In my heart I have developed firm faith to always hanker and aspire for the sevā of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. In all ways I am fearless in this regard. Narottama dāsa prays, “O Śrī Kṛṣṇa, I have fallen into this temporary material cycle of birth and death, please deliver me.” txt 21
If you don’t like residence in Vraja, or serving Govinda, no harm. There is no harm even if your senses are disturbing you. You need only be in the presence of the vraja-rasa-rasika sādhu. The sādhus will shower you with Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness, and enrich you with deep faith and understanding. They will change you and stop you from following the path of sense gratification. They will give you the tendency to serve.
By their mercy, you will have never even realized when you have changed.
Therefore, by Mahāprabhu’s desire, all the Gosvāmīs reside in Vraja-maṇḍala. They shower everyone with vraja-bhakti.
As soon as a person is born, his time is constantly stolen away by the sun, moon, and other personalities. Everyone is afraid of this material existence. But by the mercy and blessings of mahat-saṅga, your life will never be stolen away. The anurāga of the bhaktas will enter your heart and you will become fearless and undisturbed.
Although the sādhaka continuously serves during the day, his service continues unhindered even during the night. He sees the Guru-varga and his Godbrothers in his dreams.
The Guru-varga tell him, “Come with us to this festival of hari-kathā.”
The sādhaka then becomes very busy serving the Guru-varga. He will sing and dance with them even while he is sleeping. He will be very happy when he wakes up.
He will think, “Where was I last night? Today, by Śrīla Gurudeva’s desire, I will arrange a nice program.”
He then invites his Godbrothers, and Godsisters. The program of hari-kathā then continues during the day as well. So, there is no difference between day and night for the sādhaka. He will practically serve during the day and his eternal service will continue during the night as well. He will be protected from ghosts and witches. By thinking of them during the day, they will be thought of in the night as well. They will then come and cause great suffering. How can others disturb us in the night when we are busily engaged in our services during the day? Nobody will disturb us.
Narottama dāsa bole paḍinū asat-bhole, paritrāṇa kara mahāśaya. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, “Alas! I have lost my life. I never met with honest people. I was cheated of my welfare by associating with degraded people. Thus, I don’t spend my entire time in service.”
Therefore, a sādhaka should never talk with degraded people. Kṛṣṇa has promised and said, “If you surrender unto Me, I will take you out of māyā. I will bring you near Me.”
Many living entities are present in the ocean. But, many of these entities are dangerous creatures. Similarly, society has many dangerous people. Also, those who call themselves tutors and guardians only give mundane rasa. By drinking this mundane rasa, a person will become like a cruel animal. The sun evaporates water and forms rain bearing clouds. A conditioned soul is always punished in this mundane world. But those who take shelter of God and His associates are always protected.
The sun’s rays fall upon everyone. Sometimes, the sun punishes everyone by his heat. But the summit of a mountain is spared. Many living entities also thrive in the valleys of all mountains. The clouds are unadulterated by any mixture. They only contain water. So, a person should be like the clouds. If he is affected by any mixture of this world, he will become cruel. The love of this mundane world is not really love—it is cruelty.
Someone says, “I love you. You are part of my family.”
But these words are not true. In this world all simply give punishment to each other. They don’t help each other. The conditioned souls will no longer be punished when they avail themselves of the shelter of Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. They will have no problems. Otherwise, the fierce living entities of this material ocean will devour each other. By collecting jada-rasa, the conditioned souls will remain nitya-baddha. It will not be possible for them to attain liberation. By being present near Yogamāyā, or svarūpa-śakti, the conditioned souls will immediately become liberated. And, they will continuously be absorbed in the happiness obtained by Kṛṣṇa’s service. They will not go any other way. They will never be greedy for Māyā-devī’s service. They will always be present near the eternal associates of the Lord, while those souls who remain conditioned will always stay with the servants of māyā.
When the desire to enjoy is deeply rooted, the conditioned soul’s identification with the material body will not cease. But, the desire for bhoga will be curbed when a relationship with Yogamāyā manifests. The devotees will then only tend to the needs of the body; they will not be excessively attached to the body. Many brahmāṇḍas are predominated by different elements. But if you forget God and are only enamoured by the planets, and stars—then you will become mentally unstable. So, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura Mahāśaya says that a happy and hopeful life will not be had this way. A sādhaka may accept dīkṣā and śikṣā from Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. But, if he is appointed and unflinching in his service to māyā, then he will not be able to receive any knowledge. His intelligence will not work.
Our Guru-varga spoke of an example in this regard.
A large group of people embarked on a boat to attend a program that was held in a place fifty miles away. The people decided to eat and rest on the boat while the boatmen plied them across. After some time, all the passengers fell fast asleep, while the boatmen continued rowing the boat.
An old man awoke and inquired, “Where are we now?”
The boatmen replied, “We will reach our destination within half an hour.”
The boatmen didn’t rest the entire night. They rowed the boat continuously.
They were again asked, “Where are we now?”
The old man further said, “I see that we are near the same banyan tree that was present before. Why are we not crossing the river?”
The old man was told to mind his words.
The old man replied, “Why are we still near the same tree?”
The boatmen had not taken the anchor out, which was rooted to the bottom of the river. So, how would the boat ever move even if the boatmen rowed the boat for many hours? Such toil is in vain. Mundane people work hard day and night—but their efforts are in vain.
People speak with much affection, but their affection is likened to the rasa of Māyā-devī. By drinking such rasa, a person will burn himself. A person can chant, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Rāma! Rādhe Syāma! Haribol! Sītā Rāma!”
He will only chant his family members’ names.
When a person is struck by an illness, he will say, “Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas didn’t help me! Neither did the holy dhāma help me! I sponsored many feasts and festivals! Alas!”
But the person should be asked, “Where is your anchor? How can you move even an inch without removing the anchor?”
A person bound by attachment to saṁsāra will only do parikramā of his family. The sun evaporates water from the ocean and stores it in the clouds. The clouds then shower rain on everyone. Similarly, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas will take you above māyā. You will then no longer be bound by any attachments. Guru and Vaiṣṇavas will take responsibility for you. When clouds clash, many thunderbolts are produced, which kill many people. When you try to steal water from clouds or try extracting water by force, then such dire consequences will manifest. You must surrender and the clouds will automatically shower rain. But what will happen if you attack the clouds and try stealing water? How can you steal from God’s store?
Many people say, “The sādhus have many facilities.”
Therefore, they want to steal everything away and kick the sādhus away. But the sādhus remain undeterred. They are always near God; so what problems will they possibly have? But if a person tries stealing, then a thunderbolt will fall on his head. He will have no protection.
Srila Narottama das Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from a Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Sri Prema-Bhakti Candrika.” Available from: [email protected] )