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Determination and Surrender

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Bankura Anniversary Festival,
26 January 2021, part 13


[Noticing a young boy in the audience, His Divine Grace remarks:] It is necessary to practise Krishna consciousness from this young age. Everyone must eat vegetarian food, fast on ekadasi. You must try to practise. Try to explain to your parents also. You are chanting the Holy Name, do your parents say anything to you? Do they not prohibit you? Parents usually get scared that their child will become a sannyasi and go away. My parents were also angry. Do you know what my father did? When I was little, I would wake up in the morning, take bath and, putting on my father's dhoti, go to a small temple we had near our house to read Srimad Bhagavad-gita for one hour. My father was not at home at that time, so he did not see me. Actually, he did not live at home most of the time—he would go to work in another place and he would come home from time to time. One day, he came home and noticed that somebody had been using his dhoti. He asked my mother about the dhoti, and she said that I was reading Gita every day. Then, my father said, "Disaster!" and wanted to tear the book. My mother hid the book because she understood it is an offence to tear Gita. My parents obstructed me in many ways. Later, I ran away from home without telling anyone, and they did not know for thirteen years that I had come to the temple. They only learnt about it after I took sannyas. They even did my sraddha at home thinking I was dead. Well and good. If I felt sorry for them, I would not be able to come.

আসক্তিরহিত সম্বন্ধসহিত ।
বিষয়সমূহ সকলি মাধব ॥

'asakti-rahita,' 'sambandha-sahita,'
visaya-samuha sakali 'madhava'

"When you are free from material attachment and establish relationship with the Lord, then you will see that everything around you is Lord Madhav Himself."

('Vaishnav ke?' verse 12)

Those who criticised me and mocked me, "Oh, he has become a sadhu!" suffered very much in their life. Somebody became a school master, somebody became a college professor, somebody became a doctor, but they do not look after their parents. Their parents lived with one son, the daughter-in-law abused them, they went to another son's house, the same story, then the third son and again suffering. All my aunts died suffering, but my mother died peacefully. The Lord says, "If you think about Me, I will think about you." Lord Krishna says in Gita, "I do not know anyone apart from My devotees, and My devotees also do not know anyone apart from Me."

ষড়ঙ্গ শরণাগতি হইবে যাঁহার ।
তাঁহার প্রার্থনা শুনে শ্রীনন্দকুমার ॥

sad-anga saranagati ha-ibe yahara
tahara prarthana sune sri-nanda-kumara

Sri Krishna hears the prayers of those who surrender in this six-fold way.

Full surrender must come. Unless you become fully surrendered, the Lord will not hear your prayer. People pray to the Lord because they have some desire, but we do not think, "What makes the Lord happy?" We think, "I like paneer, so I should cook paneer," while the truth is that we must cook for the Lord, for the devotees—not for my own mouth. We sing in one of the kirtans,

সর্ব্বস্ব তোমার চরণে সঁপিয়া
পড়েছি তোমার ঘরে ।
তুমি ত' ঠাকুর, তোমার কুকুর
বলিয়া জানহ মোরে ॥

sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya,
padechhi tomara ghare
tumi ta' thakura, tomara kukura,
baliya janaha more

"I have offered everything at Your feet and taken shelter in Your home. You are my Master; please consider me Your dog."

(Saranagati, 19.1)

তব নিজ-জন, প্রসাদ সেবিয়া
উচ্ছিষ্ট রাখিবে যাহা ।
আমার ভোজন পরম-আনন্দে
প্রতিদিন হবে তাহা ॥

tava nija-jana, prasada seviya,
uchchhista rakhibe yaha
amara bhojana, parama-anande,
prati-dina habe taha

"Whatever remnants Your devotees leave behind after honouring Your prasad I will eat every day with great joy."

(Saranagati, 19.3)

These are very beautiful words. We must eat the remnants of Vaishnavs' food every day with great joy. We must not eat for our own happiness.

আত্মেন্দ্রিয়প্রীতি-বাঞ্ছা—তারে বলি 'কাম' ।
কষ্ণেন্দ্রিয়প্রীতি-ইচ্ছা ধরে 'প্রেম' নাম ॥

atmendriya-priti-vancha—tare bali 'kama'
krsnendriya-priti-ichchha dhare 'prema' nama

"The desire to gratify one's own senses is kama (lust), but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krishna is prema (love)."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 4.165)

If you do something for the pleasure of your own senses, it is kama (lust, material desire for enjoyment). We must do everything for Krishna's happiness. We must spend every single moment for Krishna's satisfaction and happiness. I will labour, I will go to work, I will run a business, etc. for the Lord. We must do everything for the Lord. When somebody calls me, I tell them to do some service, but I never tell anyone to do anything for my own self. For my own self, I never worry for anything—I never even think I need a toothbrush, phone airtime, socks, or anything else. Some devotees give me some money, but I never think that I will buy a toothbrush or a pair of shoes with that money. I never think about all these things.

[Noticing the chants coming from a nearby mosque, His Divine Grace remarks:] It is said in the Koran that you can kill a jiva soul provided you can give life to a jiva soul. Does anyone can give life? Then, you cannot kill any jiva souls. Muslim and Hindu people sacrifice goats and observe what is called "asura nidhan" (slaying of demons). The true meaning of this ritual is to kill the demon within you—if you kill a goat, does that make you a better person? Vedas say that you must sacrifice all the demoniac propensities within your heart. You cannot sacrifice a goat instead to please your own senses. Gurudev also told a funny story. There was a man who used to make a goat sacrifice every year at his house, and one year he did not make this sacrifice. When Gurudev heard it, he said, "Oh, I know why. The master of the house where they held that sacrifice does not have any teeth now!" No scripture, no Veda says that we can kill other jiva souls. We say we follow the Vedas, but at the same time we do what is prohibited by the Vedas.

[The time has come to offer the noon bhoga and finish the programme.] All right, I will chant the kirtan now.


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Rescuing Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya
'You know that Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was a big scholar, a big pandit—but at first he did not get mercy from the Lord: 'Those who have got mercy from the Lord can understand Him.''


'He who gave me the gift of eyes is my lord, birth after birth. He manifested divine knowledge in my heart. He gives prema-bhakti and destroys ignorance. The Vedas sing of his character.'

If you can do everything and connect it to the Lord, to your Guru, that is good for you.