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Birth and Death (1):
Family Bond

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


Question: I have spoken today to my brother and sister and they told me that my grandmother, who was very sick before, is dying now and my father has one-sided paralysis... They told me that they wanted me to come back soon.

What can you do and what can I say? Actually, it depends largely upon you. It depends upon the person—everybody is not the same.

Our relative is "Krishna mata, Krishna pita, Krishna dhana-prana: Krishna is my mother, Krishna is my father, Krishna is my life and soul." Our relative is only Krishna.

When my mother died, I got the news after one month only because I did not keep any contact with my relatives. It was up to me. My brahmachari life was my primary stage and during that life, for about fifteen years, I did not give anyone any information about where I lived; only after I took sannyas they found out where I was. But everybody is not like me—I have a strongest faith for my Guru, I have a strongest faith for my Lord.

I do not know and do not want to say that, but if, for example, your relative dies today, what can you do from here? Nothing. You will come there in one-two days, but they will already have burned the body, so what will you see there? Nothing. If you have a strongest faith, then you know "I have a service to the Lord, I have a service to my Guru. If he protects them, no one can destroy them." You can go there, but you cannot protect them if they have to die. When the call comes from there, when the message comes that you have to leave this house, what can you do? Death is not in our hands—it is in His hands. It is said so in the scriptures.

For example, in the past twenty-eight years I have not seen my father even once. Today, my nephew came from the Iskcon—he is a Ph.D., a doctor, but I did not see when he was born, I do not even know when my brother got married... So, these matters are up to you, it is not my business.

Once, a sannyasi came here for Gaura Purnima, but when he heard his sister was sick, he ran away, left the parikrama. What can I do? But Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told: even if you hear your house is burning, and you want to go there to bring water to put out the fire, Prabhupad told, "Do not go, it is not necessary. Stay here." This is his lecture, not mine. You can read it in one of the books (Centenary Anthology)—Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj told this about his Gurudev. This is an example also.

Every birth we get a father and a mother—every time we change our body we always get a father and a mother, what can you do?

Mahaprabhu once asked (Cc, 2.8.247), "What is the saddest in our life? Is it when your father dies? Or when your mother, your husband, your wife, or some other relative dies? Is this the saddest? Duhkha-madhye kona duhkha haya gurutara (দুঃখ-মধ্যে কোন্ দুঃখ হয় গুরুতব)?" Ramananda Ray answered, "Krsna-bhakta-viraha vina duhkha nahi dekhi para (কৃষ্ণভক্ত-বিরহ বিনা দুঃখ নাহি দেখি পর): when devotees disappear, this is the saddest for us."

You cannot keep them, even the medical science cannot keep them—when the time comes, you have to leave everything...

Srila Sridhar Maharaj said, "Even when Brahma comes to call me, I will not go there because I have some service to my Guru." A strongest faith, a strongest conception is necessary. Sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari (শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী)." (Cc, 2.22.64) It depends upon one's faith—everybody's devotion is not the same because everybody's faith is not the same...


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Continuation: 'As He Wishes' ►


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Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'The extraordinary beauty of your divine form shines with the exalted joy of benevolence, the brightness of divine sweetness.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

By service we can prove how much attachment, how much love and affection
we have for our Guru.