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Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
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Keep Yourself Afloat

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
Speaking online to devotees in Caracas, part 7
22 July 2012


You are always welcome.

দুর্দ্দৈবে সেবক যদি যায় অন্য-স্থানে ।
সেই ঠাকুর ধন্য তারে চুলে ধরি' আনে ॥

durdaive sevaka yadi yaya anya sthane
sei thakura dhanya tare chule dhari' ane

If by chance a servant falls down and goes somewhere else, glorious is that master who captures him and brings him back by the hair.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.47)

Krishna always wants service from the devotees. Because of their bad karma and because the illusory environment is very powerful, maya always takes, always removes everybody from their service. If you can come out of the illusory environment, Krishna will again engage you in service—He will again give you service.

One devotee came to our temple in Vrindavan for Srila Sridhar Maharaj's disappearance festival. He came to me and said, "I am a disciple of Gurudev." I asked him, "Why are you staying in some other place? Do you not know you can stay here?" He said, "No, I did not know anything..." He is floating just like a piece of wood in an ocean,

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)

Souls always float in a river (like Ganges or Yamuna), like a piece of wood. If you do not know how to swim, you try so hard to swim, but in the end you begin to sink, you know you are going to die, at that time if you see some straw coming to you, you can hold onto that straw and easily get to the bank. The jiva souls always float in maya—when you see something to hold onto in the water, immediately catch it, then you can get relief.

I sent that devotee to Nabadwip and he is going there today. He does not know so much English, but he knows Spanish, and I told him, "You can serve there. There many Spanish-speaking devotees staying in Nabadwip, you can get some association from them, it will be good for you." Gurudev gave me this service and it is my duty to engage him in service. If somebody has lost their faith or service, if somebody is lost in the illusory environment, we use them in service.

Everybody does not have the same quality—somebody knows how to cook, somebody knows how to sing kirtans, somebody knows how to play mridanga, somebody can do puja, somebody can make garlands—we must use everybody, we must give everybody a chance to serve. Everybody's quality is not the same, but we will not reject anybody, we will use them and take their service—even if somebody does 10% service, that is also good. Do you understand? This is how I always engage devotees.


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Odds and Ends
'Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told that you can chastise somebody at any other time but not to chastise, not to use bad language when taking prasadam.'


'I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who is very expert in the arts performed by the sakhis to fulfil the Forest Couple's Love Play, and is thus very dear to Them.'

If you hear about the pastimes of the Goswamis, if you hear how much austerity they have, how they follow Mahaprabhu's instruction, how much service they do—you can realise that we are not doing anything!