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Devotion Conquers—Ego Repels

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Spoken on the eve of Lord Balaram's appearance day
9 August 2014


সাক্ষাদ্ধরিত্বেন সমস্ত-শাস্ত্রৈ-
রুক্তস্তথা ভাব্যত এব সদ্ভিঃ ।
কিন্তু প্রভোর্যঃ প্রিয় এব তস্য
বন্দে গুরোঃ শ্রীচরণারবিন্দম্ ॥

saksadd-haritvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam

"I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who is said by all the scriptures to be the Lord Himself, and considered to be so by the sadhus, yet is also the Lord's beloved devotee."

Sri Sri Gurvastakam, 7

Tomorrow is Balaram's appearance day, it is necessary to make a festival. Buy some paneer, sweets, yogurt at the market—tomorrow is a special day for our spiritual life, and you must offer special things for Baladev...

In Treta-yuga, Rama is older than Laksman, and Rama, the Lord Himself, wanted to serve Laksman, but He is older, and Laksman is younger, so He could not properly serve Him because the younger will not take service from the older. But in Dvapar-yuga, Laksman becomes Balaram and He is elder than Krishna, so Krishna happily serves Balaram, and Balaram also happily serves Krishna.

Balaram is Haladhara. Haladhara means plough-bearer. When cows are ploughing, you can always see that hala. Balaram always holds (dhara) hala, always protects Krishna.

One time—you remember that, I have told many times—Balaram slapped Krishna. Krishna made some mistake, and Balaram slapped Him. Krishna began to cry and complained to Mother Yasoda, "Mother, Brother has slapped Me!" Mother Yasoda showed anger; she called Balaram, "Balaram, why did You beat Him?" You know what Balaram did after that? Balaram grabbed Krishna and, shaking Him, asked, "What do You think? Who loves You more—Mother Yasoda or Me? Who in this world loves You more?" Mother Yasoda saw this and was surprised. Balaram said, "Why did You go to complain to Mother? Tell me, who is giving You more love and affection—Me or Your mother? Me or Your mother? Tell Me!" Krishna embraced Balaram and said, "Please forgive My offence. I complained to mother, it was My mistake. You love Me so much..."

Balaram always protects Krishna, and They are always together, but one time Balaram did not go with Him. Mother Yasoda told him not to go that today, so Balaram did not go. That day Kaliya-daman Lila happened, and Krishna had so much problem.

Although Balaram did not go with Krishna that day, He did come later and protected everybody because everybody wanted to jump into that Kaliya-daha. They saw that Krishna was floating on the surface like a dead body, and the snake was holding Him tight. Krishna pretended to be dead and was waiting. All the Vraja gopis, all the Vraja sakhis, even Mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaj—everybody came and wanted to jump there, but Balaram checked them, "Wait, wait, you cannot jump, cannot go there!" He prayed to Krishna, "Do not do this. You have to come out quickly," and also chastised Him, "Why are You still floating? Come! Come! Everybody wants to jump and commit suicide. The water is poisonous, everybody is going to die. Come out!"

Krishna wanted to show His Lila, His Pastimes to everybody, so He waited for more people to come, that is why it took Him time. Mother Yasoda also chastised Balaram, "Today You did not come that is why all this problem happened!" Then again Balaram chastised Krishna, "Come! Come quickly!" All the Vraja gopis, all the sakhis came there—and Krishna expanded Himself quickly. Kaliya-nag, the snake, is limited, and Krishna is unlimited, so Krishna expanded Himself more and more and then jumped and placed His feet on the head of Kaliya-nag!

Kaliya-nag was about to die when all his wives came to Krishna.

...We sing in the kirtan,

জয় দ্বিজপত্নী, জয় নাগকন্যাগণ ।
ভক্তিতে যাঁহারা পাইল গোবিন্দ-চরণ ॥

jaya dvija-patni, jaya naga-kanya-gana
bhaktite jahara paila govinda-charana

All glories to the wives of the proud Vedic brahmanas. All glories to the wives of the Kaliya serpent. Through pure devotion they all obtained the lotus feet of Lord Govinda.

'Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur

His wives came and prayed to Krishna, "Prabhu, You did right. Our husband has so much ego—no one can disturb him, no one can defeat him... And You demolished, finished his ego. We are very happy about that, but we are also begging You for one thing: we do not want to become widows. Please, do not kill him. The punishment You have given him is sufficient. We accept it, and we are also happy with that, but please do not kill him." They prayed to Krishna and got so much devotion, and through their devotion they got Krishna's mercy.

Krishna replied, "All right, he will not die completely. I will fulfil your desire, and you will not become widows." He then said to Kaliya, "All right, I will not kill you, but I have one condition: you cannot stay here because you are disturbing so many devotees, birds, cows—it is very difficult for everybody to stay here, so you have to go to Ramanak-dvip."

Kaliya-nag asked Krishna, "But how shall I go there? I am afraid of Garuda. If I go there, he will eat me!"

"It is not a problem because I have left My footprints on your head. Garuda is My devotee, so when you show him My footprints on your head, he will not touch you. That is My condition; you have to go."

Finally, Kaliya-nag accepted that proposal, left Vrindavan for Ramanak-dvip. That Lila happened there, at Kaliya-daha.


And also the pastimes of Saubhari Muni happened at Kaliya-daha. Saubhari Muni was meditating in the waters of Kaliya-daha when he saw some kama-lila of fish. His mind became disturbed. He was old, but having seen that marriage pastimes of the fish, his meditation broke and he came out of the water and wanted to get married.

In those days, kings would give announcement that their daughters were fit for marriage and all the royal princes would then come to the king. That is called svayamvara. Whoever the girl would garland at the ceremony, would get married to her. That used to be the custom.

So, when Saubhari Muni came out of the water, that time King Mandhata was holding a svayamvara. He had 50 daughters, and many princes had come. Through his meditation, Saubhari Muni became a young handsome man and also came there. In the end, all 50 daughters of the king chose him—they gave 50 garlands to Saubhari Muni. So, he had 50 wives. Do you see how much maya attacked him? We must always remember that.

Saubhari Muni saw that pastime of fish and lost everything. He became a householder, and not just a householder—he suffered so much trouble with his family life and his 50 wives. It is not easy to control 50 wives...

From this story, you can understand that we must be careful.


Kaliya-daman Lila—what is the Lila there? Kaliya-daman means Krishna has beaten some snake, but He did not just beat him—He demolished his ego... We all have so much ego, and we must demolish it.

Gurudev said: if the sun is shining from one side and there is a wall, the sun rays will not fall on the other side of the wall. Ego is also like that—through our ego we cannot see things properly.

অন্ধীভূত চক্ষু যার বিষয ধূলিতে ।
কিরূপে সে পরতত্ত্ব পাইবে দেখিতে ॥

andhibhuta chaksu yara visaya dhulite
ki rupe se para-tattva paibe dekhite

We become blind through our ego and cannot see things properly. If we think we know everything, we have understood everything—that is the difficulty.

দৈন্য, দয়া, অন্যে মান, প্রতিষ্ঠা বর্জ্জন ।
চারিগুণে গুণী হই করহ কীর্ত্তন ॥

dainya, daya, anye mana, pratistha-varjana
chari-gune guni hai karaha kirtana

Humility, mercy, consideration of others, and giving up position are the four qualities needed to perform kirtan.

Dainyata, be humble. Daya, be kind to others. Anye mana, give honour to others. And pratistha-varjana, we do not want name and fame. Somebody does not pay obeisance to me—what is the problem? It is not a problem for us!

Four things are necessary: dainya, daya, anye mana, pratistha-varjana. We can always do the first three things, but Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said that pratistha is like stool of a pig. You can tolerate the stool of a human, but the stool of a pig has a very bad smell. Pratistha is very dangerous. প্রতিষ্ঠা শুকরের বিষ্ঠা, pratistha sukarer vistha. 'Sukar' means pig, 'vistha' means stool. You can also see in our life: if somebody is getting acharya abhiman, they must fall down. It is necessary to understand this.


Sudama Vipra was a poor brahmin, but he was a friend of Krishna, and that was his quality—he loved Krishna so much. One day Krishna called Sudama Vipra to Dvaraka. Sudama Vipra was so afraid and said to his wife, "Krishna is calling me, but will He recognise me? I am Sudama, He is Krishna... At that time He was playing with the cows and I was also with Him, but will He recognise me now?" He was afraid, but when he came, Krishna embraced him and forcibly seated him on His chair, "Sit here. Today this is your chair, and I am sitting lower. You are My guest, and I am the host. You came to My house, and it is My duty to serve you." And Krishna massaged Sudama Vipra's feet!

Krishna shows this, Mahaprabhu also shows us similar Pastimes: through service we can conquer Gurudev's heart. Only through service.


Several days ago a man came to me. He is a disciple of Gurudev but does not follow his conception. In Gurudev's time, he disturbed Gurudev, and now he came to me saying, "The opposition group is doing so much wrong, and now I understand they were using me in a bad way against you..." I only listened and listened, and he kept saying, "I can do this, I can do this." I quoted Gurudev, "নিজের ঢাক নিজে পেটছ, nijer dhak nije petachho." It means "You are beating your own drum"—you are telling yourself what is your good quality. Gurudev also said that when somebody is taking so much, then something is wrong there—"empty vessel sounds much" [empty vessel makes most noise]. If a jar is full of water, there is no sound; when it is empty, some sound will come. So, those who are empty say, "I am a very big person. I can do something. I am doing this, I have done this, I am doing so much!" Those who are doing something, they do it in the background and do not go to the front to tell who is doing it.

You can see after how many years I am coming to the front. I never came to the front—I had always been doing everything from behind, and Gurudev knew who was doing it. Gurudev always praised me at all festival—Gaura Purnima, his birthday, Param Guru Maharaj's festival appearance, etc. He praised me, but I was doing everything behind him, in the background. I did not tell anything in front of him.

Gurudev said, "Empty vessel makes most noise." Gurudev is always merciful—we have so many bad qualities, but Gurudev always tolerates us. That is the main thing. I wrote also in Gurudev's time: we are doing so many wrong things, but still Gurudev is tolerating. We must understand these things.

Gurudev also told me one thing, and you must remember that. When I said, "He is a bad person," Gurudev replied, "Everyone can run with a good person. One who can run with a bad person is the best person!" It is the main thing.

We must understand it. How merciful Balaram and Nityananda Prabhu are—They are even more than the Lord!


Gurudev said about me, "I told that boy, 'Get out from me! Go away!' But he is coming again. I am chastising him because I want to know how much love and affection he has for me. If I chastise him and he goes away, then I will know he cannot last." If I run away, who will maintain the temple? Who will make this program? Who will hold Gurudev's mission? That is why Gurudev examined me from time to time, he thought, "If I chastise him now and he goes away, I will know that he does not love me, he only loves my property; but if I tell him to get out and he loves me, then he will stay here."

So, Gurudev chastised me: sometimes he would tell me to get out, sometimes to go away. It happened many times. He would become angry, and I would go away for 5-10 minutes, half an hour, maybe one hour, but every time I came back. He could chastise me in the afternoon, but after the arati I would come again. I would pay obeisances, and sit, listen to his lecture. Then he understood, "That boy is not going to leave me." And I never bargained with him. I came to serve my Guru, and I must do what my duty is—I must do that, and, according to my capacity, I must try to do more and more, and this is how I will learn. If Gurudev chastises me, it is OK, he can chastise, then I will learn, I will love him. I have seen many servitors, and I am thinking that this kind of mentality must be there.

Devotion, perfect devotion, is necessary. Emotion and devotion are very different. Gurudev said, "You can shed so many tears for yourself, but can you spend one drop of water from your eyes for me? For yourself, you can drop water—crying, crying, you can make a whole glass of water with your eyes, but can you spend one drop of water for me?" These are Gurudev's words, and I am keeping them in my heart.

And yet নিজ সুখ লাগি' পাপে নাহি ডরি, nija sukha lagi', pape nahi dari: for our own enjoyment we are not afraid to commit a sin...

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!



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'Mahadvadasi means two tithis (lunar days) coincide on one day. Ekadasi is auspicious, and mahadvadasi is even more auspicious, that is why we observe it. You can fast more, but if you fast and sleep all day and do not do any service, it is not good.'


Ke yabi ke yabi
'At my Lord Gauranga's ghat the upstream ferry runs without requesting any fare. Everyone crosses freely.'
কে যাবি কে যাবি

You should have same feelings for your Guru, for the Vaishnavs, and Bhagavan,
as you have for your own self.