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First Section

Lectures by His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj


 

CHAPTER ONE

Utilising Our Fortune

 

By the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu we are all now present at His place of Pastimes, Sri Nabadwip Dham, a very auspicious and transcendental place. Mahaprabhu appeared in Sri Mayapur and played here in the nine islands of Nabadwip: Antardwip, Simantadwip, Godrumadwip, Madhyadwip, Koladwip, Modadrumadwip, Jahnudwip, and Rtudwip. These are the nine islands and everywhere here Mahaprabhu's Pastimes are going on, they are eternal. Vrindavan Das Thakur said:

adyapiha chaitanya ei saba lila kare
ya'ra bhagye thake se dekhaye nirantare

Those pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are still going on, and those who are very fortunate can see that through their transcendental vision. Everything is always covered by illusion, Maya, and to our eyes this Nabadwip Dham is also covered by that illusion. There are two types of Maya: Yogamaya and Mahamaya. Yogamaya is always giving nourishment to her Lord, whereas Mahamaya prevents any disturbance from entering that plane.

Our soul is now covered by illusion: we are attracted by the Chaya-sakti, the shadow-power of Krishna, therefore we now live far from that transcendental world. But when Krishna bestows His mercy upon our head, Maya will remove the illusion from us and we will be able to see the transcendental Dham and we shall also be able to serve there.

The Maya-sakti is very heavy for us because we are very tiny souls. She is always attracting us through her illusion. In one way, it is for our rectification, no doubt, but it is not a happy position for the conditioned souls. However, we will get relief from this environment if we try to know our position and what Krishna consciousness is. If we do this, then by the mercy of Krishna and His devotee we will get strength to come out from the illusory environment, and, when we try, Krishna will help us. That assistance comes to us through His devotees.

Everything comes through the proper channel. Sometimes direct mercy comes from the upper level, but normally, or generally, it comes through the established proper channel:

sadhu-sastra-krpaya yadi krsnonmukha hay
sei jiva nistare, maya tahare chhadaya

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 20.120

The mercy of the sadhu and Guru takes us to the transcendental level. When we can stand firm in our position there, then Maya Devi will leave us. It is necessary to try to preach this type of conception. As much as we have it ourselves, we are to distribute this clear vision and give it to others. Everywhere there is some possibility, from the lowest level up to the highest; everyone can try to give some good to others. Actually our only life's goal is Krishna consciousness, and it is coming through sadhu, Guru and Vaishnav. It comes from their mercy through our sincere activity of service to them.

You are fortunate to be connected with such knowledge. Somehow or other, you have received some experience and inspiration, and that is why you have come here, and you are trying to increase your mood of devotion as much as possible. Many devotees constantly feel disturbances from many things. From within themselves they are subject to kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya: lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, and jealousy. The only way to gain relief from such a position has been given by Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu:

vacho vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

Sri Upadesamrta, 1

It is necessary to try to control these tendencies within us, and it is only possible through service. When the mood of eternal service to Krishna reveals itself in our heart, then everything else will leave us. At that time our intention will always be directed only for the service of Sri Guru, Vaishnav.

The scriptures say: sadhu-sanga! A sadhu is one who is a perfect servitor. He is always engaged in service to Krishna with his full energy. One who has no desire for himself or anything except service to Krishna—he is a real sadhu. Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita says:

krsna-bhakta—niskama, ataeva 'santa'
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami—sakali 'asanta'

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.149

Asanta means people who are always disturbed by the illusory environment. However, one can automatically get relief from the reactions of his bad activities if he can have no desire for his own purpose but can constantly try to give satisfactory service to sadhu, Guru, and Vaishnav.

Many of our friends always feel disturbances from their mundane activities, but they can control them very easily; the method is to try very intensely and exclusively to engage themselves in service to Guru and the Vaishnavs. Such service goes directly to Krishna. If they try in that way, they will get relief from the illusory environment.

We are always between hopefulness and hopelessness! Hope comes when we are correcting ourselves in line with the transcendental world, but when we are disconnected from that level, then a hopeless position comes to us. It is, therefore, always necessary to keep connection with that transcendental level, and if we try in the way of service we will gain relief very easily.

kama esa krodha esa, rajoguna-samudbhavah
maha-sano maha-papma, viddhy enam iha vairinam

Srimad Bhagavad-gita 3.37

There are three kinds of qualities or modes of nature (gunas) always playing within our body and mind: satva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Of these, satva-guna sometimes can give a good result for our practising life, but the true practising life is mainly beyond the three qualities of nature, and that is called nirguna. Krishna advised in Srimad Bhagavad-gita: "You always try to stay in the level of nirguna where these three, satva- guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna, have no play."

Satva-guna can give us auspiciousness and take our mind to an auspicious level, but Krishna consciousness lives beyond even that. Attachment to Krishna is necessary. Rupa Goswami Prabhu quoted:

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate

Hankering is the main thing necessary to gain that transcendental knowledge. When that will reveal itself in our heart fully, other disturbances will automatically leave us, just as when the sun rises in the East, all darkness is dispelled from our section of the Earth. So it is necessary for us to have hankering for Krishna-bhakti.

We can see in the Vedas many varieties of auspicious practising moods. The Vedanta, Puranas, Upanisads, etc. are all always indicating the nirguna plane and trying to take us to that level. If we cannot stay in that nirguna level we will not receive the full result, therefore our activity, mood, and everything, whether viddhi or raga, should always be such as to try to take us to that higher level. But we must want it, then we can go there, otherwise not.

bhukti-mukti-sprha yavat
pisachi hrdi vartate
tavad bhakti-sukhasyatra
katham abhyudayo bhavet

When attachment and attraction for mundane things live within our heart, they are called pisachi, witches. If witches have us under their spell, then how can Krishna-bhakti live there? Srila Rupa Goswami says it is not possible. Still, if we try with our best mood of service to attain that position, we must get it. It may be sudden or it may be after a long time, but if we try we must get that position, there is no doubt. That attempt is called sadhana. Sadhana is 'the means to the end.' Generally our sadhana guides us to the upper level, and prevents us from falling down to a lower level.

Sravanam-kirtanam, etc. is bhakti-sadhana, but other kinds of sadhana exist under the guidance of different departments of Vedic knowledge, such as yoga-sadhana, jnana-sadhana, karma-sadhana, etc. The intention of all these types of practice is to take us to a higher position. But the topmost position, and the actual need for our supreme transcendental benefit, is only bhakti-yoga. Without bhakti-yoga, other kinds of sadhana such as bhukti or mukti cannot give us the proper result. So if we try to practise sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, vandanam, etc.—the nine kinds of bhakti-sadhana—under the guidance of a proper sadhu, then we will easily receive the good result.

This navadha-bhakti-pith is Nabadwip Dham. Each of the nine islands of Nabadwip gives some special facility for our practising life. This place, Koladwip, is called pada-sevana ksetra, the place where we can gain direct connection with Krishna through the worship of His lotus feet. But if we really want that then we should sincerely try to get it through the expert—then easily we can have His connection.

In the scriptures we can see that Krishna's devotee always tries to satisfy the devotees. That position is the supermost position, but at present we are living in another position, that is, mano-jagat, which means the mental world; and that mental world has grown up from the Maya-jagat, the illusory environment. First we must try to disconnect ourselves from the mental world, and fully surrender to Krishna, then we will receive help from Him.

krsna yadi krpa kare kona bhagyavane
guru-antaryami-rupe sikhaya apane

From Krishna comes inspiration to attain the transcendental world. He will send a sadhu, a Guru, a Vaishnav, and through them we will receive some light and strength—easily we shall be able to practise with their help, and attain our destination. There is no doubt that all of you here are fortunate to have a connection with the transcendental world and to have hankering, otherwise why would you have come here? You must try to achieve that transcendental plane through your mood of service, and you will get it very easily if you try in the proper way. The proper way is to satisfy Guru and the Vaishnavs.

When Srila Guru Maharaj established this Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math he simply wanted a place to practise devotional life along with a very few followers. But now it has grown in a very big way, and day by day in order to help others, it is growing bigger. But the line of Srila Guru Maharaj is a very exclusive devotional line.

If we want to serve Srila Guru Maharaj exclusively and not see anything else, we will be relieved of all troubles. We must try to serve Guru very attentively, for only then will we get that chance, otherwise we will be cheated. Srila Guru Maharaj was very simple-hearted. He did not want to cheat anyone, and that is why he did not make many complications. In his life he only showed Krishna and Krishna-bhakti. We are also trying to proceed within the line of his vision, but if his mercy will not act within us, we will not get that. So in an exclusive way we must try to satisfy Srila Guru Maharaj. Then he will be very happy.

Under the guidance of our mind we may try many things, but that is not really bhakti. Our mind is always going this way and that way. The fickle and mad mind can do anything, but a good result will not always come from that. If we do good things then a good result will come to us, if we do not, then a bad result will come to us; such is our position. We will gain relief from the illusory environment only if in an exclusive way we try to follow our Gurudev.

Many people can say many things, also the sastras are very vast! All the scriptures are full of knowledge, no doubt, but they are so vast that we cannot discover from them what is good for us. But the sadhu, Guru and the Vaishnavs simply try to satisfy Krishna, and if we follow them, we will easily get the full result of all scriptural advice. Therefore we shall try to proceed in a simple way. Mahaprabhu has also instructed us that it is not necessary to do many things—just chant Hare Krishna, engage in Vaishnav-seva and do prasad-seva:

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavat-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana
sakala-sadhana-srestha ei pancha anga
krsna-prema janmaya ei panchera alpa sanga

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 22.128, 129

Try to satisfy the servitors of Krishna and you will easily receive the result—Krishna-prema, through them. This path is very simple—chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, and engage in Vaishnav-seva. Do not look this side or that, but give your attention only to the service of Gurudev and the Vaishnavs, and that will be helpful for you.

Devotee: In the West one of the most common questions the devotees ask is how they can have a service connection. What service can they do? We tell them that they can help the Math in various ways and give some service donation and in this way engage themselves in connection with here. But especially in the West, life is very full and there is always the opportunity of complete engagement in Maya—there are newspapers, television, radio, etc. The devotees have their work, their family, and so many things. So they want to know how they can feel they have a constant seva connection, some bhakti connection going on daily. As well as giving to and helping the Central Math, what can they do?

Srila Govinda Maharaj: I am thinking they know better than myself—that is, they are doing it, and they are trying to serve! Still, it is true: how will they feel connected? In which way will they serve? And what is that service?

It is necessary first to surrender to Sri Guru and the Vaishnavs, and second, to follow their directives. Service is: "What they advise me to do—I will do that." And, what is necessary for the satisfaction of Guru? Guru always gives some instructions to the disciple and if the disciple tries to serve his Guru accordingly then he will receive the desired result. If my Guru says, "You preach village to village," if I go village to village, that will be service for me. If Gurudev says, "You try to make a centre here for preaching Krishna consciousness," and I try to do that with heart and soul, that is my practising life. Everything depends on the satisfaction of Guru.

In the same way, where there is no Guru present but other Vaishnavs are there, service to the Vaishnav will also go to Guru, and he will be pleased by that. The Guru must be perfect, otherwise the result will not come out perfectly. So when the devotees are working in their country, they should try to follow the instructions of Guru. They will try within their circumstances to do as much as possible for the satisfaction of Guru and Vaishnav. Otherwise, what will they do?

Everyone everywhere spends their life for eating, sleeping, enjoying, fearing and protecting themselves, and then dying—taking birth and dying. But that is not really life.

Real life is that we can do something of eternal value. If anyone can do something in connection with the eternal world, they will receive an eternal result. That connection comes through transcendental knowledge, consciousness and activity; so we have no other way than to follow the instructions of Guru.

If I think the eternal life is good, and I want it, I must follow my instructor. If he is a perfect devotee, what he will say will be good for me; otherwise, if my instructor is not perfect, the result also may not be good.

So, East or West, South or North, everywhere it is necessary to follow Gurudev as perfectly as possible. 'Follow' means that his order is sufficient for me: "Do this, and you'll be satisfied." But strong faith is necessary there, otherwise it will not be possible to follow in a perfect way.

Everything is connected with faith. The Guru is connected with the faithful plane, and when he gives that connection to his disciple, that is also within the faithful plane. Otherwise, so many things can give an auspicious result and a pious future birth, but bhakti is not of that character.

bhaktis tu bhagavat-bhaktah sangena parijayate

It will grow with the activity of the atma, so now our activity will be to follow the practitioner's life.

Srila Swami Maharaj—Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad—said, "First you chant the maha-mantra without counting, then chant by counting on beads, then take Harinam. Before taking Harinam you must first practise for six months or one year." But actually this is not the real position of the practitioner. The real process is that when you get the beads from a perfect Guru, from there you will get the power of the mantra—the maha-mantra—and his order will give you strength to chant. If you engage attentively in that chanting, you will get a good result. But when he wanted to advise the general mass to chant, but they did not know anything— they had not even heard 'Hare Krishna' before—what was he to do? Some sort of practising was necessary.

When a young boy first tries to write something, he just makes a mark or a line, then he gradually gains some finer control of his hand and soon we can see an 'A' or a 'B' taking its proper form. Srila Swami Maharaj tried to encourage the Westerners in this way, and no doubt it is one kind of process. It depends upon the mood of the practitioners, and if they will get some clear feelings then immediately they will try to chant the maha-mantra perfectly, and at that time help will come from the upper level—Krishna will help in the form of Guru.

So for one who is very active and tries always to be engaged, the instructions of Guru give some work to him, and through that work his mood to practise and increase his bhakti-yoga will develop. That work can itself immediately be in the category of bhakti-yoga. If someone can practise properly, and if his inner hankering wants that, immediately that job can be transformed into bhakti.

Everything depends on the mood of the devotee. Someone may go for collection, someone else may cook, another may clean, but everything depends on the individual's mood whether it will be karma or bhakti. If someone will follow his Guru's instructions in a surrendered mood, it will be bhakti, otherwise it will be pious karma. If anyone follows the instructions of the scriptures and Guru he will always receive a good result, but that is not necessarily bhakti. It is a big difficulty for everyone if they are not conscious of their purpose. Srila Guru Maharaj always emphasised the word 'consciousness'—everything is living within consciousness.

The result depends on the devotee's mental position. So first he must try to cleanse his heart. Krishna said in Bhagavad-gita:

yat karosi yad asnasi, yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya, tat kurusva mad arpanam

Krishna has clarified everything for us and given us a very easy way: "Everything you do, and everything you want to do—whether eating, sacrificing, going anywhere, etc.—connect everything with Me, then that will be bhakti." First it is necessary to finalise what our need is, and what is the process to achieve it. If we need bhakti-yoga to Krishna, and if we do not want to stay within the illusory environment, and if we feel the necessity to go to the transcendental world—our own home—then with full heart we must try to achieve that. We shall try to search out that place where it is available and whole-heartedly try to follow the instructions we receive there. This is the main thing for everyone, but circumstances can take us in many ways and to many places. We must try to proceed steadily within our track and not allow ourselves to go out of the track. This is our necessity.

Devotee: Maharaj, I have a question. When Srila Prabhupada left the world, many of his disciples in the name of exclusive worship of him went on with their devotional service, but they made many mistakes and their service sometimes went in a wrong way. Later, many persons in the name of exclusive worship of Srila Guru Maharaj also made many mistakes and sometimes their actions went in a wrong way.

So, I want to know from you, what does it mean to serve the uttama-adhikari devotee? Why do those persons make such mistakes, and how can we properly understand the correct position?

Srila Govinda Maharaj: It is in some way coming from one's fortune. One who has good fortune will not leave his track. What he received from his Gurudev, he will try to follow, and his endeavour will always be within the proper track.

Your question is good for everyone: after Srila Swami Maharaj left, why have some of his devotees gone out from their track? Also after Srila Guru Maharaj, some are going out of track. But why?

It depends upon their sukrti—their spiritual fortune. We see that they served Srila Swami Maharaj or they served Srila Guru Maharaj, but actually they did not get the proper way, the real service connection. At that time, however, by the influence of Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj that shortcoming was covered. The disciples did many activities enthusiastically but they actually did not know what devotional service is. When Gurudev disappeared, his influence of covering the shortcoming in the disciples also withdrew with him. At that time some of the devotees got back their previous subtle position, and they became confused. Ultimately it depends upon their own karma, their good fortune, and also the quality of their practising life—these three will contribute towards a good result.

It is necessary for the devotees to know very clearly what they want to practise, then they will not go off the track—and in that also their own good fortune and good activities are necessary, otherwise they will not reach their goal. We must be able to recognise what is what. It is a fact that even when Krishna was present, not everyone could understand Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sisupal and Dantavakra had the chance to be with Krishna, but they could not understand who He was. Also many saw Krishna on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, but they did not understand that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So some fortune must work behind 'seeing'.

After Srila Swami Maharaj left, the illusory environment came with more force. When Krishna left from this mundane world, at that time also the illusory environment again asserted itself strongly. Whenever a great soul disappears, some disturbance is caused by the illusory environment and it tries to catch and conquer the heart of the weak devotees—not only the weak devotees, but the good workers also. It will try to conquer them. But those who are fully surrendered to their Guru will not be captured by that illusion, and those who are good followers will also not fall into that illusion. Those who are not settled within their own track will easily leave their position, and to some degree this has happened.

We can live with a sadhu and take his association, but we may not get real sadhu-sanga merely by living with him. Bugs may live in the bed of a sadhu, lice may even be so close to him that they live in his hair and take his blood, but they are not engaged in sadhu-sanga! So, the unfortunate souls leave the track. Otherwise the true path is a very easy thing.

One instruction Srila Guru Maharaj used to always give me when I first came to him was: "What I shall instruct, you will follow, and what your mind will say, you do not follow." But I thought, "My mind does not always give me bad advice, sometimes it gives good suggestions to me." But Srila Guru Maharaj told me not to follow even what I thought was the good advice of my mind. "That means you must fully depend upon me. My need is that you must fully depend upon me." Srila Guru Maharaj said in this way, "What does your mind tell you? You think it sometimes says good advice and it sometimes says bad. But you are not to follow even the apparently good advice. If you take the association of your mind, you must give some return to him; therefore it is not necessary to take association of your mind, instead take my instruction for yourself."

It is a very easy instruction, but we cannot always follow it, therefore we receive some trouble. When we forget Srila Guru Maharaj's order we receive much trouble. Behind this, two things are acting: one is fortune, and the other is our activity. Good fortune is necessary, and that comes through seva. Good fortune grows through seva. One who can do real seva will receive a good result. However, one who does 'seva' but always thinks about his own interest must be ignored by bhakti, and bhakti will not go to him. He may live so long and stay for many years in the Gaudiya Mission, but he may not get that bhakti.

There are many examples not only in the Gaudiya Mission, but such disturbances can be seen everywhere in history. It is present in Christianity, in Mohammedanism, etc. And in Hinduism there are many channels: Sri Ramanuja, Sankar Acharya, etc.

There is a famous story of how one day Ramanuja Acharya's sannyasi disciples quarrelled over something which appeared very big, but actually was very small. It was a very small matter, but they quarrelled fiercely. Someone had moved around the clothes the sannyasis were to wear. One of them became very disturbed and a quarrel began. Ramanuja then showed through the example of a grhastha devotee how one should serve his Guru. In the scriptures we can see this and many other examples. Sankar Acharyya also showed a similar example.

Actually, our spiritual journey depends upon clear consciousness. One who has some clear consciousness from his Guru will not leave the track; otherwise everyone has some possibility of deviating.

It is necessary to stay within the proper line of knowledge. We must have the conviction, "We shall follow our Guru blindly." We hear from many places that, 'What our Guru gave is sufficient; it is not necessary to take advice from others.' And it is mainly very true. If I have no big idea, and no big, wide vision, then I must follow my Gurudev in a very simple way. Sometimes that will work very nicely, but it is not always true—because if a Guru says one thing, or gives one advice, then there is no doubt that if there are five disciples, each will take it in a slightly different way. Each of their minds will play upon that idea in a slightly different manner, so they will understand it in five ways. Maybe in the beginning they were not very different from each other, but whatever small differences exist will become more prominent as it comes down through three or four generations. By that time it may even become completely separate from Sri Gurudev's conception. Srimad Bhagavatam has mentioned:

evam prakrti-vaichitryat bhidyante matayo-nrnam
paramparyena kesanchit pasanda-matayo pare

Srila Guru Maharaj has given a very good example of this: thesis, antithesis and synthesis. When Guru gives some knowledge, that is the thesis, but when that knowledge has come out from Gurudev, an antithesis must also come out from some other quarter. With the thesis, the antithesis will also grow, side by side. And synthesis comes when both will come into harmony. The synthesis then becomes established as the thesis, and again an antithesis will grow to oppose it. In this way, if five disciples hear from one Guru, five kinds of ideas will grow. Their ideas also depend upon their sukrti. If they do not go off the track we can say they have good sukrti, and that sukrti comes through their service. Therefore Srila Guru Maharaj said, "What I shall instruct, you follow that, and what your mind will say, do not follow it!"

It was for this reason that Srila Guru Maharaj did not recommend us to read many things. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur also discouraged much reading. Also, especially for those in the Math, there is no excess time for reading. Our time is all service time. There is no excess time in our hand, so how shall we try to earn 'other knowledge' and how can we spend our time for collecting that knowledge?

Someone is studying in Sanskrit, someone in Bengali, someone else is studying in English—and spending time. They are showing a post-dated cheque, that "After getting that knowledge I shall serve!" But before that it is possible you may die, so why do you not think like that? Therefore Srila Guru Maharaj did not give us the chance to study.

At first Srila Guru Maharaj did give some chance to me because I was unqualified. Srila Guru Maharaj gave me some opportunity to study, but when some proper knowledge came to me, Srila Guru Maharaj said it was sufficient: "It is not necessary to read more, now you do seva."

We tried to do seva as much as possible, heart and soul, and we saw that gradually everything was revealing itself in our heart. We are not trying to collect knowledge from the scriptures. I read Sri Brahma-samhita only a few years ago, but I joined over forty-five years ago! It was just during the last days of Srila Guru Maharaj that I read Brahma-samhita.

One day I put the question to Srila Guru Maharaj: "Maharaj, in which way does the jiva-soul come out from the tatastha-sakti?" I heard the reply many times, but I could not catch it, so I again questioned Srila Guru Maharaj: "The creation of the world and the creation of the jivas—in which way does it happen, Maharaj? Again please explain this to me."

Srila Guru Maharaj said, "Oh-oh, have you not read Brahma-samhita?" I replied, "No, Guru Maharaj, I have not read it." I knew many slokas from Brahma-samhita, having heard them from Srila Guru Maharaj, but I had not read the book. Then Srila Guru Maharaj said, "Read it and you will see the answer to your question very clearly explained there in the first section." He also gave a brief explanation.

That question was very difficult. The jiva-soul is transcendental, but the Maya-sakti produces material things. Her activity is always within the material world but the jiva is transcendental, and Krishna is transcendental. So in which way can the transcendental and material combine together to produce the creation? That was the question. But Srila Guru Maharaj replied with this sloka: tal-lingam bhagavan sambhuh. Krishna throws the vision, and prakrti is impregnated— mayadhaksena prakrtih, suyate sa-characharam (Bg. 9.10). And in the middle position, that 'throwing' is done by Sambhu. That is his position.

Srila Guru Maharaj instructed, "Read Brahma-samhita, you will be able to see everything explained there." And when I read Brahma-samhita I was surprised to see: "Oh, all knowledge is inside this book, but I did not read it before. The whole of the knowledge that Srila Guru Maharaj is giving us—everything is contained here." Then the idea came to me that we must try to publish this Sri Brahma-samhita and we shall distribute it to everyone.

Actually, Srila Guru Maharaj emphasised service to Guru and the Vaishnavs, and by their mercy that knowledge will reveal itself in our heart. We can say that now we know something of the news of the transcendental world. 'Know' means 'feel.' We can say we have some feeling, and by following the process you must also get those feelings.

I believe that everyone has some feelings, otherwise they cannot come in this line, especially in the Math of Srila Guru Maharaj—the line of Srila Guru Maharaj. The devotees have feelings, but perhaps they cannot always feel them clearly. Feelings must sometimes come to all of you, otherwise it is not possible to remain in this devotional track. But the main thing in the teachings of Srila Guru Maharaj is to serve the Vaishnavs, and to follow your Guru; in this way you will get everything.

Many disciples of Srila Swami Maharaj lived within his Mission. When they came in the line of Sriman Mahaprabhu they were very fortunate no doubt, but later their activities sometimes caused them much trouble. Sometimes they did not know what was what and sometimes they did not receive guidelines directly from their Guru. They had heard some things, but not others, so they lost the proper devotional temperament, and what they were doing began to go in the chamber of karma, but not in the chamber of seva. In that way they thought, "We are satisfied. This is transcendental knowledge!"—easily some of them were cheated by Maya.

One who always thinks, "There exists more than this, and I need that," and who always tries to search for it and tries to get it, such a person will not be cheated.

In the time of Srila Swami Maharaj, everything went on under his influence, and at that time very few could understand what their actual position was. He said, "I am ISKCON; you follow me," and they tried to follow him but they did not know which part they should follow, this part or that part! As his mission became larger, the devotees' mood of service was not always steady. It was a great difficulty for many of them. Sometimes they were very sad, sometimes very enthusiastic— many stages are there. The different stages a devotee goes through are given in the Scriptures: utsaha-mayi, ghana-tarala, vyudha-vikalpa, visaya-sangara, niyamaksama, taranga-rangini.

In the beginning the practitioners feel much enthusiasm and do many types of service, but later their service mood goes flat. Then some wave may come in their mind and by that wave some mood of suspicion arises. After that comes some connection with the plane of mundane enjoyment, and, side by side with it, a connection with the transcendental world. They then become somewhat confused. Crossing that stage, first nistha, steadiness, and then ruci, taste, comes and they gain more strength. At that stage all hindrances go behind them and they can proceed steadily. These stages of devotion are explained in the scriptures.

So, we may feel or see outwardly that someone may be doing seva, service, but it is not always actual service. Seva gives more seva, so why is more seva not coming? Seeing the symptoms, we can say that some were not doing actual seva, therefore after the disappearance of Srila Swami Maharaj and Srila Guru Maharaj they underwent some difficulty.

We must be conscious, therefore, about our position and about our service, then we will not be deviated from our position. But even if some deviation does come, if we are sincere we can emerge from that position also.

bhumau skhalita-padanam, bhumir evavalambanam
tvayi jataparadhanam, tvam eva saranam prabho

When a baby tries to walk, he sometimes falls down on the ground, but by taking help from the ground, again he tries, and after a few days he can walk very easily. Not only that, but after growing up more he will be able to run very fast. He gets everything; but first he must try, otherwise he will not gain anything.

When we live within this body, there is the possibility of deviation everywhere. Deviation will not come to attack us if we do not listen to the demands of our mental and physical bodies—otherwise, deviation is possible for everyone.

 

⇐ FOREWORD

CHAPTER TWO ⇒
"On the Way to Sri Puri Dham"

 

CONTENTS:

Foreword

FIRST SECTION
Chapter 1:
Utilising Our Fortune
Chapter 2:
On the Way to Sri Puri Dham
Chapter 3:
On the Way to Sri Vrindavan Dham
Chapter 4:
Within the Holy Dham
Chapter 5:
The Land of Spiritual Gems
Chapter 6:
Sweet Service, Service, Service

SECOND SECTION
Chapter 7:
Hand-carved Gems

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