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Lured and Lashed

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking online to Venezuela & Colombia
Caracas Deity installation anniversary,
23 June 2013


Today a girl came here. She stays in London with her husband and although she is getting so much austerity, she still wants to stay in her family. I remember one story I heard.

If you go to Vrindavan you will see there are so many widows. About 20,000 widows live in Vrindavan. Do you know what they do there? These old ladies usually come from good families, they had good husbands, but now just to get some food, every day they go to some temple and sing—they sing for three hours and get Rs 5. They spend something on their food, but actually there is no want of food in Vrindavan—if anybody goes saying, "Jaya Radhe! Radhe Shyam!" they can always get something. So, these widows save most of the money they get for their cremation—to buy the wood. When homeless people die, the government always throws the body into the Yamuna or sometimes buries them, but there are no proper Hindu rites observed for them.

These widows left their homes, but actually many of them have big houses somewhere in Bengal (Kolkata, for example). They have a family, but the family gives them a hard time—at their old age, at 70 or 80 years old, they are kicked out of their houses by their sons and now they get so much austerity... Once I spoke to a lady, she did not want to tell her family name at first, but after I gave the lecture, she began to cry and eventually told me that her son had a big gold shop in Bowbazar, Kolkata (you can imagine how rich they are).

Now these ladies are homeless—they live in the street, sleeping outside or sometimes in the corridor of a closed shop. Such is the life of widows in Vrindavan. It is very sad and austere...

So, the story goes as follows. There was an old lady who lived in a plastic shack (you can often see these in India at the railway stations). One day she went begging and got some rice. She cooked the rice and went to bring some water from a municipal tank. In the meantime, a hungry dog entered her house (there is no door or anything), and what did the dog do? The dog saw the clay pot with the rice and wanted to eat it—it put its head into the pot but its tongue could not reach the rice. The dog tried again and again to reach the rice and soon its head was stuck in the pot—now it could neither eat the rice, nor take its head out!

The lady returned with the water and saw the dog, "Oh no! Alas, what am I going to do now?! I had been begging the whole day to get some rice, and now this dog has put its mouth there!" The lady got so angry, she took a stick and started beating the dog so much. The dog could not run away because its face was inside the pot and it could not see anything. So, now not only the dog was hungry and could not reach the rice, but it was also being beaten by the lady—both!

A good man, you can say a devotee, was passing that place and saw the scene, "O God, that lady is beating the dog so much and it cannot run away because it cannot see anything! This is hopeless! I must do something..." The man took a piece of brick and threw it at the pot. The pot broke and the dog dashed away!

This shows what the illusory environment, or maya, is like. If you enter the illusory environment, you become attacked by it and cannot run away from there—you get beaten so much but cannot run away. Maya is very strong. Like that dog, we cannot see anything, our eyes are in the pot (illusory environment), but Gurudev is merciful, he is like the man who broke the pot out of pity for the dog. If one day by the mercy of the Guru, by the mercy of a Vaishnav, our eyes are opened, then we can run away from maya. The Guru can break the illusory environment, can cut the illusory net, maya jal (মায়া জাল), and can let us see the chinmaya dham (চিন্ময় ধাম), transcendental abode.

Sometimes we become lax—we serve for many years but then become tired. I have told it many times: your mind is your enemy, no one else. You must not follow your mind—we always give food to the mind and it eventually becomes strong and takes us away from our service and from Krishna consciousness. You must tell your mind, "From today, I will not give you any food! I will not listen to you." Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj gave this advice.


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Make Krishna Your Friend
It is necessary to have desire to get it. Krishna Himself said, 'If you have desire, one day mercy will come.' If you make one step to Krishna, Krishna will make ten steps to you.


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'You are the mine of the siddhanta revealed by Sri Gauranga and Srila Saraswati Thakur. You discovered the divine meaning of the gayatri mantra.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

If an acharya does not practise with pranipatena, pariprasnena, sevaya, he cannot practise his acharya life like that. The same is true for everyone.