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(2/7) Service Is Privilege

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nrisingha Palli, Sri Gaura Purnima Day,
21 March 2019, morning class, part 2
Translated from Bengali


You must practise sravan and kirtan: listen about the Lord and chant the Lord's Name and glories.

Actually, I do not want to give initiations in this world because when you take initiation, you think that you have got everything, that you have become great. It is not so. You always say, 'Gurudev, please give me mercy.' Do you know how gurudev gives mercy? Can you tell the answer? I have told it to you many times. Those who have no service have no mercy. No service, no mercy. When gurudev gives you his mercy, it means that he engages you in some service – he gives you the right to serve Lord Krishna.

Krishna belongs to Radharani, and Radharani is non-different from gurudev. Radharani and gurudev are one and the same – they are both extremely dear to Krishna. At the same time, it is said in the scriptures that Lord Krishna personally comes as guru. Both is true.

সাক্ষাদ্ধরিত্বেন সমস্ত-শাস্ত্রৈ-
রুক্তস্তথা ভাব্যত এব সদ্ভিঃ ।
কিন্তু প্রভোর্যঃ প্রিয় এব তস্য
বন্দে গুরোঃ শ্রীচরণারবিন্দম্ ॥

saksadd-haritvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam

'I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who is said by all scriptures to be no doubt the Supreme Lord Himself and considered to be so by pious souls but who is also no doubt the Lord's dear associate.'

(Sri Sri Gurvastakam, Srila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur)

You have chanted and heard it many times. All scriptures (samasta sastra) say that gurudev is the Lord Himself (saksad Hari). What did Krishna say to Uddhav in Srimad Bhagavatam? 'Acharyam mam vijaniyan (আচার্য্যং মাং বিজানীয়ান্). Know the spiritual master (gurudev, or acharya) to be non-different from Me. He is Me.' Krishna has a form that manifests as two: as He Himself (Krishna) and as Balaram (or Nitai). Depending on one's mood, one can see the guru as Krishna, as Balaram (or Nityananda) or as Radharani.

যে যথা মাং প্রপদ্যন্তে তাংস্তথৈব ভজাম্যহম্ ।
মম বর্ত্মানুবর্ত্তন্তে মনুষ্যাঃ পার্থ সর্ব্বশঃ ॥

ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante, manusyah partha sarvasah

'Howsoever people surrender to Me, I accordingly reward them. Being the ultimate goal of all paths, I am the objective to be attained by all. O Partha, all men follow My various paths.'

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 4.11)

'I come to you in whichever form you worship Me.' There are five transcendental devotional relationships with the Lord: santa-rasa (neutrality), dasya-rasa (servitude), sakhya-rasa (friendship), vatsalya-rasa (parenthood) and madhura-rasa (consorthood). For example, Prahlad Maharaj is a devotee of santa-rasa. Subal, Sridam, Sudam and others who play with Krishna and also come together with Mahaprabhu are devotees of sakhya-rasa or dasya-rasa. Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaj are devotees of vatsalya-rasa: they saw Krishna as their son.

We must give up our own happiness and enjoyment for Krishna's sake and accept the path that sadhus have outlined for us (we must live our lives in the way that sadhus advise us to). We must always remember this. 'How can we serve our guru and Vaishnavs? How can we serve the Lord?' This is what we must think about. So, when you come to gurudev and say, 'Gurudev, please give me mercy,' do you understand what it means? It means, 'Gurudev, please give me some service. Please tell me what to do, engage me in any work.'

You can see how much service householder devotees do in various areas. They go house to house to collect for their gurudev. Everybody should try to serve according to their capacity, according to their service qualification, or right (seva-adhikar). I tell them only one thing, 'Nijera manera kheyala khusi-mato bhajana abhinaya bhajana bale na (নিজের মনের খেয়াল খুশিমতো ভজন অভিনয় ভজন বলে না). Satisfying the whims of your mind on pretext of practising spiritual life is not what is called spiritual life.' If something comes to your mind and you do it, this is not spiritual life.

One time, when I came to see Gurudev, he told me, 'Maharaj, my health is not good. I do not know how long I will be alive.' Then, he showed me his feet and said, 'My feet are very swollen...' I looked at his feet and, seeing that they were very swollen, asked, 'Can I massage them?' Gurudev said, 'No.' Gurudev had a servitor to massage his feet – that servitor had the right to do it. And I knew what service each of the servitors did. I knew that there was only one person who could, for example, rub Gurudev with oil or give him massage. Gurudev did not let anybody else do it – he did not take this service from anyone else's hands. I knew that servitor was very close to Gurudev. She was Gurudev's right hand, and Gurudev had much faith in her. She still keeps in touch with me. She told me, 'I know what Gurudev wanted and said, so I do not have any problem.' I have not seen her after Gurudev's disappearance, but she always keeps in touch with me. Because she served Gurudev, they filed a case against her, so she cannot come to Bengal now, but she did come to India (she could travel only up to Odisha). She was Gurudev's close servitor. Her name is Jamuna Priya Didi. She got the right to do this kind of service to Gurudev. Not everybody gets such service, and not everybody can do such service. We must always remember this. Always remember this kind of service.


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Size: 19.7 Mb
Length: 39 min
Language: Bengali




1) Eternal Faith, Eternal Patience
2) Service Is Privilege
3) Service Insight
4) Service Mishaps
5) Listen and Follow
6) Irreconcilable Difference
7) Entering the Right Current




Varnashrama and Practising Life
'If they follow the five ashrams very strictly but do not follow Krishna consciousness, they have no hope: they have to go to hell.'

Service means you will get some austerity. You think in your service everything will go smoothly, but it is impossible—everything cannot go smoothly.