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Golden Chance

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Betur, 22 January 2020, part 1
Translated from Bengali

 

By a great fortune, you have got this service to the Lord. And not just got service, but you have got this service in the house of your Guru (guru-griha). Many serve from their homes, but you have got this opportunity to stay an serve at the temple. Those who stay outside can also come here in the evening, can chant kirtans and practise here. The Lord has given you this chance.

The problem is that we took initiation, we took the Holy Name a long time ago, but we you do not practise. You do not pass an exam just by getting enrolled into a school. Remember this. Do you think you can pass the exams just by getting enrolled? No, you cannot. You have all been enrolled into this school, but nobody has been able to pass so far, nobody is qualified to pass. You do not pass the exams just by getting enrolled—having got accepted into a school, you must study, then you will be able to pass the exams. So, you all have this opportunity to study here. A temple is a place where there is service to the Lord. Jive daya, Name ruchi, Vaishnava seva—you can serve the Lord here. You are very fortunate to have got this chance to serve the Lord right here at your Guru's house...

Everything here is service, there is no small service or big service—somebody washes the dishes, somebody makes cow dung patties, somebody plants flower garden, somebody waters plants, and so on. All service is the same, there is no difference. Do no think, "I am the secretary!", "I am the manager!", "I am a brahmachari," "I am a ksatriya," "I am this," "I am that."

You have all read this expression "para-dharmo bhayavahah" (it is dangerous to follow another's path) in Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah, para-dharmat svanusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah, para-dharmo bhayavahah

Even if it is imperfect, it is better to do one's duty according to one's own nature, than to do another's well. Even death in the discharge of one's own duty is better, for to perform another's is dangerous.

What is "para-dharma" [others' religion]? Many interpret it in a wrong way—they say that if a brahman follows the path of a ksatriya, this is a foreign ('other') religion, if a Hindu follows Muslim religion, this is a foreign ('other') religion. Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu says this is not so. The religion of every soul is to serve the Lord, and if the soul does anything else except that, that is called a foreign, or 'other', religion. The one and only duty of every jiva soul is to serve the Lord. Be it an ant, a tree, a flower or anything else, everyone's duty is to serve the Lord, however a jiva soul cannot do it in every birth. If a palm tree wants to serve the Lord, can it do so? It cannot. If somebody comes, collects date juice, makes gur out of it, and then uses it to make sweet rice for the Lord, then you can say that this palm tree could do some service to the Lord. We, on the other hand, can serve the Lord out of our own accord.

The problem is that, although we have this opportunity in this lifetime, many still do not serve the Lord—they say they cannot take initiation because they cannot give up some things. Animals cannot give up eating meat because they do not understand it (if they do not get meat, they die), but if humans decide, "I will not eat meat, fish, etc.," they can do it if they want to. We all used to eat meat before, but when we heard the proper conception and understood it, we gave it all up. Still, there are people who cannot get great things because they cannot give up small things...

Many people say, "Why will I chant the Holy Name at this age? I will do it later!" Some of you present here are old now, you can understand yourself what old age is like—if you think you will practise Krishna consciousness later, you are cheating the Lord. "When I get old and retire, then I will practise," but when you grow old, you will struggle to walk, your stomach will pain, your neck will pain, etc. Do you think you will enjoy practising Krishna consciousness when you are sick? The older you get, the sicker you will get, and you will not be able to walk, you will not be able to do parikrama, you will not be able to cook, to worship the Lord or do anything else. This is how your life will pass in vain. So, those who say they will practise Krishna consciousness when they get old, are cheating the Lord. Not only that, you can remember Santosh Prabhu—he died at such a young age. Do you think you know how long you will live?

 

 

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Discard Your Mind
'Whether happiness comes or sadness comes, it is the same; whether your enemy comes or your friend comes it is also the same. It is not even necessary to think who is your enemy and who is your friend.'

 

Sri-guru-charana-padma
'Sri Guru is an ocean of mercy and the friend of the fallen. He is the lord and life of all people. O master! Be merciful. Give me the shade of your feet. This fallen soul has taken shelter of you.'
শ্রীগুরুচরণ-পদ্ম

Gurudev is powerful—his mantra is powerful, everything is powerful,
but that kind of attachment to the Guru has to come.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"