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Vaishnavs' Dealings: All Mercy

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

 

Question: What is the proper behaviour of a senior devotee that we should follow?

How must a senior devotee behave? You know that, a senior devotee must be humble, tolerant and give honour to others. Sometimes senior devotees also can chastise, but that is your asirbad (আশীর্বাদ)—it is their mercy, blessing to you. Gurudev would say to everybody, "Among my disciples, I can chastise only one person. If I chastise anyone else, they will run away." Sometimes also a senior devotee or Gurudev chastises somebody for preaching, for our benefit. I can give an example.

It happened in Nityananda Prabhu's time. Every year Nityananda Prabhu and all the devotees went to Puri from Nabadwip. At that time there were no cars, no trains or buses, so the only way to get there was by walking. They would start from Nabadwip two months before Ratha-yatra and walk all the way to Puri.

One time, Nityananda Prabhu and all His associates (among them was Sivananda Sen also), took prasadam in Nabadwip and started their journey. When they reached a place called Denur (it is near Gurudev's birthplace), they came to a mango garden and sat there to take some rest. The landlord of that village was Ramachandra, he was a very nice landlord, he always worshipped Nityananda Prabhu. The day before Nityananda Prabhu came, he dreamt that his Guru would come the next day, and in the morning he indeed saw that there were so many devotees of many colours—saffron, blue, yellow, etc.—sitting in his mango garden. As he approached the garden, he saw that among them there was Nityananda Prabhu Himself! He at once came to Him, prostrated in full obeisance, surrendering to Him fully, and asked, "Prabhu, please come to my house!" But Nityananda Prabhu said, "There are so many devotees with Me, I think your house will be too small for all, it will be better if you bring dal, rice and we can make kitchuri here." They cooked kitchuri and happily took prasadam there, it was like a picnic.

Nityananda Prabhu had a servitor. What was his name? Tell me. His name was Vrindavan Das Thakur! He was a thirteen-year-old boy at that time, a short boy, he is also the author of Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat. His mother's name is Narayani Devi, who at the age of three and a half years old got mercy of Mahaprabhu—when Mahaprabhu was taking prasadam, she took His remnants.

So, after Nityananda Prabhu took prasadam in that mango garden, He asked His servitor, "Vrindavan, please give Me the thing." Vrindavan Das Thakur immediately took it out of his pocket and gave it to the Lord. Actually after prasadam, Nityananda Prabhu would every day take some haritaki, it is a fruit that is taken as a mouth-freshener and digestive. Vrindavan Das Thakur immediately understood what Nityananda Prabhu was asking for and gave that to him. Nityananda Prabhu was surprised, "Where did you get it so quickly?" Vridnavan Das Thakur explained, "You took prasadam in Nabadwip yesterday, and some devotee gave it to me. I kept it for You thinking, 'Where will you get it on the way?'" but Nityananda Prabhu showed some anger, "You are a brahmachari, why are you keeping things for the next day? You are like a householder. Better you stay here then, you can make a householder life here."

Why was He angry? For preaching. He wanted to do some preaching through Vrindavan Das Thakur, that is why He kept him there—He gave him some blessing.

It happened in Denur, about a kilometre from Bamunpara, Gurudev's birthplace. It is a very famous place. There Vrindavan Das Thakur also wrote Chaitanya-bhagavat, and his original handwriting is still kept there.

 

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Firm and Fearless
'When we go along the current it is not necessary to do much hard labour; but when the current is going against us, then we have to labour hard. We must practise hard for our spiritual life.'

 

Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'Gurudev, give this servant a drop of your mercy, and make me more humble than a blade of grass.'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

Who can recognise the Guru? You cannot see the Guru with your material eyes; but you also have eyes inside, and if you surrender these internal eyes to Gurudev and can see with them, then you can understand who the Guru is.

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