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Simple Service, Earnest Heart

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 12 July 2020, part 6

 

Question: As initiated disciples, do we have the right to help the poor people in our neighbourhood without Gurudev's permission?

If somebody helps poor people, I cannot say it is not right—some punya (material piety) will come through that because you do some auspicious work. It is not bad at all because when you distribute prasadam, people can get some devotion or some sukriti through prasadam, so it is not bad.

One time, Gauridas Pandit's disciple Hriday Chaitanya (Chaitanya Das) also invited many people for a festival in Kalna without his Guru's permission—as a result, his Guru ousted him from the temple, but when Gaura Nitai (the Deities) went to him, his Guru again brought him back to the temple. I have seen many examples like that. One time also, Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu made some mistake and Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu told him that he could not stay in Vrindavan—he said, "You have no quality to stay in Vrindavan, you must get out." Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu left the temple, but later Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu brought him back to the Radha-Damodar temple.

Question: When we sometimes face some situations in our life, mostly our first reaction is to run away from the problem. How to change this attitude remembering the teachings of Mahaprabhu?

It is necessary to have the strongest faith. You cannot see everything with your eyes. If we get the result immediately, it is also not good because we must do our job—we must do what our guru-varga says, what Mahaprabhu says, we must follow Mahaprabhu's teachings. We do not think about the result. We will serve Mahaprabhu, we will serve devotees, and we will serve our Guru, and whether they accept it or not, that is up to them. We cannot say, "Oh, I am serving you, I want the result here and now!" This is not good for practising devotees. Wait and see. Always 'wait and see.' It is necessary to have patience and tolerance.

Question: Can you please tell us about the disappearance of Srila Lokanath Goswami Prabhu that is observed tomorrow?

Yes, the day before yesterday it was Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami's disappearance, and tomorrow it is Srila Lokanath Goswami's disappearance...

Lokanath Goswami is a great Vaishnav. He was bhajananandi (preferred solitary practice)—he practised staying in his house and did not preach so much except through his own chanting and practising. We know about Lokanath Goswami owing to Srila Narottam Das Thakur who had come to Vrindavan from Bangladesh. "Lokanatha lokera jivana (লোকনাথ লোকের জীবন). Lokanath is the life of all people."

Srila Lokanath Goswami said that he would never accept disciples, but Srila Narottam Das Thakur said, "By hook or by crook, but I will take initiation from Lokanath Goswami!" But how was it possible? It was. When Lokanath Goswami became very old, he would pass stool and urine in a place near his house, and Narottam Das Thakur would secretly go there, remove the stool and urine, and clean that place. He did not say anything to Lokanath Goswami—he did it secretly. One day, Lokanath Goswami noticed it. He thought, "Who is cleaning every day this place where I pass stool? Who is it?" Somehow he got to know that it was Narottam Das Thakur. At that time, it was very rare to see a graduate, an educated person, and Narottam Das Thakur was very educated, he also came from a big family, but he took up this lowest service—that is why Lokanath Goswami was bound to give him initiation.

Srila Narottam Das Thakur took initiation from Lokanath Goswami, and it is owing to Narottam Das Thakur that we know about Lokanath Goswami now because Narottam Das Thakur preached about his guru (a disciple must always preach about his guru). Lokanath Goswami did not use to be famous, but owing to Narottam Das Thakur, Lokanath Goswami became a famous Vaishnav. This is what we know about him.

Question: I have some friends who have been in Krishna consciousness for many years without taking initiation. Should we urge them to come to our Math's programmes and to take initiation in our Math?

We do not force anybody! If the person wants it himself, if the person agrees, then we will give them initiation, but we do not force anybody. First, one must think carefully, practise, then they can think about initiation.

Question: There are so many high pastimes of the Lord and it is said that we should not study them because they are too high for us. If they are too high, why are they there in the scriptures?

Everything that is in the scriptures is not for the same level. There is a gradation among devotees based on their quality—there is are uttam adhikari, madhyam adhikari, kanistha adhikari devotees (highest, middle, and junior levels). Everybody has different kinds of service, and we must give respect to different levels. At the same time, we do not give the respect to everyone. We respect Swami Maharaj Srila Prabhupad, we respect Srila Sridhar Maharaj, we respect our Gurudev, but this respect is not one and the same, the stature (maryada, মর্যাদা) is different. So, we give respect in different ways. In the same way, there are so many scriptures, and there are so many pastimes described in the scriptures, but some things are very high for us, and Gurudev tells us not to read certain things, then we should not read it because if you read too much, you can become crazy—some problem can come. That is why, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "Bahu grantha na paribe, bahu kalabhyasa na karibe (বহু গ্রন্থ না পড়িবে, বহু কলাভ্যাস না করিবে): do not read too many books, do not practise too many artificial things." Simple things are sufficient for us, but some things are there for higher Vaishnavs. For example, we do not have any quality or qualification to read about rasa-lila from Srimad Bhagavatam—Gurudev said that if we want to hear (or, worse, practise) the rasa-lila, we will become pregnant.

Devotee: You have told also many times about watering too much.

Yes, if you give too much water to the root, the seed will rot.

 

 

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'I am Gora's!'
'If somebody does not follow our main conception, does not follow Srila Sridhar Maharaj's conception, does not follow Gurudev's conception, Gurudev's order, we cannot mix with them, we cannot accept the religion that they themselves have invented.'

 

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

You may ask me how to remove bad things, bad desire—it is possible
to remove it through sravan, kirtan, nothing else.

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