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Best Behaviour

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 20 September 2020, part 5

 

Everybody must live in harmony with each other. There are different kinds of people in this world, we are all fallen souls and everybody has different qualities and qualification (everybody's quality cannot be the same). If we think we have become great devotees, it is wrong because we are fallen souls and we are only trying to serve our Guru under his guidance. This is our main aim in life. We must practise properly and follow our Guru's guidance because we are very much afflicted by avidya (ignorance), asmita (false identification), raga (misdirected love), dvesa (aversion to anything that goes against one's enjoyment), and abhinivesa (being unable to give up unfavourable habits). Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur says that we are "wasted by five diseases (pancha-roge hata)"—we always suffer from these diseases and we cannot overcome them. These diseases are very difficult and very dangerous—more dangerous than covid. We must fight against ourselves. We must ask ourselves, "What am I doing? What should I be doing?" You must ask yourself this question.

...When somebody gets chastised by their guru, it is a great fortune. Before, my Gurudev used to chastise me every day and I would always wait for that, but now I cry every day because there is nobody to chastise me. Sometimes, I dream of Gurudev chastising me—such days are very precious for me. I always want to be chastised. I am never angry, I am never upset, or anything. You know, in my temple life, I once got angry and went away to Bamunpara. Everybody told Gurudev, "That brahmachari has left the temple!" Gurudev thought, "Oh, how did he leave so quickly?" At that time, there were no mobile phones, so it was not possible to reach me. In the mean time, I was staying in Bamunpara, at Srila Gurudev's birthplace. Two days passed in this way. Gurudev kept searching for me, and then finally, I do not know how he knew it, but he called one devotee and sent him to Bamunpara to bring me back. When I came back, Gurudev told me, "I thought you would run away, but you have nowhere to run—you only went to Bamunpara!" I remember that time when I had got upset and I went away to Bamunpara...

Question: They say that when you say "thank you to somebody," it means you are using something for your personal satisfaction, not in the Lord's interest. How can we understand the true value of gratitude and what attitude should we adopt when we receive something? In our temples, devotees usually do not say "thank you" because they think it means they accept something for themselves.

It is not necessary to say "thank you" because "thanks" or "thank you" are simple things. These are Gurudev's words, you know it. One time, Gurudev said, "I am doing so much for you, and you only say "thank you" to me?" So, in Vaishnavism, when you receive something from somebody, you must also give something to them in return—you must give them respect, honour, you should pay dandavat, pay your respect. This is more important. Always give love and affection to devotees. That is good for you. Moreover, when somebody shows you the path, when somebody brings you to this line, this person is the main personality in your life, and you must give them proper respect. You cannot only say "thank you"—you must give them proper respect, you must show proper behaviour, proper etiquette. You should try to do this, it is very important. Another thing is that we do not take from others—we always give something to others. So, if you get something from someone, you must also give something to them in return.

Question: I often get angry and envy others. How can I deal with it?

It is very bad. You must avoid envy. You can be angry sometimes, but angry about what? We can show anger towards non-devotees, not towards our own devotees. As for envy, envy is a very big enemy, and envy is absolutely not good. You must avoid it within you. Krishna has not given any place for envy.

কৃষ্ণসেবা কামার্পণে, ক্রোধ ভক্ত-দ্বেষিজনে,
লোভ সাধুসঙ্গে হরিকথা ।
মোহ ইষ্টলাভ বিনে, মদ কৃষ্ণ গুণগানে,
নিযুক্ত করিব যথা তথা ॥

krsna-seva kamarpane, krodha bhakta-dvesi-jane
lobha sadhu-sange hari-katha
moha ista-labha bine, mada krsna-guna-gane,
niyukta kariba yatha tatha

"I will engage lust by offering it in Krishna's service. I will engage anger towards those who are envious of the devotees. I will be greedy to hear the topics of Hari in the association of devotees. I will feel illusioned without achieving my worshipable Lord. I will be maddened while singing the glories of Krishna. In this way I will engage these enemies in their proper places."

(Sri Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 22, Srila Narottam Das Thakur)

You can engage lust in eagerness to serve Krishna, you can engage anger against those who oppose devotees, you can engage greed in greediness to hear Hari-katha and honour Hari-prasad. You can even engage ego in service—instead of thinking, "I am very beautiful," "I am a rich man," you must think, "I am an eternal servant of the Lord," "I am an eternal servant of my Guru." This must be our ego. "I am an eternal servant of my Guru"—this ego is good. As for matsarya (envy), Krishna says, "I am not giving any place for envy." He has given place for everything—kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, but He has not given any place for matsarya (envy, jealousy). Jealous mood is very bad for our spiritual life. If somebody becomes rich, you must be happy for them—you must not think, "Oh, he is rich, but why not me? Why am I poor and he is rich?" Some think, "Oh, he came to the temple just ten years ago, but I have got Srila Prabhupad, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Gurudev's association! Why am I a simple person and this newcomer has become such a great devotee?!" This kind of envy is very bad for our spiritual life. We think, "He joined just a few days ago, and I joined thirty years ago! How come I did not get anything, I did not get any position but he did?!" This mood is very bad for your spiritual life. It is called envy. You must avoid it through practising. It is very important.

 

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Food for Thought
'If you give your mind, your heart to material things, these material things, visaya, will always stay with you. Do not give any food to your mind—if you give food to your mind, it will become strong and can take you away from the service.'

 

Krsna haite chatur-mukha
'All the Gurus in this succession are associates of Sri Gauranga. I pray for their remnants'
কৃষ্ণ হৈতে চতুর্ম্মুখ

If you have some anartha, material desire, and give priority to that, you will not
be able to get relief from the offences: you cannot remove an anartha by an anartha.

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