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Preaching Plan and Programme

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata, 20 December 2020, part 2

 

I have been attending some programmes before Gurudev's appearance day and I will have more programmes after the festival. I want to make an assembly Sri Dham Pracharani Sobha dedicated to the preaching of the glorification of Sri Nabadwip Dham that was started originally by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Dham Pracharani Sobha is about the holy place of Nabadwip Dham—we want to distribute the glory of Nabadwip Dham, the glory of our guru-varga, as well as the glory and teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I want to spread it throughout many places, that is why I want to visit so many places. This is my view and my idea.

Other than that, everything is going on fine. Devotees make programmes, they gather many people, take prasadam, listen to the class—everything is like before, there is no problem.

I was in Uluberia today and yesterday. The father of one of my disciples died (his mother is Gurudev's disciple). They made a sraddha ceremony on the eleventh day after his demise. I did the fire sacrifice myself, but actually my intention is to teach one of my sannyasis, Sripad Vishnu Maharaj, how to do fire sacrifices.

I read Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami's book Sat-kriya-sat-dipika, and I saw that this book is a little too long, so I compiled a shorter version of this book with the instructions how to do a fire sacrifice for the sraddha ceremony or second initiation. This book is already printed (in Bengali). I want to teach some devotees so that they can easily do fire sacrifice themselves because now the situation is such that those who know how to do a fire sacrifice (yajna) become very proud (they get a big ego) thinking, "Nobody can make a fire sacrifice without me!" That is why, I want to teach many devotees to do fire sacrifice. Even if some foreign devotees want to learn it, I can teach it to them properly. I teach the short way. If somebody has desire to learn how to do fire sacrifice, they can learn easily.

A few days ago I was in Basirhat, a town near Bangladeshi border, and I taught the devotees there also. Sripad Vishnu Maharaj has learned almost everything about fire sacrifices by now. It is not difficult—you read the mantras from the book and do it. It is not a big matter, that is why I want to teach devotees so that they can do it themselves, it will be good for devotees.

It is necessary to have a fire sacrifice when devotees take second initiation. Everyone should know how to do puja, they must learn these things. Actually, it is necessary for everybody in general also, and these are not very high things—if somebody practises gayatri mantra properly, minimum two times every day, and they try to learn how to do puja, how to make the offering, it is easy. This is not something very big. In this way, I want to demolish the ego of those who know how to make fire sacrifice so that they do not show so much ego, "Oh, it is not possible to make it without me!"

One thing you should also know that Gurudev says that when somebody's father or mother dies, a fire sacrifice is an external thing. If you only arrange Vaishnav-seva (Vaishnav festival) and give your attention to that, it is sufficient. The thing is that the brahman culture is very deep-rooted in Indian culture, so devotees feel they must follow it, and they end up hiring some brahman who charge a lot of money—devotees are not very rich, why will they spend money on these nonsense things? That is why, if devotees make Vaishnav-hom and Vaishnav-seva, that is sufficient.

So, with all this in mind, I have compiled a (Bengali) book called 'Vaishnav-hom and Dasa-samskar-viddhi' where I wrote about some viddhi-marga and dasa-samskar. Everyone can learn it themselves.

In some countries also, they do not know how to make fire sacrifices, but if they want to learn, I can teach it to them easily. There are many devotees all over the world who have taken second initiation, but there are not many who know how to make a fire sacrifice. I want to teach devotees. Why will only brahmacharis and sannyasis hold fire sacrifice? Even householder devotees can do it if they have the right qualification. If hired brahmans can do it (and those brahmans are all householders), then why cannot our householder devotees do it? They are actually better than brahmans, they are more than brahmans because at least they are Vaishnavs, but the hired brahmans are not. So, if our householder Vaishnavs learn to do fire sacrifices, it will be good for them.

So, I went to Uluberia yesterday to participate in the ceremony they had arranged. The hosting devotee is very poor, but arranged Vaishnav-seva and about three hundred people took prasadam. More than two hundred initiated devotees, Gurudev's disciples and my disciples, came to take prasadam—they all came and joined the festival yesterday.

Then, there was another programme today. Actually, I was invited to join programmes in many villages on the occasion of Damodar month. During Damodar month many villages and districts did parikramas (street sankirtan) every morning, followed the rules and regulations strictly, etc. and at the end of the month they tried to arrange a big festival (all of our branches also did these parikramas every morning during the month). Sometimes, I could not join, and sometimes I told them the date and tried to come to give them some enthusiasm because when I come there, devotees become very happy. I also think that I can use this opportunity to preach—new devotees, new people come, they can hear some Hari-katha, and they are getting a chance to connect with the Lord. It is necessary for them because they are all lost servants of the Lord, and this is their chance to connect with the Lord. That is why, I try to use this opportunity for preaching purpose. In a few days, it will be Gurudev's appearance day, and I also go door to door and preach to everyone, call everyone, "Please come! Come and join this grand festival!"

Question: If there are no male devotees, are ladies allowed to do fire sacrifice?

For which purpose? If it is a brahman initiation when the brahman thread is given, then it is not possible because ladies do not wear the brahman thread. If it is other things, like a sraddha ceremony, then ladies can do that. Not the brahman initiation. Ladies cannot give brahman thread to men.

Ladies can recite the mantra, they can put ghee into the fire, it is not a problem, but when the brahman thread is given, then it is not good. As I have already said, ladies cannot give the brahman thread to men because ladies do not wear the brahman thread (the brahman thread is not necessary for ladies). Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur also noted that many devotees take second initiation, but they do not use the brahman thread after that (which is very wrong to do). Also, even here in India, general brahmans always wear the thread, but their wives do not. So, all in all, yes, ladies can do a fire sacrifice, but not for the second initiation, they can do it for other purposes, like a sraddha ceremony, in this case it is not a problem.

 

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My Grief
'Today, by the mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma, by the mercy of Gaura Hari, you have successfully, beautifully and without any obtacles completed Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama. It is a very happy, joyful day, but at the same time it is also a sorrowful day...'

 

Ke yabi ke yabi
'The Lord's Names are the ferryboat, Sri Guru is the captain, and the outstretched arms in the sankirtan are the oars.'
কে যাবি কে যাবি

What did Gurudev keep us here for? He kept us here only to protect his temple,
to preach—for his mission.

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