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Service: Labour of Love

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


Before you light a big lamp (pradip), you must light a small lamp and keep it always burning. Why? Because if you do not keep a lamp burning, then, when the big lamp's light goes off, everything will become dark. This is the truth...

Gurudev explained everything and made this fallen lowly soul sit in his chair. I never wanted to sit on a throne! Gurudev said, "I am sitting on a very hard throne." When Gurudev said this, I did not understand the meaning, but now I understand it. Making temples, buildings is not a big matter, but it is important to maintain them. You can see that we have been here for so many days already, but only two fans work. Can you see it? There are so many fans in the nat mandir, but they do not work. So many people gather in the nat mandir. They could call me and let me know, "Gurudev, fans are not working," and I could arrange to fix them. Yet, so many people come for the kirtan, and it is so difficult. "Kirtaniyer parisram jane Gaura Ray. Gaura Ray knows the struggle of those who chant kirtan." [Chaitanya-charitamrita (14.1.38): Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu understood the labour of all the kirtan chanters; therefore He was very eager to feed them sumptuously.] Nobody understands how hard it is to chant kirtan. I have made the kitchen outbuilding, and I have to see what adjustments are necessary—how many things one person must see to! What is good, what is necessary to make—those who are staying here must look after it. How much time do I spend here? I come here in winter, nobody turns the fans on because it is cold, and I come in the morning, offer obeisance to the Lordships, and leave in the afternoon. How am I to know that the fans are not working? Those who are staying here must know and check whether everything is working properly or not. I have to think whether there are buckets in the bathrooms, whether the bathrooms are clean or not. Actually, when I was coming, I brought more buckets in case there are not enough. But how am I to know the fans are not working? This is the problem.

It is necessary to have service mood.

তদ্­বিদ্ধি প্রণিপাতেন পরিপ্রশ্নেন সেবয়া ।
উপদেক্ষ্যন্তি তে জ্ঞানং জ্ঞানিনস্তত্ত্বদর্শিনঃ ॥

tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"You will be able to attain knowledge by satisfying the divine master with submission, relevant inquiry, and sincere service. The enlightened souls who are learned in scriptural knowledge and endowed with direct realisation of the Supreme Absolute Truth will impart divine knowledge to you."

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 4.34)

You must ask honest questions. Honest questions are "Who am I?" "Why am I suffering?" "How can I get benefit?"

One time, there was a sadhu who stayed in a small room and practised Krishna consciousness on his own. He cooked something, offered bhoga to the Deities, and took prasad. The sadhu had one broken chair. One day, a big mayavadi came to him and sat in that chair, shaking his leg impatiently and saying, "Listen sadhu, everybody comes to you for knowledge. Give me some knowledge!" The sadhu thought, "Oh, he has come for knowledge! I will teach him." When somebody came, the sadhu gave the visitor some sherbet (sweet, flavoured water). So, this time too, he put a glass of sherbet on the table; then, he started pouring water into it. The water overflowed on the table and then on the chair and the mayavadi. The man jumped up, "Is this how you are giving knowledge to me? You are a fool! You have wetted my pants and shirt! Do you not see there is water in the glass?! Why are you pouring water when there is water in the glass?!" The sadhu said, "Sir, I am doing it for you. How so? You have come to take knowledge from me, but your head is already full of knowledge. If I put more knowledge there, it will flow over and fall."

When there was recently some debate with a mayavadi during preaching, I told the man the same thing, and I said, "I do not want to see the face of a mayavadi!" He asked me the same question over and over again, and when I answered, he challenged me, "What is the proof? Who wrote Bhagavatam?" Srila Prabhupad wanted to keep a hundred feet away from such people—they do not even accept the existence of the Lord. He tried to say there is no Lord, there is only Brahman! I stopped, but he still did not leave. In the end, I said, "Sorry, I am very busy, I have to go..."


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Service Without Attachment
'Sometimes it may come to your mind that what you are doing is bhajan, service, but it may be all karma. If you follow your Gurudev, serve the Vaishnavs, then you can easily call it service.'


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'Seeing you chant the Holy Name with tulasi beads in hand, everyone remembers Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

Krishna will test you, will examine you: how much tolerance do you have? How much love and affection do you have for the Lord and for your Guru?