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Keep Your Lamp Alight

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama, Day Two
Evening class, 24 March 2021, part 1
Translated from Bengali

 

Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
Visva-varenya Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
Jay Om Vishnupad Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad ki jay
Rupanuga-guru-varga ki jay
Namacharya Haridas Thakur ki jay
Bhakta-prabara Prahlad Maharaj ki jay
Suddha-bhakti-vighna-vinasankari Bhagavan Nrisinghadev ki jay
Sri Sada-Siva Gangadhar, Giriraj Govardhan ki jay
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math ki jay
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Nrisingha Palli ki jay
Samagata sannyasi-vrinda, brahmachari-vrinda, bhakta-vrinda ki jay
All the assembled devotees ki jay
All the worldwide devotees ki jay
Harinam sankirtan ki jay
Samagata Sri Gaura bhakta-vrinda ki jay
Nitai Gaura premanande Hari bol

Devotee: Jay Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya-varya Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj ki jay. Harinam sankirtan ki jay. Nitai Gaura premanande Hari bol

মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams cha
sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana raghunath-anvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-chaitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita sri-visakhanvitams cha

I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of my Guru, the predecessor Gurus, the Lord's devotees, Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatan, Sri Raghunath, Sri Jiva, Sri Rupa's followers, Sri Krishna Chaitanyadev, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Chaitanyadev's associates, Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, Sri Lalita Devi, Sri Visakha Devi, and all of Their associates.

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
chaksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

I offer my obeisance unto Sri Gurudev, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the salve of divine knowledge.

gurvvabhista-supurakam guru-ganair asisa-sambhusitam
chintyachintya-samasta-veda-nipunam sri-rupa-panthanugam
govindabhidham ujjvalam vara-tanum bhakty anvitam-sundaram
vande visva-gurun cha divya-bhagavat-premno hi bija-pradam

I offer my obeisance unto he who perfectly fulfils his Gurudev's most cherished desires; who is fully adorned with the blessings of his Gurudev's associates; who is expert in all aspects of Vedic knowledge, both conceivable and inconceivable; who is the pre-eminent follower of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu's line; who is known as 'Govinda'—Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj; whose beautiful, effulgent, exalted form is infused with pure devotion; who is the Guru of the entire universe; and who is the giver of the seed of divine love for the Supreme Lord.

devam divya-tanum suchanda-vadanam balarka-chelanchitam
sandrananda-puram sad-eka-varanam vairagya-vidyambudhim
sri-siddhanta-nidhim subhakti-lasitam sarasvatanam varam
vande tam subhadam mad-eka-saranam nyasisvaram sridharam

I offer my obeisance unto my lord, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, whose speech is most pleasing; whose divine form is adorned with garments the colour of the newly-risen sun; who is an abode of intense, ecstatic devotion; who is the sadhus' sole choice; who is an ocean of renunciation and knowledge; who is a treasure-house of perfect conclusions; who is resplendent with pure devotion; who is the best of Srila Saraswati Thakur's followers; who is the giver of all good; who is the leading general of the tridandi-sannyasis; and who is my sole shelter.

vanchha-kalpatarubhyas cha krpa-sindhubhya eva cha
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

Again and again I offer my obeisance unto the Supreme Lord's devotees, who are saviours of the fallen, oceans of mercy, and wish-fulfilling trees.

vrndayai tulasi-devyai priyayai kesavasya cha
krsna-bhakti-prade devi satyavatyai namo namah

Again and again I offer my obeisance unto Vrnda Devi, who is known as Tulasi Devi and Satyavati, who is most dear to Krishna, and who bestows devotion to Krishna upon us.

atha natva mantra-gurun gurun bhagavatarthadan
vyasan jagad-gurun natva tato jayam udirayet

Having offered obeisance to one's initiating Guru, to the Gurus who have taught one the meaning of the Bhagavat, and to all the authors of Vedic literature, who are the Gurus of the entire world, proclaim "Jay!"

jayah sa-parikara sri-sri-guru-gauranga-gandharva-govindasundar-padapadmanam jayastu!

All glory to the lotus feet of Sri Guru, Sri Gaurasundar, Sri Sri Gandharva-Govindasundar, and all of Their associates!

vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Six Goswamis, namely Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Sanatan Goswami, Sri Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Sri Raghunath Das Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami.

sri-krsna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura-bhakta-vrnda

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

By the mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma, by the mercy of Vaishnavs, we have completed the second day of Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama without any difficulties. Tomorrow we will stay at the temple, it is going to be ekadasi. The programme will start here from 10 a.m. Tomorrow is a grand festival in honour of Sri Madhavendra Puripad's disappearance. It is a mahadvadasi day, but we will be fasting on this day as on ekadasi because the tithis are touching. On this day from 10 a.m. until bhoga-arati of the Lordships, we will be listening to Hari-katha and about the glories of Sri Madhavendra Puripad.

Every year, Gurudev would speak about Sri Madhavendra Puri on this day, and when he could not come downstairs, he would tell me to speak about Sri Madhavendra Puri. I would go on the parikrama on this day and would return and speak about Srila Madhavendra Puri in the evening. So, we have got this opportunity to observe this day tomorrow. I know you are all tired; you can take some rest tomorrow, but do not sit in your room talking gramya-katha (gossiping or having idle talks). I know that not everybody is used to waking up early in the morning, so not many come for the mangal-arati, but those who cannot come for the mangal-arati, should at least come at 10 a.m.

"Saisava-yauvane, jada-sukha-sange, abhyasa ha-ila manda (শৈশব-যৌবনে, জড়সুখ-সঙ্গে, অভ্যাস হইল মন্দ). In my childhood and youth, I always indulged in material happiness and I have become habituated to bad things." This is how people cannot wake up early in the morning. From our childhood and youth we have developed bad habits; many who stay at the temple also become lazy. Householders have to go to work every morning so they wake up for the mangal-arati, but those who stay at the temple do not worry about it, they sleep till eight o'clock. This is not good. We teach others, but first we must practise it ourselves, then we can teach others,

নিজে আচারি' ধর্ম্ম জীবকে শিখায়
আচার পর্রচার নামের লইনু কার্য

nije achari dharma jivke sikhaya
achara prachara namera lainu karya

Practise yourself and teach the right path to the souls. Your chanting of the Holy Name will be effective when you practise yourself and preach.

If you do not practise yourself but teach others, nobody will listen to you. It is necessary to first follow these things yourself.

I will tell you today about Prahlad Maharaj. If we can accept in our lives the practice of Prahlad Maharaj, that is what is called devotion. I wish this kind of devotion for you. I know that at least I do not have the kind of devotion that Prahlad Maharaj has. He has shown what devotion is in his own life. He has so much tolerance! We must follow and practise the devotion that Prahlad Maharaj showed in his life. That is why, we must always first give 'jay' to Prahlad Maharaj, then only to Sri Nrisinghadev. You can never worship the Lord without His devotees. Remember this. I heard today somebody was giving 'jay'—they gave 'jay' to Nrisinghadev, but not to Prahlad Maharaj. Never make this mistake. First you must give 'jay' to Prahlad Maharaj, after that to Nrisinghadev. Always remember this. You can never get the Lord without His devotees.

I have been studying Bhagavatam today the whole day (after returning from the parikrama). I was reading about different kinds of liberation (sayujya, merging with Brahman; sarupya, having the same body as the Lord; salokya, residing at the same planet as the Lord; samipya, being an associate of the Lord; sarsti, having the same opulences as the Lord) and what is the position of those who attain it. I am used to reading and studying from my childhood when I would study for eighteen-twenty hours a day, and I cannot leave this habit to this day—I still study and read books. A new book has come today, Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata—we have reprinted it.

Gurudev has given so much responsibility on my shoulder... When Gurudev told me about it, I could not understand it. Gurudev would tell me, "I was seated on this throne with a garland on my neck, but I do not like to wear this garland—ants always bite me." At that time, I did not understand what Gurudev meant. I thought maybe there were some ants in the garland he had been given, but this is not what Gurudev meant. It is such an agony to be an acharya...

Every morning when we wake up we sing,

udita tapana ha-ile asta
dina gela bali' ha-ibe vyasta
tabe kena ebe alasa ha-i'
na bhaja hrdaya-raje

"When the shining sun sets, you become busy, considering that the day has passed. So why are you being lazy now? Why will you not serve the Lord of your heart?

('Udila aruna' by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

Why must we become lazy? We must always remember this. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur expresses his own feeling also,

নিদ্রলস্য-হত সুকার্য্যে বিরত
অকার্য্যে উদ্যোগী আমি
প্রতিষ্ঠা লাগিয়া শাঠ্য-আচরণ
লোভ-হত সদা কামী ।

nidralasya hata sukarya
virata akarya udyogi ami
pratistha lagiya sathya-acharana
lobha-hata sada kami

"I am ruined by laziness and sleep. I do not like to do what is good, I like to do what is bad. I always do bad things for my own name and fame. I am ruined by greed and I am always full of desires."

Somebody came to me and said, "I want to speak about the glories of Sri Guru!" I told him, "You have no right, no qualification to speak about the glories of Sri Guru. When the Guru gives you this right, when the Guru gives you this service to speak about the glories of Sri Guru, then you can do it. But you have no such right." You can speak about the glories of Sri Guru only when the Guru gives you his mercy; you can glorify Vaishnavs only when they give you their mercy to do so. When somebody has no mercy of their Guru, glorification of Sri Guru can never come to their mouth. We must always remember and think about this.

নিদ্রলস্য-হত সুকার্য্যে বিরত
অকার্য্যে উদ্যোগী আমি
প্রতিষ্ঠা লাগিয়া শাঠ্য-আচরণ
লোভ-হত সদা কামী ।

nidralasya hata sukarya
virata akarya udyogi ami
pratistha lagiya sathya-acharana
lobha-hata sada kami

"I am ruined by laziness and sleep. I do not like to do what is good, I like to do what is bad. I always do bad things for my own name and fame. I am ruined by greed and I am always full of desires."

You know, Gurudev went abroad so many times, but I never ever said to him that I wanted to go abroad. Never. One day, Gurudev's secretary came to me and said that I had to give him some documents to make my passport. I asked him, "A passport? What for?" and he said, "This is an order from the 'Head Office'." When I joined the temple and came to Gurudev, I did not even know it was my initiation day (I was given the second initiation and saffron clothes on the same day). That day, I came from the field with my feet covered in mud, and they told me, "Come quickly, Gurudev is waiting for you! He is calling you." Gurudev asked me, "Have you brought a notepad?" I asked, "My legs are full of mud, what should I do?" and Gurudev said, "It is your initiation day today!" Then, Gurudev told me to wash the mud off and come sit in front of him. Then, Gurudev put his hand on my shoulder and gave the mantras. When Gurudev touched my shoulder, I felt a surge of feeling. Gurudev said, "If you recite this gayatri-mantra twice a day (if you do not have time to recite it in the afternoon, you can do it in the morning and in the evening), then you will get connection (relationship) with Radharani." Then, Gurudev gave me saffron clothes and took my hand telling me to change and go sit at the yajna. He did not tell me anything—when I took sannyas, it was like that too.

One time, I ran away for twenty-four hours, and when I came back, I saw Gurudev sitting at his veranda, and I came and sat there too. I did not say anything—just sat there quietly. Gurudev started reading a newspaper. Somebody else was sitting there too, reading some scripture. I saw Gurudev was not saying anything, and I sat there like a chatak bird, waiting, "What service will Gurudev give me?" I already had service, but I would sit at his lotus feet like a chatak bird waiting for more service. Such was my habit.

It is necessary to have good habits. To this day I have to look after everything—it is ekadasi tomorrow, and I still have to give them the list of what should be purchased. I have to tell everyone what to do. There is nobody to do this, and I do not like it. I still have to go to the storage room to see what is there, how many vegetables are there, how much oil is there, how much wood is there, etc. In the evening I will again have to call the cooks, ask what they need and arrange everything. There is a lack of people who would learn from looking.

For example, before you offer the big lamp to the Deities, you must light a small one and keep it there so that the room does not become dark. I remember this. Because Gurudev has lit this lamp and kept it there, the room does not become dark, and I want to see that you keep the lamp alight so that when I leave the room does not become dark.

You must understand what I have told you. So many devotees have come, but you cannot recognise them, but I know everyone, I know everyone's face and where each of them comes from, I can tell it about every single person here. I can tell where they live, who they are, etc. because there is love, there is a heart to heart connection. This is not a one day relationship—this is a birth after birth relationship...

In Gurudev's time, I would go to Mednipur and Bardhaman, take so many people by hand to the temple and throw them at the lotus feet of Gurudev. I would go village to village and bring so many people here for Gaura Purnima. They came, listened to some Hari-katha and if they had some sukriti, they took shelter at the lotus feet of Gurudev. When I just came to the temple, I would go for the parikrama with a hundred people, but later you saw how many thousands of people went for the parikrama from our old temple in Nabadwip. The place here is small, but still there are so many people here that there is no place in the nat mandir. Anyhow, now we have expanded the territory, so everything is coming gradually, do not worry.

We must practise Krishna consciousness. I will not chant many kirtans today, I will rather speak today—you chanted much kirtan today during the parikrama. We are here now, and we must speak about Prahlad Maharaj. We will be going to many places the day after tomorrow, and when we come here, there will be no time to speak about Prahlad Maharaj, therefore I will speak about him today and tomorrow. I will tell you what is written in Bhagavatam—this is bhajan-siddhanta (the conclusions of devotional life). Prahlad Maharaj taught how to practise Krishna consciousness in Satya-yuga. This is not something invented in this age. When we went to Ahobilam (South India), we saw the place where Lord Nrisinghadev's pastime took place—after defeating Hiranyakasipu in order to protect Prahlad Maharaj, Lord Nrisinghadev came here to take rest. All the great munis, rishis and all the demigods reside here; they are here even now. This is such a pure land. We can only see great buildings, wood, stone, etc. with these material illusory eyes, but this is not what this place really is. Why did the Lord come here after killing Hiranyakasipu in Ahobilam? Because He knew that Gauranga Mahaprabhu would come here in Kali-yuga. This was a hint. Satya-yuga was so many million years ago! Every yuga lasts so many thousands of years—there is Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga, and then only Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga's duration is 432,000 years, and only a little over five thousand years have passed, so much is still left.

Anyhow, I will not take more time now. We will chant Gurudev's kirtan and then Dasavatara Stotram. [His Divine Grace chants kirtans.]

 

— : • : —

 

 

 

 

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Recognising Guru: What Is Your Obstacle?
'Brother, you see Bhakti Vinod Thakur as your father, but I see him as my spiritual master. That is the difference. What you see is a father (baba), and that is the obstacle (badha) that prevents you from getting Radharani (Radha).'

 

Jaya jaya gurudever
'In the sky of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, you are the sun-like Acharya. You are always fond of service, and your voice is sweet.'
জয় জয় গুরুদেবের

Gurudev can see everything—if somebody thinks Gurudev cannot see any more,
this is a misconception.

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