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Avoiding Pratistha

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Divine Appearance Day, Sri Vyasa Puja
17 October 2020, evening, part 3


I am very happy to see you all. I can see all your good face, I know that you always keep me in your heart, and that is sufficient for me. I also try to keep you in my heart. Gurudev has given so much love and affection to you all, that is why you are always with me. You are now, in your old age, celebrating my birthday... I was born in a very low family where there is no culture to celebrate any birthdays, but now I am enjoying my birthday celebration with you all. I am very fortunate to have you all.

[Addressing a devotee from Green Street Math, London:] Gurudev always remembered Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math's Green Street Temple, and you are all together keeping that temple, you are serving the Mission, and I am very happy about that. The Green Street Temple is our main centre in London—it is our first centre in London (the West Math London was opened later). I am very happy to see you all.

Actually, this is a very fortunate and a very auspicious day for me. I remember that when I made festivals on Gurudev's appearance day, I would spend much money, and Gurudev never objected. On the contrary, Gurudev always told me how to make Vaishnav-seva. Gurudev himself learned from his Srila Guru Maharaj, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj—when so many godbrothers (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshav Maharaj, and others) came to see Srila Guru Maharaj to hear his lectures, Gurudev get an opportunity to serve them all. After that, Gurudev taught me how to serve Vaishnavs (how to do Vaishnav-seva), how to serve devotees.

We have no hope without Vaishnav-seva (service to the devotees). "Chhadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payechhe keba (ছাড়িয়া বৈষ্ণব-সেবা নিস্তার পায়েছে কেবা): Without service to the Vaishnav, you cannot get any relief." Without service to Vaishnavs, what can rescue us from this kind of illusory environment? Gurudev always said that it is very difficult in this age of Kali to conquer illusory environment (Maya), to conquer kanak, kamini, and pratistha. You can overcome kanak (attachment to money) and kamini (attachment to women), but it is very hard to give up pratistha (attachment to name and fame). On the other hand, it is said, "Vaisnavi pratistha tate kara nistha (বৈষ্ণবী প্রতিষ্ঠা তাতে কর নিষ্ঠা). Firmly establish yourself as a servant of the Lord."

You know that Srila Madhavendra Puri ran away for fear of pratistha, but name and fame went ahead of him—when he ran away to Puri, pratistha had reached Puri before him. By the time he came to Puri, everybody already knew that Gopinath had stolen kheer for Madhavendra Puri. We must give respect to this kind of pratistha; otherwise, we will go to hell.

Who can ignore pratistha? Even if I go to the jungle, if I go to a hill, Hrishikesh, and come to live in a cave without any food, water, bathroom or anything else, I can give up everything, but I still cannot give up pratistha—I cannot give up the pride that I have left everything. That is why, it is very difficult to avoid pratistha. You must understand this.

Gurudev always said that pratistha is always for Gurudev. You must give everything, including pratistha, to Gurudev. When somebody gives you a garland, you must remember your Guru and keep that garland at his lotus feet. This is very important. If you do not do this, you will not be able to give up pratistha. It is very difficult to avoid it. There is artha, anartha, and pratistha. I wrote about it in the third volume of Guidance 3.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.


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