Be Sincere and Studious
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
We have many beautiful holy books. Last Gaura Purnima, we published Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya-muka-mala. You should read it. Many people travel to Nabadwip, but they do not go to all nine islands—they mostly go for a walk at ISKCON, drop at Paramatala and go back. That is why we published this book about the glory of Nabadwip Dham. If you read it, you can see what pastimes took place on which island; everything is described beautifully in it in simple Bengali. Many cannot read high-flown language or even Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur's poem Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya, so I wrote this book in simple language. Read this book, you will get benefit. When you sit at home, you must always read books—you must practise Krishna consciousness and chant glories of the Lord every single day. Always serve your Guru, Vaishnavs, and the Lord in this way.
Who is a Vaishnav?
"Those who have given up money, women, and fame, are the true Vaishnavs."
('Vaishnav Ke?', Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur)
One can give up money, one can give up women, but it is very difficult to give up desire for prestige (name and fame). That is why we sing in one of the kirtans:
ছয় বেগ দমি' ছয় দোষ শোধি
chhaya vega dami' chhaya dosa sodhi'
"Subjugate the six urges, rectify the six defects, and bestow the six good qualities upon this servant."
There are six urges:
These urges live within the ten senses (indriya). There are five karmendriya (instruments—feet, hands, rectum, genitals, mouth) five jnanindriya (senses—eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin). Do you know how you can handle these senses properly? By living and practising sincerely, with determination (nistha). Whatever you do, you must do it sincerely and with determination.
Nine kinds of devotion reside on the nine islands of Nabadwip. The place where we had our temple before is in Koladwip. Koladwip is aparadha-bhanjana-pat (the place where all offences are forgiven), and this island is the abode of pada-sevanam (service to the lotus feet of the Lord). Mayapur is situated in Antardwip: it is the abode of atma-nivedanam (self-submission). Godrumdwip, where our Nrisingha Palli temple stands, is the abode of kirtan (glorification of the Lord). Simantadwip is the abode of smaranam (remembering the Lord). In this way, on each of the islands resides one of the nine kinds of devotion.
The first requirement in spiritual life is faith:
আদৌশ্রদ্ধা ততঃ সাধুসঙ্গোঽথ ভজনক্রিয়া ।
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
"In the beginning there is faith, then good association, then practising life. After that, the offences gradually go away, faith becomes stronger, taste comes, then attachment, then there arises affection and love. This is how love to God comes to those who practise Krsna consciousness."
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh, 1.4.15-16)
These are the nine steps of devotion, and each of them also has a place on each of the nine islands of Nabadwip. As I said, the first requirement is faith. There are four kinds of faith: kamala-sraddha (soft, fragile faith), taranga-sraddha (flickering faith), drdha-sraddha (strong faith), sudrdha-sraddha (the strongest faith). First is soft faith, then it should become strong and stronger, and finally, whatever you do, you must do it with the strongest faith and sincere determination (nistha). If you do not feel taste for chanting the Holy Name—many do not like to chant the Holy Name—then you must understand that you have a disease inside you. When your body has a fever, you do not feel like eating anything and when you eat something you do not feel any taste; in the same way, if you feel no taste when you chant the Holy Name, this is because you have various diseases inside you. That is why you must always practise sravan and kirtan in holy association and try to remove your offences. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur prays:
কবে হবে বল, সে দিন আমার ।
kabe habe bala se dina amara
"Please tell me, when will that day be mine? When will my offences be removed? When will the taste for the pure Name arise in my heart by the power of mercy?"
তৃণাধিক হীন কবে নিজে মানি
trnadhika hina kabe nije mani
"When will I feel that I am lower than a blade of grass, when will I bring the quality of tolerance into my heart?"
(Saranagati, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)
When will I consider myself lower than a blade of grass? When will the quality of tolerance come to my heart? We pray to Gurudev also, "Gurudev, please give me the strength to tolerate everything, to be patient. If my tolerance power increases, then I will be able to always serve my Guru, Vaishnavs and the Lord, I will be able to always chant the Holy Name—then I will get the supreme benefit." We must always remember this. Surrender to the holy feet of sadhu, Guru, and Vaishnavs and practise Krishna consciousness—chant the Holy Name, remember and circumambulate the holy dham. Soon will be Nityananda-trayodasi festival, I am inviting everyone to Ekachakra Dham. Please come. After that, we will go for Nabadwip Dham parikrama. We do this parikrama together with devotees every year, and this year too:
গৌর আমার যে সব স্থানে
gaura amara ye-saba sthane
"In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes."
পৃথিবীতে আছে যত নগরাদি গ্রাম
prithivite achhe yata nagaradi grama
"My Name will spread to every village and town on this earth."
But our guru-varga actually went all over the world, preaching this Holy Name, preaching about the Lord, about the glories of the Lord everywhere. We must surrender to them—we can always keep them in our hearts and think about them, we will get the highest benefit.
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
[His Divine Grace then chants 'Doyal Nitai Chaitanya bole'.]
dayal nitai chaitanya ba'le nachre amar mana
'Dance, my mind, dance, chanting, "Dayal Nitai Chaitanya!" Dance, my mind, dance!'
(emana dayala to nai he, mara kheye prema deya)
'(There is no one as merciful of Them—even when They are beaten, They bestow transcendental love!) Lo, offences will go away, and you will attain the wealth of divine love! (After all, there is no consideration of offences in the Names of Nitai and Chaitanya.) Then you will develop taste for Krishna's Name and your bondage will be destroyed. (After all, you must get loving attachment to the Lord.)'
takhan anayase saphal habe jivera jivana
'Then your soul's life will easily become successful. (Otherwise, life is a farce.) Without attachment to Krishna, your soul's life is a farce. In the end, you will see Radha-Syam in Vrindavan (if you get Gaura's mercy!)'.
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