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Maintaining Legacy

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
26 October 2018, Dum Dum Park, part 2


You must chant the Holy Name, and you must engage others in chanting the Holy Name. If you do not chant Krishna Nam (the Holy Name, the maha-mantra) properly, you cannot engage others in chanting the Holy Name. If you do not do service any more, you cannot engage others in service.

We come to Krishna consciousness, and we want to give something—we do not want to take anything. That is the proper Krishna consciousness. You must understand and follow this Krishna consciousness in your practising life. That is the main thing. Gurudev said one must be a sadhu, not pretend to be a sadhu.

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)

You put tilaks, you wear kanthi-mala, and you show others that you practise Krishna consciousness, but secretly you do what is not in favour of devotion, what is against devotion. It is necessary to practise proper things. There are certain things that have to be maintained and that are necessary for a practitioner's life, and you must follow these things properly. I spoke about Mahaprabhu's Siksastakam yesterday also: be humble, tolerant, and give honour to others.

You heard about Sri Vasudev Vipra. Vasudev Vipra had leprosy, a skin disease. There were so many insects in his body, and they would fall out of his sores, but he thought, "My body is useless, it cannot be used for service, and it will be burnt one day anyway, so if some insect is happy eating my body, it is OK, no problem." This mentality is necessary in our practitioner's life. Practising life is necessary, and actually Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur made it a little loose for us, as in the case of ekadasi, for example.

When people do ekadasi, they fast the whole day and do not even take water, but Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that we could fast at least from morning to noon and take some anukalpa [non-grain prasadam] at noon. This was told by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and our temple follows that. Sometimes, Gurudev also said that if somebody was sick (if they had an acidity problem, could not fast, had to take medicine, or had diabetes, for example), then it was OK for them to take anukalpa in the morning also. Otherwise, for as many years you can tolerate it with your health, you must follow full ekadasi. I saw that Gurudev himself practised in this way—he followed full ekadasi. Anukalpa prasadam is allowed, but not for everybody—those who are not sick must follow proper fasting. Also, if somebody can follow niyom-seva Kartik month properly, it is all right. Gurudev said that if somebody could follow the proper rules and regulations the whole Kartik month, it is all right. In our temple, Gurudev said that at least three days of the Kartik month had to be followed properly, and we are trying to follow that proper etiquette and do it properly.

When I first joined the temple, Gurudev asked me, "You go to the crops field early in the morning and come back at two-three o'clock—what do you eat? Do not take any outside food. You can take some fruit or biscuits, that is sufficient." I tried to follow that. I went to the crops field and took a piece of bread and one banana. When I would come late, at two-three o'clock, sometimes there was no food; Gurudev saw it and tried to harmonise it. I can remember one day. The prasadam hall had not been built at that time, and all prasadam was kept where we keep the groceries now (under Gurudev's Acharya Bhavan, bhajan-kutir, in Nabadwip). One day, Gurudev saw me coming from the gate, entering the place where they would keep prasadam (under his bhajan kutir) and coming out empty-handed. Gurudev thought, "Nobody must have kept any prasadam for him," and sent his servitor to cook something for me, "That boy has just come—he has been out since early morning. It is already two-three o'clock, and there is no prasadam for him. Go arrange something for him." At that time, I would take a bus that would go half the way, and then I would have to walk the other half of the way to get to the crops field. I returned in the same way too. Gurudev had only one car, a jeep, at that time. So, he sent his servitor to arrange some prasadam for me, and the servitor told me, "Gurudev has sent me to cook something for you." I told him, "It is not necessary, I can take some muri, it is not a problem. Do not worry, I can manage." That was Gurudev's love and affection for me.

Another time, I remember one of the disciples of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj who was in charge of the storekeeping and prasadam was giving us prasadam. I was a new boy, and Gurudev had heard that although we had cows and milk I did not drink milk because I had never been able to digest milk from the beginning. So, that day, when everybody was taking prasadam together, that brahmachari, a senior devotee, was serving us and suddenly gave me chhana (curd) while everybody else was given milk. Everybody was surprised, "We are old devotees, we have been here for so long, and we do not get chhana. How come this new boy is getting it? Why are you giving it to him and not to us?" I did not ask for anything—I did not drink milk, and I did not want milk, whatever I got was sufficient for me, but I did not know that it was an order from Gurudev. The brahmachari who was giving prasadam then replied to the others, "This is not my instruction. The instruction came from the head office that this chhana had to be given to the new boy."

So many things happened in Gurudev's time. I can remember how much love and affection I got from him... That is why so many obstacles, so many problems have been coming since the time I joined—since the time I joined they have wanted to remove me from the temple—but I did not think about anything. I was always happy because I had service to Gurudev. I did not think about those who were jealous, who were envious of me. That is why I am still in the service of Gurudev and I still live in the temple. That is my hope and that is my fortune—a great fortune, I can say. A simple boy came from a village, joined Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and by the mercy of Gurudev, I have always wanted to be a servant of Vaishnavs. If somebody is very happy, I also become very happy. That is my view.

I see that all the worldwide devotees—Indian devotees, foreign devotees—have love and affection for me, they depend upon me so much. Gurudev is always with me and I am trying to maintain his order. Having everybody's love, everybody's good wishes, with all my friends always praying for me and helping me as much as possible, I am happy with all the devotees, and I am trying to keep the Mission of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math as it was before.


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