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Vaisnav Ke?
An Appeal to Your Mind

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham, India
6 March 2016


You should always reject nirjan bhajan.

Pujyapad Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj also wanted to stay quietly in Vrindavan, and he did live in Vrindavan, at Pavan Sarovar, but Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told him that this was not our conception.

Sometimes we do not like crowds, we do not like so many people, and we want to live alone. We do not want to stay in the temple because there are so many rules and regulations in the temple—we have to take prasadam at a certain time, go to mangal arati at a certain time, give class at a certain time, and so on—everything has to be maintained at a certain time, and if you live alone, nobody will tell you anything, but you will be losing your devotional activities. This is what we do not understand. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that nirjan bhajan is just self-deception.

pratisthara tare nirjanera ghare
tava harinama kevala kaitava [1]

"If you stay alone at home for your own fame and name, your chanting of the Holy Name is nothing but cheating."

Vaisnava ke?

(By Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur)

dusta mana ! tumi kisera vaisnava ?

"O naughty mind! What kind of a Vaishnav are you?"

You say you are a Vaishnav, but how is it possible? Your mind is naughty.

pratisthara tare nirjanera ghare
tava harinama kevala kaitava [1]

"You stay alone at home for your own fame and name—your chanting of the Holy Name is nothing but cheating."

You do not go for the arati, do not come to the class, do not sing kirtans, do not maintain your service; you only sit alone and do bhajan on your own—for your own name and fame you go to some secluded place and think you are chanting the Holy Name, but it is vanchana, kevala kaitava, simply cheating, deception.

jadera pratistha sukarera vistha
jana na ki taha mayara vaibhava ?

"Material name and fame are pig's stool. Do you not know that it is a part of maya, illusory environment?"

What is pratistha? You are a Ph.D., you are a Doctor, you are a great scholar, you teach so many people, but it is stool of a pig: it is all external illusory environment.

kanaka-kamini divasa-yamini
bhariya ki kaja, anitya se saba [2]

"Your days and nights are filled with worries about money and women, but what is the use? It is all temporary."

Money, wife, and so on—all this enjoyment is temporary.

tomara kanaka bhogera janaka
kanakera dvare sevaha madhava

"Your money is the source of enjoyment, but you must use money to serve Madhava."

You get some money and you must serve the Lord, serve your Guru with that money.

kaminira kama nahe tava dhama
tahara malika kevala yadava [3]

"You hanker for women, but they are not meant for you. Their only proprietor is Yadava, Krishna."

pratisthasa-taru jada-maya-maru
na pele ravana yujhiya raghava
vaisnavi pratistha tate kara nistha
taha na bhajile labhibe raurava [4]

"When Ravana fought against Raghava (Lord Ramachandra), he could not get the tree of name and fame in the desert of material illusory environment. Worship with sincerity the glory of Vaishnavs because if you do not, you will go to hell."

When somebody gets some name and fame through their practising, we can accept that.

hari-jana-dvesa pratisthasa-klesa
kara kena tabe tahara gaurava
vaisnavera pachhe pratisthasa achhe
tata kabhu nahe anitya vaibhava [5]

"Hating devotees, always suffering from the desire for name and fame—what is so glorious about that? Pratistha runs behind the Vaishnavs, and there is nothing temporary in that—Vaishnavs's fame is eternal."

se hari-sambandha sunya-maya-gandha
taha kabhu naya jadera kaitava

"Those who have a relation with the Lord, who do not have even a scent of illusion, never engage in material cheating."

Vaishnavs are related with the Lord—some great Vaishnavs get name and fame through their practising—for example Narottam Das Thakur, our Guru-varga, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Gurudev, Guru Maharaj, Haridas Thakur, and so on. Everybody knows them, and their fame is not temporary—it is eternal.

pratistha-chandali nirjanata-jali
ubhaye janiha mayika raurava [6]

"The nets of living alone are just like the fame of a female dog-eater—both are hell of maya."

kirtana chhadiba pratistha magiba
ki kaja dhundiya tadrsa gaurava

"You give up kirtan and seek prestige and position, but what is the use of seeking such glory?"

You leave kirtan and always hanker for name and fame, but what will you get by such practice?

madhavendra-puri bhava-ghare churi
na karila kabhu sadai janaba [7]

"Always remember that Madhavendra Puri never put on a show."

You must understand that Madhavendra Puri ran away from pratistha. He thought, "If people find out that Gopinath has stolen khir for me, everybody will come to me, and I will become famous. I must run away from here." He decided to run away to Puri, but before he could reach Puri, name and fame were already there.

tomara pratistha sukarera vistha
tara-saha sama kabhu na manaba

"Your fame is pig's stool. Never think it is one and the same [as the fame of great Vaishnavs]."

Vaishnavs' fame and your fame are not the same. You may be a minister, a president, a prime-minister, a king, but it is not the same as Madhavendra Puri's position. Do not compare with him.

matsarata-vase tumi jada-rase
ma'jechha chhadiya kirtana-sausthava [8]

"You sink to endless jealousy and enjoyment of the material world, giving up the greatness of kirtan."

tai dusta mana nirjana bhajana
pracharichha chhale kuyogi-vaibhava

"O naughty mind, you want to practise in a secluded place, but actually on pretence of preaching you engage in a foul practice."

Your mind wants to go to some secluded place for bhajan, but it is not bhajan—it is pretending, cheating.

prabhu sanatane parama yatane
siksa dila yaha, chinta' sei saba [9]

"Mahaprabhu took so much care to teach this to Sanatan Goswami, always remember this."

sei duti katha bhula' na sarvatha
uchchaihsvare kara harinama-rava

"Wherever you are you must not forget these two topics [false renunciation and proper renunciation] and loudly chant the Holy Name of the Lord."

You must always remember about the phalgu-vairagya (false renunciation) and yukta-vairagya (pure, or proper renunciation). What should you renounce? Bhog tyag, tyag tyag: renounce enjoyment and renounce renunciation. Who will you renounce for? Nothing is your property, so actually you cannot renounce anything.

phalgu, ara yukta, baddha ara mukta
kabhu na bhaviha 'eka-kara' saba [10]

"Whether you are a conditioned soul or a liberated soul, never think that false and proper renunciation are one and the same."

We are interested in yukta-vairagya, not phalgu-vairagya, not 'lok-dekhana vairagya'. I often tell you,

লোক দেখান গোরা ভজা তিলক মাত্র ধরি ।

গোপনেতে অত্যাচার গোরা ধরে চুরি ॥

loka dekhana gora bhaja tilaka matra dhari'
gopanete atyachara gora dhare churi

"You show the world you serve Gora simply by wearing tilak but secretly you misbehave. Gora will catch you, you thief!"

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.7)

“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।

গোরার আচার, গোরার বিচার লইলে ফল ফলে ॥

"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
gorara achara, gorara vichara la-ile phala phale

"Just saying, 'I am Gora's! I am Gora's!' does not do. Only when you follow Gora's practices and Gora's conception will you get the proper result."

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6)

Yukta-vairagya and phalgu-vairagya are not the same. You can see people do something in their house and people do something in the temple, but do the people do what they are doing at the temple just to get some food? No, they do everything for the Lord's service, for the satisfaction of their Guru and the Lord.

For example, here you take care of and serve the cows, the cows give milk, and with that milk you cook sweet rice for the Lord. In this way the cows also serve the Lord. Do the cows serve the Lord at the people's houses? People keep cows and take milk for their own belly, but here the cows serve the Lord.

People have flowers at their homes, and we have flowers here, but they are not the same—our flowers are for Govinda. Somebody cooks for himself, and somebody cooks for the Deities—it is also not the same. Srila Prabhupad said that we must not think these are the same. This is the difference between phalgu and yukta vairagya. You can make a family, but your family must be for the Lord.

kanaka-kamini pratistha-baghini
chhadiyachhe yare, sei ta vaisnava
sei anasakta sei suddha bhakta
samsara tatha paya parabhava [11]

"Those who give up money, women, and fame the tigress, are the true Vaishnavs—they are detached, they are pure devotees, and they can defeat the whole material world."

Those who can give up money, who can give up women, who can give up fame the tigeress, are Vaishnavs. They are anasakta, have no attachment to these things; and those who have no attachment to these, can defeat maya.

yatha-yogya bhoga nahi tatha roga
anasakta sei, ki ara kahaba

"Those who take only what is necessary, have no disease and are truly detached. What more can I say?"

If you eat too much, disease will come. Whatever is necessary for your maintenance, that is sufficient. It is not necessary to fast too much or eat too much (prayascha, atyahara, prajalpa, niyamagraha, laulancha, jana-sangancha). You should not overdo, thinking, "I will eat more, and more."

When an ant gets into a container of molasses, it thinks, "I will eat more, and more, and more." After it eats so much, it becomes very heavy and cannot come out, so it dies in the molasses. If you leave a pot of molasses open, you will see so many ants there.

What is necessary for your maintaining spiritual life, that is sufficient. You must maintain your family, but your family is like Krishna's family, so whatever is necessary to maintain your family, that is sufficient for you.

asakti-rahita sambandha-sahita
visaya-samuha sakali madhava [12]

"When you are free from material attachment and establish relationship with the Lord, then you will see that everything around you is Lord Madhav Himself."

You must have no attachment to other things, and have relation with the Lord.

se yukta-vairagya taha ta saubhagya
tahai jadete harira vaibhava

"Those who practise such proper renunciation are extremely fortunate—they become an extension of the Lord in this material world."

It is necessary to practise proper renunciation. If you think, "I will stay in silence, sit at home, and do nirjan bhajan," it is phalgu-vairagya (false renunciation). Gurudev gives you service, "Look after my temple, look after my devotees, look after my Deities," but as soon as some problem comes you decide to run away and stay in Haridwar. This is useless.

kirtane yahara pratistha-sambhara
tahara sampati kevala kaitava [13]

"If somebody does kirtan (chants the Holy Name, preaches, etc.) for their own name and fame, then the result is nothing but cheating."

What do I do kirtan for? I must purify myself, that is why I must sing songs, I must practise, must engage in Hari-katha, Krishna-katha—for my own purification, not for name and fame.

visaya-mumuksa bhogera vubhuksu
du'ye tyaja mana, dui avaisnava

"Some want liberation from the material world, and some want to enjoy—dear mind, renounce both, for they are both not Vaishnavs."

You must avoid both those who are averse to the material world and those who are after enjoyment. For example, somebody is a temple manager, and to maintain the temple they get some money—they can say, "No, I will not touch money, it is visaya" (or, "I will not be the manager because I do not want to handle money"), or they can be attached to money. You must avoid both such people—those who always hanker for money, who always think about money, and those who always avoid money. Both are avaishnav (non-devotees).

krsnera sambandha aprakrta skandha
kabhu nahe taha jadera sambhava [14]

"What is related to Krishna and the transcendental world has nothing to do with the material world."

You can handle money if it is for service of the Lord.

mayavadi jana krsne-tara mana
mukta abhimane se ninde vaisnava
vaisnavera dasa tava bhakti asa
kena va dakichha nirjana ahava [15]

"Mayavadis, impersonalists, who are averse to Krishna and have the ego of being liberated offend Vaishnavs. O mind, if you are a servant of Vaishnavs and aspire for devotion, why are you then crying and fighting for solitude?"

ye phalgu-vairagi kahe nije tyagi
se na pare kabhu haite vaisnava

"Those who engage in false renunciation and call themselves taygi, can never become a Vaishnav."

Why are you going to a quiet, secluded place?

Gurudev sent me village to village, Gurudev wrote a poem in which he said, "Call people for the parikrama!" I went door to door, and Gurudev was very happy with that, he said, "Vinod is going to so many places and bringing people here for the Dham parikrama. But for him, how would so many people come for Gaura Purnima?" But I remember somebody once asked me, "Why do you invite so many people? It is too crowded, we cannot tolerate it"...

Those who practise false renunciation and say, "I am a tyagi, a complete renunciate," are not Vaishnavs.

hari-pada chhadi' nirjanata bari
labhiya ki phala, phalgu se vaibhava [16]

"You leave the lotus feet of the Lord and stay alone at home, but what will you get by that? The result will be false."

rada-dasye rahi chhada bhoga-ahi
pratisthasa nahe kirtana-gaurava
radha-nitya-jana taha chhadi mana
kena va nirjana-bhajana-kaitava [17]

"If you stay with Radharani's servants, giving up the snake of enjoyment, for your own name and fame, it is not the real glorious kirtan. O mind, you leave the eternal associates of Radha, what is the use cheating with your solitary practice?"

When you live with Radharani's associates, when you live with Gurudev's associates, why would your mind go to a secluded place? It is all kaitav, all vanchana—cheating.

vraja-basi-gana pracharaka dhana
pratistha-bhiksuka tara nahe saba
prana achhe tara se hetu prachara
pratisthasa-hina-krsna-gatha saba [18]

"The devotees of Vraja are treasure among preachers. They ask for no prestige that is an attribute of dead bodies: as long as they have life in their bodies, they preach and glorify Krishna without any desire for recognition."

sri-dayita-dasa kirtanete asa
kara uchchaihsvare harinama rava
kirtana-prabhave smarana haibe
se kale bhajana nirjana sambhava [19]

"Praying to be able to do kirtan, Sri Dayita Das loudly takes the Holy Name. Chanting of the Holy Name (kirtan) arouses remembrance (smarana), and at that time it becomes possible to practise nirjan-bhajan."

Nirjan is when you go to a secluded place. Param Guru Maharaj (Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj), Gurudev (Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj) did it. Once, Gurudev was in hospital and as he was taken to the operation theatre, he sang, "Nitai-pada-kamala, koti chandra-susitala, ye chhayaya jagata judaya." He sang it and chastised us, "Why are you crying?" In his last two years Srila Sridhar Maharaj would always say, "Nitai Gour haribol, Nitai Gour haribol." That was his kirtan.

Srila Prabhupad said, "Kirtana-prabhave smarana haibe": through your kirtan you can see the face of Nityananda Prabhu; when you are singing the glories of Srila Gurudev, you can see his lotus face in front of you—at that time it is possible to go to a secluded place. If you go to a secluded place before that, what is it for?

You have come here and you are the messenger of Mahaprabhu's and Krishna's vani (message). You are only a messenger and your duty is to distribute to the fallen souls the message that you have got from your Guru. If you go to do nirjan bhajan now, it will be kaitav, vanchana...


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Reforming Others
Three educational stories from the life of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and his disciple Sripad B.D. Madhav Maharaj.


Janama saphala ta'ra
'Krishna wears yellow garments and has a sweet smile on His face. His form enchants the world.'
জনম সফল তা'র

If you feel even some little material desire is coming to you, you must remove it immediately, otherwise it will increase day by day and demolish, spoil your spiritual life.