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(15/16) See Through It

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Ganga Sagar, evening class,
11 January 2019, part 15
Translated from Bengali

 

We go from one birth to another, from one family to another. A father raises his daughter for twenty years and then arranges her marriage – after the wedding, when she is taken away to her husband's house, the girl cries so much leaving her parents. Our situation is also like that. This is a temporary life, a temporary family, but we cannot leave the attachment to this illusory family – we always have a soft spot for it.

Does anybody have any questions?

Question: It is said instead of travelling to all the holy places many times, one can come to Ganga Sangar just once and get all the result.

[His Divine Grace chuckles] It has no value. Actually, there are different opinions. It used to be very difficult to come to Ganga Sagar Mela. There was no end of austerity here before, but now there are good buildings, guesthouses, etc. Just some fifteen–twenty years ago, people used to come and die here because it was so hard to get here. That is why they say that instead of going to many holy places many times, you can just take one drop of water here and that is sufficient.

Question: So, we do not have to come here then?

We? No, we do not. We come here because we have a temple here, because Mahaprabhu is here. So, us coming here is another matter.

Question: When one devotee was given prasad, why did you ask him if he would eat it or not?

I was testing him.

বিষয়ীর অন্ন খাইলে মলিন হয় মন ।
মলিন মন হৈলে, নহে কৃষ্ণ-নাম গ্রহণ ॥

visayira anna khaile malina haya mana
malina mana haile, nahe krsna-nama grahana

'If you eat food that comes from materialistic people, it will contaminate your mind. And if your mind becomes contaminated, you will not be able to chant the Name of Krishna.'

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.6.278)

I wanted to see if he knows this or not. Why do we not eat from materialists' hands? Because when they cook, they have some material desires, and if you eat the food that they make, their materialistic mood will come to you. Devotees cook for Govinda, so what they cook and offer to the Lord becomes prasad. When non-devotees cook something, they do it for their own enjoyment – they think, 'Oh, I will be going by boat, and I can eat on the boat nicely.' They can eat whatever they want, but we take prasad. That is why I asked that devotee, 'Are you going to eat?'

Question: But if gurudev gives one something?

That is another matter, but he had already been given something, so I wanted to see how intelligent he was. 'Prasada-seva karite haya sakala prapancha-jaya (প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয় সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়): by honouring the Lord's prasad I shall conquer all worldly illusions' (Saranagati). Unless you honour prasad, your diseases will not go away. There are five material diseases...

There are also five places of Kali and four kinds of vaisnava-ninda. The first offence to Vaishnavs is criticising somebody because they were born in a lower place. For example, a cobbler worships Chandi, but then he leaves it, becomes vegetarian, takes initiation and starts serving at the temple; ten years pass, and somebody from that man's village comes and says, 'Oh, Maharaj has taken in this cobbler and made him a brahman by giving him the thread!' Some people will not even allow such devotees do puja, but did Mahaprabhu do that? He said,

যেই ভজে, সেই বড়, অভক্ত—হীন, ছার ।
কৃষ্ণভজনে নাহি জাতি-কুলাদি বিচার ॥

yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta—hina, chhara
krsna-bhajane nahi jati-kuladi-vichara

'Only a nondevotee can be considered as worthless and abominable: anyone who takes to devotional service is great – there is no consideration of class, caste or any other status for those who have taken up service to Krishna.'

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.4.67)

This is Mahaprabhu's conception! We must accept what He teaches. Those who worship Krishna are beyond any caste.

কিবা বিপ্র, কিবা ন্যাসী, শূদ্র কেনে নয় ।
যেই কৃষ্ণতত্ত্ববেত্তা, সেই ‘গুরু’ হয় ॥

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya

'It does not matter whether one is a brahman, sannyasi or sudra – whoever knows who Krishna is can become a spiritual master.'

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.8.128)

When Mahaprabhu went to South India, He embraced Ramananda Ray. Others were taken aback, 'What is this? A sannyasi is hugging a sudra!' This is not Mahaprabhu's conception. And the conversation that Ramananda Ray had with Mahaprabhu was very high.

So, the first offence to Vaishnavs is to criticise them based on their origin. The second offence is discussing it when something wrong may accidentally slip one's mouth. The third offence is when somebody had some fault and that fault has already gone away, but you mock or remind others of it. The fourth offence is to discuss the faults that one had before surrender. When somebody has surrendered themselves, it is not necessary to look at what faults they had before or what they did before.

So, I was going to tell you about the five diseases (pancha-roga). They are the following: ignorance (avidya) false identification (asmita), misdirected love (raga), aversion to anything that goes against one's enjoyment (dvesa) and being unable to give up unfavourable habits (abhinivesa). (1) Ignorance means forgetting that you are the spirit soul; it means thinking that you are this body. I have told you today that your parents give you this body, but they do not give you your soul. Your soul and your body are not one and the same thing. Remember this. Those who understand this are intelligent (they have vidya), and those who do not are ignorant (they have avidya). One day, this body will be burnt and mixed with soil, water, air, etc., and after a few days, I will get another body created from soil, water, air, etc. But like every other living entity, I am a soul, a part and parcel of the Lord. Even my body is also a part of the Lord... (2) False identification means thinking that you are this body. (3) Misdirected love means deep attachment to material things. You can be attached to the Lord's things (for example, come and clean the Lord's temple), but if you are more attached to your own room and house, then it is a disease. It also means being attached to bodily enjoyment – something is conducive to the pleasures of your body, so you are always eager to do that. It also means constantly thinking about your body, 'This pains', 'That pains', 'I have a fever', 'I am hungry', and so on. (4) Another disease is feeling jealous when somebody is serving the Lord. (5) And the fifth disease is having no patience to do something for the Lord's service. You start doing some service, but then you think, 'I do not like doing it anymore,' so you give it up and run away. It means you cannot tolerate it when you have to give up your own comfort for the service of the Lord. These are the five diseases.

How will all these diseases go away? Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur says, 'Prasada-seva karite haya sakala prapancha-jaya (প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয় সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়): by honouring the Lord's prasad I shall conquer all worldly illusions' (Saranagati). These are not my words. These are Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur's words. You will find this line in the kirtan we sing on ekadasi:

শুদ্ধ ভকত-চরণ-রেণু
ভজন-অনুকূল ।
ভকত-সেবা পরম-সিদ্ধি
প্রেমলতিকার মূল ॥

suddha-bhakata-charana-renu
bhajana-anukula
bhakata-seva parama-siddhi
prema-latikara mula

'The dust of pure devotees' feet is favourable to devotion. Serving the devotees is the supreme fulfilment and the root of the creeper of divine love.'

প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয়
সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়

prasada-seva karite haya,
sakala prapancha-jaya

'By honouring the Lord's prasad I shall conquer all worldly illusions.'

(Saranagati, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

 

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CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE LECTURE

Size: 42.7 Mb
Length: 86 min
Language: Bengali

 


 

READ OTHER PARTS:

1) Keep Trying
2) Highest Realm of Devotion
3) Bribing and Increasing Stool
4) What Is a Soul?
5) Service with Faith and Love
6) Core of Devotion
7) Set Your Heart for Govinda
8) Think and Learn
9) Think about Your Soul
10) Sadhya-Sadhan-Tattva
11) With Faith and Surrender
12) Surrender and Learn
13) Bhakta-Seva Pravritti
14) See Good and Do Good
15) See Through It
16) 'Lord Exists for Those Who Have Devotion'

 

 


 

Odds and Ends
'If you want to get super things, you must reject small matter.'

If you do not practise properly yourself and tell others to practise, your preaching will not work.

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