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Service Hankering

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 1 November 2020, part 7

 

Question: What are the rules for wearing Tulasi kanthi-mala?

Anyone can wear Tulasi mala.

Devotee: Even those who are not initiated?

Yes, it is not a problem. Non-devotees can always wear it. Anyone can wear Tulasi mala, it will be good for them.

Devotee: Even if they commit offences or eat meat?

Well, if they eat meat is another thing, but sometimes they will wear Tulasi mala and their offence will be a little less because they will be conscious that they are wearing Tulasi mala and they will be a little afraid to commit offences, etc. Here in India, so many people wear Tulasi mala, even those who are not initiated.

Question: On the one hand, Vaishnav-pratistha is the fame that comes to a devotee due to their practice, and on the other hand, pratistha is a desire in one's heart for fame. How can we use this desire for fame in service?

If somebody has got Vaishnava-pratistha, you must respect that. Do not become jealous. On the other hand, if pratishta comes to you, you must always keep that pratistha at the lotus feet of your Guru. For example, when somebody gives you a garland, you must think, "Oh, jay Gurudev! I am giving this garland to your lotus feet." You must remember you Guru at this time. If you do not do this, if you think you are getting pratistha and enjoy with that, then you will become very fat and heavy and your boat can sink. "Vaisnavi pratistha tate kara nistha (বৈষ্ণবী প্রতিষ্ঠা তাতে কর নিষ্ঠা). Firmly establish yourself as a servant of the Lord." Always be very cautious when pratistha comes to you. Pratistha is also called acharya-abhiman, and you must always avoid this.

Question: What are main aspects on the path of devotional service to Srila Gurudev?

Actually, Gurudev always instructs everybody to engage in sankirtan-yajna. Besides sankirtan, there are also other services that you should engage in when it is appropriate. Gurudev gave me one example once. Suppose, there is some light bulb not working in Gurudev's room and Gurudev tells you, "This bulb is not working, check it, maybe it broken and should be replaced." As you are about to leave to get a new bulb (to carry out Gurudev's order), Gurudev suddenly tells you, "Oh, give me a glass of water, I am very thirsty." You must think yourself what is necessary. What is more important, to put a new bulb or to give a glass of water first? You must consider and understand this yourself. First give a glass of water, and a bulb can be installed later also. This is how you can harmonise different situations.

In Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's service, sankirtan-yajna is very important. You can serve your Gurudev through sankritan, through glorification of your Guru and guru-varga. This is good. Actually, you can make your Guru happy even through some small service. The most important thing is that whatever service you do, you must do it with your heart. Do everything with heart and soul, this is good for you. Whatever you do, do it properly. If you distribute prasadam, distribute it properly; if you sing kirtans, you must learn the meaning of the kirtans, then you will understand the meaning and get taste through that. This is how you can make your Guru happy with your service.

Whatever service you do, remember that Gurudev is watching you—Gurudev always thinks about you, thinks how to make you a good personality, how to make you a fit person for service. You must be like a chatak bird. As a chatak bird always waits for rain drops to come from the sky, you must also always wait for an instruction to do some service to come. It is necessary to have such hankering.

...Damodar month has started, and Gurudev told that we must follow a particular routine for three days. We take khoi in the morning; rice and dalma (dal boiled with pumpkin) at noon; and some chapati in the evening. In some places, they do this for the entire month, but we know that many foreign devotees are not habituated to take only one thing (only dalma and rice) every day—no milk, no yoghurt, etc. in the morning—only khoi or chapati... Khoi is not the same as muri. Muri is made from boiled rice, but khoi is made from raw rice paddy, it is similar to pop corn. I took that yesterday and today also. You can take khoi with some molasses, but I cannot take molasses. Moa (sweet puff rice balls) is made from muri (puffed rice) and molasses, but you can make some naru (balls) from khoi ('pop rice') and molasses (gur).

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.

 

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