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Faith, Devotion, and Love

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama, Day One
Evening class, 23 March 2021, part 8
Translated from Bengali

 

When you used to have a thatched house or a mud house, you practised Krishna consciousness, and now that you have got a good house, all your devotion is hidden and gone. [Devotees object, "We have made it so that you could come."] What is the use if you bring me there?

কৃষ্ণ যদি ছুটে ভক্তে ভুক্তি মুক্তি দিয়া ।
কভু ভক্তি না দেন রাখেন লুকাইয়া ॥

krsna yadi chhute bhakte bhukti mukti diya
kabhu prema-bhakti na dena rakhena lukaiya

"If you ask Krishna for anything except devotion, He can give you those things—bhukti, mukti, liberation, and so on—but He will hide devotion from you. You will not get devotion."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 8.18)

You say you will take me there, but when I come, say, to a mud house, do I come to see the house? Must you make a five-storey building to bring me there? You can ask everyone what places I go to—somebody has a five-story house, somebody has marble floors, somebody has A/C in the rooms—do I go to all these places? I do not. You tell me—I have had programmes in so many houses, what houses do I go to? You can see this devotee sitting in front of me. When their father made a festival programme, he went collecting door to door. He collected all the ingredients and called me (he had called me so many times that I could not but come). He made the programme, fed everyone, and on top of that put all the remainder of the bhoga into my car as a donation. He told me, "I have collected all this, what will I do with it? It is not for my enjoyment. You please take it." So, you are saying you are making a posh house for me, but tell me—did I not come to your house when it was just a mud house?

My position is just like Sudama Vipra's. When Sudama Vipra came to Dvaraka to see Krishna, he was astonished to see all the grand buildings. "Where have I come?" he thought. "Krishna has called me to see Him, but where have I come? I do not understand all these great buildings—when my friend rolled in the dust as a ordinary cowherd, He was my true friend at that time. I do not like to see this atmosphere here." Sudama Vipra left Dvaraka as soon as he could—he did not want to stay there a second longer. He struggled so much to come there, but seeing all the opulence he left quickly.

ভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু লুটিপুটি খায়
অভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু উলটি নাহি খায়

bhakter jinish prabhu lutiputi khay
abhakter jinish prabhu ulti nahi khay

"The Lord eats anything and everything when a devotee offers it, but He does not take anything from a non-devotee."

There are five-, ten-, fifteen- or more storey buildings in Kolkata—do I go to those homes? Will you see me in any of such places? Even if they call me, I will not go there. You know that Mahaprabhu never met with King Prataparudra. So, all this external opulence is a problem. You must call out to the Lord with your heart and soul. You must love the Lord with your whole being—what kind of love is it when you show your money, wealth, etc.? You must love with your whole being, with your heart and soul.

I went to some extremely poor houses, but they give me a twenty-five kg sack of potato! They are all sun-burnt people—they work in the field, get burnt in the sun, but when they give this hard-earned yield for the service of the Lord, they get real sukriti for that. No money, no wealth can give such sukriti. You can see also that Krishna did not accept Durdhyona's raj-bhog (opulent food)—but He went to Vidura's house and ate banana skin there. We went to Sridhar's house today, what did he have? Mahaprabhu told him, "You do not even have a proper house! There are holes in your roof! You have no fence around the house, you have no proper roof!" Moreover, when Mahaprabhu wanted some water, Sridhar became shy—the only glass he had at home had a hole in it and all the water fell through it. But Mahaprabhu came to him all the time, and Nityananda Prabhu spent a night there.

I do not like all these big grand buildings, multi-storey houses, etc. I am a simple man ('matir manush', মাটির মানুষ) and I like to live simply (near the ground or land, mati মাটি). Faith (sraddha), devotion (bhakti), and love (bhalobhasa)—this is sufficient...

Mahaprabhu performed so many pastimes. One time, Mahaprabhu was sitting at the house of Srivas Pandit and giving His blessings to everyone, "May you get auspiciousness," "May you be successful," etc. There was a devotee named Mukunda among the devotees who was a very good singer, but Mahaprabhu did not call out his name. Mukunda felt pain, "Prabhu has called out everyone's names, but He has not mentioned my name..." When asked, Mahaprabhu said about Mukunda, "Yes, he will get mercy after ten million births." Mukunda began to dance, "Yes! I will get Prabhu's mercy!" Such was the strength of his faith.

There were so many other pastimes in Nabadwip. When Mahaprabhu was young, He would play with young girls at the bank of the Ganges. There were a little older girls and some small girls—they would come to the Ganges bringing atop chal (choice rice), bananas, flowers, etc. and use all these ingredients to worship the Ganges. When they sat to arrange the worship of the Ganges, Mahaprabhu would disturb their offering and sit in front of them saying, "Worship Me!" All the girls told Him, "Hey, what are You doing? What You are doing is not good!" Mahaprabhu would not listen, so all the girls would pick up their fruit, flowers, etc. and go away saying, "We will complain to Your mother!" Mahaprabhu then said, "It will not do you any good! I will curse you then!" "What curse do You want to give?" "If you do not give all your offerings to Me, then you will get a very old husband with seven other wives!" Mahaprabhu taught the world through this, "If you worship Me, then all worship is automatically accomplished!"

'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
কৃষ্ণে ভক্তি কৈলে সর্ব্বকর্ম্ম কৃত হয় ॥

'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

"Sraddha is firm, determined faith that by service to Krishna all actions are accomplished."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62)

If you worship the Lord, you do not need to worship any other gods or goddesses. Anyway, is it even possible to worship all 330 million demigods? If you worship Lord Siva today, then Parvati will be unsatisfied; if you worship Kali, Durga will be unsatisfied; if you worship Laksmi Devi, Ganesh will be unsatisfied; if you worship Ganesh, Kartik will be unsatisfied. So, if you worship Lord Krishna, all the worship of all the demigods is automatically accomplished. Moreover, all your debts—debts to your father, mother, sages, demigods, etc.—become cleared and no debt remains. Always remember this.

There was one more wonderful pastime at the house of Srivas Pandit. Although Srivas Pandit was a grihastha (his wife's name is Malini), he was actually more than a sannyasi. Just see what happened there! One time, Nimai's elder brother Vishvarup, who was about thirteen-fourteen years old at that time, came to Srivas Pandit and asked him, "Prabhu, I need one scripture. I was hoping that I could get it from you." At that time, Muslim people used to burn all the Hindu scriptures, so Srivas Pandit replied to Vishvarup, "I have sent the book you need to Tripura otherwise if I had kept it, the Muslim would have burnt it." Then, Malini Devi came into the room and Srivas Pandit told him, "Oh, Vishvarup came here, he needed some help, but I could not help him." Malini Devi then said suddenly, "How will you help him? You are always busy with kirtan and you only know to go to Advaita Acharya's lectures—what to speak of helping others, you cannot even take care of your own house! You are not even a householder!" Because Srivas Pandit and Malini Devi quarrelled in front of Vishvarup, Srivas Pandit became shy and said to Vishvarup, "Have you seen it, Vishvarup? What have I done that she is saying such things about me? Do you see now what family life is like? Do you understand now what a problem it is when you get married? Can you see how my own wife chastises me? Never get married!" At about that time, there was some news about Vishvarup's marriage—his parents had already selected a girl for him and were about to have him married. So, hearing all this, Vishvarup ran away. He left home.

There are so many things that can be said, I have written everythin in this book, Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya-mukta-mala. Buy this book and read it carefully. Read the holy books, it will do you good. All right, I will not keep you any longer for today. I will let you go now because you must all wake up early in the morning tomorrow. Before you go to sleep, please make sure all water taps are closed otherwise you will not be able to bathe in the morning, it will be a problem.

[His Divine Grace then chants 'Hari Haraye Nama Krishna' and 'jaya dhvani' concluding thus the evening class at the end of the first day of Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama.]

 

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Odds and Ends
'It does not look good for a saffron-clad brahmachari to go to a restaurant and take food there. Sitting there, gossiping and talking, is very ugly. They must be a little shy, they must think a little what they are doing.'

 

Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'Give me the ability to befittingly honour everyone, then I will sing the Lord's Name happily, and all my offences will be eradicated.'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

The anchor must be raised, otherwise the boat will not move.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"