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Ask Yourself, 'Am I Practising?'

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Lord Nityananda Prabhu's Appearance, morning class
Sri Ekachakra Dham, 25 February 2021, part 5
Translated from Bengali

 

One time, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was inaugurating a temple. At that time, he did everything himself—he made all arrangements, he did the yajna, etc. At that time, our Param Guru Maharaj, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, received one service and helped Srila Prabhupad. Many were dissatisfied with that grumbling, "Why does Sridhar Maharaj do what Prabhupad would normally do?" Srila Sridhar Maharaj got to hear about this and was upset, "I tried to help Prabhupad, but instead of that I have to listen to people slandering and abusing me." Then, he came to Prabhupad and said, "Prabhupad, I did your service. Please forgive me." In reply, Srila Prabhupad said, "There is no offence for a surrendered soul."

Therefore, you must ask yourself, "Have I become a surrendered soul?" I do not come to examine or test you, but you should ask yourself, "Am I really practising Krishna consciousness? Do I live following what my Guru tells? Do I live in strict adherence to my Guru or not?"

Jiver seva korte korte atma kalyan labha haya (জীবের সেবা করতে করতে আত্মা কল্যাণ লাভ হয়): by serving jiva souls, your soul will get benefit." However, "Jiver seva" does not mean giving people clothes, food, etc. "Jiver daya (seva)" means bringing the souls who turned away from Krishna, to this path. People say, "Jive prema kare yei jana sei jana sevichhe isvara (জীবে প্রেম করে যেই জন সেই জন সেবিছে ঈশ্বর): love God by loving others." They say 'love others,' but they in fact mean only humans—what they do not understand is that cows, goat, sheep, cats, dogs, etc. every living entity has a soul, and that soul is the same as the souls of human beings. All animals, all living entities have the same soul as human beings, but we only show care for humans—we make sure they have medicine, etc. This is what they call "jive prema" (love for the jivas). The main thing is that we do not understand what is called Vaishnav-seva. Jive prema, or, as Mahaprabhu said, jive daya, means bringing the souls who turned away from Krishna to this path.

Many of you have come with a return ticket, and many of you are ready to go back to your house. You worry, "When is my train leaving?" But what happens to your Guru's service? What happens to your Guru's ashram? You go home and live engrossed in household affairs,

সংসার ভজিলি শ্রীগৌরাঙ্গ ভুলিলি
না শুনিলি সাধুর কথা ।
ইহ-পরকাল দুকাল খোয়ালি (মন)
খাইলি আপন মাথা ॥

samsara bhajili sri-gauranga bhulili
na sunili sadhura katha
iha-parakala dukala khoyali (mana)
khaili apana matha

You served your family (mundane ends), forgot Sri Gauranga, and never listened to the sadhus' words. O mind, you wasted both this life and your next life. You depraved yourself.

('Avatara sara Gora avatara' by Srila Lochan Das Thakur)

We go home and worship our material life—we forget Gauranga, we forget Nitai! You come here, stay a few days chanting, "Nitai, Nitai," and when you go back to your house, what do you do?... Our Param Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, had a younger sister, Rama Devi. One day, Gurudev was walking around the temple and took me to her. (Rama Devi could not hear so well in her old age; and Gurudev would come to see her sometimes, to pay obeisance and talk to her because she was Srila Guru Maharaj's younger sister.) That day, Gurudev greeted her and said, "Didi, you are chanting your mala and talking—what are you chanting? Are you chanting, 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,' or are you chanting, 'Nitu Satu, Nitu Satu'?" (Rama Devi had two nephews, their names were Nitu and Satu.) We also have one lady devotee—she is staying in Nrisingha Palli. She sits and does her mala—she has her mala in one hand and her mobile in the other hand. I told her, "Didi, what are you chanting? You are sitting in your phone and chanting, 'Rumu Chumu, Rumu Chumu'?" (She has two granddaughters, Rumki and Chumki. They are now both grown-up.) You think about all these things and cannot chant the Holy Name. We worship our material life.

সংসার ভজিলি শ্রীগৌরাঙ্গ ভুলিলি
না শুনিলি সাধুর কথা ।
ইহ-পরকাল দুকাল খোয়ালি (মন)
খাইলি আপন মাথা ॥

samsara bhajili sri-gauranga bhulili
na sunili sadhura katha
iha-parakala dukala khoyali (mana)
khaili apana matha

You served your family (mundane ends), forgot Sri Gauranga, and never listened to the sadhus' words. O mind, you wasted both this life and your next life. You depraved yourself.

('Avatara sara Gora avatara' by Srila Lochan Das Thakur)

Not listening to what sadhus tells us, we ruin our present and future life, both.

So, if you come to this holy dham, chant, "Nitai, Nitai," then go home and again become engrossed in your material life not caring for the Lord, not worshipping the Lord. You must practice archanam (Deity worship), vandanam (praying) even at home! Many take initiation, but you must practise at home too (practise archan, vandan, prasad-seva). Then, material things will go away from you. We are aparadhi (offenders). That is why it is said,

কবে হবে বল, সে দিন আমার ।
অপরাধ ঘুচি' শুদ্ধ নামে রুচি
কৃপা-বলে হবে হৃদয়ে সঞ্চার ॥

kabe habe bala se dina amara
aparadha ghuchi suddha name ruchi
krpa-bale ha'be hrdaye sanchara

"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?"

When will offence go away from me and I get taste for the pure Holy Name?...

 

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