Second Discourse: Lessons in Giving
Srila Guru Maharaj many times explained that wealth is for Narayana, women are for Krishna, and fame is for Gurudeva. There is a very nice saying in Bengali: guru gana sire punah sobha paya sata guna—whatever fame may come to me, if I immediately transfer that to the lotus feet of my Guru, then in an exalted and glorious way it will shine and I shall also be within its rays. So always we must try to offer ourselves to our Guru; and the Guru's nature is that he always sends everything immediately to the lotus feet of his Guru, and in this way through the preceptorial line everything very quickly reaches Krishna.
In Sanskrit logic it is said: "satapatra vedhah—nyaya," if a needle is passed through a pile of a hundred leaves, it must go through the leaves one at a time no doubt, but it is apparently instantaneous. The time difference between the needle penetrating each leaf is practically uncountable, but still there is a difference. Similarly when we receive some fame or anything else, if we offer that in the proper place then it will go practically instantaneously through the line of succession to Krishna. The proper place is that women are for Krishna, wealth is for Narayana, and fame is for Gurudeva. In the ultimate sense Guru is Radharani and by giving fame to Guru it quickly goes by the process of satapatra vedhah—nyaya directly to Srimati Radharani. The light coming from that world will in turn make us also exalted.
Tachchatmane prati mukhasya yatha mukhasrih—if you put tilak on your forehead, you will immediately see in the mirror the presence of the tilak. In that way if you put everything through your beloved Lord, that will immediately come back to you and you will be exalted with that. This is a very nice example given to us in Srimad Bhagavatam.
So we shall try to satisfy our Gurudeva—it is the only way. But the Guru must be genuine, and he must be always offering obeisances to his Guru. There is only this one main qualification: who is a hundred percent surrendered to his Guru, he can become Guru. The other qualifications are minor, such as the sixty-four kinds of activities of practising life, etc.
Prahlada Maharaj said:
sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
The meaning of this is that there are nine principle processes of devotional service [hearing about Krishna; chanting about Him; remembering Him; serving His lotus feet; worshipping Him; offering Him payers; serving Him as a servant; becoming His friend; and fully surrendering to Him], but the super-qualification is dedication. With dedication, whatever one does will come out in the form of transcendence. For example, there may be so many flowers in a garden but they do not have any special value for us. However, if one flower is put to the hand or to the lotus feet of the Deity, we shall take that flower respectfully upon our head. Why? A flower is a mundane thing, but when we offer it to the lotus feet of Krishna it assumes a worshipful position.
If we offer ourselves to our Guru he will not keep us for his convenience but he will send us to Krishna. He does not keep any of the energy we surrender to him, but all of it he sends on through his Guru and therefore by the process of "satapatra vedhah—nyaya" it reaches Krishna. From there mercy comes back in another form to the giver and duly glorifies him also. In this way mercy comes down from above, and that mercy is transcendental knowledge.
Actually we cannot worship Krishna with anything mundane, therefore when we go to worship the Deity we say mantrams. Before offering a flower we put some Ganges water on it and recite the mantram:
puspe puspe maha-puspe supuspe puspa sambhave
Also when we take water in a pot for the Lord's worship we recite another mantram in order to make that water transcendental:
gange cha yamune chaiva godavari saraswati
By this same means we also transform ourselves with appropriate meditation accompanied by the mantram:
divya sri hari-mandiradya tilakam
This has the meaning: "I am a servant of the servants of the servants of my Guru Maharaj, may he give his mercy so I can worship his lotus feet, and may he offer me, along with all my energy, to Krishna." This is the way of real archan, real worship.
Actually, with our own energy we cannot fulfil Krishna. Reality is by itself and for itself—He is satisfied with Himself and His own paraphernalia. He feels only a little deficiency in that He needs servitors to serve His servitors. He is eager to fulfil only this one need.
ratna karastava grham grhini cha padma
The devotee wants to offer something to Krishna, but what will he offer? Krishna is also Visnu, and Visnu lives in the ocean of jewels—ratna karastava grham.
The devotee thinks, "What shall I give to Krishna? I have some jewels which I can offer to Him, but it is not sufficient for Him. It cannot satisfy Him because He is living in the ocean where there are so many jewels. Indeed He is the master of jewels!
"Ratna karastava grham grhini cha padma—so then I may want to give some other kind of wealth such as gold or cloth or any other thing from this mundane world which, being necessary here for the maintenance of the family and so on, is considered to be wealth. But the proprietor of all wealth is Laksmi Devi and She is living with Him, Lord Visnu, therefore He also has all wealth."
He has much jewellery, He has all wealth, He even has a whole ocean of condensed milk! So the devotee cannot understand how he can satisfy the Lord.
ratna karastava grham grhini cha padma
"What shall I give to You? You have everything."
Then it comes to the devotee's mind, "Oh, maybe there is one thing not within my Lord's control, and that is His mind! My Lord's mind has been taken by the Gopis." Krishna's mind always searches for the service of the Gopis, in this way He has actually lost His mind: the Gopis took it. Therefore the devotee prays to Krishna, "You have no mind, actually, so please You take my mind unto Your lotus feet, and relish with that."
It is necessary to give Krishna our mind, and by offering it unto His lotus feet we will be glorified. Only this is necessary, but in which way shall we make our offering? Even though Krishna lives within our heart we cannot see Him and we cannot connect with Him directly. Only through the "telescopic system" can we see Him. In the sky there are millions of stars but we cannot see them because we have no such capacity. So it is necessary to gain that ability to see, and this is achieved by means of the "telescopic system." When with proper adjustment we put lenses in a line one after the other, through that lens system we can see something far away. In a similar way the Guru-parampara is our means of seeing Krishna. It is also through that line of Gurus that our service reaches Krishna, and it is accepted by Him immediately. This logic is mentioned in the Sanskrit books and is called "satapatra vedhah—nyaya". We think that service reaches Krishna directly but actually it goes via each successive Guru one by one to Him just as the needle passes through a pile of leaves. It is necessary to offer ourselves to Krishna, but the only way to do so is through Guru. And we must take care to accept a genuine Guru otherwise the needle will be broken. In the Scriptures we can find the symptoms of a real Guru:
krpa-sindhuh su-sampurnah, sarva-sattvopakarakah
"One who is an ocean of mercy, who is fulfilled in all respects, who is possessed of all good qualities, who always works for the benefit of all souls, who is free from lust, who is perfect in all respects, who is well-versed in the Scriptures and who knows the science of Krishna is to be known as a Guru."
This is the qualification of Guru, and we will receive our connection with Krishna by connecting with, and staying connected with, one in whom we find these symptoms.
Whatever we do we must do with sincerity, and that in itself will help to safeguard us. We must be sincere. Sincerity, humility, and tolerance are the necessary qualifications to receive transcendental knowledge. First is sincerity. With sincerity we can get everything, but we really must be sincere otherwise the results will not come. An analogy has been mentioned that as good steel is necessary to make a good weapon, similarly real sincerity is necessary to make a real devotee. Sincerity is the steel of the devotee. We must offer ourselves with our full sincerity. We shall also try to adopt the qualities of humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others.
We must always be humble. Maya will give many tests but we must try to tolerate everything and realise why such things are happening. Furthermore, if we want to remain peacefully we must give honour to others. If we do not disturb others but give honour to them, they will not disturb us. They will think, "This person is very innocent. He is not against me, furthermore he nourishes me by giving me respect, so I must not disturb him."
Mahaprabhu always wants that His devotees have peace in order to practise spiritual life. Such peace is only possible if the devotees are humble and tolerant, and if they give honour to others. The devotee will think, "I do not want to see whether someone is an honourable person or not, but I know my own position is that of an insignificant soul who is aspiring to be a servant of the servants of the servants of Krishna. So if someone wants any honour from me I must immediately give it to him and not give him any chance to think me to be an enemy."
We can see an example in the Pastimes of Srila Rupa Goswami who was approached by a digvijaya pandit, a big world-renowned scholar. Hearing of Rupa Goswami's name and fame he went to him and challenged: "If you cannot defeat me then give me your certificate by signing a statement that you have been defeated by me."
Rupa Goswami thought, "I have no time to talk with that man." He therefore asked, "Where is your paper? I shall sign it." He then wrote to the effect that, "This man is a great pandit and I have been defeated by him," and he signed it. This is the nature of the pure devotees, they do not want to cause disturbance or trouble to others. They are well aware that everything here is a passing show. People think that what they have is their wealth, but we neither know when we shall die nor where we shall go after death. Our duty is to prepare ourselves for the service of Krishna, and that is the real wealth of our lives. Our only shelter is to serve Krishna, therefore we do not want to waste our time with worldly affairs.
This is one mood of the devotees, and another is shown by Jiva Goswami Prabhu. He wanted to rectify that digvijaya pandit, and therefore chastised him: "You went to see Rupa Goswami but you do not know who he is. You think yourself to be a great pandit, but now I consider you to be very foolish. You went to the ocean of ecstasy but you did not receive even one drop of that ecstasy. You went there but came back empty handed, therefore I consider you to be very foolish. You do not know who Rupa Goswami and Sanatan Goswami really are, therefore you went to defeat them. You have made a great offence to them. I am their disciple and if you want to examine me then go ahead, by which you may understand something of their greatness." Anyhow, that digvijaya pandit received the mercy of Jiva Goswami and was defeated by him within a few minutes. He could understand he had made much offence to Rupa and Sanatan, and, by Jiva Goswami's mercy, he left his ego. The pandit immediately returned to Rupa Goswami and Sanatan Goswami and, apologising, took shelter of them. Jiva Goswami was happy that he was able to do some service to his Guru by rescuing this digvijaya pandit from illusion.
Following this incident, Rupa Goswami, in order to teach us, showed some unhappiness towards Jiva Goswami: "You have come here to Vrndavana but now it seems through this incident that you want to acquire mundane fame." This, however, was not the desire of Jiva Goswami, his intention was to glorify his Guru, correct the digvijaya pandit, and bestow mercy upon him. This lesson is from one of the many incidents in the lives of our Acharyas.
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