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Surrendered Soul's Etiquette

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking online to devotees in Venezuela
16 August 2015


You must always follow rules and regulations, must always accept what is in favour of devotion, and reject what is not in favour of devotion.

It is written in Saranagati very nicely what is favourable to devotion, and what is unfavourable to devotion. If you learn this kind of proper etiquette, you will understand everything. You should know what is atyahara, prayasa, prajalpa, niyamagraha, laulya, janasanga (অত্যাহার, প্রয়াস, প্রজল্প, নিয়মাগ্রহ, লৌল্য, জনসঙ্গ—too much eating, doing nonsense, talking nonsense, superficial attachment to rules and regulations, greed, associating with nondevotees).

We must reject what is unfavourable to devotion, must have faith that Krishna protects us, atma-nivedana, surrender. "দারা, পুত্র, নিজদেহ, কুটুম্ব পালনে, dara, putra, nijadeha, kutumba palane" (Saranagati, 18): we always spend our time on maya—we look after our sons, daughters, after our husband, or our wife, worry about our body, our relatives, how to earn money, how to get name and fame, how to settle our children's marriage. Our time always passes in this way, but instead we should be thinking, "When will I get time to serve the Lord?"

"তুমি ত' মারিবে যারে, কে তারে রাখিতে পারে, tumi to maribe yare, ke tare rakhite pare: if Krishna protects you, no one can destroy you." It is necessary to have this kind of faith. Krishna is the only protector...

তুয়া ভক্তি-প্রতিকূল ধর্ম্ম যাতে রয় ।
পরম যতনে তাহা ত্যজিব নিশ্চয় ॥

tuya bhakti-pratikula dharma jate raya
parama yatane taha tyajiba nischaya

I will certainly abandon with great care everything that is unfavourable to devotion to You.

"তুয়া ভক্তি-বহির্ম্মুখ সঙ্গ না করিব, tuya bhakti-bahirmukha sanga na kariba: I will not associate with those who are unfavourable to devotion, who do what is unfavourable to devotion."

"গৌরাঙ্গবিরোধি-জন-মুখ না হেরিব, Gauranga-virodhi-jana-mukha na heriba: I will not see the face of those who are against my Guru, against Gauranga." They may be a very good speaker, a great Vaishnav, they may know so many things, but if they are against our Guru, we will not see their face. These are Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur's examples.

"ভক্তিপ্রতিকূল স্থানে না করি বসতি, bhakti-pratikula sthane na kari vasati: I will not live, I will not stay in a place that is unfavourable to devotion."

"ভক্তির অপ্রিয় কার্য্যে নাহি করি রতি, bhaktira aprita karye nahi kari rati: I will not do the work that is not dear to devotion, that is not favourable to devotion."

"ভক্তির বিরোধী গ্রন্থ পাঠ না করিব, bhaktira virodhi grantha patha na kariba: I will not read the books that are not favourable to devotion, or are against devotion." We must read books, we must read scriptures, but what kind of scriptures should we read? We will read the books that have connection with devotion. In this world, there are eighteen Puranas: six satvik Puranas, six rajasik Puranas, and six tamasik Puranas. Not all Puranas are the same—for example, Brahma-vaivarta Purana is rajasik, Varaha Purana is tamasik, and Bhagavat is a sattvik Purnana. We will should read those scriptures (sastra) that are sattvik and have connection with devotion. We should always accept what is in favour of devotion.

"ভক্তির বিরোধী ব্যাখ্যা কভু না শুনিব, bhaktira virodhi vyakhya kabhu na suniba: I will not listen to any explanation of scriptures that is against devotion" (for example, mayavadi-vyakhya, mayavadi conception). Many people offer their interpretation. You can see, for example, on television in India there are many channels where they read Bhagavat, but they use Bhagavat to get money, they make business with Bhagavat. We will not listen to any explanation from them—it is against devotion. There are many professional Bhagavat speakers here in India, but we will not listen to them—if you listen to them you will go to hell.

"গৌরাঙ্গবর্জ্জিত স্থান তীর্থ নাহি মানি, Gauranga-varjita sthan tirtha nahi mani: If Gauranga rejected some place—if Mahaprabhu did not go to some place—it is then not a holy place, and we will not go there." Our mind tells us so many things, "I want to go here, I want to go there," but if Gurudev did not go to some place, why will I go there? We will not go to a place if Mahaprabhu did not go there, if Gurudev did not go there—even if it is heaven, even if Brahma lives there!

ভক্তির বাধক জ্ঞান-কর্ম্ম তুচ্ছ জানি ॥
ভক্তির বাধক কালে না করি আদর ।
ভক্তি-বহির্ম্মুখ নিজ জনে জানি পর ॥

bhaktira badhaka jnana-karma tuchchha jani
bhaktira badhaka kale na kari adara
bhakti-bahirmukha nija jane jnani para

"If somebody is against devotion, even if they are your relatives, you should think that they are not your relatives—they are your enemies." Even if your wife, or your husband is not in favour of devotion, if they do not like Krishna, they are not your friend—they are your enemy! You must understand that they are actually against you.

These are not my words, it is Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur's words from Saranagati, Song 26.


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