Make the words emanating from the lotus mouth of Guru-pāda-padma one with your heart, and do not allow any other desire to enter your heart. In other words, make your desires one with his. Rati, or attachment to the lotus feet of Śrī Guru, is the topmost goal in this human life. By his mercy all of our spiritual desires are fulfilled. (text 2)
Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya—when Śrīla Gurudeva sees that his disciple has a sweet relationship with all of his family members, the Vaiṣṇavas, then he will speak and reveal his heart and the confidential secrets of prema-bhakti. How will the flow of nectarful hari-kathā come? One must be a snigdha-śiṣya, a dear disciple who is the abode of Śrī Guru’s affection. If one is very close to Śrīla Gurudeva, his heart will automatically open up.
tasmin mahan-mukharitā madhubhic-caritra-
pīyūṣa-śeṣa-saritaḥ paritaḥ sravanti
tā ye pibanty avitṛṣo nṛpa gāḍha-karṇais
tān na spṛśanty aśana-tṛḍ-bhaya-śoka-mohāḥ
In assemblies of saintly persons, unlimited torrents of pure ambrosia emanate from the mouths of great souls in the form of narrations of Kṛṣṇa’s character, pastimes, and qualities. Those who are never contempt when drinking these nectarine glories through the cups of their thirsty ears can never be affected by hunger, thirst, fear, grief, delusion, and other unwanted attachments.45
Śrī Kṛṣṇa says:
sarvopaniṣado gāvo dogdhā gopāla-nandanaḥ
pārtho vatsaḥ su-dhīr bhoktā dugdhaṁ gītāmṛtaṁ mahat
The Gītā-upaniṣad is like a cow, and her udder contains vast quantities of milk. Her calf is also by her side, but her milk is not for the calf. The milkman brings the calf in front of the cow, only so that she will give milk. In the same way, Arjuna was with Kṛṣṇa only so that He would speak the Bhagavad-gītā, which is really for the welfare of humankind.
The Upaniṣads are like a cow, but without a calf they don’t give any milk. Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna to be the calf, and He would be the milkman. When the calf approaches, milk comes from the cows’ udders and Kṛṣṇa would distribute that to all. This milk is jñānāmṛtam, the nectar of divine knowledge. Arjuna was in front of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa gave him transcendental teachings. Arjuna was quietly lamenting, “Why has Kṛṣṇa said, ‘Surrender to Me’? I am already surrendered. What is more, I am His close intimate associate and friend. I cannot remember how many lives ago I surrendered to Him.
To whom does Gurudeva give his nectar, heartfelt love, and everything? Snigdha-śiṣyasya—if anyone is very humble, quiet, and peaceful, this is not everything. If one has already surrendered everything to Gurudeva, then also no. If one always endeavors again and again to fulfill the heart’s desire of his Gurudeva, without announcing to all or doing so in front of all, Śrī Guru gives his mercy. One need not be directly with Śrī Guru. Anywhere one is, if he has a strong desire and mood to serve and please Śrī Guru, he will be very close to Śrī Guru. He will be the embodiment of Śrī Guru’s love and affection, and he will distribute this to all others. Gurudeva will help such a disciple from wherever he is.
Ācārya Rāmānuja had many disciples. One day, one of his lady disciples came to him and said, “Gurudeva, my parents married me off to a cruel family very far away. They beat and punish me, and make me work hard throughout the day and night. When I can’t do everything, they torment me so much. Now what can I do, Gurudeva?”
Rāmānujācārya called his own personal servant who was very qualified, “Come here! Serve in this mātāji’s house.” This is guru-sevā. If guru tells one to do anything, that is guru-sevā. Then the disciple went to the mātāji’s house and performed all menial tasks, cooking, washing cloth, massaging their feet, cleaning, and doing everything. Did Ācārya Rāmānuja reject him, become angry with him, or throw him out? No. Wherever he was, because he was following the instruction of his Gurudeva, always desiring to please his Gurudeva, all the glories of his Guru Mahārāja became present with him. We have heard this story many times from Śrīla Gurudeva. After some time, the glory of this disciple was revealed.
Āra nā koriho mane āśā. Don’t think about yourself, me, or others. Consider, “How can I follow the advice and instructions of Śrīla Gurudeva throughout my entire life?” Then guru-mukha-padma-vākya—everything will come nonstop to you. This flow of nectar from Śrī Guru will never stop.
satam prasaṇgān mama vīrya-samvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj joṣaṇādaśv apavarga vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
In the association of saintly Vaiṣṇavas, topics about Me are the cause of true knowledge of My valorous deeds, and they are very pleasing to the heart and to the ears. By serving these nectarine topics the result of freedom from ignorance happens very quickly, first of all in the form of śraddhā, then rati, and in the end the awakening of prema–bhakti.
Completely fix your faith in the advice of Śrī Guru. Imbibe Śrī Guru’s vāṇī, transcendental instructions. Don’t look or run here and there. If guru’s heart melts, all his love and affection will come to you. You are the calf of Śrī Guru. A calf will not go to any buffalo, goat, pig, elephant, or camel for milk. When a calf is born, he will not even take milk from any other cow. He drinks from his own mother’s breasts. And a cow will not give her milk to the calf of another cow.
Anything you hear from Guru-pāda-padma, keep that with you like a seed. Every day, practice that. After continual practice, this will become perfect. When you daily clean iron, it will shine like steel. If you daily smear a clay pot with ghee, it will become very strong and shiny. Guru Mahārāja gives mantra and dīkṣā—daily practice that, remember and repeat those mantras. Gurudeva is the rasamaya–vigraha, embodiment of rasa. Anything that comes from his lips is sweeter than honey. This is very helpful for increasing one’s bhakti and bestowing bhakti-rasa. Therefore, very carefully accept the vāṇī of Guru-pāda-padma, his transcendental teachings. Never be hopeless. If you have no desire to follow the mantra and teachings of Śrī Guru, then you will never develop your bhakti. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī came to Caitanya Mahāprabhu and was offered in the shelter of Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara. Dāsa Gosvāmī would come and pray to Mahāprabhu, “You never give me any instruction.”
“You are with Svarūpa Dāmodara. What he says is good for you. If I tell you to do something and you don’t follow, then it will be problematic.”
Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī requested Svarūpa Dāmodara to beg Mahāprabhu to give him even one small instruction. Then Mahāprabhu said:
grāmya-kathā nā śunibe, grāmya-vārtā nā kahibe
bhāla nā khāibe āra bhāla nā paribe
amānī mānada hañā kṛṣṇa-nāma sadā la’be
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-sevā mānase karibe
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 6.236-237
Do not speak mundane topics or hear what general people have to say. You should not eat very rich, palatable food, nor should you wear very nice clothing. Do not expect respect, but honor all others. Always chant Kṛṣṇa’s names, and within your mind and heart render service to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja.
Mahāprabhu told only four lines to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Then, for the rest of his life, Dāsa Gosvāmī followed these instructions every day.
Any order that Gurudeva gives, any word he speaks, don’t think this is ordinary. Any order Gurudeva gives means that he came near you with that order in the form of his speech. Gurudeva is the bhakti–rasamaya-vigraha. He gives you this bhakti-rasa through his instructions. This is then your property, your wealth, your life and soul. But if you don’t accept this and don’t keep this with you, and if you don’t try to follow his advice, then you are very far away from Guru Mahārāja. You have lost everything. Anything Gurudeva says is truthful. If a disciple accepts this, this is bhakti-rasa.
Gurudeva is bhajanānanda and rasa–mādhurī—his heart is very soft and always absorbed in the sweet pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. All the Guru-paramparā is included in Śrī Guru—Param-guru, Parameṣṭhī-guru, Parātpar-guru, Paramparātpar-guru. Guru Mahārāja is not alone. His heart has a place for the Guru-varga and God. Don’t think, “My Guru Mahārāja is alone; other gurus are separate from him.” Mad guru jagad-guru—if I serve my Guru Mahārāja, I am serving all gurus. If I don’t serve my Guru Mahārāja, but rather run here and there trying to serve everyone, the result will be zero.
The instructions of kāruṇa–ghana–vigraha Śrīla Gurudeva, who is the personified form of compassion and love, are full of divine power.
Someone may tell a disciple, “Your Gurudeva gave you advice, but other sādhus don’t accept this. What he told you is not according to śāstra. He is saying something different from scripture and sādhus.” Don’t arbitrarily lose faith. Submissively request your Gurudeva for help in understanding his instructions. Guru-pāda-padma will then clarify his instruction.
One mother had two sons. She fed one many sweets and the other bitter neem juice. The son who was given neem complained to his mother, but she forcefully administered neem to him. He was very sick and his digestion was failing.
His stomach was filled with worms, therefore neem juice was necessary. The other was weak and needed nourishment; by eating rich foods, he would become strong and healthy.
Guru-pāda-padma knows everything. He gives advice to different disciples, according to their individual position, so that they can advance and come close to Śrī Guru and God, and be capable of service. Any order Guru Mahārāja gives is not cruel, it is beneficial.
Some say, “Your Guru Mahārāja did not give rādhā–mantra or Nityānanda Prabhu’s mantra.” They try to cheat the faithful. Anything Guru Mahārāja gives is appropriate for the disciple. Nārada Ṛṣi gave the mantra, ‘oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya,’ to Dhruva, and he chanted this, not going to any other guru to check if this mantra was correct for him.
By chanting this mantra, accepting it from Nārada Ṛṣi— guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya—after six months, he achieved darśana of God. Before this, knowledge of performing proper sādhana came, and he was able to perform strong austerity. He then became respected throughout the world, even now he has not been forgotten. Why? Because he followed his Guru Mahārāja. Prahlāda Mahārāja was tortured and tormented. Hiraṇyakaśipu tried to harm him in many ways, but he never went far away from his Guru Mahārāja or harināma. Therefore, now he is famous in the three worlds.
Therefore, first, take dīkṣā from a kṛṣṇa-tattva guru, a spiritual master adept in knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. After dīkṣā, hear from Śrī Guru about kṛṣṇa-tattva, prema–tattva, rasa–tattva, and so forth. This is very sweet. Hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ—this is nectar for the ears and heart. Anything that Guru Mahārāja says is absolute truth. Follow that in your life. Then you are called a disciple, a follower of discipline. If guru’s disciples have deep faith, love, and loyalty to Śrī Guru, then his heart will melt and all transcendental knowledge will appear in the disciples’ hearts.
After taking harināma and dīkṣā from Śrī Guru, the disciple must continuously serve Guru-pāda-padma. Viśrambheṇa guru-sevā. Fulfilling the desire of the bona fide guru, being under his guidance, is called guru-sevā. Guru doesn’t tell anyone to serve him directly without serving God. Guru instructs all to serve God, and he helps them to do so.
Present with guru are guru’s family members: all the devotees, śāstra, and God Himself. Guru-pāda-padma teaches everything. If one independently does anything, bhukti, material enjoyment, mukti, liberation, or siddhi, mystical perfections, will come. Then one will go very far away from Guru-pāda-padma. One’s memory and heart will be lost, replaced with material opulence. Therefore, the disciple must perform viśrambheṇa guru-sevā, service to the spiritual master with an affectionate and personal relationship. If the disciple is not physically present with Śrī Guru, how can this be performed? Who will give him instruction and inspiration? How can one understand what he performs is service to guru and whether Gurudeva accepts it or not?
Guru-tattva is not a small matter. Guru-tattva is very deep. Where do the teeth come from? The body. The power of the teeth to chew comes from the body. Who maintains the body? Where does the body’s power come from? Don’t think Guru-pāda-padma is only one physical body or ordinary person, with a confined or small personality. If the disciple does everything for the pleasure of his spiritual master, Śrī Guru will understand.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu wrote that one must offer everything to Guru-pāda-padma. Sarvasvaṁ gurave dadyāt, “Everything should be offered to the spiritual master (Sanatkumāra-saṁhitā 104).” Continuously serve and offer everything to Gurudeva, whether you are performing nāma-saṅkīrtana or doing anything. Your view, goal, aim, and object must be only for the pleasure of Śrī Guru. If anything comes to you, you must offer this to your Guru Mahārāja. Guru Mahārāja knows everything you do and the intent behind everything you do. If you serve Guru-pāda-padma with love and affection, viśrambheṇa guru-sevā, then by the blessings of Guru-pāda-padma your action will be pure and accepted by God. Otherwise, if you follow and work for anyone other than guru, this is not worthy of being offered to God. God will not accept it. Gurudeva has power. He is authorized. Śrī Guru offers to God anything that comes to him.
For example, once, Gurudeva was sitting and many visitors gave him sweets, fruits, and other gifts. Gurudeva opened packages of sweets and gave them to those sitting close to him, without sending them to the temple for the pūjārī to offer as bhoga to Ṭhākurajī. “Gurudeva,” one person asked, “is this prasādam? You did not offer it. How is it prasādam?”
“One conditioned soul, who just joined the temple, who has not offered himself to Gurudeva and God, is the temple pūjārī. If I gave this to him, he would ring a bell, place Tulasī on the preparation, and then bring it back after five or ten minutes. Would God accept that offering or not? How can one understand? If Gurudeva gave order to the pūjārī to offer it, and the pūjārī properly followed his guru’s instruction, then God will certainly accept it. If the pūjārī doesn’t follow Gurudeva, or the instruction of any high-class Vaiṣṇava, he personally has no love for God. He thinks, ‘This is my duty. I must offer the bhoga and return it. Then I will be free to do as I please, and will also get a share of the sweets.’ Śrī Guru has offered himself at the lotus feet of God. If anything comes to him, he immediately offers it to God.”
Ordinary people have no knowledge of this. Therefore they have doubts. If one person closes the temple doors, offers bhoga, then does ārati, brings the offering back, and distributes it to everyone, people think, “This is called prasāda.” But if it was directly offered to Śrīla Gurudeva, and Śrīla Gurudeva watched and accepted it, then it means he has offered it to God.
At Panihati, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī distributed yogurt and flat rice to tens of thousands. Nityānanda Prabhu went to all the assembled devotees, checking their clay pots. He would take handfuls of the yogurt and flat rice, and make a motion as if giving it to someone. But no one could understand what He was doing. Nityānanda Prabhu sat with a plate and a seat on either side. He would take and give to Mahāprabhu, but people could not understand who was accepting. Śivānanda Sena, Rāghava Paṇḍita, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, and a few fortunate people had the spiritual vision required to have darśana of Mahāprabhu.
If anything comes to Gurudeva, Guru-pāda-padma immediately offers that to his beloved Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, in a chain, through Rūpa Mañjarī, Lalitā, Viśākhā, and so forth. Then, when Gurudeva touches this, opens and distributes to others, no one should doubt, “This is not prasādam.”
yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo
yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi
dhyāyaṁ stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyaṁ
vande guroḥ śrī caranāravindam
The prasāda of Guru-pāda-padma is the prasāda of God. Without the mercy of Guru-pāda-padma, God will not accept anything. Nothing will be pure. If I do meditation, sādhana, and so much austerity, it is not bhakti-yoga.
Once, in a temple in Vṛndāvana, the pujārīs would offer one liter of milk in the morning and evening to the Deities. They said they made this offering on the order of their Gurudeva. I said, “Gurudeva is present. How much did you give him? Tell me.”
“I gave him one liter.”
“This is not the truth. You drink the liter you offer with your followers. Guru-pāda-padma is present. How much do you give him directly? You didn’t give Gurudeva anything. You think it is favorable for you, and according to your choice; therefore you offer it to the Deity and drink it.”
Gurudeva has many disciples, there are so many devotees, but there is no care for each and every one of them. If one cooks very nicely and offers it to the Deity, and then relishes all the offerings with his own followers, like a picnic or party, that is not called guru-sevā. All over the world, everyone is in the family of Guru-pāda-padma and God. Anything that I have should be shared with everyone.
When I offer to Gurudeva—yasya prasāda, then it will be God’s prasāda—bhāgavata prasāda. Otherwise, I am enjoying guru’s prasāda; this is guru-bhoga. I think, “Gurudeva gave me this property, this is for myself. I am authorized, the owner.” Guru-pāda-padma doesn’t teach like this. He is not narrow-minded or a miser. He has a great, open heart. He has over-world-power-love, with which he controls even God. He has everything. Therefore, our Guru-varga has said, “I am so indebted to Gurudeva that even a dog from his village is dear to me, what to speak of his followers.” Taking care of them and giving them affection pleases Gurudeva.
Those who bring new people for the happiness of Guru-pāda-padma—serving, caring, teaching, and making them qualified, helping them in all ways—is this not guru-sevā? This is guru-sevā. If one brings any jīvas back to God, this is not one’s own power. This is the power and strength of Guru-pāda-padma working. The disciple must therefore offer everything to the lotus feet of Guru-pāda-padma. Then one is one-pointed and directly related to Śrīla Gurudeva.
If you think, “I am the doer. I did everything. All things are going on by my power,” this is not viśrambheṇa guru-sevā. I am cheating others, having separated myself from Gurudeva. I have stolen some part, keeping it and hiding it with me. Gurudeva is antaryāmī, the all-seeing witness. He knows everything that you do. Have an open and clean heart. If you have knowledge, give that. If you understand śāstra, give that. Anything you have is for sharing with everyone. Every second you have is for guru-sevā.
Viśrambheṇa guru-sevā. If anyone has knowledge of guru-tattva and has faith in Śrī Guru, he will continuously serve Śrī Guru with love and affection.
Kṛṣṇa instructed guru-tattva to Uddhava, saying, “Gurudeva is sarva-devamaya, the embodiment of all the demigods’ qualities.”
You should carefully and seriously perform guru-sevā. Gurudeva knows everything and accepts your service.
When you first wake in the morning, you should worship Guru-pāda-padma, washing the lotus feet of Gurudeva and taking his caraṇāmṛta. You should arrange pure water for Śrī Guru’s bath, from the holy rivers. After, you should massage his feet and smear sandalwood oil and arbata on Śrī Guru, bathe him, give cloth, tilaka and so forth.
To welcome Gurudeva, the devotees should start saṅkīrtana. Service should not be performed silently. You can sing, ‘Śrī guru-caraṇa-padma,’ ‘Gurudeva! kṛpā-bindu diyā,’ ‘Gurudeva! baḍa kṛpā kari,’ and so forth.
While chanting guru-mantra, internally serve Śrīla Gurudeva. If anyone asks you your Gurudeva’s name, first offer praṇāma, folding your hands and prefixing your Gurudeva’s name with ‘Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī’ or ‘Oṁ Viṣṇupāda’, and then you can say his name. Don’t directly speak without respect, like you would address an ordinary person. “What is your Gurudeva’s name?” “Oh, he is Rāma dāsa. He is Halava dāsa.”
With your mind, speech, and body, do everything for the pleasure of Gurudeva.
Some things are favorable and some things are unfavorable. Try to follow the advice of Śrī Guru. And don’t use his bed, shoes, or personal items. Don’t think, “Gurudeva gave me this, now I will use it all for myself.” Or, “Now Gurudeva is not here, I will sleep on his bed. I will wear his shoes, use his umbrella, and wear his cloth. This is Gurudeva’s prasāda, I should take it.” No, this is worshipable. Not for one’s enjoyment. For the welcoming of Guru-pāda-padma, daily perform saṅkīrtana, calling him. Don’t loudly shout or quarrel in front of Śrī Guru or in the temple. Don’t fight or bless anyone in front of Śrī Guru, and don’t offer praṇāma to anyone else in front of Śrī Guru. Not even in front of the deity of Śrī Guru should a disciple give blessings or offer praṇāma to another. And certainly one should not insult anyone, torture, beat, or perform any such nonsense act. Don’t swing on a seat in front of Gurudeva and allow others to come and worship you, washing your feet, and giving your ‘caraṇāmṛta.’ If Gurudeva sits on a nice vyāsāsana, don’t make yourself a nice, fancy seat, thinking, ‘I am not less then Śrīla Gurudeva. I was only two fingers short of him. Now Gurudeva has left, and I am four fingers up.’
When Gurudeva comes or goes, or on his appearance or disappearance day, invite other devotees to welcome and respect Śrī Guru. When people come and speak the glories of Śrīla Gurudeva, take this—this is guru-prasāda. Don’t only hear the glories of your guru from his close followers. Respect all his followers. Then you will be blessed and never disconnected from Guru Mahārāja. You will always be with Guru Mahārāja. If you don’t serve and respect the Vaiṣṇavas and have a relationship with them, you will go very far away from Guru Mahārāja. Why? Will the Vaiṣṇavas curse you for not respecting or staying with them? No. They have love for Gurudeva. By serving them, the love in their heart for Gurudeva will come to you. If you don’t serve any Vaiṣṇavas, thinking, “I am Gurudeva’s follower. I don’t need any Vaiṣṇavas, devotees. Why should I serve and follow them? I am a great scholar.” You don’t know. Everyone’s heart has some love, affection, and faith for Guru Mahārāja. If you serve, remain with, and respect them, their love, affection, and faith will come from their heart to yours.
Once, Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa were shot by the magical arrows of Meghanātha and They became bound by snakes. Garuḍa was summoned by Hanumān. When he came, the snakes all fled in fear, and Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa were relieved. Garuḍa then had some doubt, “How can Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa be God if They were bound by snakes? How is this possible?” He had this doubt and, because of this, māyā caught him. He suffered, moving everywhere. He went to Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva Ṭhākura, asking what to do, but got no help. Śiva Ṭhākura said, “I don’t know anything. I can’t help you. Go to Kāka Basundi.” Everyone said, “I can’t help you.” If doubtful people come to you, and you talk with them, you can also lose your faith. Garuḍa went to Kāka Basundi, who related his own experience. “I also made an offense once to Lord Rāma.” If one doesn’t go to the Vaiṣṇavas when one has a little doubt, then this will increase more and more. Being with the Vaiṣṇavas, one will never have any problem. Garuḍa was very senior, and he was sent to Kāka Basundi. Garuḍa is the Lord’s carrier and the king of birds, whereas Kāka Basundi was a lowly crow. How can your problems be solved? If you stay with the Vaiṣṇavas, strength and energy will come from them. They speak hari-kathā, the glories of God.
On the appearance and disappearance days of the Guru-varga, all Vaiṣṇavas speak. By hearing them, one can understand the glories of the Guru-paramparā, and what is his own fault. If the Vaiṣṇavas don’t speak, how can one understand what is in their hearts?
Dīkṣā or harināma should be given to those with faith. First inspire people to have strong faith, then give them dīkṣā or harināma. If there is no faith and one gives harināma mālā, this will be nāma-aparādha. Also, without offering something first to Guru-pāda-padma, don’t independently take anything, like water, fruit, or any food. Anywhere you are, first offer everything to Guru Mahārāja and then take something. Then you will be related with Guru Mahārāja. Any cloth or dress you wear, first offer this to Guru Mahārāja, and then take it.
This is the instruction of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and śāstra.
Śrī-guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttamā-gati, je prasāde pūre sarva āśā. Guru Mahārāja teaches kṛṣṇa-tattva, bhakti-tattva, prema–tattva, rasa–tattva. He tells, “Follow these rules of bhakti.”
If you do so, then rati will come for the lotus feet of guru. The sādhaka will then be colored with anurāga. Gurudeva is bhajana–vigraha. He knows how much bhajana you do. This is his pūjā. If you chant harināma and guru-mantra, and serve the devotees and dhāma, this is called guru-pūjā. Don’t think that simply taking paraphernalia and offering flowers, sandal paste, bhoga, and tilaka is guru-pūjā. Prema–tattva, bhakti-tattva, guru-tattva, vaiṣṇava-tattva, collect all this knowledge. Then practice this in your life and teach it. Gurudeva will then understand how much desire you have for bhajana. This bhajana is Gurudeva’s pūjā. This is uttamā–gati. Rādhā-Mādhava’s sevā is the uttamā-gati, supreme objective and destination. Otherwise, outside, externally, offering fruits, flowers, cloth, or decorating many things, this is called abhinaya, simply an act or drama. It is not reality. If you have a relationship with Guru Mahārāja and have deep faith in him, and serve him following his advice, then everything will automatically be revealed to you. Desire will come for prema–sevā. You will definitely achieve this rati. Then you are a real disciple.
This rati comes after bhāva. Should one have rati for Gurudeva? Yes. Gurudeva is very close and dear to Kṛṣṇa. He is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa. In the Gauḍīya line, Śrī Guru has the svarūpa of a mañjarī, a personal maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. When one is near Gurudeva, this rati, love, will automatically come. Ei se uttamā-gati, this is the highest line, process, and attainment.
Remember, have hope for no other thing. If any problem or disturbance comes in one’s guru-sevā, should one leave it and run away? No. How can one understand what is guru-sevā? One’s godbrothers and godsisters will come to help without any condition or invitation. As a farmer plants flowers in a field: when they blossom, honeybees come without his invitation. He doesn’t have to say to customers, “Come and buy my flowers and fruits.”
Guru-pāda-padma opens this center for performing pure bhakti, and people automatically come. This line is nonstop. Never become disturbed and never think Gurudeva is not present.
How can one make a relationship with Śrīla Gurudeva now, while he is not physically present? If anyone chants mantra and worships the deity, he will be related to Gurudeva. If anyone chants and worships Gurudeva, Gurudeva will be present with him. That disciple’s heart is the temple of Śrīla Gurudeva. The Lord is present there. Also, if anyone arranges a festival or program for Śrī Guru, God will send people to get benefit there. The Guru-paramparā, Bhagavān Himself, and Śrī Guru will be there with you. So never be hopeless.
Srila Narottama das Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Sri Prema-Bhakti Candrika”. Available from: [email protected] )