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
"The Sun Never Sets on Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math":
Worldwide Affiliate Branches and Centres

Know Thyself

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Preaching programme in Betur area,
Evening, 25 January 2021, part 2
Translated from Bengali


Our spiritual practise is different from that practised by other people in this world. Truly, among millions of selfish people, there is one wise person; among millions of wise people, there is one liberated person; and among millions of liberated people, there is only one devotee of Krishna. It is very rare to find a devotee of the Lord in the world, but one such devotee can deliver the whole universe. Outside people worship Deities and say, "Dhanam dehi, vidyam dehi, rupam dehi, bharyam dehi, kavitam sundarim dehi: make me rich, make me clever, make me beautiful, give me a good wife, make me a poet." Do we come to this world only to eat and dress ourselves?

আহার-নিদ্রা-ভয়-মৈথুনং চ
সামান্যম এতৎ পশুভির নরাণাম ।
ধর্ম্মো হি তেষাম অধিকো বিশেষো
ধর্ম্মেণ হীনাঃ পশুভিঃ সমানাঃ ॥

ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam cha
samanyam etat pasubhir naranam
dharmo hi tesam adhiko viseso
dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah

"Eating, sleeping, sex, and defence—these four principles are common to both human beings and animals. The distinction between human life and animal life is that a man can search after God but an animal cannot. Therefore a man without that urge for searching after God is no better than an animal."

(Hitopadesh, 25)

When I was a dog, I ate so many things; when I was a cat, I ate so much raw fish; when I was a pig, how many heaps of stool I finished! This is ahara, eating. Nidra means sleeping. Bhaya means fear—are always afraid of something. Maithunam means breeding, or increasing your posterity. Pigs also do these things, dogs also do these things, goats also do these things, cats also do things, and humans also do these things, then what is the difference between humans and animals? The difference is what we do not actually do—the difference is spiritual life, service to the Lord, but we do not do it. We do not truly associate with sadhus. It is necessary to genuinely associate with sadhus—there are rules and regulations for this kind of association, and sadhus always tell us about them. It is necessary to read scriptures. There is Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Srimad Bhagavatam.

সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণনামে—এই মাত্র চাই ।

সংসার জিনিতে আর কোন বস্তু নাই ॥

sadhu-sange krsna-nama—ei matra chai
samsara jinite ara kona vastu nai

I desire only to chant the Name of Krishna in the association of the sadhus. There is nothing else that can conquer this material world.

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 6.13)

It is necessary to chant the Holy Name in the association of sadhus.

অসাধুসঙ্গে ভাই কৃষ্ণনাম নাহি হয় ।

নামাক্ষর বাহিরায় বটে তবু নাম কভু নয় ॥

asadhu-sange bhai krsna-nama nahi haya
namaksara bahiraya bate tabu nama kabhu naya [1]

"Brother, the Name of Krishna cannot be chanted in bad association: it will no doubt sound like the letters of the Name, but it can never be the Name proper."

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 7.1)

You can never chant the Holy Name in bad association, that is why it is necessary to have sadhu-sanga. As you associate and associate with sadhus, all dirt from your heart will be removed. Where will you give the Lord place to sit? You have many things in your heart—there is much kanak, kamini, pratistha (desire for money, women, and fame), there is much kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya (lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, envy). There are six urges (urges of speech, mind, anger, tongue, belly, genitals), there are six faults (excessive eating, materialistic endeavours, useless talks, inability to follow instructions, bad association, fickle-mindedness). We have all this inside us—we are full of rupa, rasa, gandha, sabda, sparsa (desire for the pleasures of eyes, taste, smell, ear and touch). We are calling the Lord, but we say, "Dhanam dehi, vidyam dehi, rupam dehi, bharyam dehi, kavitam sundarim dehi: make me rich, make me clever, make me beautiful, give me a good wife, make me a poet." It is said in the scriptures that many people practise karma-misra bhakti. There are three kinds of devotion: karma-misra bhakti (devotion mixed with material desires), jnana-misra bhakti (devotion mixed with knowledge pursuits), and jnana-sunya suddha bhakti (pure devotion without any pursuits of knowledge). Karma-misra bhakti means we say, "O Lord, I have worshipped You, please give me something in return." We turn gods and goddesses into bribe-takers and our menial servants. In exchange of worship, we say, "O Lord, may I have a good health," "May my children be well," "May my son find a good job," "May my daughter get married into a good family." We make the Lord work for us and we give Him orders. Listen carefully to what I am saying.

Sadhus do not serve the Lord in this way. Devotees serve the Lord selflessly—they do want to get anything. What makes the Lord happy? What makes the Lord's devotees happy? What can make Radharani happy? What can make Gurudev happy? Sri Gurupadpadma is non-different from Srimati Radharani (in madhura-rasa) and Nityananda Prabhu (in sakhya-rasa).

রাধা-ভজনে যদি মতি নাহি ভেলা ।
কৃষ্ণ-ভজন তব অকারণ গেলা ॥

radha-bhajane yadi mati nahi bhela
krsna-bhajana tava akarana gela

"If you do not worship Srimati Radharani, your worship of Krishna is nothing."

We say, "Krishna, Krishna," but nobody says, "Radhe, Radhe." Moreover, the combined form of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna appeared right here in this land of India!

ভারত-ভূমিতে হৈল মনুষ্য-জন্ম যার ।
জন্ম সার্থক করি' কর পর-উপকার ॥

bharata-bhumite haila manusya janma yara
janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara

"One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India should take advantage of his birth and bring benefit to all other people."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 9.41)

What does it mean to help others? Does it mean to give somebody a blanket in winter? If I give a blanket to somebody, they will throw it away and come to ask for another one. People's desires cannot be appeased by that. They have no house, so they build a one-storey house, then they will want a two-storey house, a three-storey house, etc. Desires never stop.

কৃষ্ণ যদি ছুটে ভক্তে ভুক্তি মুক্তি দিয়া ।
কভু ভক্তি না দেন রাখেন লুকাইয়া ॥

krsna yadi chhute bhakte bhukti mukti diya
kabhu prema-bhakti na dena rakhena lukaiya

"If you ask Krishna for anything except devotion, He can give you those things—bhukti, mukti, liberation, and so on—but He will hide devotion from you. You will not get devotion."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 8.18)

If you want something from the Lord, the Lord will give it to you, but He will not give you devotion—He will hide devotion from you (your devotion and your faith in the Lord will slowly be destroyed). It is necessary to have faith. When I am born, my mother tells me, "This is your father," but we do not know who our father is—only our mother knows it, and we believe her. In the same way, when our Guru and Vaishnavs say something, we must believe it. That is why it is said:

দৈন্য, আত্মনিবেদন, গোপ্তৃত্বে বরণ ॥
'অবশ্য রক্ষিবে কৃষ্ণ'—বিশ্বাস পালন ॥

dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
'avasya raksibe krsna'—visvasa palana

"Humility, self-submission, embracing the Lord’s guardianship, maintaining the faith that 'Krishna will certainly protect me'..."

We must be humble, submit yourself to the Lord, know the Lord to be your maintainer, and have faith that Krishna will certainly protect you. This is Mahaprabhu's teaching also:

তৃণাদপি সুনীচেন তরোরিব সহিষ্ণুনা ।
অমানিনা মানদেন কীর্ত্তনীয়ঃ সদা হরিঃ ॥

trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

"One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree, who gives honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.239)

তৃণাধিক হীন দীন অকিঞ্চন ছার ।
আপনে মানবি সদা ছাড়ি অহঙ্কার ॥

trnadhika hina, dina, akinchana chhara
apane manabi sada chhadi' ahankara

"Give up your false ego, and always consider yourself lower than grass, poor, needy, and mean."

বৃক্ষসম ক্ষমাগুণ করবি সাধন ।
প্রতিহিংসা ত্যজি অন্যে করবি পালন ॥

vrksa-sama ksama-guna karabi sadhana
pratihimsa tyaji anye karabi palana

Practise tolerance like a tree. Stop ill-treating others, instead nurture them.

(Sri Siksastakam Giti)

If somebody chastises you or speaks bad to you, they have a problem, then they can do that, but I do not need to say anything just as a tree says nothing when it is being cut. When you cut a branch of a tree, that tree not only does not say anything but it also gives you shelter after that. It is necessary to have this kind of tolerance and patience. This is the kind of humility we must have: I do not know anything, I have no qualification, I do not understand anything. Yet people think they have become great Vaishnavs.

'আমি ত' বৈষ্ণব', এ বুদ্ধি হইলে
অমানী না হ'ব আমি ।

"ami ta' vaisnava," e-buddhi ha-ile,
amani na ha'ba ami

"If I think, 'I am a Vaishnav,' then I will never stop expecting honour from others (I will never become void of the desire for honour)."

(Kalyan-kalpataru, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

If I think I have become a Vaishnav, I will not be able to give honour to others. We pray to Gurudev, "Sakale samman karite sakati deha natha yatha-yatha (সকলে সম্মান করিতে শকতি দেহ' নাথ ! যথাযথ): My Lord! Please give me the ability to give honour to everybody properly." But when will we understand all this? We will be able to understand this when we can learn our real identity. The problem is that we do not know who we are.

When somebody asks you who you are, you say, "My name and title are such-and-such," but this is the identity of your body. First, you must know what your identity is. Who am I? If I say, "I am such-and-such Maharaj," this is not my identity—this is the identity of my body. I am not this. I am a soul

'কৃষ্ণ-নিত্যদাস'—জীব তাহা ভুলি' গেল ।
এই দোষে মায়া তার গলায় বান্ধিল ॥

'krsna-nitya-dasa'—jiva taha bhuli' gela
ei dose maya tara galaya bandhila

"When the jiva soul makes the mistake of forgetting that it is an eternal servant of Krishna, Maya captures the soul by its neck."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.24)

My father and mother did not give that which I am—they gave this body, but they did not give me life. One day, life will leave this body, and nobody knows when the time will come. Pariksit Maharaj got a seven-day notice, but we do not know if we will get even a seven-minute notice—we do not know whether we will die or not in the next seven minutes, but we are very proud. We think, "I will do this," "I will do that," but any minute you can leave this body!

জীবন অনিত্য জানহ সার
তাহে নানাবিধ বিপদ-ভার ।
নামাশ্রয় করি' যতনে তুমি
থাকহ আপন কাজে ॥

jivana anitya janaha sara
tahe nana-vidha vipada-bhara
namasraya kari' yatane tumi
thakaha apana kaje

"Understand the essence: life is temporary and filled with all sorts of adversity. Carefully taking shelter of the Name, engage in your work."

(Gitavali, Arunodaya kirtan, 1.3, by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

When you learn who you are, you will get proper identification. We identify yourselves with our body now (we think that we are this body)—we say, "This is my hand," "This is my head," "These are my ears," "These are my eyes," "These are my legs," but who am I? The answer is there in the scriptures. Sri Chaitanya-charimrita says:

জীবের 'স্বরূপ' হয়—কৃষ্ণের 'নিত্যদাস' ।
কৃষ্ণের 'তটস্থা-শক্তি', 'ভেদাভেদ-প্রকাশ' ॥

jivera 'svarupa' haya—krsnera 'nitya-dasa'
krsnera 'tatastha-sakti' 'bhedabheda-prakasa'

"By its intrinsic nature, the soul is an eternal servant of Krishna; souls come from the marginal energy of Krishna and are simultaneously one with and different from the Lord."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.108)

Always remember this.

Now, there will be evening arati, everyone must stand up. Join the arati, do Tulasi parikrama, after that we will chant some kirtans and speak again. Please stay, take the darshan of the Lordships' arati, see how the Lord is worshipped. We will offer arati and chant kirtan...


— : • : —





{ 2001  |   2002  |   2003  |   2005  |   2009  |   2010  |   2011  |   2012 }
{ 2013  |   2014  |   2015  |   2016  |   2017  |   2018  |   2019  |   2020  |   2021 }

Download / listen to the full class
(6.5 Mb, 16 min | Bengali)



The Gift of Guru
'If Gurudev had not come, who would have been able to tell us about the glories of Gauranga?'


Jaya jaya gurudever
'I know that you are nondifferent from Sri Gaura Krishna and have now assumed the form of a pure devotee to deliver the world.'
জয় জয় গুরুদেবের

You can shed so many tears for yourself, but can you spend
one drop of water from your eyes for me?