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Emotion and Devotion

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 19 July 2020, part 5


Question: How can we have a devotional life without material attachment and free from material desires?

If you stay with a great sadhu, if you practise properly, if you follow rules and regulations, then your material desires will be removed. I can challenge anyone that it is so. Also, if you think and can promise that you will live brahmachari life, then you can come and join me—if you stay with me and can tolerate my chastisement every day, then you will avoid material life.

Question: What is the difference between a sentiment and devotion?

Sentiment (emotion) and devotion is not the same. Emotion is not lasting—it lasts only a few minutes; but devotion always lasts the whole life. Somebody may say something and you start crying, that is emotion coming. It is not so easy to shed one drop of water from your eye for Krishna, for the Lord—it is very difficult. Emotionally, you can shed a kilo of water from your eyes, but that is emotion. If out of devotion you can produce one drop of water from your eye for the Lord, that is a very high thing.

Devotees search madly, "Where must I go? Where will I find Kanu? Where must I go to get Kanu?" If you read Srimad Bhagavatam and the last part of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita where Mahaprabhu expresses His separation life from the Lord, then you can understand something. Mahaprabhu Himself is Srimati Radharani, and He shows His separation from Lord Krishna. How deep this separation is! Uddhav Maharaj also expressed something in Srimad Bhagavatam. He came to Vrindavan to give some news and nourishment to Nanda Maharaj, Yasoda, and all the Vraja gopis, but when he met them, he became very shy, "What a low person I am! I have no power to tell them anything about Krishna!" Uddhav Maharaj's expression was like that. That is called pure devotion. Also, somebody may feel separation from their Gurudev—when Gurudev disappears and his disappearance day comes, they feel separation from him deep within their hearts. That is also called devotion. Devotion comes automatically through humility, tolerance, giving honour to others, through proper practising—devotion comes through practising life.

আদৌশ্রদ্ধা ততঃ সাধুসঙ্গোঽথ ভজনক্রিয়া ।
ততোঽনর্থনিবৃত্তিঃ স্যাৎ ততো নিষ্ঠা রুচিস্ততঃ ॥
অথাসক্তিস্ততো ভাবস্ততঃ প্রেমাভ্যুদঞ্চতি ।
সাধকানাময়ং প্রেম্ণঃ প্রাদুর্ভাবে ভবেৎ ক্রমঃ ॥

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha ruchis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudanchati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah

"In the beginning there is faith, then good association, then practising life. After that, the offences gradually go away, faith becomes stronger, taste comes, then attachment, then there arises affection and love. This is how love to God comes to those who practise Krsna consciousness."

(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh, 1.4.15-16)

Everything comes through practice. First, it is necessary to have sukriti. There are two types of sukriti, jnata sukriti and ajnata sukriti (sometimes we know that sukriti is coming, and sometimes we may not know it). Then, through sukriti, faith (sraddha) comes. There are four types of faith—kamala-sraddha (tender faith), taranga-sraddha (fickle faith), drdha-sraddha (strong faith), sudrdha-sraddha (strongest faith). Then, through faith, good association (sadhu-sanga) comes. Sadhu-sanga is the main thing necessary for our spiritual life. What will you do then, after getting sadhu-sanga? You will practise sravan (hearing) and kirtan (chanting, practising). Then, sincerity (nistha, stableness) comes, then you will get taste (ruchi)—you will not be able to stay without it.

I heard there was one man—he is an engineer and worked in Delhi, but now that there is a lockdown period, he could not get alcohol. You cannot imagine how strong his attachment to alcohol was. He actually broke a window, jumped from his flat and came to the street to get some whiskey, some alcohol. He did not even realise he was jumping out of the window, he did not realise he could die. He ended up breaking his leg and hurting his head. This is how strong his attachment to alcohol is. We too must have such attachment to our Guru and Vaishnavs—we must be so anxious and desperate in our attachment that we should be prepared to jump out of the window!

Srila Janardan Maharaj: I heard also when Srila Govinda Maharaj was giving devotees saffron cloth, the last minute one person said he wanted to take saffron cloth too, but Srila Gurudev told him that it was good to take saffron, but it should be taken by devotion, not by emotion. So, it seems that emotion means satisfying your mind, and devotion means satisfying Gurudev.

Yes, Maharaj, that is right. Emotion is to satisfy your mind.



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