His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: When can we say that our Gurudev is happy with our service?
It is not necessary to say it. You can realise it through your service. On the other hand, it is also not necessary for you to know if Gurudev is happy or not—our duty, our service is that we will do our service properly, we will try more and more and more, we will do more and more for his happiness, we will try to make our Guru happier and happier. We will always try our best.
Question: My friend is in college now, he is a new devotee and he wants to preach to his college mates about Krishna consciousness, so he was asking how to do it—some of his friends have some conception of Hinduism, so they say they do not feel that they want to be in anybody's association, they want to be flexible, they pose some challenges. Could you please give some advice how to preach in this case?
You make programmes in Singapore sometimes, they can join the programmes and hear some lectures from one of the senior devotees. They can also read my books, I explain there what our life is, who we are, etc. You all know these five questions that Srila Sanatan Goswami first asked Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu,
'কে আমি', 'কেনে আমায় জারে তাপত্রয়' ।
'ke ami', 'kene amaya jare tapa-traya'
"(1) Who am I? (2) Why do I suffer so much? I do not know it. (3) How can I get relief? Actually, I do not know how to inquire about (4) the goal of life and (5) the process for attaining it. Being merciful upon me, please explain all these truths."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.102-103)
Who am I? Why do I suffer adhidaivik, adhibhautik, adhyatmik (আধিদৈবিক, আধিভৌতিক, আধ্যাত্মিক—miseries caused by one's body, by the nature, and other souls)?
কৃষ্ণ ভুলি' সেই জীব অনাদি-বহির্ম্মুখ ।
krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
"Having forgotten Krishna, the soul wanders throughout the universe. Being thus covered by illusion, the soul goes through all kinds of material suffering."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117)
We suffer because we have forgotten the Lord, because we have no conception whatsoever—we think that we are this body. Actually, we are not the body, we are souls. This body is pancha-bhautik deha (a material body composed of five elements—ksitir apas tejo marud vyoma—earth, water, fire, air, ether). This body is material, one day it will finish, and the soul is merely changing its body. You can explain this to people. Explain why we suffer, what our goal is. Our goal or destination is not heaven or hell. Heaven and hell are temporary destinations—you do some pious activities and you go to heaven, but one day you will again have to come back from heaven. So, hell, heaven, etc. are not permanent, they are temporary. What is our real goal? It is Goloka Vrindavan.
If you want to overcome janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi (জন্মমৃত্যুজরাব্যাধি, the world of birth, death, old age, and disease, Bg, 13:9), you must surrender to the Lord. Because it is not possible for you to go directly to the Lord, the Lord comes Himself in this world or sometimes sends His associate as a guru. You must accept and surrender to a bona fide guru, then you can understand what your life is for—what you have got this human body for. If you do not worship the Lord, your human body is useless. Cats, dogs, cows, etc. cannot understand much—if you put a garland on a cow, the cow will eat that garland, it will not understand its value. Likewise, if you hear some Hari-katha and then tell it to cows, they will not understand you. So, we have some consciousness in this human body, we must use it properly.
These the primary things. They can read Srimad Bhagavad-gita also.
Question: There is a terminally ill young lady, her husband is with her now, but because of the virus we cannot visit her. What can you advise to them?
She must chant the Holy Name. The young lady who is going to leave her body must chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and always remember the Lord. When such a situation came in Pariksit Maharaj's life (when he was going to leave his body), he had left everything and only listened to Srimad Bhagavatam during seven days. Khatvanga Maharaj also always thought about the Lord. So, those who are in a very serious condition, who are going to leave their body at any moment, must think about the Lord at that time. If somebody has no consciousness or just little consciousness (cannot hear, cannot talk)—if somebody can read Srimad Bhagavatam to them at that time, that will be good for the soul of the sick person.
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