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Our Predicament and Prospect

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Caracas, Venezuela
18 September 2009


Today is a very auspicious day. Sometimes it is cloudy or it is rainy and we say, "Today is a bad day," but the scriptures say that a cloudy day is not a bad day—what day is a bad day? The day when we cannot worship Lord Chaitanyadev, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, the day when we cannot chant Hare Krishna, cannot hear Hari-katha—this day is the worst day in our life.

So, today is our good day. We are chanting and dancing in front of Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Chaitanyadev, so it is a very fortunate day, we are very lucky today.

ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
গুরু-কৃষ্ণ-প্রসাদে পায় ভক্তিলতা-বীজ ॥

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"Having travelled throughout the universe and got the mercy of Guru, Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.151)

We always come and go, but Gurudev says that we are very fortunate because we have got this human body—only in this body we can worship the Lord, we cannot do it in any another body. Gurudev said even more—he said, "Who is foolish? Those who wait for another life. They are foolish because we do not know if we can get a human body next time."

There is also a kirtan that says,

দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম লভিয়া সংসারে ।
কৃষ্ণ না ভজিনু দুঃখ কহিব কাহারে ॥

durlabha manava janma labhiya samsare
krsna na bhajinu duhkha kahiba kahare?

"I have got a very rare human life in this world, but I have not worshipped Lord Krishna. Whom can I tell of my misery?"

It is very sorrowful, very bad that, although it is very rare and not easy to get it, we have got a human body, but we forget our Lord. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami writes in Chaitanya-charitamrita (2.20.117),

কৃষ্ণ ভুলি' সেই জীব অনাদি-বহির্ম্মুখ ।
অতএব মায়া তারে দেয় সংসারাদি-দুঃখ ॥

krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsaradi-duhkha

"Having forgotten Krishna, the soul wanders throughout the universe. Being thus covered by illusion, the soul goes through all kinds of material suffering.

Because we forget our Lord, forget our actual Father, we suffer so much—tri-tap-jvala, three kinds of suffering are burning within us (adhibhautik, adhidaivik, adhyatmik, আধিভৌতিক, আধিদৈবিক, আধ্যাত্মিক: miseries caused by one's body, by the nature, and other souls). We promised our Father, "I will serve You!", "I will see You!" and so on, but we forget it. When did we promise it? You know that when a child is in its mother's womb, it suffers so much, every mother knows it. In the womb, the child lives with its head down, legs up, surrounded by impure water, and so on. You know it. At that time, the child suffers to much. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur wrote in one of his songs, "Janani-jathare, chhilama yakhana, visama bhandana-pase (জননী-জঠরে ছিলাম যখন, বিষম বন্ধন-পাশে)." It means that when we were in the womb, we were tied and suffering so much, and at that time we cried to the Lord, "Prabhu! Please! I want to see You!" Only the fortunate souls can see the Lord in their mother's womb. The Lord comes Himself to see the soul, and when the Lord comes, He asks,

"Why have you called Me?"

"I have been suffering so much, please free me! I do not want to stay in this womb, I want to come out," prays the soul.

"All right. You want to come out, you will come out, no problem; but when you come out you will forget Me, so I am giving you eyes so that you can see My form everywhere (like, Gaura Nitai, for example); I am giving you hands, with these hands you will serve Me; I am giving you legs so that you can do parikrama of holy places." You may not always be able to come to the holy dham like Sri Nabadwip, Vrindavan, Mathura, because you may be busy, have no money, or because of a lack of fortune, but the Lord says, "If you cannot come to the holy place, I am giving you an instruction. You can plant Tulasi in your house and with your legs you can do parikrama around her every day four times. And I am giving you a mouth—this mouth is not for eating, I am giving you this mouth so that you can chant the Holy Name with it."

We promise all this, but when the baby is born, it cries and Maya attacks it...

There is a sloka in Srimad Bhagavad-gita (7.14) where Lord Krishna Himself says, "Daivi hy esa gunamayi, mama maya duratyaya (দৈবী হ্যেষা গুণময়ী মম মায়া দুরত্যয়া): I Myself have created the illusion, Maya. She is very powerful, you cannot defeat her." And then next He says, "Mam eva ye prapadyante, mayam etam taranti te (মামেব যে প্রপদ্যন্তে মায়ামেতাং তরন্তি তে): If somebody fully surrenders to Me, I remove all maya, all illusion, from them."

There is also a kirtan where it is said,

এ ঘোর-সংসারে পড়িয়া মানব
না পায় দুঃখের শেষ ।
সাধুসঙ্গ করি' হরি ভজে যদি
তবে অন্ত হয় ক্লেশ ॥

e ghora-samsare padiya manava
na paya duhkhera sesa
sadhu-sanga kari' hari bhaje yadi
tabe anta haya klesa

"Those who have fallen into this terrible world never cease to suffer, but if they associate with sadhus and serve Hari, their suffering comes to an end."

('E ghora-samsare' from Jaiva-dharma by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

"E ghora-samsare padiya manava, na paya duhkhera sesa (এ ঘোর-সংসারে পড়িয়া মানব, না পায় দুঃখের শেষ): Those who have fallen into this terrible world never cease to suffer." When we suffer so much in this life, where will that suffering go? How to remove that suffering? "Sadhu-sanga kari' hari bhaje yadi, tabe anta haya klesa (সাধুসঙ্গ করি' হরি ভজে যদি, তবে অন্ত হয় ক্লেশ): if they associate with sadhus and serve Hari, their suffering comes to an end." If we get good association, we can chant the Holy Name, then all suffering will be removed.

Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu also said,

অন্যাভিলাষিতা-শূন্যং জ্ঞান-কর্ম্মাদ্যনাবৃতম্ ।
আনুকূল্যেন কৃষ্ণানুশীলনং ভক্তিরুত্তমা ॥

anyabhilasita sunyam jnana-karmady anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama

"The highest devotion is that which satisfies Lord Krsna, free from the coverings of any pursuits such as action, knowledge."

(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh, 1.1.11)

In other words,

অন্য অভিলাষ ছাড়ি, জ্ঞান কর্ম্ম পরিহরি,
কায়মনে করিব ভজন ।
সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণসেবা, না পূজিব দেবী-দেবা,
এই ভক্তি পরম কারণ ॥

anya abhilasa chhadi, jnana karma parihari
kaya-mane kariba bhajana
sadhu-sange krsna-seva, na pujiba devi-deva
ei bhakti parama karana

"The topmost process of devotional service is to worship the Lord with body and mind, giving up desires for fruitive activities and mental speculation. One should serve Lord Krsna in the association of devotees without worshipping any demigods."

(Sri Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 13, Srila Narottam Das Thakur)

We must leave everything and think about Krishna—Krishna says, "If you think about Me, I will think about you." Knowledge, duty (jnana, karma)—finish it all, it is not necessary to do anything. Some say, "Oh, Lord Krishna told not to do any karma, so I do not have to cook, I do not have to do any service or work." No, this is not right to think like this.

Jnana-karma-parihari (give up karma and jnana): what does it mean to stop karma? There is karma and there is also service, what is the difference? We must know it. You can do everything, but you should do it for the Deities, for the Lord.

For example, somebody cooks and thinks, "Oh, my husband will eat it, my daughter and son will eat it," and somebody cooks for the Deity, and their husband eats that too. Imagine two man go marketing. One man goes marketing thinking, "Oh, today my relative is coming, so I am doing some shopping"; and the other man goes to the market thinking, "Oh, Gaura Nitai, or Radha Krishna, Radha Madhav, are in my house, so I am marketing for Them." Both are marketing, but the meaning is not equal—one is karma, and one is service. It is not the same.

Gurudev also gave one example. When a cat catches a rat, it carries it in its mouth and the rat suffers so much, it is crying, but when that same cat picks its kitten, it also carries it in its mouth, but the kitten is very happy. Both times the cat bites and it looks the same, but actually it is not the same. That is the difference between karma and service. Do you understand what I am telling?

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you do karma, then you will again have to come (get another birth), but if you do service, it is not necessary to come again—you will go to your own house. We think about "search for Sri Krishna, Reality the Beautiful," we are searching for the Lord, but Krishna Himself is engaged in the "loving search for the lost servant." Have you read these two books? The Lord also thinks about us and cries for us, "When will My son come home?" We all have come from the same place, and we must go "back to God, back to home."

Since so many days ago we have lost our house. This here is not our house, this is a temporary, rented house—when the proprietor of this 'house' comes and says, we will have to leave. So, we must think where our real house is. We have come from the same place and have the same Father, and we must all come to the same place. How will we get there? A great devotee can show us the way to our house. That is why Krishna Himself sends His own associate as our Guru.

First you must be a disciple, then you can be a guru—without being a disciple you cannot be a guru. When you obey and always follow the instruction of your Guru, then you are a disciple. Somebody can only take some mantra and think, "Oh, I am a disciple," but if they do not follow their Gurudev's instruction, they are not a disciple of their Guru...


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Ganga Mata Goswamini
'There was once a young girl, a daughter of a good Odisha king, who got much mercy from Jagannath. She always served in the Jagannath temple—made garlands and did whatever other service there was..'


Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'When I examine myself for qualifications, I find none. Your mercy is everything.'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

'Give me some power, some energy, some devotional activities, some devotion
so that I can serve your lotus feet until death.' That is our only hope and prayer
to the Guru. Nothing else.