours." In this way the devotees have some ego: they must serve their master. "Please do not interfere here, but go and be seated over there and I shall worship your lotus feet." This is the meaning that is coming through this sloka.
In that assembly there were great, great pandits including Sri Ram Gopal Vidyabhusana who was a very great devotee of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada and a great Sanskrit scholar. Previously those pandits could not understand the gist of that sloka, but when Srila Guru Maharaj explained it they were all very happy. This interpretation can now be found in Srila Guru Maharaj's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu commentary.
The servitor's nature is that he does not wish to give any trouble to his Lord. Even when the Lord is lying down and sleeping, the servitor will not stop: he must engage in his Lord's service. Nothing can separate him from his Lord's service, just as the soldier-ant cannot give up his grip even if his head becomes torn from his body in the attempt.
But it is true that one servitor cannot do everything. Therefore in Vrndavan, and everywhere, there are many groups. In each group there is a main leader as well as other leading devotees. They instruct others while they themselves engage in service. In this way the transcendental service world is running very happily, and that is called Goloka Vrindavan.
sriyah kantah kantah parama-purusah kalpa-taravo
(Sri Brahma-samhita, 5.56)
This is a very nice sloka from Brahma-samhita. One who once reads Brahma-samhita can never forget it. Mahaprabhu brought from South India two books. When He came across the Brahma-samhita He was surprised and thought, "This is My conception!" and took with Him a copy of that book. The other book he brought from South India was Sri Krishna-kamamrtam. In Brahma-samhita all the siddhanta is given in gist form, and in Krishna-karnamrtam all the rasas are similarly given. Mahaprabhu took in His left hand Krishna-karnamrtam and in his right hand, Brahma-samhita. But for us to understand Brahma-samhita is a little difficult, therefore Rupa Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, Jiva Goswami and other Acharyas composed many Vaishnava scriptures for our sampradaya; many books for our help. One such book is called Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa, another which is by Rupa Goswami and gives the science of devotion is called Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and Srila Sanatan Goswami composed Brhat Bhagavatamrtam. Srila Rupa Goswami composed Laghu Bhagavatamrtam and many natakas (plays) such as Ujjvala-nilamani, etc.
Many compositions have come for the development of our transcendental knowledge, but we are not qualified to read every book. In order to read the books it is necessary to have some previous qualification, some primary qualification. Otherwise if we go to read those books we will go down with our mundane mind, and sahajiyaism, imitationism, will immediately catch us. Therefore Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada instructed us to avoid reading any explanations about madhura-rasa. Srila Guru Maharaj also instructed us not to try to read these books, but first we may read the primary books under the guidance of the Vaishnavas, and that will be very helpful for our devotional lives.
There are many books, but particularly Srlla Guru Maharaj's Srimad Bhagavad-gita will be very helpful for us, although the interpretations of Sri Gita from other sampradayas may not be helpful.
It is necessary to see what should be the one target in our lives, and that is service to Guru and Vaishnava. This is the main thing of value in our lives. To get a position or to get a chair is very easy. Anyone, anywhere, can make a chair for himself. But to receive mercy from Guru and Vaishnava is very difficult, although that is the wealth of our lives, and that is what we need for our practising life. Our only hope is that our Gurudev, his Godbrothers, and other Vaishnavas will not leave us. They are always giving us causeless mercy and we are able to maintain our spiritual lives with that.
durdaive sevaka yadi yaya anya sthane
No doubt we are conditioned souls and sometimes must do some wrong. It is a real possibility in our life. But our Guru is conscious, so he will not leave us: he must take us and forcibly rescue us bringing us to his lotus feet. That is also a qualification of Guru. Our Gurudev is very great, and therefore from every direction our minds may be rescued and brought to his lotus feet and engaged in his service. Also it is my own experience that sometimes I may try to do something about which I do not know much; but there is no fault in trying. Rather, I must try, but the result is in the hands of Krishna, Guru and Vaishnava. My attention is not to be attached to the result; They will see to that.
I must only serve. I must try to serve, and I must not forget my duty. This is the main theme of our lives. We have had many births, lakhs and lakhs of births, but somehow we now have this human birth, so we must use this body in the proper way. We have a very high chance, a super-chance with this mundane human body.
By our good fortune we have received the seeds of Krishna prema, from which grow the bhakti-lata, or creeper of devotion, and if we can cultivate that properly we can cross over the illusory environment. Not only can we leave the illusory environment and go to Viraja and Brahmaloka but we can cross even those planes very easily by our devotion. And with the help of that bhakti-lata we can go to our main destination, Goloka Vrindavan. When we get shelter in that kalpa-vriksa, that wish-fulfilling tree, the lotus feet of Krishna, everything will be fulfilled automatically; and we need this. We now have the human body but we do not know what may come in the future, and we do not know where our kannina will take us when we die.
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram
If at the time of dying I remember a dog then I shall go to the womb of a dog. Such danger is there.
So we must do everything for the service of our Srila Guru Maharaj, then nothing can disturb us. It is necessary that the mind be captured by the transcendental environment. If we can do that then we can use everything for the Lord's service. That is paramahamsa-dharma.
— : CONTENTS : —
Part Two: DISCOURSES by His Divine Grace Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj
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