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Are You Getting Off?

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Lord Nityananda Prabhu's Appearance, evening class
Sri Ekachakra Dham, 25 February 2021, part 11
Translated from Bengali


Srila Sridhar Maharaj told very nicely, "Start the fire, and wind will come. Even if your boat is sinking, keep on rowing—do not leave the boat." Gurudev is the captain of the boat (the helmsman)—we sing in one of the kirtans (Ke yabi ke yabi re bhai) also,

hari-namera tarikhani sri-guru-kandari
sankirtana-keroyala du'bahu pasari

The Lord's Names are the ferryboat, Sri Guru is the captain, and the arms raised in the sankirtan are the oars.

So, if you can stay in the boat that Gurudev drives, then you will be able to reach the destination where that boat is going. If, however, you jump off that boat, you will never be able to take that boat again. Gurudev has got you a ticket to Vrindavan, but you get off half way to Vrindavan and go to Kashi. Your ticket was to Vrindavan, but you get off in Kashi... You must understand what I am saying. Gurudev has given you a ticket to Vrindavan, but you get off in Kashi. In another case, you come to the Howrah station to go to Vrindavan, but you do not look carefully which train is going to Vrindavan—you just get on some train that looks beautiful, but it turns out that train is going to Mumbai or some other place, not to Vrindavan! It is necessary to understand these things. You must not take any other train—we must get on the train that Gurudev is taking us in. You must go with your Guru.

Many people travel to various places, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj calls it 'eye exercise'. People disregard what Gurudev says and go for a walk or go travelling. Some come here and go to Tarapith—that is 'jay Ma kara maina dhara' (a joking rhyme, 'Glorifying Mother Kali and getting income') [devotees laugh out loud]. What do the devotees do there? They all take ganja; not only that, the 'sadhus' there actually eat from dead people's skulls! I have seen it with my own eyes when I was passing the place. Can a sane person do that? One time, my karatals got stolen there. I was sad—we are going to do a parikrama, but now we had no karatals. So, I went to buy some karatals. An old lady came to me and said, "I have two pairs of karatals! Will you buy them?" I said, "Yes, I will. How much are they?" I gave her four hundred rupees, and when I saw the karatals, I realised those were my karatals (the one that had been stolen)!

People come to practise Krishna consciousness at a temple and when it comes to winter, you give them a hundred-rupee blanket, and they run away with that blanket! Where will they run from their fate? What is it to me? I started from the scratch with nothing in my hand. I have no problem. This year, I see nobody has complained their mobile phones, etc. had got lost—I have told you to be careful with your mobile phones, gold chains, etc.

You know, one time, I told one man to come for Nabadwip Dham parikrama, but he did not go with me. He said, "What is the point going for the parikrama? I can just bathe in the Ganges!" We sing in one of the kirtans,

গঙ্গার পরশ হৈলে পশ্চাতে পাবন ।
দর্শনে পবিত্র কর এই তোমার গুণ ॥

gangara-parasa ha-ile paschate pavana
darsane pavitra kara—ei tomara guna

If the Ganges touches someone, he is later purified, but you purify souls simply by seeing them—such is your power.

One becomes pure by getting the darshan of a Vaishnav, and he says he will bathe in the Ganges! One time, a Muslim man came to another man and asked him to give him something, addressing him as "mesho" (mother's sister's husband). The man was surprised, but the Muslim man said, "Yes, you are my mesho, can you not recognise me?" The man believed him and gave him what he had been asked for, and after he took bath in the Ganges, he came out and went around shouting, "Whose mesho am I? Whose mesho am I? Who took the things from me saying I was his mesho?" [His Divine Grace laughs.]

So, we must understand what devotion to the Guru is. If you want to receive Gurudev's mercy, you must take birth in his family. What does it mean to be born in Gurudev's family, or lineage? It means taking shelter of Gurudev and serving Gurudev. Gurudev's wealth is not temples, great buildings, etc. Gurudev's wealth is divine love. If you can get this kind of wealth, then there will remain nothing else to be attained. What is the use of all the temples, buildings, etc.? If you have money, you can make them, and if you do not have money, you do not need all that. Srila Jagadananda Pandit wrote that if anyone comes to the temple, you must give them prasad with affection, and if you have no prasad, you must serve them sweet words and affection. Give affection and sweet words.


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Not What They Seem
The only path for us is to surrender and take association of a Vaishnav, but if we cannot recognise Vaishnavs with our eyes, what can we then recognised them with?


Janama saphala ta'ra
'Krishna's complexion is the colour of a fresh rain cloud. His forehead is adorned with tilak, curling locks, and a fine peacock feather.'
জনম সফল তা'র

Sometimes some bondage, some problem may come in our spiritual life, but it is Krishna
testing us: how much love and affection do we have for our Guru, for the Lord?