[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, U.K. 1996 (Radlett, 15 May), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]

This current originated from Krishna who passed it down to Brahma and this current culminates in the presence of our guru. If we want to control this current by many rules and regulations, then the current will be stopped. Bhakti is not bound by any artificial rules and regulations. Bhakti is bound by her own rule and regulation—love and affection. By control, everything will be spoiled. Bhakti is not controlled by any artificial rules and regulations, she is controlled by her own transcendental rules and regulations. If this current of bhakti is unchecked, it will flow and reach the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika and Krishna. We see in the pastimes of Krishna that no one could control the gopis. People think that the gopis went in the opposite direction of morality, because they left their husbands, children, and Vedic dharma. They even gave up their shame. But, no rules and regulations could control them. They were determined to meet Krishna and although the forest had no path; they found their way through and reached the spot where Krishna was present.

So, bhakti should never be controlled. We should only be careful to not let any water of misconceptions adulterate this pure flow of bhakti. There is nothing else there for us to control. We will only need to facilitate this flow of bhakti. What is this water of misconceptions that we should protect our bhakti from? This bad water symbolizes the misconceptions of karma, jnana, and other false ideologies. These detrimental ideologies should never be entertained by the devotees. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami have done marvelous seva. They never checked bhakti, but rather, protected her embankments. Srila Vishvnatha Cakravarthi Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and our Guruvarga are so generous! Before he took Sannyasa, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was often residing in Mathura. There, he would sit with me, and engage in kirtana with me. We would engage in many services together.

He told me once, “If I go to the Western countries, I will build boarding houses. There, I will accommodate students and I will allow them to do anything, but they should engage themselves in Harinama-sankirtana also. If they want to consume eggs, meat, and wine, or anything else; they may do so, but I know surely that by the transcendental effects of harinama, after some days, very soon, after a two or three days, they will forsake these deplorable habits. They will quit these habits by their own accord; there will be no need to order them around or control them. They will join the Krishna consciousness movement and they will all be very good devotees.”

Svamiji was so liberal! These are some of the specialties of bona fide Acharyas. You cannot have these transcendental qualities if you try to control everyone. You try to control your divine master also. You tell your Gurudeva, “Oh don’t go there! You should be situated here and do this. You should not associate with those devotees.” These are not the services of a bona fide disciple. A pure devotee has not come to make a sectarian group, he has only come to strengthen the Krishna consciousness of the devotees that will enable them to go to Goloka Vrindavana. He has only come to help them. He has not come to impose rules and regulations over devotees and to rule over them.

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