His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
What does it mean to be a devotee of Gurudev? How can we understand whether one has devotion or not? Those who understand what devotion is, they say, "I have no devotion. I do not have anything!" When somebody says this, then you can understand that they have something... How can I blame others? Even Brahma says that he cannot recognise who is a Vaishnav, what to speak of conditioned souls like us—we have no capacity to know who is good and who is bad.
We always speak about the devotion of gopis, but what do the gopis say? There is no parallel to their devotion, nobody in the entire creation has the devotion like theirs. Their devotion is the highest, and why do we say it is the highest? Gopis themselves say, "We do not have the kind of devotion that Prahlad Maharaj has!" They never say, "We have become big devotees, we do so much service," rather they say, "We have nothing, we have not been able to do anything." And those who say, "I have devotion, I have become a devotee," then:
দুষ্ঠ মন ! তুমি কিসের বৈষ্ণব ?
dusta mana ! tumi kisera vaisnava ?
"O naughty mind! What kind of a Vaishnav are you?"
'আমি ত' বৈষ্ণব', এ বুদ্ধি হইলে
"ami ta' vaisnava," e-buddhi ha-ile,
"If I think, 'I am a Vaishnav,' then I will never stop expecting honour from others (I will never become void of the desire for honour)."
(Kalyan-kalpataru, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
You say you have become a Vaishnav, but sir, becoming a Vaishnav means becoming a servant of servants of Vaishnavs! You do not need to become a Vaishnav—it is sufficient to become a servant and to have the mood of a servant!
জগাই মাধাই হৈতে মুঞি সে পাপিষ্ঠ ।
jagai madhai haite muni se papistha
"I am more sinful than Jagai and Madhai and lower than the worms in the stool."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 5.205)
What did Mahaprabhu say?
“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।
"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
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)
It is necessary to practise properly. If we always practise and if we always serve Vaishnavs, then we can become worthy of a particle of dust from the lotus feet of Vaishnavs—that is sufficient for us. We must always think about this and we must always practise this.
How many of us have we been able to do service to Gurudev? Service is not doing something that pleases you. How many of us can actually serve Gurudev? How many of us can preach what Gurudev is saying? That is why I always tell you—it is necessary to always remember guru-seva.
Many people will come to take prasadam tomorrow. I request ladies to help cut the vegetables tomorrow because many devotees are coming, and everybody must get prasadam... Many of you come, take prasadam and leave—you can stay here for some time, you are always welcome, this is your house. Many think, "Oh, tomorrow is Gurudev's puja, I will go, give one flower to Gurudev and take prasadam. That is Guru-puja." But it is necessary to do guru-seva. If you want to observe Gurudev's Vyasa Puja, you must come and take part in the service of Gurudev and devotees. I have told everybody also that it is not necessary to fast on my birthday, I do not want you to struggle. Many say that if they do not fast, then it will not be Guru-puja, but I do not mind if you eat. If you fast and offer some flower to your Guru but do not take part in service—it means you think about yourself, not about others (you cannot serve others). Many will come like this tomorrow—they fast, offer some flower, then take prasadam and go. But if you can help with services, if you can distribute prasadam, if you can help with cooking, then you will be able to participate in the service of Gurudev...
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