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Sri Guru's Shelter

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Evening class, Sri Nrisingha Palli
7 March 2020, part 2, translated from Bengali


Today is the disappearance day of a great Vaishnav—Pujyapad Srila Madhavendra Puripad. You have heard his name before. In our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, he is a part of the main root, of the seed of the bhakti-lata bij (the seed of the devotional creeper). Sri Ishwar Puri took initiation from Sri Madhavendra Puri, and then Mahaprabhu Himself took initiation from Sri Ishwar Puri. You have heard the kirtan,

madhavendra puri-vara, sisya-vara sri-isvara,
nityananda, sri-advaita vibhu
isvara-purike dhanya, karilena sri-chaitanya,
jagad-guru gaura mahaprabhu

The best disciples of the great Madhavendra Puri were Isvar Puri, Lord Nityananda, and Lord Sri Advaita. Jagad-guru Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu blessed Isvar Puri (by accepting him as His Guru.)

We must listen to the glories of Sri Madhavendra Puri—Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (the Supreme Lord Himself) gave His mercy to and took initiation from his disciple.

Madhavendra Puripad had one disciple named Ramachandra Puri. One time, when Madhavendra Puripad was overwhelmed by the mood of separation, Ramachandra Puri came to give him some advice based on Brahma-jnana, and Madhavendra Puri got angry, "Get out from here, you sinner!" After that, because his guru had rejected him, Ramachandra Puri became a very big offender of Vaishnavs. As a result of his numerous offences, he made offence to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself.

Mahaprabhu usually treated Ramachandra Puri with my respect teaching everyone that even if somebody criticises you, you must give them a good seat (simhasan) and all honour. However all devotees did not like him because he always gossiped about others, always criticised others and even spoke ill of Mahaprabhu Himself. Everybody told Mahaprabhu, "Prabhu, he is offending You behind Your back. Why are You giving him such a high place?"

One day, Ramachandra Puri came to Mahaprabhu's room in Gambhira and saw there were many ants in His room. Noticing the ants, Ramachandra Puri said, "O young sannyasi (navin-sannyasi)! Are You eating lots of sweets? How come there are so many ants in Your room?" Then Mahaprabhu thought, "Oh, all the devotees say that he is talking nonsense things about Me behind My back, and now I see he is saying nonsense in front of Me!" Another day, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's wife (the mother of Sathi) invited Mahaprabhu to their house and offered Mahaprabhu a lot of different kinds of prasadam. Ramachandra Puri saw this from a hiding place, and thought, "My, my! A sannyasi is eating so much!" He told this to Mahaprabhu's face, and then Mahaprabhu told everyone, "Yes, what he is saying is correct. Does a sannyasi accept so much? He is right, why are you getting annoyed? A sannyasi does not take so much food. From now on, do not invite Me any more. If you ever invite Me again, do not make more than one-two items!" All the devotees cried, "Oh no, will we not be able to invite Mahaprabhu now? And will we not cook more than one-two items?" Then, everybody went to Jagannath and prayed, "O Jagannath, please remove this man from Puri!" In this way, Ramachandra Puri was ousted from Puri Dham.

We must learn from his example—from what became of him. If you give up your guru, what will become of you? There is a saying in Bengali, "Krsna rusta hale Guru rakhibare pare, Guru ruste hale Krsna rakhibare nare (কৃষ্ণ রূষ্ট হলে গুরু রাখিবারে পারে, গুরু রূষ্ট হলে কৃষ্ণ রাখিবারে নারে)—if Krishna, the Lord, becomes angry, Gurudev can protect; if Gurudev becomes angry, Krishna cannot protect you." I have written something on the back cover of Guidance 4, I would like to read it now:

"Sri Gurudev is the only shelter for a disciple. Those who have become disciples live in complete adherence to their guru. If one retains independence, they cannot be called a 'disciple'—they can take the mantra, they can take initiation, but if they do not accept guidance or disciplining of Śrī Gurudev, they cannot be called a real disciple. Gurudev has a vast wealth. Those who are born into his lineage, can get the right for his wealth. Gurudev's wealth is not temples, buildings, houses, money; his wealth is faith, devotion and love.

"What happens after initiation? It is necessary to practise hearing and chanting, worship Deities and do service. You must serve with love, affection, extracting loving devotion from your very life. You must always think about what makes Him happy. You must be anxious to make Him happy and always be alert and conscious of His happiness. Sacrifice your selfish interests for His happiness, serve for His happiness.

"Sannyasis always sit amidst fire blazing on all four sides. This fire is Hari-katha, kirtan, service to the Lord, and service to the guru. You must progress in your practising life keeping the sacrificial fire of your service ablaze."

I am finishing here for today.

বাঞ্ছাকল্পতরুভ্যশ্চ কৃপাসিন্ধুভ্য এব চ ।
পতিতানাং পাবনেভ্যো বৈষ্ণবেভ্যো নমো নমঃ ॥

vanchha-kalpatarubhyas cha krpa-sindhubhya eva cha
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

"Again and again I offer my obeisance unto the Supreme Lord's devotees, who are saviours of the fallen, oceans of mercy, and wish-fulfilling trees."



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Fulfilment of Life
'We are swimming in an ocean, and somebody throws some log into the ocean to help us reach the shore, then we must try to get there. We can try to practise—this is what Guru Maharaj, Gurudev established this Math for.'


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'The play of your divine Pastimes at Hidden Govardhan Hill in Sri Gauranga's abode are manifest eternally.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

We should be a great servant—not a great manager, a great temple president,
or a great guru but a great servant.