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(4/7) Service Mishaps

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nrisingha Palli, Sri Gaura Purnima Day,
21 March 2019, morning class, part 4
Translated from Bengali


If you do something for your own pratistha or for your own benefit, this is not service. I told you yesterday about the man who brought a batabi lebu for Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj, but Srila Babaji Maharaj understood the man's desire, 'You are giving me this fruit, but you have some other desire inside you.' If you want to do service, even a small thing is sufficient – the main thing is that you must supply what is required and when it is required.

For example, some devotees knew that Gurudev used Lifebuoy soap. Somebody would bring him soaps that cost thousands of rupees, but Gurudev would always use Lifebuoy, so when somebody asked me, I told them, 'Gurudev likes Lifebuoy. If you give it to him, he will be happy.' Such small things are service. You must give that which gurudev likes. Always remember what gurudev likes.

There are some devotees in one of the areas who can make hand-made Tulasi beads, and I saw that they could make big beads. So, one time, I told a devotee to ask them to make some bigger beads for foreign devotees (local devotees are usually given smaller beads). I told them that I was ready to pay for it. The person who used to make the beads before is sick now and cannot make them anymore, and they also started using machines. Anyhow, I was not sure I could get beads from the old person, so I asked those devotees to make some beads. What did they do? They brought one big string of beads for me, saying, 'We have made it specially for you.' I thought, 'Disaster!' I would rather part with my life than part with the beads that Gurudev has given me with his own hand. Gurudev gave me those beads almost thirty years ago – how can I ever lose them or let go of them? No matter how big or how good the beads that you bring me are, how can I ever chant on them? They bring the beads saying it is for me, but why will I chant on those beads?! I can give beads to others, but the beads that Gurudev has given me (whatever wood they may be made of!) are the purest for me – those beads are my treasure. I have never lost them in my life, and not a single bead has ever broken. So many people's beads break, but my beads have never broken. Perhaps, if you chant a lot on the beads, then your beads can break, but I have not been able to chant on the beads so much, that is why they have never broken.

I do not make a show of doing service. Gurudev said that sometimes you hear devotees say, 'Oh, I am chanting on my beads now, and I have not finished, so I cannot do now what you are asking me to do.' What do you chant on your beads for? Why do you chant the Holy Name? To get service. I told you this story before: when a devotee asked another devotee to hand him the newspaper, the second devotee, who was chanting on his beads at that time, took the newspaper in his left hand and continued chanting on his beads – seeing this, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj said, 'What are you doing? If a Vaishnav gives you an order, that is the Holy Name!' So, if a Vaishnav tells you to give him a newspaper, you should put aside your beads and bring the newspaper – that will be Harinam. But who understands this? Who can you tell this to?

You must listen, then you will know these things. If you do not listen, where will you learn these things? If you want to learn something, you must have a teacher. Gurudev often said, 'Yata chhila nadabune haye gela kirtane ara kaste bhenge gadano kattala (যত ছিল নাড়াবুনে হয়ে গেল কীর্ত্তনে আর কাস্তে ভেঙ্গে গড়ানো কত্তাল). Lit. all the foolish peasants come to do kirtan with broken scythes as kartals (Clodhoppers have turned artists; fools have turned leaders).' I listened to lectures. When Gurudev spoke, I sat quietly and listened. Gurudev would say one thing, and I would remember it. And Gurudev knew everything...

We must always remember our gurudev – it means that we must maintain our lives following the footsteps of sadhus (following the rules, regulations and practices they have established).


— : • : —





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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




Odds and Ends
'Sometimes devotees do wrong—they fast on Ekadasi and they also make Gaura Nitai fast. Gaura Nitai will not fast, They must be offered everything.'

If you have a very strong relationship with the Guru,
offences and undesirable things will gradually go away.