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Gurudev's Loving Affection

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Disappearance festival of Srila Govinda Maharaj
Siliguri, 24 April 2021, part 7
Translated from Bengali

 

One day, on the poila baisakh (Bengali New Year), Gurudev told, "Come, let's go swimming in the Ganges today!" I went with Gurudev and a few other devotees. Coming to the Ganges, Gurudev took off his uttariya and went into the Ganges. He liked swimming in the Ganges and could swim very well. We also went swimming. Gurudev had a diamond on his arm—some foreign devotee had given it to him, and he always wore it (it must have been worth two-four lakhs rupees, a very expensive stone). When Gurudev went swimming, that diamond got lost in the river. Gurudev told me, "Ganga Devi has taken my diamond! Well, what to do." Then, as Gurudev was coming out of the Ganges, he paid obeisance to the Ganges and suddenly he felt something had hit his leg—he bent to see what it was and saw it was that diamond. He said, "See? Ganga Devi has returned it now." So many miraculous things like this happened to Gurudev.

Gurudev never liked misconception, and he never tolerated misconception. He was also always very frugal—he did not like to waste money, but he would spend money whenever it was necessary. One time, Gurudev told me, "Today I will go to my temple in Hapaniya!" We went to Hapaniya, and on the way, he stopped the car, gave me one hundred rupees and told me to buy some sweets and yoghurt. I got a little late, and when I got back, Gurudev asked me, "Why are you late? You must have been bargaining! Do not bargain, it is not good—when you are buying something for the Deities, do not bargain."

Gurudev also taught me how to distribute prasadam. Gurudev said that when you give prasadam to others, you must look at the face of the person whom you are giving and then judge how much and what to give. Does it mean that you will give more paneer, sweets, etc. to the person who is closes to you? No. If somebody has diabetes, do not give sweet dishes to them, and if somebody likes sweets, give them some extra sweets. Also, you must see who you are giving because a child does not eat as much as an adult person, so if you see a child sitting with his or her mother and give everyone the same amount, then the child will waste prasadam. This is what Gurudev told me. He gave a lot of different advice like that.

Gurudev possessed a lot of supernatural power from above. He could understand what was happening and what was going to happen. He knows everything.

Gurudev loved to eat, and he loved to feed others. He also loved taking prasadam together with all the Vaishnavs. I saw when he was making Srila Sridhar Maharaj's disappearance or appearance festivals in the early days, he always liked to take prasadam with all the devotees. At that time, the big prasadam hall had not been made, and Gurudev always took prasadam with the devotees—with the other sannyasis and brahmacharis. When Gurudev went to Puri, he gave Vaishnav-seva inviting Vaishnavs from all temples and giving prasadam to everyone.

Gurudev could tolerate so many things, but the only thing he could never tolerate was any disrespect towards his Guru Maharaj. He has zero tolerance when it came to any abuse or disrespect towards his Guru Maharaj. He did not tolerate it when anyone said anything untoward about his Guru Maharaj. Such was his love for his Gurudev.

During various festivals, when I invited Vaishnavs from other Gaudiya Maths, Gurudev would always take a very good care of them. He would always ask what was being cooked, how much prasadam was being distributed, if everybody was happy with their prasadam or not. He would ask everything. Not only that, he would also send his servitor to see if the Vaishnavs were getting nice prasadam or not, to see what was going on in the prasadam hall, if everyone was taking prasadam properly or not. Gurudev's servitor would go there, check and then come back and report everything to Gurudev. Gurudev always took a great care about that. Gurudev managed and took care of everything. He would also tell me to buy chaunsa mango for Srila Guru Maharaj's disappearance festival and distribute it to everyone...

One time, Gurudev told me, "Can you come with me?" I foolishly asked Gurudev, "Where?" Then Gurudev told me, "This is not 100% surrender." I remember all these things Gurudev told me... Gurudev also said that when your Guru chastises you, that is his blessing, his mercy. I myself realised and understood it gradually too. I could understand how much I loved and cherished Gurudev's chastisement. If somebody asks me what is necessary for us in our spiritual life, I will say that the only thing that is necessary is your Guru's chastisement. Sri Sivananda Sen understood it, Sri Jagadananda Pandit understood it, and Srila Sanatan Goswami also realised what is called Guru and Vaishnav's blessing in the world of devotion. It is a blessing when your Guru chastises you. We always pray that Gurudev may teach us how to live and serve properly. My Gurudev's chastisement used to be there in my life, but now I do not have such a fortune—who will chastise me now? Gurudev's chastisement was always very loving and affectionate...

I remember also another thing. I do not know how Gurudev knew it, but somehow he knew that I never drink milk. I always fed the cows, took care of the cows and served the cows at the goshala, but I could never drink milk. So, Gurudev allowed me to take chhana (curd)—he asked a servitor to give me curd in the evening. I was junior at that time, I had come to the temple maybe one-two months before, so all the senior devotees were very surprised, "He has not been here for even two months and he is getting curd?! We have been at the temple for ten-thirty years, but we never get any curd!" The person who was distributing prasadam said, "Do not ask me, this is an order from above—this is High Commander's order." Then everybody kept quiet—it was Gurudev's order, so they had no say in the matter.

I remember in 2005 I had to go for an operation. I had a stone in my gall bladder and having tolerated, tolerated, and tolerated for a long time I finally thought it was not good and sought medical help. I took some money some devotees had given me, and went to Chennai for the operation. I needed 50,000 rupees, but I only took 15,000. Gurudev ordered his secretary to immediately arrange for the money and send it to me, he said, "I do not know how you will do it, but you must arrange and send the money to him." The money he sent was also not sufficient, and then he sent more money through Sripad Puri Maharaj from Puri (he already expired). Gurudev told me, "Do not worry how much money it takes, as much as it is necessary, you must stay there, do not come back—once your operation has finished, then you can come back." Then, the operation took place and the next day I immediately took a train and came back to the temple. Gurudev was astounded, "What is this?! What a foolish boy you are! You had an operation just yesterday—you should have come back by flight, why did you have to take a train? And why did you come back so soon? They have not even taken out the bandages after the operation!" I told Gurudev, "It is OK, I will take them out myself." (And that was true—when it began to itch, I took all the bandages and plaster myself.) Gurudev said, "What a strange, astonishing man you are!" I said, "Gurudev, what will I do there? I do not like to stay outside the temple." Gurudev said, "All right, but you had an operation only yesterday. Why was it necessary to come today? And you came by train, in the sleeper class! What is this?!" I said, "Why is it necessary to spend more money? Aeroplane, A/C ticket—it is not necessary. I came in the sleeper class happily." Then Gurudev said, "Oh, happily?!" This is the kind of affection, this is the kind of love I received from Gurudev. Who can understand his love and affection? You cannot understand it just by taking initiation...

 

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'Please Forgive My Offence'
'Everybody is different, and ego can come easily through some aparadh: service aparadh, Vaishnav aparadh, etc. Actually, when we go too close, it is very difficult, that is why we sing every day, 'Vando muni savadhana mate, I carefully offer my obeisance.''

 

Janama saphala ta'ra
'Beholding Krishna's form, which surpasses the beauty of a sapphire, beneath a kadamba, my heart was overwhelmed. My feet could not move. I forgot the world.'
জনম সফল তা'র

If we depend on ourselves, we feel unhappy when something happens in our life,
but a surrendered soul is never unhappy.

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