His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: Could you please tell us one of your pastimes with Srila Govinda Maharaj?
There are many pastimes with Gurudev.
One time, when Srila Gurudev was leaving for America, he told me, "You must finish the Centenary building by the time I come back." You know that building is now four-storey, but at that time when Gurudev was leaving he only saw the second floor, and even the second floor had not been fully completed at that time. Gurudev said he wanted me to complete the building, but he had given very little money. I thought, "How will I get so much money?" Then, I went to many shops—hardware shop, cement shop, iron rod shop, etc.—ordered a lot of materials and told the shopkeepers that I would give money later. They gave the materials and I managed the building. When Gurudev was coming back from America, I had made some arrangement (kirtan, etc.) to welcome him on his return from the world tour. When Gurudev came, he saw the building from his car and saw that it was white (painted). He was very happy. The building had not actually completed at that time (it was very hard to do it, the time was very short—how is it possible to build two floors in two months?), but I wanted to show him a good result. I thought he would come and see the building was already painted, and he would be happy. At that time, the roof had been barely made, and I had to open it eight days later because there was too much risk. When they opened the roof, there was much water on the floor, etc. and the works continued. In the meantime, all the shopkeepers knew that Gurudev had come and they started giving me much pressure, "When will you pay us our money?" Gurudev also heard that I had borrowed a lot of money, and at first he showed anger, "You have made so many loans! You have borrowed eight lakh rupees from outside! Go sell your kidney to pay it back! Get out of there!" He chastised me so much, but I did not say anything. He told me to get out and I left, but later that day, when he woke up in the afternoon, I came back again. Gurudev was surprised to see me, "I have chastised this boy so much, but he still has come again!" Then, he said to me, "All right, I am going to see the building." He went to the top floor and saw that almost everything was clear, the rooms had been all finished inside, there was only some outside painting left to be done. He was happy with the building. Later that day, in the evening, he told me, "Give me the list how much money you have loaned." I gave him the list and he called everybody and happily paid the money. Such things happened so many times.
Now, the disciples are not like that. Now, if I call my disciple, they do not think, "Oh, Gurudev, what service can I do?" They tell me, "Oh, Gurudev, I am taking prasadam now." They do not think. Such are the disciples in this Kali yuga... In Gurudev's time, I always waited for his call like a chatak bird that waits for some water from the sky. I even kept my cellular phone in the bathroom! One time, I went to the bathroom to pass stool and I had not finished passing stool, I had not washed myself, but Gurudev called me at that time and I ran to him in one gumcha. It was 2:30-3 a.m. Gurudev asked me, "Why are you wearing a gumcha?!" I said, "I was in the bathroom. You called me, and I came." Gurudev said, "You have come without even cleaning yourself! Ugh! All right, stand there and listen. I have remembered something and I must tell it to you. You must do this, this and this." For example, this happened when he gave me some instruction when we were building Govinda Kunda. I always waited for his call. However, now disciples live in the lap of luxury. In those days I had no car, I went by rickshaw, I sometimes went on foot—there was so much austerity; but now disciples get a car, they get this, they get that. As Srila Prabhupad says, everyone now wants gawa ghee (গাওয়া ঘি) and balam chal (বালাম চাল)—very good quality rice and good quality of ghee. They say, "Oh, if I do not get milk at the temple, I will leave!" Now disciples blackmail, or threaten, Gurudev saying, "Gurudev, if I do not get this and that, I will leave the temple!" or, "If I do not get money for my mobile phone, I will leave the temple!" Such is the service in this world—it is conditional service. Proper disciples must do unconditional service. If your service is conditional, if you always think of some conditions, then this is not the proper relationship between the Guru and the disciple. That is why doubts start coming, "Will I enter that planet?"
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