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(3/13) Service Is Not a Chore

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj's Vyasa Puja Adhivas
Nrisingha Palli, 31 December 2020, evening, part 3


To chant the Holy Name, it is definitely necessary to have three qualities. The first quality is that you must be humbler than a blade of grass. Criticising Vaishnavs, discussing others (para-charcha), criticising others (para-ninda) – this so harmful for spiritual life! Both criticising others and listening to somebody criticise others are equally bad. If somebody chastises you, you must tolerate it, but if somebody says something bad about your guru-varga, you must explain to them, 'Prabhu, please do not do this. What you are doing is not right.' Always remember this.

I have spoken much already, and I will tell you more today. Please listen to Gurudev's glories. His glory is so great. Even if I speak with my lowly mouth about Gurudev's glories, it is impossible to tell everything, but if Gurudev gives me mercy to glorify him, then only can I do it. It is impossible to glorify the guru without the guru's mercy. And unless one is a Vaishnav, it is not possible to serve Vaishnavs. If you want to serve Vaishnavs, you must become a Vaishnav yourself. And it is not so easy to become a Vaishnav.

Sometimes, other missions preach to you, 'First become a devotee of Krishna! Make everyone devotees of Krishna!' But Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that there is only one devotee of Krishna among a thousand Vaishnavs. First become a Vaishnav. Krishna Himself said, 'Those who worship Me are not My devotees. My devotees are those who worship My devotees. It is not easy to become a devotee of Krishna. You can say with your mouth that you have become a devotee of Krishna: you put on tilaks, wear kanthi-mala and walk about with your chanting beads swinging on your neck, and you say that you have become a Vaishnav. Suppose I change my saffron clothes and put on police or military uniform and get a gun to hang on my belt – does that make me an SP (Superintendent of Police)? Does that work like that? We are also like that. We dress as sadhus, but have we become sadhus? It is very difficult to become a sadhu, a devotee.

It is so difficult to serve Gurudev! It is necessary to think with far-reaching profundity (very deeply and intimately). What and when does Gurudev need? What problem or difficulty does Gurudev have? It is necessary to have love. What problem can come and when can it come? What and when can something be required? It is always necessary to arrange all this. This is how one must serve Gurudev. When and what can be necessary? Just as a chatak bird always waits when a cloud will come and it can get some water, devotees also should be anxious to get service to Vaishanvs and Gurudev ('When will I be showered with mercy? When will Gurudev give me an order to do some service?' When Gurudev tells you, 'Do this service,' this is what is called mercy.

You say with your mouth, 'Give me mercy', 'Give me mercy', 'Give me mercy'. This is not what mercy is. The meaning of mercy is 'Please give me some service', 'Please engage me in some service.' That is why I always say that if you have service, you have mercy, and if you have no service, you have no mercy. It is necessary to do service. There are many ways how you can serve. I told you yesterday that one Didi came from Australia (she will cook sweet rice for you all tomorrow) – she is elderly lady and gets pension, but she gave a lakh of rupees for Gurudev's festival from her pension. Somebody said, 'Well, she has money, that is why she gave it.' Everybody has money, but is everybody ready to give it? It is poor people that give. A poor man has only ten rupees, but he will give you those ten rupees, thinking, 'Whatever happens, the Lord will take care of it.' If somebody has ten million rupees, will they give it to you? They do not.

So, you can say many things with your mouth, but you must serve gurudev and the Lord with heart and soul, with your entire being, then you will understand how to serve Vaishnavs and how to do everything. I have been out in Krishnanagar the whole day today, thinking, 'Vaishnavs are coming tomorrow, what will I feed them with?' Everybody gives sal-leaf plates (শালপাতা) when distributing prasad, but I went to town to get nice banana-leaf plates. I found a man who knew where to get fresh banana leaves and he charged five rupees per plate [a sal-leaf plate costs approx. thirty or forty paise]. I agreed. I will pay it because I want to give prasad to the sadhus on a nice banana leaf. We had some banana-leaf plates from South India, but they have finished. If we give prasad to sadhus on sal-leaf plates, then we will not be able to show them respect. Do you understand it? It is necessary to treat Vaishnavs with respect. Always watch out that there is no flaw, no defect, no obstacle in your service to Vaishnavs.

You have heard how Srila Sanatan Goswami arranged a vaishnav-seva. One day, Srila Sanatan Goswami was doing Govardhan parikrama when he saw a man on the bank of Radha Kunda walking in a crooked way (something like the way people walk when they have paralysis). At that time, Srila Sanatan Goswami laughed, and the man thought, 'He must be laughing at me!' Some time later, Srila Sanatan Goswami told Srila Rupa Goswami to invite everybody in Vrindavan for a vaishnav-seva, and when everybody came, he told Srila Rupa Goswami to see if everybody has come or not.

'Yes, everybody has come except for one person,' Srila Rupa Goswami said.

'Who has not come?'

'There is one man who lives at Radha Kunda who has not come.'

Then, Srila Sanatan Goswami personally went to Radha Kunda.

'Prabhu,' he asked the man, 'everybody came to my vaishnav-seva, why did you not come? I must have committed some offence at your holy feet.'

'Yes, you have!'

'What offence have I made, Prabhu?' Sanatan Goswami asked.

'When you saw me, you laughed at me out loud!'

'Prabhu, can I say something? Will you mind it?'

'I will not, say it.'

'When I was walking there, I saw some intimate pastime of Radha-Krishna, that is why I laughed.'

'Oh, is it so?'


'Then I have made a mistake,' the man said.

'No, you have not made any mistake. Please come with me.' Then, Sanatan Goswami brought the man to his place and again arranged for some prasad for him: he fed him nicely and sweetly gave him some pranami. After that, he walked with him back to his place at Radha Kunda. This is vaishnav-seva. Do you see how it is necessary to become a Vaishnav to be able to serve Vaishnavs? Do you see how much devotion you must have to be able to serve devotees? It is necessary to serve devotees with heart and soul, with your entire being. At home, when a husband loves his wife and the wife loves her husband, she will help him change his clothes when he comes back from work, she will fan him if he is hot, she will feed him. It is necessary to love the Lord in this way, too.

You must serve the Lord, your guru and Vaishnavs with love. There must be love, but not everybody has this kind of love. How many have this love, tell me? Among millions of selfish people, you will find one wise person; among millions of wise people, you will find one liberated person; among millions of such liberated people, you will find only one exalted Vaishnav; and among millions of such exalted Vaishnavs, there is only one devotee of Krishna. This is not a simple matter. It is very easy to dress as a Vaishnav, but it does not make you Vaishnav.

The problem is that we are always busy satisfying our own greed, desires, always busy with amassing money and wealth for ourselves, always very busy with running our own business. 'How will I do it?', 'What will I do?' – we always think about ourselves....

Anyhow, much has been said. Let us chant some kirtan now, after that we will again speak some Hari-katha. I will talk about devotion (devotion to the guru and to Krishna) today, it will do you good. We will chant some kirtans about devotion, too.

[His Divine Grace then starts chanting kirtans from the guru-parampara kirtan 'Krsna haite chaturmukha...']


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Size: 62.9 Mb
Length: 129 min
Language: Bengali




1) Spiritual Conscience
2) Trust the Lord
3) Service Is Not a Chore
4) May You Live Clean Life
5) Four Biggest Hurdles
6) Internal Meaning of Initiation
7) Amidst What Are You Sitting?
8) Karma-Misra Bhakti
9) Beyond Jnana-Misra Bhakti
10) Indomitable Power of Mercy
11) Learn to Behave as Sadhu
12) Preparing for Festival
13) External and Internal Opulence




Where Your Desire
Can Take You
Two lessons taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: both King Prataparudra and Damodar Pandit had strong desire for Mahaprabhu's mercy and earnestness in service, but was their attainment the same?

You will not get Krishna by committing suicide. Jiva souls always change
their bodies—do they get Krishna? No.