His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
You only say with your mouth, "I am a devotee of Gopal," but you do not know what Gopal eats, where Gopal sleeps, where Gopal lives. You think you will fan Gopal, offer some fruit, Tulasi leaf, and that is Gopal-seva. Many keep Gopal at their homes, but very few treat Gopal with affection. Yet, what does it mean to take responsibility for feeding Gopal? You think Gopal is like your son, but does Gopal eat what your children, husband, or wife eat? Gopal does not eat like them. You must give Gopal that which He likes. You must feed Gopal minimum five times—Gopal eats 56 times (chapana-bhoga), but you must feed Gopal minimum five times...
Srila Prabhupad explained what is called asat-sanga (inauspicious association). Bad association is the association of those who do not practise even one of the nine kinds of devotion. If somebody does not practise even one of the nine kinds of devotion, their association is called bad, or inauspicious.
We are eternal servants of Krishna, but we come to serve Gopal once a year. You dance with your Gopal today, and the rest of the year—364 days a year—you forget everything and worship Maya. What result do you think that gives? Many chant kirtans, but not many come to help others chant kirtans—they chant kirtans, get money for it, and go away. We do not appreciate Nityananda Prabhu's devotees, we do not know what Nityananda Prabhu's mercy is...
If you love your son, you will think about him a lot: you will always pay attention to what he eats, to how he feels, whether he needs any medicine or a doctor, whether he eats well or not, whether he sleeps well or not, whether he needs a fan or not if it is hot, whether he needs warm clothes or not if it is cold. You will always worry about all this. You do not only say, "I love my son" with your mouth; you always take care of your son if you really love him. It is the same with the Guru. People of Kali-yuga, who have fallen within illusory environment, know very well who their mother, father, brother, sister, relatives, friends, etc. are, but they do not know who their Guru is, they do not know who the Lord is.
I see that mostly people call Gurudev "baba" (father), but Srila Prabhupad said, "Baba badha Radha (বাবা বাধা রাধা): seeing Bhaktivinod Thakur as a father is an obstacle to seeing him as Radharani." He told this to his brother. Srila Prabhupad had received all mercy from Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, but one of his brothers thought, "I am also entitled to my father's wealth, I am also his son!" He called Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur "father" and he only knew him as his father. All this "father-mother" is a relationship of this world, it is mundane; but Gurudev is spiritual.
You will get a father, a mother, friends, etc. in any birth. When I was a dog, a sheep, a pig, I did not come to the world without parents—I also had parents (dogs, sheep, and pigs). In the same way, I did not come to this world without parents. Parents give us our bodies, but we do not know who we are—we do not know our own identity. We become so proud of ourselves. "Ahankare matta haina, Nitai-pada pasariya (অহঙ্কারে মত্ত হৈঞা নিতাই-পদ পাসরিয়া): intoxicated by ego we forget the lotus feet of Nitai." Overcome with pride, we think, "I am such-and-such Maharaj," "I am such-and-such Ray," "I am such-and-such Chowdhury," etc. Jiva souls are eternal servants of Krishna, but those souls who have forgotten everything have no memory or knowledge of Krishna. You must keep the Lord in centre of your heart, and this must not be lip-deep only:
“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।
"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
Just saying, "I am Gora's! I am Gora's!" does not do. Only when you follow Gora's practices and Gora's conception will you get the proper result.
(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6)
You say you keep the Lord in your heart, but you must actually do that, not only say it. How will you keep the Lord in your heart? You must have space in your heart for that, but your hearts are full of other things—kanak, kamini, pratistha (desire for money, women, and fame), kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya (lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, envy), rupa, rasa, gandha, sabda, sparsa (desire for enjoyment through eyes, tongue, nose, ears, and skin). All these enemies are there in your heart. You call Gurudev, "Can you come to my house, please?" but if you have no place to seat in your house, then where will your Gurudev sit? In the same way, you must give some place in your heart for the Lord, but you must first clean your heart. You cannot clean your heart with soap or by bathing in the Ganges. You must clean your heart through sadhu-sanga and chanting the Holy Name.
You cannot only dress as a sadhu—you must become a sadhu. Gurudev told that there are many who dress as sadhus, but how many genuine sadhus are there in this world? There are many who dress as sadhus, but we do not see them practising Krishna consciousness. If you are to practise Krishna consciousness, you must surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord.
Many blame the Lord, "Oh, the Lord is not taking care of Me!" Why will the Lord take care of you? The Lord says in the scriptures, "I will not take care of you, but if you become My devotee, if you become surrendered to Me, then:
তদ্বিদ্ধি প্রণিপাতেন পরিপ্রশ্নেন সেবয়া ।
tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
"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 become surrendered, you must make honest enquiry... We all read this in Srimad Bhagavad-gita—many pretend they read Gita—but we do not understand the meaning of what is written in Gita. The ultimate meaning of Gita is this:
সর্ব্বধর্ম্মান্ পরিত্যজ্য মামেকং শরণং ব্রজ ।
sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
"Give up all kinds of religion and surrender to Me alone. I will liberate you from all sins, do not despair."
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 18.66)
Leave all religions. There is a religion of a father; there is a religion of a mother; there is a religion of a friend; there is a religion of a wife; there is a religion of a daughter. The Lord says, "Leave all these religions and surrender to Me! I will take care of you!" But how do you become surrendered? You have sold your head to some other place! If you sell your head to Krishna, if you sell your head to Gurudev, then you will not be able to keep your head in any other place. "I have sold my head to Krishna, I cannot give my head to any other person. I have given my head to Gurudev, and can I cannot give this head to any other person. I have given my heart, my mind to Gurudev, I have given this body for Gurudev." You have got this body, but what have you got it for? You must all practise Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is not some tradition. You must take it seriously.
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