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(2/13) Seva-Dharma and Mano-Dharma

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Ganga Sagar, evening class,
Deity Manifestation Anniversary day
12 January 2019, part 2
Translated from Bengali


'Dhama-basi jane pranati kariya magiba krpara lesa (ধামবাসী জনে, প্রণতি করিয়া, মাগিব কৃপার লেশ ।): I will bow down before a dham basi and beg from them a drop of mercy.' It is not about your body being physically in Vrindavan. If you are to stay in Vrindavan, you must serve Vrindavan Dham. If you come to Vrindavan, thinking, 'I will stay in the dham and get something,' this is not living in Vrindavan. Mahaprabhu also said,

বৃন্দাবনে গিয়া না থাকিয়া চির কাল ।
গোবর্দ্ধনে উঠিয়া না দেখিয়া গোপাল ॥

vrndavane giya na thakiya chira kala
govardhane uthiya na dekhiya gopala

'When you go to Vrindavan, do not stay there for a long time and do not climb the Govardhan Hill to see Gopal.'

Vrindavan is not for money, houses, cars, and so on. If you are to go to Vrindavan, you must go there leaving all attachments and with seva-pravritti, service mood.

Why do you take initiation? When you take initiation, you must take it with a promise, 'I am taking initiation to serve gurudev and the Lord.' We do not take initiation to get any benefit or so that some auspiciousness comes to our lives. Initiation is taken out of desire to serve gurudev.

What is called service to gurudev? Service to gurudev is not sitting at his feet or massaging his feet. Srila Gurudev gave one example. Suppose Krishna says, 'I want a laddu!' but you go and give him a singara (samosa). This is not service. This is mano-dharma (following the ideas, or whims, of your mind). Material activity and service look the same. Material activity is performed to satisfy your own senses, for your own happiness. Suppose there are two cats: one cat is carrying a rat in its mouth, and the other cat is carrying its kitten in its mouth – both cats do the same action, but the purpose of the actions is different.

Many of us take initiation and as we chant the Holy Name, we want to leave all material things, all material world, but then we feel, 'This material world is not letting me go!' That is why we must cry to Nityananda Prabhu. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is such a great personality, he is actually the seventh goswami. We always glorify the six goswamis:

জয় রূপ সনাতন ভট্ট রঘুনাথ ।
শ্রীজীব গোপালভট্ট দাস রঘুনাথ ॥

jaya rupa sanatana bhatta raghunatha
sri-jiva gopala-bhatta dasa raghunatha

'All glory to Sri Rupa, Sanatan, Raghunath Bhatta, Sri Jiva, Gopal Bhatta and Raghunath Das!'

(Srila Narottam Das Thakur)

After them, if there is anybody who can be called the seventh goswami, it can be only Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. And what did this Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur say?

কবে নিত্যানন্দ মোরে করি' দয়া ।
ছাড়াইবে মোর বিষয়ের মায়া ॥

kabe nityananda more kari' daya
chhadaibe mora visayera maya

'When will Nityananda be compassionate to me and relieve me from mundane illusion?'

(Saranagati, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

'When will Nityananda give me His mercy? When will I behold Sri Dham Vrindavan?'

আর কবে নিতাইচাঁদ করুণা করিবে ।
সংসার-বাসনা মোর কবে তুচ্ছ হ'বে ॥
বিষয় ছাড়িয়া কবে শুদ্ধ হ'বে মন ।
কবে হাম হেরব শ্রীবৃন্দাবন ॥

ara kabe nitaichand karuna karibe
samsara-vasana mora kabe tuchha ha'be
visaya chhadiya kabe suddha habe mana
kabe hama heraba sri-vrndavan

'When will Nitaichand give His mercy to me? When will all my material desires become trifle? When will I give up this material world and my mind become clean? When will I behold this Vrindavan?'

('Prarthana', Srila Narottam Das Thakur)

So, just going to Vrindavan is nothing. If you go to Vrindavan, you must serve maidservants of Radharani there, then you will be residing in Vrindavan. Staying at a temple does not mean you are actually living in the temple. Remember this. You can be staying at the temple, but you will not be living in the temple. If you stay at the temple and talk about material things, talk nonsense, gossip about others, think about nonsense things, then what are you actually doing? You only eat, filling your stomach, and the next day when you wake up in the morning, you fill the toilet pan with the stool from your stomach. This is what is happening.

When you stay at the temple, you must serve the Lord. Doing puja is not the only service. There are so many other services – washing the dishes, cleaning the temple, making garlands, chanting kirtans, coming for the aratis. You must take part in all services. Everyone must serve according to their capacity and right (seva-adhikar). Somebody can also make a garden, grow some vegetables; somebody can cook; somebody can wash the dishes. But the problem is that we always divide, 'I have done this, so I will not do that.' I have told you the story about two disciples.

There were two disciples staying at one temple, and they would fight every day. One of them said, 'I am doing more!' The other one, who did the cooking, said, 'Yes, you only put what is cooked on the plate, ring the bell and do puja, but I do everything else!' Staying at the temple and only ringing the bell is not what you are staying at the temple for – you must preach about the temple, about the Lord, you must chant kirtan (glories of the Lord) and speak Hari-katha. Then, the disciple who did puja objected, 'Oh, you are only cooking, but I have to wake up early in the morning, I do the arati, puja, so many things!' Apart from that, they also served their gurudev. For example, when their gurudev took a bath, they would warm the water and rub some oil on his body. They started fighting again who must do what. When their gurudev heard them fight like that, he told them, 'I am blind now, so I have to take help from others, but if there is so much problem because of that, I will divide the service between you two. One of you will rub oil on my left leg, and the other one will rub oil on my right leg. You do not have to fight now.' They did that, but then after a month or so, the disciple who was to rub his gurudev's right leg fell ill one day and could not come. The disciple who rubbed his gurudev's left leg carried on rubbing only his left leg. Gurudev asked him, 'What is this? You are rubbing oil on my left leg, why are you not rubbing oil on my right leg?' The disciple said, 'Why, you said it was his leg! It is not my leg.' Gurudev replied, 'Oh, so it is his leg?! Then I will cut it off!' This is how we are. We always say, 'This is his duty.' There is a security guard at the temple, so everybody thinks it is his duty to make sure nothing is stolen. No. It is everybody's duty. You must have love for the Lord – then you will, 'All and any service is mine.'

বিষয়ে যে প্রীতি এবে আছয়ে আমার ।
সেই মত প্রীতি হউক চরণে তোমার ॥

visaye ye priti ebe achhaye amara
sei-mata priti hauk charane tomara

'May I have the same love and attraction to Your holy feet that I now have for material things.'

(Sri Gitavali, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

'It is all my Lord's property.' You are proud that you have donated some money to the temple, but this is not a big deal because all money belongs to the Lord (it is His money) – the Lord arranges everything through His devotees. Who gave what, who gave how much, this is not your business – those who stay at the temple must take care of the temple.

বিষয়ে যে প্রীতি এবে আছয়ে আমার ।
সেই মত প্রীতি হউক চরণে তোমার ॥

visaye ye priti ebe achhaye amara
sei-mata priti hauk charane tomara

'May I have the same love and attraction to Your holy feet that I now have for material things.'

(Sri Gitavali, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

You love your children very much, but that kind of love must come towards the Lord, then it will be devotion; otherwise, what you are doing is not devotion. How does such devotion come? 'Bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-sangena parijayate (ভক্তিস্তু ভগবদ্ভক্তসঙ্গেন পরিজায়তে): devotion comes through the association of devotees' (Brihan-naradiya Purana). If you associate with devotees, you will get devotion.


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Size: 44.5 Mb
Length: 89 min
Language: Bengali




1) Clean Your Heart and Cultivate Devotion
2) Seva-Dharma and Mano-Dharma
3) Strive for Spiritual Subsistence
4) Where There Is a Will There Is a Way
5) Excreting Visaya
6) Live in Domain of Mercy
7) The Side-Tracked and the Drowning
8) Servants' Wealth
9) Live Thinking about Lord
10) Turtle Consciousness
11) Learn and Practise
12) Sadhu's Duty
13) Internal Asuddha




Prema-vivarta: Sincerity, Renunciation
'Serve Gaura's devotees with perfect sincerity, and then, brother, you will reach Sri Krishna's feet. Chant 'Gauranga' and associate with Gaura's devotees. Chant 'Hare Krishna' and dance.'

Lord Himself took sannyas—He Himself shows us how we must practise,
how we must serve...