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"Make the Teachings of Sri Guru Non-Different from Your Heart"

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata (Jatragachhi), 8 February 2021, part 7


গৌর আমারযে সব স্থানে,
করল ভ্রমণ রঙ্গে ।
সে সব স্থান,হেরিব আমি,
প্রণয়ি-ভকত-সঙ্গে ॥৩॥

gaura amara ye-saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se-saba sthana heriba ami

In the company of loving devotees, I will behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes.

Mahaprabhu went to so many places. Even if you do not have initiation—Gurudev has made so many temples, and every temple holds some festivals throughout the year. We celebrate Janmastami in one temple, Radhastami in another, we observe the niyom-seva month also. We have a temple in Govardhan, and we celebrate Govardhan Puja there. There are appearance and disappearance days of our Param Guru Maharaj, appearance and disappearance days of our Gurudev. There are many different festivals, and we have an opportunity to join them. Soon, on 25 February, there will be a festival of Nityananda Prabhu's appearance. By the mercy of Gurudev, we have a very big temple in Ekachakra. I will go there five days ahead. Thousands and thousands of people take prasad there every day—during the festival, up to twenty-five thousand(!) people come to take prasad. There are many rooms at the temple. The problem is that all kinds people come—all the aul, baul, kartabhaja, neda, darvesh, sani, sahajiya, sakhibekhi, smarta, jata gosai, ativadi, churadhari, gauranga-nagari come. What can I do? They come and stay in the nat mandir, but our devotees get a room and stay in rooms. There are many facilities for you all.

Soon is also Gaura Purnima. I have given invitation letters to everyone. Come for Gaura Purnima, do Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama. For as long as your legs carry you, you must do parikrama—for as long as you have this opportunity, you must come. Do not think, "Oh, I have been twice already," or three times, or four times. I have done this parikrama thirty times—I have been at the temple for thirty years, and I have been doing this parikrama for thirty years. People ask: in this pandemic situation, will there be a parikrama? I tell them: why will there be no parikrama?! If political meetings can gather so many hundreds of thousands of people, then who will stop our parikrama? I heard that Modi came yesterday, and so many people gathered in Mednipore. Some day there were two hundred thousand people, some say there were four hundred thousand people. At our parikrama, four-five thousand people come, then why will we not be able to do this parikrama? What is the problem?

In Ekachakra, we will have the festival starting from the ekadasi day: everyone will come on ekadasi, and for three days after that we will be distributing prasad. It is a rule of our temple that when it is ekadasi, we give prasad only to those who fast on this day. The rice and other things that are offered to the Lord on ekadasi is given to the cows. We do not take rice on ekadasi, and we do not distribute rice to anyone on ekadasi because it is said in the scriptures that if you eat rice on ekadasi, you will be committing the sin of eating cow meat. Can you not live without eating rice for one day? When you are admitted to hospital, you are given saline solution for seven-ten days—do you think anyone will give you rice there? What choice is there? If this is your fate, then you have to go through this. If you can live properly, then you will not have problems.

Therefore, it is said that ekadasi is the mother of devotion (bhakati-janani), ekadasi days are the days of the Lord (Madhava-tithi)—we observe such days with great care.

মাধব-তিথিভক্তি জননী
যতনে পালন করি ।

madhava-tithi bhakti-janani
yatane palana kari

"I take a great care in observing the holy days related to Madhava, the Supreme Lord for such days are the mother of devotion."

You must observe ekadasi days with great care. You must fast from the morning until noon. Gurudev said that if you cannot do that—if you have problems with your health (for example, if you are old and you suffer from gas if you do not eat)—then you can make something plain and take that. I also cannot fast: after I had an operation in 2005 (seventeen years have passed already), I cannot stay without eating. What can you do? I take some potato (alu-tarkari) or some fried potato (alu-bhaji) and go out; I am busy the whole day outside and then come back in the afternoon to take prasad again. So, I am not telling anything to those who can fast—Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that you can take anukalpa (non-grain prasad).

One time, a devotee wrote to Guru Maharaj, saying: I work for a ship-building company and have to handle a ten-kg hammer, how can I go to work if I do not eat? How can I follow ekadasi? Guru Maharaj said: then eat ten kg of boiled potato in the morning. What is the problem? There are so many kinds of fruit also—there is no lack of anything in our country. There is fruit, there is alu-dum, there are so many plants. You can eat so many things.

So, it is necessary to observe ekadasi. The scriptures say that there are five items that are prohibited—sin stays in those five grains. What are these five items? Rice, wheat, barley, pulses, mustard/sesame oil. You cannot take any kinds of dal (beans, lentils). You cannot take any cereal, muri (puffed rice). You cannot eat anything that is made with or from these five items. Do not use mustard oil (any mustard, white or black). You can take nuts. Use sunflower oil, peanut oil, or ghee. You can cook something simple with that. Maintain life in the body in some way or another.

Some do nirjal ekadasi (fast without any water or food); if you can, you can do, but you must not take a pillow and lie in your room the whole day. You must do service. You must wash the dishes, you must serve the cows, you must serve the Deities, everything. You do nirjal ekadasi without even touching water, but who will serve the Deities and work the whole day? It is not good. You cannot stop the service of the Lord. Everything you do, you do for the service of the Lord. Our family is Krishna-centred family. Everything that is created in this world is for the service of the Lord. If I go somewhere in the car, so many insects are killed under the wheels of the car—am I not committing sins? If I eat rice, if I eat wheat, if I eat cabbage or spinach, do I not cut these plants? Is it not a sin? The difference is that we do not eat anything! Devotees do not eat anything—they offer everything to the Lord and take prasad (remnants) of the Lord. That is why it is said that we must reject everything that is unoffered. We must not take anything that is not offered to the Lord. When you eat anything, you must remember the Lord, Gurudev. You must remember this. Sometimes, some problem happens on the road, some difficulty, but you must do ekadasi—in this case, you must get some fruit, remember the Lord, remember Gurudev, and eat that. This is the rule.

So, as I started saying:

গৌর আমারযে সব স্থানে,
করল ভ্রমণ রঙ্গে ।
সে সব স্থান,হেরিব আমি,
প্রণয়ি-ভকত-সঙ্গে ॥৩॥

gaura amara ye-saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se-saba sthana heriba ami
pranayi-bhakata-sange [3]

In the company of loving devotees, I will behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes.

We will go together with devotees to all the places where Gauranga Mahaprabhu went. We will do parikrama in the association of devotees.

[His Divine Grace resumes chanting the kirtan Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu.]


— : • : —





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