When guru gives a turban, tilaka, and glorifies a person, then he is being raised up for a fall, to rectify him of his pride. In Hindi, there is a saying, which means that when people get praised continuously, it makes them more and more puffed up. They become so puffed up that they can no longer sit. They desire more and more prestige. If anyone tells them anything a little bit against them, or a little bit critical, then it is like they burst in anger and shout, “Sālā! Don’t you know who I am? I am the father of Gurudeva.” This is like saying, “I am the guru of my guru; I am everything to him! Without me, Mahārāja would have no life.” If Gurudeva or Bhagavān praise their dependents, it can give rise to a great anartha in the heart of the sādhakas. It is ve hard to tolerate such an anartha.The disciple should always pray that Śrī Guru chastise him and correct his faults. He should always reserve the right with his guru to chastise him. One should pray to Guru, “Always keep me as your humble follower and chastise me when I do wrong.” If at the time guru chastises his sevaka or disciple, that disciple then also speaks back to guru or reprimands guru, or complains about his Guru to others, then he will certainly fall down. If he goes around complaining, “Oh! Mahārāja said this and that. He was so abusive,” this is taking away the right of guru to chastise. Then the guru will stop chastising and then gradually, the disciple would certainly fall down. Therefore we should always have someone who is there ready to chastise us if we do wrong. Without a guardian we are hopeless. We should never take away the right of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas to chastise us. If we ourselves go and reprimand our guru or think ourselves to be superior to our guru then he will become silent and will not chastise us. Then guru will worship us. And he will say, “You are everything. You are my master; you are the authority.” So, a sincere sādhaka should always be cautious and understand that if Guru and Vaiṣṇavas begin to regularly praise him and worship him then he should try to rectify that situation before his downfall. He should pray for forgiveness for his offense. And he should always pray to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas that they be his chastiser and guardian.When this question was asked to Gurudeva about why a sevaka would leave guru or Bhagavān, Gurudeva said, “They are serving physically, but where is their mind? Is their mind engaged in service with sincerity? They look, ‘Oh! Who has come, who has given how much, who is a wealthy person, who has given donations?’ ”When people come to the sevaka of guru and say, ‘Oh! You sing so nicely and you do such nice service. You cook so well. O Prabhu! Really you have kept guru completely pleased by your service.’These people who come and give praise like this are great enemies, because then the sevaka will always be thinking about them and will forget about Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. We think of these people and try to take care of them and to keep them happy. In this way we leave the service of guru and begin serving others. That person is not a real guru-sevaka. He is showing that he is serving guru only to really engage others in his own worship and to enjoy himself. If he is a real sevaka then he will always be eager to be chastised by his guru. He will always be very humble and consider himself insignificant. He prays to guru, ‘If I have any mistake or any shortcoming please at once chastise me and correct me for my fault.’ And if he ever does anything wrong he will fall at the feet of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas and weeping, will pray for forgiveness.But some people become so arrogant that if guru finds any fault with their character and says anything to them then they are ready to start a fight and they will raise their hand to fight with guru, or they will turn their back on guru and leave him. Or if guru chastises them, then they will leave like a scolded wife and spend days crying here and there, and they will tell everyone they meet, “Oh! Gurudeva is so mean. He wrongly accused me.” They will tell everyone and try to show that they were right and that they had done nothing wrong. If someone acts like this then he has left his dharma as a sevaka. If the ‘se’ from the sevaka is taken away then all that is left is vaka, which means a crane, which represents the hypocrite. That person is only an impostor in the dress of a sevaka. Cranes are white and they have a nice long śikhā, and they do austerities with their eyes closed, standing on one foot in the water. Why? They only want to catch a fish. They wait and do austerities until a nice big fish comes along and then they snatch it up and eat it. One should be very careful not to be such a servant of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. If one is a real sevaka then what happens? Kṛṣṇa-bhakte kṛṣṇera guṇa sakali sañcāre—Kṛṣṇa’s qualities enter His devotees. So if someone is with guru and they are really a bhakta and a servant then all the good qualities of guru and Bhagavān will enter that person. Then he will be humble and fully qualified in all the different manners of vaiṣṇava-sevā and Vaiṣṇavism. By the good qualities of guru he becomes qualified. What is the fruit of this qualification? He learns to ree all Vaiṣṇavas properly according to their position. He always chants harināma and his mind will be naturally absorbed in Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s eternal pastimes.How can these good qualities and tattva-jñāna enter our hearts? How can we protect our bhakti and maintain a life of service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas? Scripture states: āyur harati vai puṁsāmudyann astaṁ ca yann asautasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nītauttama-śloka-vārtayāŚrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.3.17 Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.When the sun and the moon rise and set they steal the span of life of all living beings. The sun and the moon thus enjoy all life forms. All the devatās and dānavas enjoy the mānavas, or humans. When a boy or girl comes into maturity then different supernatural beings come at any opportunity and try to enjoy him or her through some subtle form. Apsarās or gandharvas will come and they will embrace you in their subtle forms and in that way enjoy you and cause you to lose your vital energy. Our life span and vital energy is thus being stolen from us. The presiding deities of the nava-graha, nine planets, are all like different manifestations of time, which steal away the life of all beings. When any planet’s period is acting in a person’s life, then that planet enjoys that person who is under its sign. During the Rāhu period, Rāhu enjoys that person. During the Ketu period, Ketu enjoys that person. Similarly, during one’s maṅgala-daśā or śani-daśā, Mars and Saturn enjoy that person.We can be saved from this situation by being always absorbed in the Absolute Truth under the guidance of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, by serving them and hearing hari-kathā from them. We should study the Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, Rāmāyaṇa, and other scriptures, under guidance of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. But it is not enough to only hear or read; we must endeavor to remember hari-kathā. While you are engaged in other activities try to remember what you have heard or read. Always remember the teachings and the pastimes of the Lord. And then after remembering, you should perform kīrtana. You should hear, chant, and remember. And not only that, you should also pray. You should hear, chant, remember, and pray. If you do that then these different influences, the planets, the sun and the moon will not be able to take away your life. You will achieve your transcendental form and go beyond this material realm. (click on the title to see more)
Srila Gurudeva always served with the moods of the Vraja-devīs. Someone once brought mahā-prasāda from the Dvārakādīśa Temple to Śrīla Gurudeva. Gurudeva respectfully accepted and distributed to others, but refused to personally eat the remnants of Rukmiṇī.The person was offended and said, “You accept alms given by low-castes but will not take the mahā-prasāda of Dvārakādīśa!”“We are the resolute servants of the Vraja-devīs,” Gurudeva replied, “and will only accept their remnants. We collect raw ingredients that we prepare and offer to Śrī Śrī Radha-Vinoda Bihārī and we subsist only on Their mahā-prasāda.”Śrīla Gurudeva thus taught his followers how to be uncompromising. Gurudeva advised, “Follow in the anugatya of the Vaiṣṇavas. In an emergency, or to enable your guru-sevā, you can take the prasāda from Lord Rāma or at a Viṣṇu temple. However, you should always strive to be fully committed to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja.”Śrīla Gurudeva recounted a story in this regard:“An old Bābājī Mahārāja once lived in a village called Raṇavāḍī in Vraja-maṇḍala more than a hundred years ago. At one point, the desire awakened in him to have darśana of Dvārakā. A brāhmaṇa family came who were going to Dvārakā and offered to take the Bābājī along, paying the full cost of travel. The Bābājī agreed and they took him along with them. When this Bābājī Mahārāja returned to Vraja, all the sādhus neglected him. He could no longer remember the eight-fold daily pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and suffered immensely.“This Bābājī had a friend named Siddha Kṛṣṇadāsa Babaji, who was always absorbed in service to harināma and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Bābājī Mahārāja visited his friend, but when Siddha Kṛṣṇadāsa saw him come he refused to associate with him, saying; Srimati Radhika would be angered with someone who had taken the brand of Dvāraka and had eaten the remnants of Rukmiṇī’s cooking.’“That Bābājī Mahārāja became greatly distressed and thought,‘This life is useless if the pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa do not appear in my heart!’ He went back to his cottage and, locking himself inside, repented and prayed for forgiveness from Śrīmatī Rādhikā. After three days a fire rang from within his body and consumed him. The villagers forced open the door days later and found only a pile of ashes.”Śrīla Gurudeva fearlessly preached the message of Mahāprabhu, the aspiration for mañjarī-bhāva—the service of Śrīmatī Rādhikā as Her confidential maidservant. He continuously read the glories of the Vraja-devīs and explained how this is the line and mood of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Many reputed Gauḍīyas reserve or hide this mood without explaining to anyone. A dedicated disciple should endeavor to emulate Śrīla Gurudeva’s sentiment. Simultaneously, he should offer respect from a distance to anyone who does not adhere to Śrīla Gurudeva’s mood.Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Guru Darshan”.
“This mahāmantra is endowed with thirty-two syllables and can destroy all sins. Just as fire destroys, this mahāmantra can destroy all evil habits and bestow dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa. Its beautiful form (svarūpa) is capable of stealing all of one’s foolish, ignorant mentality, and it is the giver of śuddha-sattvika intelligence. It bestows the symptoms of prema-bhakti. It is worshipable and is worthy of being served by all. Śrī nāma fulfills everyone’s desires. All are qualified to serve this mahāmantra, meaning all are qualified to perform saṅkīrtana of the mahāmantra. This mahāmantra is the personal well-wisher of everyone and is endowed with the potency to attract all. It is the destroyer of all afflictions. It does not consider the rules of dīkṣā, and is not restricted by time. The mahāmantra is worshipped just by saying it. No external paraphernalia is required. It is capable of giving results simply by its contact with the tongue, without considering the rules pertaining to time, place and circumstance.”The Pippalāda branch of the Athārva-veda states:sva-nāma-mūla-mantreṇa sarvaṁ hlādayati vibhuḥsa eva mūla-mantraṁ japati harir iti kṛṣṇa iti rāma iti”That mahāmantra, which is composed of the name, form, etc., of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the origin of all avatāras‚ is making everyone joyful. He Himself, in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is clearly chanting the hare kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, the source of all mantras.” (click on the Title to see more)
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