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Terminal Foolishness

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
Speaking online to the devotees in Caracas
5 December 2012


Question: How can we avoid pratistha?

It is very difficult, Prabhu... It is only possible by the mercy of Gurudev.

Pratistha is for the Guru. You must think, "I am a servant of the Guru, that is why people are giving me honour." If somebody wants pratistha but does not follow the Guru, why will anyone follow him? Gurudev always said, "If you want to be a Guru, you must first become a disciple."

If I think, "I am under Chaitanya Saraswat Math," then it is like a rubber stamp, a signature, "He is a servitor at Chaitanya Saraswat Math," but if I come out of Chaitanya Saraswat Math, nobody will follow me. I will have no value. Somebody has a few local devotees following them, and they cannot stay together with others under Chaitanya Saraswat Math. They think, "Oh, I have some followers, and with such followers I can do many things. I can conquer the whole world!" If somebody thinks like this, it is their foolishness. If you have no rubber stamp, no signature of Chaitanya Saraswat Math, you can never be under the banner of Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

In Gurudev's time also many people came out of the temple thinking, "Oh, I know more than Govinda Maharaj. I know more than others. I can leave and make a temple outside Chaitanya Saraswat Math!" But all of them failed—nobody has ever succeeded...

Actually, pratistha is a kind of foolishness. People do not understand that if your get some honour, if you get some pranami, or donation, if your get some respect, who is it for? It is for the Guru and his mission. If you do not think like this, then pratistha will attack you even more.

It is possible to avoid it through proper practising, practising, practising, and also the mercy of the Guru and Vaishnavs is necessary. Avoid Vaishnav aparadh, avoid seva aparadh, Nama aparadh, and in this way you can control pratistha.


Question: Srila Govinda Maharaj said that some devotees may do good work and other devotees do good seva, and if the devotee does some good work, it is a kind of pratistha...

Actually, if somebody thinks they do something it is very bad. We cannot do anything. Those who think like this are foolish. We are tiny jiva souls, how much can we do for the Guru? Nothing! If somebody thinks they can do something, that is their false ego.


Question: Is there a connection between pratistha and ego?

Yes, pratistha comes through ego. Ego is like a disease, and pratistha makes a small disease turn into cancer. There are six diseases: kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya (desires, anger, greed, illusion, madness, envy); and these six diseases together become cancer, pratistha.


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