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Sincerity and Chastity

 


Spoken by Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
on 13 March 2007

 

 

asat-sanga-tyaga,—ei vaisnava-acara
'stri-sangi'—eka asadhu, 'krsbabhakta' ara

"A Vaishnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to women. Vaishnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.22.87)

We will follow what our Guru Maharaj follows. We do not want to know who is good, who is bad, who is better, who is worse. It is not necessary to criticise others. We will only be chaste to our Guru Maharaj, and we will follow our Guru Maharaj's conception. This is the best. That is clear to me, and Guru Maharaj taught us like that. If we do not follow this, we will deviate. There are different opinions, different conceptions, different principles, and it can divert our mind. We do not want to become like that.

When we are trying to get it, we must consider everything, but once we surrender to our Guru, surrender to Krishna, then Krishna conception will be our practising life, and that is the first step (adau guru-puja). We are very fortunate that we have got a Guru who is learned and steady in Krishna conception. We can say about our Guru Maharaj that we gradually have got so many things, we have got a clear conception by his divine mercy. Then, we will follow that.

You can see this panjika (calendar). How many panjikas are there? One? Two? Three? Four? Five? Many. There must be a hundred panjikas out there, but there is one thing that is very important to know.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur was a great devotee, a famous devotee here in India. He has got this title Siddhanta Saraswati in jyotish sastra (scriptures on astrology) in Banares. When he debated with one great jyotishi (astrologer), he defeated him so strongly that we heard that man (maybe he was an old man) passed stool at that meeting! Siddhanta Saraswati attacked him by jyotish sastra and he could not answer it, so he was completely crushed and defeated in the end. I heard that it was at that meeting that Saraswati Thakur received this title Siddhanta Saraswati. Later, his sannyas name was also Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. Anyhow, Srila Saraswati Thakur was a great jyotishi, there is no doubt about it. Everyone respected him as a great and big jyotishi.

Our Guru Maharaj is also a jyotishi, but he did not show it, so many did not even know what a great jyotishi he was. One day, Guru Maharaj asked Srila Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur, "We see that this panjika offers the finest calculation available today. Why do we not follow it?"

Srila Saraswati Thakur gave a very fanatic answer. He said, "Yes, I know this calculation is good, I know it is better than PM Bagchi, but Bhaktivinod Thakur followed PM Bagchi, and we are followers of Bhaktivinod Thakur, so we follow PM Bagchi."

This means that PM Bagchi is externally less accurate than Visuddhasiddhanta calculation, but Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur accepted PM Bagchi. This is a very serious topic. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur followed PM Bagchi, and Visuddhasiddhanta was not there at that time. Visuddhasiddhanta appeared in my time, but PM Bagchi existed before that. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur followed PM Bagchi, Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur also followed PM Bagchi; this is natural. However, when Visuddhasiddhanta come out, it appeared that its calculation is better (more accurate) than PM Bagchi. So, Srila Guru Maharaj asked Srila Prabhupad, "We see this calculation is better than PM Bagchi, then why do we not follow it?" And Srila Saraswati Thakur gave a clean and clear answer, "We are not followers of Visuddhasiddhanta or PM Bagchi. We are followers of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. Bhaktivinod Thakur follows this, and I do not care whether it is wrong or right. He is a jyotishi, and he knows everything, about calculation or anything else. We are followers of Bhaktivinod Thakur, and if Bhaktivinod Thakur follows PM Bagchi, I follow PM Bagchi too."

Srila Guru Maharaj was extremely happy to hear that. We cannot judge our Guru. We have no right to do that. Before taking a Guru, we have a right to consider, "Am I going the right way or the wrong way? Is this guru good or bad?" However, when we have taken initiation and surrendered to our Guru, that surrender must not be just for show. Surrender must be pure. I always tell our friends, "Chastity and sincerity will give you a superposition." A person may be very bad or very good, this is not a factor—if the person has chastity and sincerity, they will win the race! This is a fact. My feelings, my experience, and so many other things are behind this. That is why I always tell about it to my friends. There is no other way to get Krishna consciousness.

I was thinking this morning: there are so many rules and regulations, so many finest points in realisation about Krishna consciousness. We know something because we have studied scriptures (many Puranas, Mahabharata, Vedanta Darsan, some Vedas also, etc.). We have gained so many realisations, but it was actually not my desire to do that. I was very lazy to read, but Guru Maharaj forced me to read. He even told me to learn a little jyotishi. He wanted to make me an all-rounder. Anyhow, Guru Maharaj accepted everything, good or bad, and gave his own conception—he pushed everything into my computer. I was surprised to see that even the lines on my hand have changed completely. I do not know how it is possible, it is beyond my understanding, but still, it did happen, it is the truth. I know that because Srila Guru Maharaj's strong desire was there over all my existence, so everything happened as he wanted.

So, I was thinking this morning: is it necessary to gain so many realisations or not? Finally, I see that it is not necessary. It is necessary to gain some consciousness and study for those who want to preach Krishna consciousness to general public and general sincere seekers. Otherwise, it is not necessary to study so many scriptures for practising life. We will follow "mahajano yena gatah sa panthah": the footsteps of great personalities. If I see the activities and behaviour my Guru Maharaj or his like-minded Godbrothers show, it is sufficient for me to follow Krishna consciousness. However, if I am a preacher, then it is necessary for me to have some knowledge about scriptures; otherwise, I will not be able to answer others. It is necessary to be able to give an answer because if you are not people will not be satisfied and they will not listen to you. So, it is necessary to study scriptures for some.

We see that, from the first to the eighteenth chapter, Srimad Bhagavad-gita gives Krishna consciousness that is fully enlightened with devotion, bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is everywhere in it. Generally, we know that this chapter is for bhakti-yoga, this chapter is for jnana-yoga, this chapter is for karma-yoga, etc., and it is also written like that externally, but what is there inside? When I translated Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Srila Guru Maharaj always guided me, and I saw this sloka:

durena hy avaram karma, buddhi-yogad dhananjaya
buddhau saranam anvichchha, krpanah phala-hetavah

O Dhananjaya, (fruitive) action is far inferior to this yoga of wisdom; those motivated by the fruits of their actions are misers. Therefore, seek refuge in the selfless wisdom of equanimity.

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 2.49)

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is a very fine translator, and from the first chapter to the eighteenth chapter, he pushed the conception of buddhi-yoga (yoga of wisdom). Buddhi-yoga has some covers, but he wanted to show it exclusively under the guidance of bhakti-yoga. This is how we understand that nothing can exist without bhakti, devotion.

Scriptures are for brahmans, it is true, and scriptures are also necessary for the society. However, when once a brahman went to a deer hunter who sold meat, he saw a stone on the hunter's scales that turned out to be a Salagram-sila. The brahman said to the hunter, "Oh, you are such a sinner! You are using a Salagram-sila as a weight on your scales!"

"Is it a Salagram-sila? I did not know that!" said the hunter, who was a very simple-hearted man.

"Yes! You have committed a very big sin."

"What am I to do now?"

"Give this sila to me, I will do abhisekh and arrange the puja."

So, the hunter gave that sila to the brahman. The brahman took the Salagram-sila home, make abhisekh, puja, bhoga, arati, everything. In two-three days, he saw a dream. The Salagram-sila took the form of Narayan and said, "Return Me to that deer hunter! I was so happy to swing on his scales every day."

So, brahmanism is true—brahmans' ideal comes from the Vedas, which were given by the Supreme Lord Himself:

chatur-varnyam maya srstam, guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam, viddhy akartaram avyayam

The four social divisions, classified according to the material modes of nature and corresponding activities, are made manifest by Me. Although I am the doer of this, know Me to be the non-doer and unchangeable.

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 4.13)

The Lord has arranged everything, but devotion is there over everything. We can see it here too. That deer hunter was not within the recognised society: there are brahmans, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras, but the hunter was an outcast. Yet, the Salagram-sila was happy with him—the hunter sold meat and used the sila as a weight, but the Salagram-sila got some nourishment by swinging on the scales. It is a fact.

So, all scriptures take us in the direction of devotion. Srila Guru Maharaj was very attracted to Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur's writing and realisation. It is a miracle: Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur translated Srimad Bhagavad-gita into Bengali. There are two ideals: one ideal follows Baladev Vidyabhusan (Vedantik line), and the other ideal follows Vishvanath Chakravarti (Rasik-ranjan Bhasya). Those who taste the ecstasy of Krishna-prema belong to the line of Vishvanath Chakravarti, and the realisation of the Vedanta is the line of Baladeva Vidyabhusana. So, when Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur translated Srimad Bhagavad-gita into Bengali, he made two bhasyas, one is Vidyad-ranjan, and the other one is Rasik-ranjan. It is a miracle. Srila Guru Maharaj said that there were seven hundred interpretations of Srimad Bhagavad-gita (now there must be more). So, what can one say? There are many interpretations just as there may be many rivers, but all rivers flow to the ocean (samudram apah pravisanti yadvat).

apuryamanam achala-pratistham
samudram apah pravisanti yadvat
tadvat kama yam pravisanti sarve
sa santim apnoti na kama-kami

As the ocean remains full and unchanged though many rivers and streams enter into it, the person of firmly established wisdom attains peace despite all desires entering him. But a person who nurtures desires cannot know peace.

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 2.70)

This sloka is found in Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Although so many rivers enter it, the ocean is never overflowing. Now, the science is saying that the ocean can overflow in the future, but that is the not the matter. Just as all rivers flow into the ocean, everything goes in the devotional line.

I am telling now up to down, but it is actually not like that—everything is going down to up. It is like a slide show: in a slide show, you put the picture upside down, and it shows straight.

urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham,
asvattham prahur avyayam
chhandamsi yasya parnani,
yas tam veda sa veda-vit

It is said in the scriptures that this material world is like a Peepul tree, roots up, branches down, endless yet transient. Its leaves represent the nourishing verses of the Vedas. One who knows this tree is a knower of the Vedas.

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 15.1)

Everything is like that. When we see something, it is reflected as the opposite inside our eyeballs. So, there are two aspects: one is transcendental (spiritual), and the other one is material. We live within both formations, so both ideals (transcendental and material) exist within me. When something is transcendental, it can talk: even a fruit can talk.

Everything is explained very nicely in Srimad Bhagavad-gita. I always say that this book is suitable for us, but there must be a good teacher—otherwise, we will deviate. We do not have much space in our hearts—if raw materials come to our hearts, we will not be able to put refined materials there. We must be conscious about that. So, everything we eat must be digestible and healthy; otherwise, we will lose it—our stomach will be full, but blood not will come through that. It is necessary to understand this. We know what is devotion, what is love and affection. It is necessary to show love and affection with devotion, then it will be very nice. Only devotional life is necessary, nothing else. And in this devotional life, there must be chastity and sincerity. You must be sincere.

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur said,

sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya,
padechhi tomara ghare
tumi ta' thakura, tomara kukura,
baliya janaha more

I have offered everything at Your feet and taken shelter in Your home. You are my Master; please consider me Your dog.

(Saranagati, 19.1)

Submission and dedication—that is the religion of the jiva soul. You will get everything through dedication. We find the evidence of this in so many places.

So, we read books, it is not bad, but we must read them under the guidance of an expert; otherwise, we will be loser, not gainers. Everyone thinks, "I am an expert," that is also very bad. It is necessary to realise who is a real expert and who is not. It is very difficult for those who want to learn something, but there is no other way—there is someone, a qualified personality, in front of me, and I will try to learn from them.

However, everyone is not perfect, and everyone is now always perfect also. There is an article written by Srila Guru Maharaj called Sri Guru and His Grace. The first sentence there is "To err is human." He started with that. So, everyone has some fault, and everyone wants to remove their faults and become filled with perfect knowledge. Everyone has this desire, but there is a very strong obstacle: ego. Ego does not let us enter that knowledge. We must consider this.

If we try to follow the directives of our Guru Maharaj (because he is our guardian at present), think many times before you do anything. Think many times, then say something. Kaya, mana, vak: any activity comes through physical activities, through mental activities, and through speaking activities. We must try to control these three. Try. There is no other way. If we do not try, we will be losers.

So, first is self-realisation, then follow the direction of a proper guardian—in this case, we will always be gainers. No doubt, good fortune must be there behind it, but we can say that we have this good fortune, although we are sometimes exposed to some mundanity and become misguided. We must be careful with this, then we will have no problem. Be careful. We are always careful when go down the stairs—first we look at the step and think if it is six inches, seven inches, or eight inches high, then we put our foot down. We always look where we are putting our foot. So, it is necessary to keep your eyes open; otherwise, you will fall down. This is natural. We must try to proceed with whatever capacity we have, and help will come. If I am submissive, help will always come. Sometimes, help will come from above. If we have senses, we can feel that help is coming in this way or that way. We must remember that Krishna is always there behind us, and Krishna always does what is good for us. Krishna knows what will be good for us, and He gives the consciousness, or the direction, from inside:

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

"Krishna is situated in everyone's heart as the caittya-guru, the spiritual master within. When He is kind to some fortunate conditioned soul, He personally gives him lessons so he can progress in devotional service, instructing the person as the Supersoul within and the spiritual master without."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.22.47)

If I am sincere, He will guide me from within. We must be sincere and chaste in our religion, then no problem will come.

Hare Krishna.

Jay Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay.

 

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