Our Disciplic Succession:
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
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Rare Jewels

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 18 October 2020, part 2


Since this pandemic situation started, I have been teaching you so many things. I can see that Coronasur (Corona Asur—Demon Corona) cannot stop the chanting of the Holy Name, it cannot stop our festivals. I can see that all the devotees all over the world are eager to hear from me, are eager to hear about the good times with Gurudev.

Actually, I have seen how much Gurudev loved his godbrothers, how much love and affection he gave to everyone—Gurudev gave love and affection even to those who were envious of him. You know, in Srila Sridhar Maharaj's time, there was a group headed by Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj who would often come to Srila Sridhar Maharaj. One time, Param Guru Maharaj asked him, "Maharaj, you are in an opposition group, why do you come to me?" Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj replied, "Maharaj, we come to hear from you because you have a strong common sense and because of your perfect, disinterested (impartial) vision. Your neutral position gives us much inspiration, that is why, even though we stay in the opposition group, we still come to hear your Hari-katha."

...I was very happy to see yesterday that so many sannyasis, brahmacharis had come to Nrisingha Palli from Mayapur. Actually, I did not think they would come, that they would be so eager to come and join the festival in Nrisingha Palli, but later I told Sripad Niriha Maharaj, "You can go and invite them." In the end, so many devotees, brahmacharis and sannyasis, came from Mayapur yesterday. I heard their lecture, heard their Hari-katha through skype. Not only that, all over the world devotees give me so much love and affection although I cannot give anything much to them—devotees always give to me, but I cannot serve them properly.

When devotees chant, when devotees serve and proceed with their service with the mood of a sincere seeker, I become very happy. Also, I always remember so many great souls who are not with us anymore—who have left for their nitya-loka, already entered their nitya-lila—like Srutosrava Prabhu (Sripad Vaishnav Maharaj), Sripad Parvat Maharaj, Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj (Chidananda Prabhu). I am remembering their service. I also remember Yudhamanyu Prabhu, how much he served Soquel, how much Gurudev trusted him—Gurudev placed him in charge of the mission in China and gave him permission to give first initiation into the Holy Name. Here also, Sripad Damodar Maharaj, Sripad Aranya Maharaj served Gurudev. They have left too. There was also another devotee in Nabadwip serving Gurudev—I lived with him in the same building and later in the same room. It is Rishabdev Prabhu from the USA. Gurudev told me, "When I went to his house, I slept in his room, but when I opened the door at night, I saw that he was sleeping in the corridor!" So many householder devotees have made this kind of sacrifice—actually, they look like householders, but their mind, heart, their everything is more than a sannyasi. I have seen Rishabdev Prabhu. The doctors told him that he had very little time left to live and he came to Nabadwip to meet with Gurudev and die at his lotus feet. His wish was, "If I am to die, I will die beside Gurudev." Krishna fulfilled his desire, and I saw how He fulfilled his desire—remembering how he left his body, I remember Srila Haridas Thakur's niryan (withdrawal). We all will leave this world one day, but the main thing is what we do in this world.

Gurudev told me once, "Acharya Maharaj, you have been going village to village and you have brought so many people to me to take initiation—so many have taken initiation from me, but I do not know how many disciples I have made." It is very rare to find a disciple. Many can take initiation, but it is very rare to find a disciple. There are only few people who have become disciples, you can count them on your hands, but so many people have taken initiation. That is the main thing.

So, I want to speak a little about the relationship between the guru and the disciple today. You all have Guidance 4, it is available at the website also. This relationship between the guru and the disciple should be eternal and sweet. I gave the heading to one of the chapters in this book, "Eternal Sweet Relationship between Guru and Disciple."


Eternal sweet relationship between guru and disciple

You should follow the etiquette appropriate for your qualification or right. Every practitioner of devotion should have a sense of etiquette. Those who have stronger devotion, stronger service and stronger love are the best practitioners. When the guru and Vaisnavs see somebody takes responsibility for service, they become very happy. In the domain of devotion, everything is not the same. Sri Sri Radharani is this, and another person is the same—this is not so. In the material world, the older you are, the higher position you have; the more money you have, the higher your position is; but the position of these things in the domain of devotion is not like this. There, it is necessary to be enriched with love and devotion.

Many want devotion from Gurudev—they write about it in their letters, they say about it in front of him also; but if you tell them to do something, they immediately pay obeisance and go away. There should be a relationship between the guru and the disciple.

Just as there is a relationship between a father and a son, between a husband and a wife, there is also a relationship between a guru and a disciple; but it is not the same relationship as between a shopkeeper and a customer. "Take anything you want—as long as you pay for it"—this is between a creditor and a borrower. A schoolmaster teaches students—he charges a fee and then teaches them. There is no relationship between such people, but there is a relationship between a father and a son. How many wrong things the son does, how much problem he causes, but the father still saves some land and money for him. The relationship between a husband and a wife is the same—a husband does not give food to his wife, but she still never stops serving him; he does not give her good clothes and jewellery, but she does not say anything because there is love—another wife will say, "I have not got anything to eat! I do not have anything to wear!" and leave the house. Relationship comes from love. Love does not come from selfish interests. If there are selfish interests in any relationship, then this is a shopkeeper’s transaction. There is love in the relationship between a guru and a disciple—this is where the supreme benefit (divine love) comes from. I have taken a guru—he has given me a mantra, I have given him some donation. What other relationship is there? This is a shopkeeper’s transaction; but there is spiritual benefit in the relationship between a guru and a disciple—this relationship is based on love or service. If there is no love, there is no service either—neither is there a relationship. Therefore, even if there is an exchange of mantra, it does not create a relationship—but when you take the mantra from your guru, the possibility for this relationship to come is there. If you have such kind of a loving relationship, you must certainly be successful in your spiritual life. Just as there is a certain relationship between a father and a son, a certain relationship between a husband and a wife, there is also a certain relationship between a guru and a disciple. There are many gurus in this world. They give mantras, they take donations—such gurus open their ‘shop’ (Math, temple, ashram, etc.) and sit there. You will come to them and they will not let you go back. There are many gurus in this world, but the number of disciples is very small. Some may say, "You have many disciples here." They may have taken the mantra, but they are not disciples. You can see many Maths, temples, ashrams, etc.), but there are very few disciples in this world. Who is a disciple (sisya)? It is the one who accepts disciplining (sasan). ‘Disciplining’ means flogging, lashing, or scolding, but the real meaning of the word ‘discipline’ means not beating, but correction, uplifting, giving benefit; it means picking up and uplifting the disciple from whatever position he or she may be in. Those who are fit for being disciplined are called disciples. Those who are regulated, guided, and taken care of are called disciples. "Gurudev can do anything he wants with me, I am ready to take his disciplining, rules, guidance on my head"—such disciples are very rare. There are thousands and thousands of disciples who just take the mantra, but in most cases, that guru-disciple relationship does not come because those who do become real disciples will want to be guided by Gurudev, but most people do not want to accept chastisement—very few people will want to be chastised. On the other hand, those who want to be chastised, do not cross Gurudev’s instruction all the time—at first, because of the result of your karma, you are not able to follow Gurudev’s order properly, but you think, "I will live following the guidance of Gurudev"—when you take on this resolve, then you will get the right to be called a disciple. And those who want to be chastised and who are able to take it, are extremely fortunate. When a disciple wants to be chastised by Gurudev and is chastised, then this is a proper disciple. It is worth noting that there are three categories or classes of disciples. (1) There is a class of disciples who neither want to be disciplined, nor do they get any disciplining; most people are in this category. (2) There is another class of disciples who want to be disciplined but they cannot follow that disciplining. There are some such people. They get disciplined, but they cannot follow it; even if they say they will follow it, they do not—this is still better than the first category. (3) The third class are the disciples who want to be disciplined, want to live following rules, want guidance, and when they get disciplined by Gurudev, they follow his order. They want to be chastised, they get chastised—such disciples become gurus. If somebody wants to be chastised, has been chastised, and if Gurudev has made and is making a disciple from them, then such a disciple has the qualities of a guru.

Many have this misconception that if you take a mantra, you become a disciple. In fact, taking a mantra means there is a possibility that you will become a disciple. Those who can digest and follow chastisement have the right to become a disciple. If you want to be chastised, you will be chastised—if you are a proper disciple. Guru-varga give them an indication how to follow the rules, guidance and spiritual path. "Do not go this way, go this way!" A guru is a disciple who goes down the right path following the set rules.

Many disciples take the mantra and come saying, "Prabhu, please give me your mercy, please give me your blessing." Why do they pray like this? They submit such prayers to get protection from some problems in their material life. They do not pray to get spiritual benefit. "Make anything you want from me"—I am a piece of clay, you can make a water pot, or a cooking pot from me, whatever you want. If the disciple is serious, then there will be built a guru-disciple relationship. If this relationship is established in your life, you can get the supreme benefit (pure loving devotion).

The relationship between a guru and a disciple is just like the relationship between a husband and a wife. Gurudev will do with the disciple whatever he wants. If you are scolded and kicked, you are a disciple. If Gurudev does not scold you, does not kick you and cannot beat you, then you are not a disciple. If I cannot discipline, guide or order someone, then they are not my disciple. If the guru is a proper guru and there is this relationship or love between the guru and the disciple, then the result will be great. There are very few such disciples. You should try to become proper disciples.

"I want to be chastised by Gurudev—I will follow his order to a T." This should not be merely lip-deep, you must want it in writing, in your heart, and in your mind—I must hanker to be disciplined with my entire being. If you can imbibe such mood, you must certainly get benefit. If you have such mood, it will not take you long to get the result. There is no lack of obeisances (pranam) and donations (pranami). There are many disciples who offer flowers to a picture, but there are very few people who would want to accept disciplining properly and change their life according to it. If you have got the mantra and want to become a disciple, you must practise Kṛṣna consciousness. Just as there are very few disciples, there are also very few gurus. Just as there is only one Supreme Lord, the guru is also one. There are not many of them, but that is another subject.

Practising parikrama (one of the devotional practices) is called service to the holy feet (pada-sevanam).

A holy temple is adorned by Tulasi, therefore we become reminded of Sri Vrindavan. If you decorate it with lights and crotons, this beauty would not be there. Those who have the eyes can see and feel this supra-mundane beauty. I always observe those who practise devotional practices. I am interested in every single matter. Perhaps, I do not join all devotional practices, but I become very happy to see others try hard to follow them.


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Service Capacity
'You cannot ignore anybody. Not everybody is qualified to do the goshala seva, but everybody has some quality. You should test the person and depending on what quality they have you must use that quality for the service to the Lord, to Guru.'


Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O Damodara! O Ananta! O Visnu! O Master! O my Lord, be pleased upon me. By showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who is immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.'

You must always remember and keep in your heart that we get honour, respect,
name, and fame, but how do we get it? Actually, it belongs to our Guru.