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Appreciate Your Fortune

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking to the devotees in South Africa
13 August, 2011


Gurudev said to everybody: wherever you live—whether you live in South Africa, or Mauritius, in a forest, jungle, or a house—you must maintain your practising life, you must maintain your Krishna consciousness life. Whether you are a rich or a poor man, it does not matter. How many days will you be alive in this world? One way or another we all have to die, and we are wasting our time... Gurudev said that only a foolish person waits for the next life, or for the next day, "Oh, from tomorrow we will start preaching Krishna consciousness" or "From tomorrow we will start practising Krishna consciousness." No! You must do it from now!

It is necessary to preach and to practise. Use everybody in service to the Lord—you can use a coconut tree, a mango tree, or any fruits tree, any flower tree in the service to the Lord. You can do it only in this human body.

When we were in our mother's womb we promised to the Lord, "I will serve You," but we have forgotten it...

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.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117

Because we forget the Lord we are suffering so much now in the illusory environment, but:

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 come and go, come and go, but the fortunate souls—who have got a great mercy, who are sumedha (have a good brain)—have some good benefit and good fortune, and they get some good association. Good association comes through faith,

'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
কৃষ্ণে ভক্তি কৈলে সর্ব্বকর্ম্ম কৃত হয় ॥

'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

Sraddha means confident, firm faith that by serving Krishna you automatically perform all other activities.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62

It is necessary to have the strongest faith. How much mercy you get depends on how much faith you have—the kind of benefit you get from the Lord, the kind of spirituality you get, depends on how much faith you have for your Guru. There are different kinds of faith: kamala sraddha, taranga sraddha, drdha sraddha, and sudrdha sraddha. Everything depends upon faith.

So, when you get faith, you get good association. When you get good association, you start practising: sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam (hearing, chanting, remembering, offering obeisance, rendering service as a servitor, as a friend, and self-submission). Sravan means 'that which gives benefit in your life.' You should think what that benefit is. There are five parts,

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with firm faith.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124

With careful attention and faith serve the Vaishnavs, serve your Guru, serve the Deity—in this way you can prosper, you can continue and improve your spiritual life.

Gurudev gave me this position to serve you all, and I am your servant. I want to serve you all, so it is my hope that you will engage me in your service. Gurudev allowed me, a fallen soul, to serve you all, and I am very happy today that I have got a chance to say something to all the devotees in South Africa.

I am extremely happy to see you all. When all devotees come together and have a program, it is like charging the battery. You know, sometimes we forget to charge our mobile phone battery, and after one-two days the phone goes flat. When you make a festival, it is like charging your spiritual battery. It is very nice to see all the devotees together. I am also inviting you all—come to India for Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Vyasa Puja or for Srila Gurudev's Vyasa Puja. Come all together: we will chant and dance in Nabadwip Dham! I will also try to come—I always promise I will come to South Africa, but unfortunately I am not able to keep my promise, please forgive my offence... I will try to come.

Actually, I have no qualification to serve you all, but it is my fortune that you always allow me to serve you. When I see you all, I remember Gurudev's face because you are keeping Gurudev in your heart. I can see that.

I am only praying to the Lord to be with all the devotees. Your love and affection always gives me strength. There is so much trouble right now here, but I do not care—I promised to Gurudev that until my last drop of blood I will protect his devotees, protect his temple, and protect his Mission and Deities.

You have got love and affection from Gurudev, and now you are giving that love and affection to me—that gives me hope, and that is my good fortune...



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Path to Service
'Chant, keep good association, listen to Hari-katha, and practise, then gradually you will get proper benefit through your chanting—then you will get the real service to your Guru.'


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

If we imitate what Krishna does, then we become sahajiyas.