Emotion and Devotion
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: I will graduate at the end of this year and get a doctor's degree. I wanted to know what you need from me...
What do I need from you? I need you to always serve devotees, to Gurudev. Engage yourself as much as possible in the service to the devotees. That is my happiness. My request to you is that you must engage yourself in the service of devotees.
Srila Janardan Maharaj: You are building a temple now, are you not?
[His Divine Grace laughs.] I am always making temples.
Srila Janardan Maharaj: Are you building a temple in Mayapur now?
Srila Janardan Maharaj: You need help from devotees now, is it not?
Yes... The land that I bought is actually Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's land.
Srila Janardan Maharaj: Has the construction started already?
Yes. That place is near the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We have bought this land from Chaitanya Math, which means it is Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's land. The land was registered in the name of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari, this is the name of Chaitanya Math's Deities, and I have changed the name to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Govinda-sundar.
Srila Janardan Maharaj: How much more construction is there to finish?
[His Divine Grace laughs.] That I cannot say, Maharaj because I only start, and Gurudev is always with us, so when he sends some money from Goloka Vrindavan, then I will manage. I have full faith, 200% faith, that whenever I need money, Gurudev always sends money from Goloka Vrindavan.
Our new Nrisingha Palli guesthouse will also be big, you can see it next year at Gaura Purnima. Up to two thousand devotees will be able to stay there. That place is Nrisinghadev's place too.
Srila Janardan Maharaj: We all want to help you.
Thank you so much, Maharaj. It is very nice.
Srila Janardan Maharaj: No, no, my dandavats to you.
Question: If I dream of Gurudev, and Gurudev talks to me in the dream, should I take that as an instruction?
Sometimes, just because a devotee thinks about Gurudev, they see Gurudev in their dream, and sometimes Gurudev can also give some instruction in one's dream. Sometimes, devotees say, "Oh, I have seen a dream, Gurudev is telling this!" But it is actually not what Gurudev says. How can we understand it then? It depends upon the quality and qualification of the devotee; it depends on the depth of one's devotion. This is the main criterion. Pure devotees always get inspiration from their Guru—for example, Srila Sridhar Maharaj got inspiration from Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and Gurudev also said that he sometimes talked with his Guru Maharaj.
Question: You spoke about the sixty-four bhaktyangas last time. One of them is meditation—how should we practise it?
How will you do meditation? For example, we recite the gayatri; this is also a kind of meditation. You can always think about the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani and the lotus feet of Krishna. Always meditate on Their lotus feet, i.e. always remember Their lotus feet. We recite the gayatri mantra—Guru-mantra, Guru-gayatri, Gaura-mantra, Gaura-gayatri, sometimes Krishna-mantra, Krishna-gayatri, Radha-mantra, Radha-gayatri, and also kama-gayatri. Mainly, meditation means meditating on the lotus feet of Lord Krishna and Srimati Radharani. Always think about that—close your eyes and think about the lotus feet of the Absolute...
Question: Could you please tell us about Ajita Krishna Prabhu? His disappearance day is observed today...
Gurudev told me about him. He was a good, a perfect servitor in Srila Guru Maharaj's time. He would serve the whole day, he would clean the pots, etc. at the festival time. He would do so much service, especially on the days before festivals (adhivas), and on the festival days (Gaura Purnima, Srila Sridhar Maharaj's appearance day, etc.). He would do his service until two o'clock, and then take a little rest in the store room. He thought, "Why should I go to sleep in my room? I can stay here, in the store room." In the morning, he would take a quick shower outside and go to the mangal arati. He did not even go to his room, he would sleep in the store room during the festival time. He was a proper servitor, and Srila Sridhar Maharaj depended upon him a lot. When he left his body, Srila Sridhar Maharaj was very sad. There was a guava tree at the corner between the temple and the bhajan kutir of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Ajita Krishna Prabhu saw a ripe guava on the tree and wanted to pick it. He climbed only three-four feet high, but he fell down from there and suddenly died. It is very sad. It was not even so high, only three-four feet, but he fell down... I remember one time when I had left for preaching, our Gurudev's servitor Chinmoy Prabhu climbed the dome of the temple and fell down from there landing on the marble floor—it is ninety feet high, but he is still alive. You see? If Krishna protects somebody, who can kill them? So, it is our sadness that Ajita Krishna Prabhu left—he was a very pure devotee and a perfect servitor...
Are there any other questions from anyone?
Question: How can I transform my attachment to the family into attachment to Krishna and the Guru?
Through practising. Practise, practise, practise, and practise, then attachment will come automatically. Also, it is necessary to have some mercy from Gurudev. Material attachment will change automatically. You need to keep practising. Practise every day sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, pada-sevanam, archanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam (hearing, chanting, remembering the Lord, serving the Lord's lotus feet, worshipping the Deity of the Lord, offering obeisance, rendering service as a servitor, as a friend, and self-submission). It is necessary to always practise this. Also, you must always keep good association,
সাধুসঙ্গ, নামসঙ্কীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
sadhu-sanga, nama-sankirtana, bhagavata-sravana
"One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Srimad Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)
Listen to the classes, to Srimad Bhagavatam; always think about the holy dhams; always worship Deities. If you do all this, then attachment will come. When you give birth to a baby, you start taking care of the baby every day—you feed it, you do this, this, this, and you start feeling a very deep attachment to your baby. In the same way, when you worship your Deities every day, when you do the Deities' puja every day, when you serve your Guru every day, then attachment will gradually come on its own.
Question: Why cannot we cry tears in front of Deities?
Anybody can cry in front of the Deities as long as they cry for the Deities. Sometimes we cry for ourselves, and that is not good—in this case, such crying is called emotion, it is not devotion. It is not so easy to shed one drop of water in front of Deities. Sahajiyas always cry, always show so many tears, but this is emotion, it is not devotion. If somebody cries in front of the Deities because they feel deep in their heart, "I am a fallen soul, I cannot serve You! I am very bad!"—this mood can come sometimes, this is humility, and it is not bad.
Question: How can we tell the difference is it is emotion or devotion?
That is easy to understand. It depends upon the devotee, upon their practising life. In Srila Sridhar Maharaj's time, there was one young boy who came to hear Srila Sridhar Maharaj's class—as he was listening to the class, he started crying, and his grandmother said, "Oh, Maharaj, can you see? My grandson is crying, he has so much devotion!" And Srila Sridhar Maharaj replied, "This is not devotion, it is emotion."
So, sometimes we do something emotionally, but it will not last, it will finish quickly—when proper devotion comes, it lasts and makes the person prominent. You can easily understand what is called emotion and what is called devotion. In, India, Bengal, there is so much sahajiyasm—sometimes people cry so much imitating Mahaprabhu. Sometimes people copy what Mahaprabhu did, sometimes people copy what Gurudev said, etc.
Once, when Srila Madhavendra Puripad was crying feeling pangs of separation, his disciple Ramachandra Puri came to him and started giving him advice about Brahma-jnana, "Why are you crying? Everything is Brahman," etc. Madhavendra Puri got very angry with him and told him, "Get out from here! I do not want to see your face! I am suffering so much from separation, and you are coming to make it worse!" That is, Srila Madhavendra Puripad's crying and other people's crying is not one and the same. You can understand that. Madhavendra Puri also cried because he felt much separation, and other people imitate him. You can easily differentiate this.
Practise and practise, and when you make yourself perfect, then it will manifest in your dealings, in your behaviour, in your humility, etc. that you have become perfect—then you can easily understand what is the difference between emotion and devotion.
You must be always frank in everything. Always talk open-mindedly, do not keep anything from your Guru, do not hide anything from your Guru. You must not be afraid to speak your mind. Always converse with each other with an open mind, it is good for devotees. Do not keep anything in your heart, do not hide anything from your Guru. You can speak openly. Saralata-i vaisnavata (সরলতাই বৈষ্ণবতা)—Vaishnavism means simplicity.
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