Our Disciplic Succession:
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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Love for Guru:
Service and Commitment

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
speaking to the devotees in Caracas, Venezuela,
7 December 2014


Today is a very auspicious day. Tomorrow is our beloved Gurudev's appearance day, and today is the adhivas day. We are very busy here arranging the festival.

We are fortunate that every year this day comes in our life. Every year we wait for this day to come, and we must make a commitment. We are arranging the celebration of Gurudev's festival and getting more and more enthusiasm and energy for the service to Gurudev's mission. What Gurudev has given us is inconceivable—if you take it properly, and follow his instruction, his advice, then there will be no obstacle in your spiritual life. Many obstacles will come, but it will all be removed from our way by the mercy of Gurudev, because Gurudev is always with us. Even if we forget everything but if we remember our Guru, then everything will be harmonised and everything will be all right by the mercy of Gurudev.

দীক্ষাকালে ভক্ত করে আত্মসমর্পণ ।
সেইকালে কৃষ্ণ তারে করে আত্মসম ॥

diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama

At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Krishna accepts him as nondifferent from Himself.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.192

Our duty is not just to take initiation. Initiation is a formality—if we take initiation and do not follow Gurudev's instructions, do not serve Gurudev, what is the use of such initiation? Nothing. It is like you go to a doctor but do not follow the doctor's prescription and do not take the medicine.

We are always busy with our own interest, with our own enjoyment, but we must understand: who do we love more, our Guru or ourselves? That is the main thing. We must realise it for ourselves in our heart. If we love our Guru more, then we must serve more—we must give more time for our Guru.

We did not come to Gurudev's lotus feet for our own enjoyment—we came to serve our Guru, serve our Gurudev's mission. This should be our thinking. If we cannot use ourselves properly for the service to our Guru, this life, this human body is nothing, wasted. What did we then come for? We have got so many instruments—legs, hands, mouth, etc.—and we must use it. We must think that we have got all these instruments for service to the Guru, Vaishnavs, and the Guru's mission.

Our Gurudev gives us so much, but how much can we give to our Guru? We always take from our Guru—we take more than we give, but it is not a disciple's duty. A disciple's duty is to always give to their Guru, not take. Serve heart and soul.

Gurudev said, "How much my Guru Maharaj is giving me! He waited for me for 30 years to give this temple. I had been always swimming in maya, but he took me out and gave that kind of service." Gurudev said this about his Guru Maharaj. So, we must follow Gurudev's instruction for our own spiritual benefit.

When Gurudev was going to leave his body, he specifically said to me at that time, "You go door to door, house to house to bring people to the temple, and I went to foreign countries so many times for so many years, but how many people follow Krishna consciousness? How many people come to our proper line and do service? How many percent of the people can surrender properly? Nobody—only a few." That is why, as Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote in his books, there is emotion and there is devotion. When we first join a temple, we think, "Oh, he or she has so much devotion!" Sometimes somebody cries so much for Krishna, for Guru, but it is not proper devotion—it is emotion.

You can read in Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, 16th chapter of Adi-khanda, about Srila Haridas Thakur. He would chant and experience so much ecstasy—he would cry and roll on the ground. Seeing it, one brahmin thought, "This Haridas Thakur has so many followers because he behaves like this. If I do like this too, then all people will respect and follow me." It was a dhanga vipra (ঢঙ্গ বিপ্র, a pretender, imitator). He copied Haridas Thakur's behaviour, and Anantadev came within his body and beat him so much that he ran away.

We must think about it: are we a sadhu or do we just wear the dress of a sadhu? Have we become a Vaishnav or do we only wear the dress of a Vaishnav? Do we practise properly or do we pretend and show false renunciation? We must ask ourselves.

Any pregunta (questions)?

Devotee: What is the real love for Sri Guru?

Real love for Sri Guru is following Gurudev's instruction.

Soon after I joined the temple, I was arranging a big festival for Gurudev's appearance day. It was 1993. Before that they would make an invitation, but they did not write "Guru Puja Mahamahotsav," they would write "Acharya Abhivandan Mahamahotsav." I printed "Vyasa Puja Mahamahotsav," and Gurudev was very happy. When I showed him the invitation for his Vyasa Puja, he asked who had printed it, and I said it was me. There was some mistake in the invitation, and Gurudev said, "My godbrothers can spit into my mouth, but you are my disciple, so you must write correctly." He showed me how to correct it, but he was happy. Mistakes are inevitable, they will come, but I was trying to establish him, establish his service, and he was happy with me.

After that, for the Vyasa Puja of the following year, 1994, I decorated his house, Acharya Bhavan, with lights and other things. When some of his godbrothers saw so much decoration, they complained to Gurudev that I was spending too much money. Gurudev said to me, "Why are you putting lights on my house? Why do you not paint my house black instead?" He chastised me, but it was love and affection, because I know he liked what I was doing. In this way I conquered Gurudev's heart—it did not happen over one day.

When I just joined, Gurudev told me, "You must not leave Nabadwip for even one night." Sometimes Gurudev would call me to Kolkata, and I would go in the morning and after taking dinner in the evening I would return to Nabadwip at 10 o'clock. Gurudev asked me, "Why are you going so late at night?" I said, "Gurudev, you told me not to leave Nabadwip for even one night."

If Gurudev tells you something, you must follow it, then Gurudev will rely on you, then there will be love and affection. Gurudev has so much burden, so many things to take care of: if he gives you some responsibility, and you follow that, you take care of that responsibility, then you take some of the burden from him. That is the main thing—to serve your Guru.


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Be Fixed in Your Service
What I will do, I will do that every day. 'I am only doing today, next day I am not doing'—this is not devotion, this is emotion.


Krsna haite chatur-mukha
'His dear disciple, who constantly endeavours to fulfil his desires, is Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. Srila Govinda Maharaj's dear successor, who is devoted to practising and preaching his teachings, is Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj.'
কৃষ্ণ হৈতে চতুর্ম্মুখ

You must always remember and keep in your heart that we get honour, respect,
name, and fame, but how do we get it? Actually, it belongs to our Guru.