Lust is piercing my heart. I do not know my own good. I cannot vanquish the bad desires in my mind. O Master, please keep me close to You. You are a wish fulfilling desire tree. Please show Your compassion to everyone by accepting me.txt 5
How can we become related to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and Kṛṣṇa? Many desires and anarthas come and attack us, but if anyone has love for Kṛṣṇa, then svarūpa-śakti will go and help him and no other problem will be there. If one does not like Kṛṣṇa, svarūpa-śakti will never go to help. Therefore one should pray, “O Lord, I am Yours, please bring me into Your shelter.”
When Kṛṣṇa gives shelter, all the impediments are immediately destroyed.
Kṛṣṇa may ask, “I forgive all your offenses and sins, but for your own benefit, you should not do any further wrong.” Gurudeva gives all shelter and help. He gives everything, but do disciples stay with Gurudeva and have love for him? After millions of lives of making offenses, guru forgives everything at once, like Jāghai and Mādhāi were forgiven by Nityānanda Prabhu.
Jaghāi and Mādhāi said, “We will not perform any more sin.” Jagāi-mādhāi bale, ‘āra nāre bāpa.’ (Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-khaṇḍa 13.225)
Mahāprabhu said, “If you stay with us, we will protect you. But you must serve the Vaiṣṇavas.”
Therefore we should pray to Kṛṣṇa, “Please make me Your servant. I do not pray for anything else. You are līlā-puruṣottama. Please give me taste for Your service and make me the servant of the servants of the servants of Your servants. Then I will no longer perform any sinful activity and will not go far from You. O Lord, please give me spiritual taste. My mundane desires are destroying and making me suffer so much, therefore I do not serve you. I have been moving in millions of species for billions of lives and everywhere I go I am the slave of māyā. When I take birth, I am the servant of my parents, and then I become surrendered to teachers and then to a wife and children and in old age no one is there to help. What can I do? O Lord, I pray to You, do not reject me. Please help me. My strength is very small, and my desire to serve You is very small, but You are very great, so please accept my small desire and bring me into Your eternal service.”
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays, “How can I offer all my desires unto the lotus feet of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas?”
There are many types of desires; most of which are very dirty. We are very shy to offer such desires. But the Vaiṣṇavas are vañca-kalpa-taru (wish-fulfilling trees). They know which faults we have. But will God not accept such gifts? A baby passes stool helplessly. He also has cold, and many boils on his body. So, what will the mother do? She will provide good treatment for the baby. She will then bathe her baby and make him rest. She will become very happy when she sees that her baby has become healthy. Similarly, when the conditioned souls come to the Guru-varga, they are filled with anarthas.
But, when they offer themselves, they will become pure.
kṛṣṇa, tomāra haṅa yadi bale eka-bāra
māyā-bandha haite kṛṣṇa tāre kare pāra
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.33
One is freed at once from the bondage of māyā if he says just one time, “Kṛṣṇa, I am Yours.”
Therefore, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays, “Oh Prabhu! You are more merciful than a wish-fulfilling tree (vañca-kalpa-taru). You will not fulfill my whimsical wishes. You will only give what I need.”
A father bequeaths his wealth to his underage son. But the son destroys his father’s wealth along with his friends. He doesn’t know how to save or develop his father’s wealth. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa doesn’t give prema-bhakti immediately. Mahāprabhu, and Nityānanda Prabhu give prema slowly. The second step can be taken only when the first step is secure. Otherwise, the conditioned souls will misuse or lose their love. Our Guru-varga would speak of an incident in this regard.
A guru gave two rupees to one disciple, and ten rupees to another disciple. The first disciple went outside and ate chocolates, cakes, and other types of food. The other disciple saved his ten rupees.
The guru asked his first disciple, “Do you still have the money with you.”
“No. I went to the market and ate to my heart’s content. I am very thankful to you Gurudeva. I ate many things. Now, I will follow any order you give. Why? You gave me two rupees.”
But the guru didn’t tell him that he had given another disciple ten rupees.
The guru asked his second disciple, “Do you still have the money with you?”
“Didn’t you spend it?”
“Gurudeva, this is your money. I am your’s! This money is also your’s.”
“But didn’t you spend the money?”
“Gurudeva, I may need the money when the temple requires something. Therefore, I didn’t spend the money.”
“All right. I will give you a thousand rupees.”
Gurudeva gave his other foolish disciple ten rupees. But the disciple used the money to buy and eat many things.
He then told his friends, “Gurudeva likes me the most! He gave me ten rupees today.”
But he didn’t think, “Why did Gurudeva give me ten rupees?”
He thought, “This money is not for God or my Godbrothers; this money is only meant to be used for my enjoyment. I will spend all the money with the local boys.”
After some time, Gurudeva again asked the disciple, “Do you have the money with you?”
“What happened to the money?”
“Gurudeva, you understood my mind. You realized that my mind would become restless after a week. So, you gave me the money for my pleasure. Thus, I spent the money according to my liking. You know my heart Gurudeva.”
“All right. Do you want something more? Ten rupees more?”
“Twenty rupees will do Gurudeva. I incurred many expenses the last time. I will do everything you say. But I also need money Gurudeva.”
The guru asked his other disciple, “What did you do with the money?”
The disciple replied, “Gurudeva, the temple requires many things. So I saved the money. Also, many people gave me donations.”
“How much money do you have now?”
“I have five-thousand rupees now Gurudeva.”
“You are a miser. Why didn’t you spend the money?”
“Gurudeva, how can I use your property?”
The guru continued to check the behavior of his two disciples. One disciple continued to spend the money whimsically, while the other disciple only used the money in service of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Before Gurudeva departed this world, he wrote a will and bequeathed everything away to his righteous disciple. He knew that this disciple of his would take care of everyone. But the other disciple was a charlatan. Our Guru-varga would speak of this example many times. When the bhaktas come to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, they have many anarthas. Still, Gurudeva gives them bhakti. They then become decorated with many transcendental qualities. But they will lose their love if they are complacent. They will distribute their love among humans and animals. The love a sādhaka has acquired should only be used in the service of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. A soft heart is not meant for anyone else. Therefore, bhakti-pareśānubhāva is on one side, and virakti is on the other side.
bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir
anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ
prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus
tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ‘nu-ghāsam
Pure devotion, direct experience of Parameśvara, and detachment from material things—these three things happen simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Lord, just as pleasure, nourishment, and relief from hunger occur simultaneously with each mouthful eaten.
In this world, a sādhaka should not have attachment to anything. Bharata Mahārāja left everything, but his soft heart made him attracted to a deer’s baby. He then lost three lives. Day and night, he only thought of the deer. But he forgot Śrī Hari. This love is the embodiment of svarūpa-śakti’s mercy. We should serve with a sweet, soft heart and use our intelligence only in the service of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Then we are really lucky and fortunate.
Śrīla Gurudeva is a desire-fulfilling tree. But how can we not run away or distance ourselves, once we have acquired a drop of love from him? We will distance ourselves from Śrīla Gurudeva, if we request for our desires to be fulfilled. But, we will be ‘arrested’ by his love when we make our desires one with his. Or else, false pride will arrest us.
We will think, “I am qualified now. Everybody listens to what I have to say. I have Gurudeva’s śakti. I have Rādhārānī’s śakti. Everyone is my follower now.”
The power a sādhaka receives is meant for hari-kathā and hari-kīrtana. The sādhaka should never think that he can independently use this power. Respect is only for Gurudeva and God. Gurudeva has personally directed everything. This is his desire. We should offer everyone at his lotus feet. We should have everyone engaged in his service. Then we are not his agents—we are his family members. But if we keep something for ourselves and think of ourselves as all-in-all—then we are very far away from Śrīla Gurudeva. We will forget his sevā, and bhajana. We will then become a mouse again (punar-mūṣika-bhāvaḥ). It will then not be possible to stay with a Vaiṣṇava guru.
A small mouse cried in front of a sādhu. The sādhu asked, “Why do you weep?”
“A cat is trying to kill me everyday.”
“Then what do you want? Do you want to become a cat?”
The mouse became very happy. Some days later, it came again to the sādhu and started to cry.
It said, “Gurudeva, a dog is always trying to kill me.”
“A dog is disturbing you. What do you want?”
“Can you turn me into a dog?”
A dog is a rasagullā for a tiger. So, the dog was terrified. The dog then said, “O Mahātmā! Can you turn me into a tiger?”
The tiger then roamed freely. Everyone remarked, “The sādhu has turned a mouse into a tiger.”
The tiger thought, “I will kill this sādhu now. Or else, everyone will say that I became a tiger because of him.”
Now, the tiger was disturbing everyone. He was saying that he was the emperor of everyone. All the birds and animals remarked that the tiger was only the emperor because of the sādhu. These remarks were like thorns that pierced the tiger. The tiger thought, “The sādhu has created many problems for me. My pride is hurt now.”
The mouse’s nature had changed.
Jaḍera pratiṣṭhā, śūkarera viṣṭhā jāna nā ki tāhā māyāra vaibhava—such mundane recognition is hog’s stool. Don’t you know, it is māyā’s allurement?
The mouse craved for name, fame, and popularity. The mouse thought, “I will destroy the thorn.”
When the tiger went to attack the sādhu, the sādhu opened his eyes and told the tiger, “Now you have bloodshot eyes. You have a big body now. You are very cruel now. All right, I will steal all your strength away now—punar mūṣika bhava.”
The belittlement of Śrī Guru should never be heard or tolerated. If anyone insults the Guru-varga, and the listener tolerates these insults—then he is like a walking corpse. Some people criticize by saying, “Gurudeva gave dīkṣā and sannyāsa to many, but some fell down. So, he may not be a mahā-bhāgavata. Many devotees were stolen from him by other sādhus and ācāryas.” These insults are very poisonous and contagious, they should never be tolerated. You should never hear such insults, you should stop such people from continuing to speak. It is very necessary. A living entity comes near Śrī Guru. Guru cleanses him and showers love that is more condensed than the love of innumerable mothers. He even awards sannyāsa to the living entity. But the living entity is independent; he may do nonsense. Therefore, an operation is necessary. It is necessary to steal his strength, and position away. When everything is stolen, the living entity will become tṛṇd-api-sunīca, humbler than a blade of grass. This is Gurudeva’s mercy.
īsvare tad-adhīneṣu bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu ca
prema-maitrī-kṛpopekṣā yaḥ karoti sa madhyamaḥ
A medium-class devotee has love for the Lord, friendship for devotees, mercy toward the ignorant (those bereft of sambandha-jñāna), and is neglectful to the envious.
Śrī Guru descends to the madhyama stage from the uttamā stage to help the conditioned souls. This is his causeless mercy.
According to the qualification of the recipients of his mercy, Śrī Guru is friendly, merciful, or neglectful. If a proud person’s strength is not stolen, then he will cause great disturbance to everyone. Therefore, Śrī Guru steals the strength of some of his disciples who are very near and dear to him.
Pride is like pig stool. A proud person smears this stool on his body and disturbs everyone by this foul odour. Gurudeva then steals all their pride away. Māyā-śakti appears in a mohinī form and steals the power of a sannyāsī. She then makes him her servant. This is the mercy of Śrī Guru. Don’t think that such disciples have fallen down. Mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas bestow mercy in such an inconceivable manner. This is how he cares for everyone.
A mother gives a laḍḍu to one son, but she gives bitter neem juice to another son. The son asks, “Mother, why are you being cruel?”
“No! This is not cruelty, this is mercy,” the mother replies.
The Guru-varga are like God Himself. They know everyone’s position. They will do what is necessary. They are eternal; they never die or hide in secret places. Our Guru-varga is present everywhere. When the ācārya is physically present, he will visit one place and country at a time. But after his physical departure he will immediately descend in that place where he is requested to appear. Therefore, you should deeply think about this. When a person does bhajana, he will always be humble because he is always with Guru and Vaiṣṇavas in the holy dhāma. The Guru-varga will mercifully draw an erring soul towards their lotus feet. The slightest of deviations will not go unnoticed. A devotee’s post will be stolen if he is found to abuse his power. This is the great mercy of the Guru-varga. Our Guru-varga would give another example:
There was a boy who always came first in class. Everyone in the village was very happy with the boy. But, the boy was very proud. He did something wrong. His parents, tutors, and villagers spoke of his misconduct and had him corrected. People don’t generally chastise a dacoit or a notorious boy. The entire village will neglect him. A conditioned soul comes near the Guru-varga and becomes a sannyāsī. If he does something wrong, he will be immediately punished. The operation will be performed. Many nonsense people engage in many inappropriate activities—but they are not operated on immediately. A devotee is immediately corrected. This is his good fortune.
Therefore, you must not doubt the actions of the mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas. These actions of theirs should not be discussed if they are not understood in the proper light. Otherwise, the minds of many will become doubtful.
A person will then think, “My Guru Mahārāja is not a mahā-bhāgavata. The Bābājīs are mahā-bhāgavatas. The others are mahā-bhāgavatas.”
The Guru-varga are more than touchstones. The life of any person they meet magically changes. The mood and tendency for God’s service immediately dawns on the person’s heart. By gradual practice, the person’s devotion increases and his life will become successful. He will go towards the way of svarūpa-śakti. But you will go the wrong way if you act whimsically. This is not the fault of the Guru-varga—this is our own fault. Therefore, sādhu-saṅga is of paramount importance; the Vaiṣṇavas will cleanse and make us immaculately pure.
Kṛṣṇa, Guru, and Vaiṣṇavas fulfill all our desires. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays, “Prabhu! Don’t fulfill my whimsical desires. Please make me humbler than a blade of grass. Please make me eager for ever-increasing service.”
Prahlāda Mahārāja told Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, “Prabhu! If You want to give me a boon, then please give me the boon that my desire for Your service will always increase.”
A person forgets that he is small and insignificant. Still, he thinks, “I have been doing bhajana since a hundred years. I am a siddha-bābā now!”
If a person doesn’t consider himself insignificant, he will think of himself to be like God. He will think, “God and I are equal.”
A person sitting on the floor is given a seat. And then, he is fanned. Soon after, his ārati is performed. Will his pride not swell by these actions? He will definitely be arrested by pride. Even a sevaka will proclaim his glories everywhere.
But such fame, and adoration are great enemies. They will destroy us; they will not make us do bhajana. They will steal our sevā. Will we clean toilets or sweep the floor? No. We will call the sweepers.
Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura served his Guru Mahārāja in such wonderful ways. He would massage his Gurudeva’s lotus feet. He was always engaged in his eternal service. People following in Ṭhākura Mahāśaya’s footsteps will not disturb their souls by engaging themselves in material activities. Their intelligence is very sharp; they understand everything. It is necessary to offer respect to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, and their hari-kathā. This is truthful. You should seriously and carefully contemplate on this. Don’t lose your heart.
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī compiled many books that were based on hari-kathā spoken by Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. He did everything. The Gosvāmīs would speak hari-kathā and Jīva Gosvāmī would write everything down. How serious was Jīva Gosvāmī? Millions of people came near him—but he didn’t give dīkṣā; he never left Vṛndāvana or his service. He was continuously engaged in his service. A sādhaka should be very serious. Otherwise, he will become useless. We are lucky if the Guru-varga accept our service. Or else, we will engage in the service of Māyā-devī. Therefore, they kindly give us strength. We should be grateful to them by always remembering them and their holy names.
If the Guru-varga don’t excuse us, we will become very proud. All the bad qualities will enter our hearts. We will destroy ourselves. Māyā-śakti is always waiting to steal everything away from us.
Srila Narottama das Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Sri Prema-Bhakti Candrika”. Available from [email protected] )