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His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 24 May 2020, part 3


Question: You were saying that dham-seva is very important—how can one do proper dham-seva?

There are many ways you can do dham-seva. Our guru-varga make temples in many dhams (holy places), and you can help, you can serve those places in whichever way you can, depending on how much capacity you have. You can do some cleaning, you can do some service, etc. Whatever your capacity is, you can do proper dham-seva. You can remember Jagai and Madhai also. How did Madhai do dham-seva? In those days, there were no toilets, so people would pass stool on the bank of the Ganges and then go to bathe in the Ganges—Madhai would remove that stool with a hoe and bury it. He would clean the Ganges in this way, this is also dham-seva. Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu gave that service to him. Every year when we do Nabadwip Dham parikrama, we go to that place called Madhai-ghat.

I also did some dham-seva many years ago. At that time, there were no street lights in Mayapur and it was very dark at night—every temple had light, but there was no light on the streets. I went to the government, submitted an application, prayed to them, etc., in the end they gave permission and made lights on every electric pole. I did some dham-seva in this way. Also, there is some dham-vaishnav-seva—during the Nabadwip Dham parikrama, you can see some people from Dham Seva Samiti (I am the secretary there) sitting on the chairs under umbrellas and distributing sweet water or plain water to those who are doing the parikrama. This is another way to do dham-seva. So, there are many ways one can do dham-seva.

Also, I am making a temple in Mayapur now and some devotees are gradually helping with the construction so that more devotees could stay with us. Every year we do parikrama,and so many devotees have to stay outside, it is very painful for me, that is why I am making some arrangement for accommodation. Despite the lockdown period, I am still doing the construction, I did not stop it—not in Nrisingha Palli, not in Mayapur, not in Uluberia. Construction is going on in three places now. Devotees are helping little by little. If one devotee gives one dollar every day, it is thirty dollars per month and three hundred sixty dollars a year. Some devotees give their energy in this way. Those who have capacity, donate, and those who do not have such capacity, give their heart and soul, they give their support. Not everybody can give money, not everybody has that kind of capacity, but if everybody gives their heart, if everybody gives their support, that is sufficient. At the time of Nabadwip Dham parikrama, so many devotees come from all over the world, and I need much more accommodation for everyone to be able to stay at the temple, and the devotees who are helping with that are also doing dham-seva.

You know, when I joined Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Mission, outside people used to think Mayapur to be a picnic spot, so they would come, throw so much garbage everywhere, cut goats, chickens, and make festivals. I filed a court case in the High Court against this, and the High Court ruled that Mayapur cannot be a picnic place—Mayapur is a religious place, it is the birthplace of Mahaprabhu, so everybody must take care of it. The High Court issued an order that no one can make a picnic there and no one can make the place dirty. This is also one kind of dham-seva.

Sometimes, if we get time one day when we come for Nabadwip Dham parikrama, we can also go to clean the Ganges. When we were in Nabadwip, Kolerdanga, the main temple, I saw devotees would clean Govinda Kunda—that is also dham-seva. For example, in Ekachakra, after the festival, there are so many prasadam plates everywhere, and devotees clean the whole day and night, taking all garbage out. That is called dham-seva. There are so many ways you can do dham-seva. You can do according to your capacity. "Dhama-basi jane pranati kariya magiba krpara lesa: I will bow down before a dham basi and beg from them a drop of mercy."

Actually, the problem is that we have so much ego, and because of our ego we cannot leave our arjapat (previous karma)—we cannot leave our identification with the area we come from, with the generation we come from; that is why we cannot understand these things easily. We do not know how to harmonise with everything, but it is necessary to harmonise. If we can harmonise with our background, then we can do our service properly. Do you understand what I am saying? Sometimes, we cannot leave our arjapat—the culture we are born in, the caste we are born in, etc. However, if we practise, then we will be able to leave it gradually.

In many places devotees are alone now, they think it is very boring, they are unhappy about the lockdown, it is difficult to work from home, etc. Laziness starts coming, they think a lot how to run their business properly, how to maintain their family life after the lockdown, they worry about the economical problems. They think so much, but everything depends upon Krishna. You must surrender to Krishna, surrender to the Lord. Do not think so much, do not make yourself sick. Sometimes, you think, think, think, and you become sick with worry. Everything is the will of Krishna, the will of the Lord. What will happen, what is happening, everything is good. Even if somebody dies, do not be sad; if somebody is born, do not be so happy. It is the same. Devotees can live anywhere, they can live in hell or heaven, it is the same for them. When Parvati cursed Chitraketu to go to hell, Chitraketu did not think anything—he thought, "Whatever happens, it is the will of Krishna." So, whether devotees go to hell, jail, heaven, or Goloka, it is the same for them—wherever they go, they will will chant the Holy Name; even if they are locked down in their houses, they will chant the Holy Name, they will serve the lord. For devotees, everything is the same. So, do not fear death or any attacks. At the same time, we must be also careful and we must try to save ourselves. We have a good brain, we have a good intelligence (sumedha), and we must use our good brain in a proper way. That is the main thing.



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