The associates of the Lord appear in this world by the desire of Bhagavān, and also return to the spiritual world by His desire.
They come to make a platform, to give training to the jīvas, and to open a center where they can cultivate their spiritual nature. Sometimes we follow the proper course, and think we are doing well, but we are actually in a polluted state.
Everyone likes fresh air and no one likes pollution. There must be a process of purification. When a great storm comes, with heavy winds, then everything is swept away. Everything is destroyed. Everything is cleaned, and fresh air can come again. So much garbage has collected. People do not want to throw away their garbage. The demigods arrange these cyclones and hurricanes to throw away all this garbage. Māyā-devī wants to help the jīvas, but they are very strange. They make unions, groups, societies, committees, and try to spread and destroy everything. Some special help is necessary; a special guide and guardian is necessary—a revolution is necessary.
Bhagavān Himself comes. Caitanya Mahāprabhu came with all His associates and they helped all conditioned souls, and opened many private centers. They made hearts into beautiful temples where there is only room for Kṛṣṇa, Rādhārānī, and Their associates.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, and other sādhus all desired that Mahāprabhu’s movement would continue properly. It was as if Mahāprabhu’s movement had stopped, for so many mixtures and impurities had entered. Everyone said, “I am right.” Everyone was fighting about who is right and who was wrong, saying, “I am great. I am the controller.” This doer mood is destructive. People think, “I am the doer,” and do not follow Mahāprabhu. They do not follow Mahāprabhu’s words:
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
How will someone be the proper follower of Mahāprabhu? There is only one way: kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ. Without kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ, one is not an ācārya, not a guru, and not a sādhu, but a cheater. Such persons are bogus. They only cheat people and create pollution. They are not only crooked hypocrites, but have hearts like rocks. They are followers of Śukrācārya.
The followers of Mahāprabhu practice—amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ. Śrīla Gurudeva opened centers to teach this. He brought people nearby him, and gave them training. In a similar way, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja went all over the Western world, preaching very powerfully. After maṅgala-ārati, he would bring people near him, and tell them to sit and be with him and to chant. He told them that if they could not stay awake sitting, then they should walk and chant. He told them that they must practice chanting:
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
śrī kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda
śrī advaita gadādhara śrīvasadi gaura bhakta-vṛṇda
After some time, he would have his special followers chant:
jaya rūpa-sanātana bhaṭṭa raghunātha
śrī jīva gopāla bhaṭṭa dāsa raghunātha
ei chaya gosāir kori caraṇa vandana
jāhā hoite vighna-nāśa abhīṣṭa-pūraṇa
What is the obstacle? One who does not chant harināma is only a disturbance to devotees. This is the disturbance in society. This is the disease. Why do we not chant harināma? What problem is there for us? This is our disease. We have so much time, but do not chant. After a diagnosis, our result comes as heart disease, and if we do not chant harināma then we will not be cured.
divasa rajani abola tabola pacala parite paro
tahara vitare kakhano kena ki govinda bolite naro
Day and night we waste time speaking about useless things, but we have no time to chant Kṛṣṇa’s names. Day and night we talk prajalpa.
We say only mundane things, like, “Hello, hello, hello.” What is this ‘hello’? We are calling everyone to follow us to ‘hell’, to Pātāla. We have opened a hellish-planet-calling-center. This ‘Hello, hello,’ will take us to hell. If one chants ‘Gaura-Nitāi’, ‘Haribol’, or ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa’, enemies will come and say, “Why are you doing kīrtana?”
Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “Without chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, I will not give any food to my body. I will not drink anything. If my body and tongue will chant then he is my friend, otherwise I will not feed him, and he will starve.”
Who can be a serious follower like this? Who is guru? Not everyone is guru. Those who do not properly chant harināma cannot be gurus.
How can they help their disciples? They have no taste for harināma and are not in the proper line. How can one be a guru if day and night he only speaks about rubbish and politics.
What is this matter? This is called pollution. Our society is polluted. Who will clean it? Whoever follows Śrīla Gurudeva—his instructions and the Bhāgavat-parampara, and who follows kīrtanīyā sadā hariḥ, he is the real follower of Mahāprabhu. He alone can help all jīvas. If all the devotees come together and engage in saṅkīrtana then the society can be purified.
Mahāprabhu said, “Who will take this responsibility?”
yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.128
Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrimad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.
Mahāprabhu said, “Become guru and preach about harināma. Do not give any of your own bogus advice. Practice yourself, and tell others to chant with a do or die mentality.” The mood of the chanter must be, “I will chant, or give up my body.” This is the process that Haridāsa Ṭhākura showed. We must worship Gurudeva, Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, and Mahāprabhu, by chanting harināma. This is food for our soul. The Supreme Soul does not want any other presentation or offering. He only wants us to perform nāma-saṅkīrtana.
taṁ namāmi hariṁ param
Mahāprabhu said, “If you do not chant one lakh of harināma, I will not accept anything from you. Kṛṣṇa will not accept anything from you unless you chant one lākh of harināma.”
Śrīla Gurudeva is an unparalleled ācārya. He chanted harināma continuously. Only then did he powerfully preach this line throughout the world in an unprecedented manner.
āpane nā kaile dharma śikhāna nā jāya
ei ta’ siddhānta gītā-bhāgavate gāya
Unless one practices devotional service himself, he cannot teach it to others. This conclusion is indeed confirmed throughout the Gītā and Bhāgavatam.
Śrīmatī Rādhārāni is always giving the chance to serve Kṛṣṇa.
She teaches this to whoever comes in Her kuñja. The Gauḍīya-maṭha is Rādhārānī’s kuñja, established by Prabhupāda. He brought everyone to svarūpa-śakti. There is only one cost to attain this:
nadīyā-godrume nityānanda mahājana
pātiyāche nāma-haṭṭa jīvera kāraṇa
In the land of Nadīyā, on the island of Godruma, the magnanimous Nityānanda Prabhu has opened a marketplace of the holy name for the deliverance of all fallen souls.
What is the cost? Nityānanda Prabhu says, “Śraddhāvān jana he, śraddhāvān jana he!” Only faith is the cost. Śrīla Gurudeva opened maṭhas where we perform saṅkīrtana:
kṛṣṇa-nāma gāne bhai rādhikā-caraṇa pāi
rādhā-nāma gāne kṛṣṇacandra
saṅkṣepe kahinu kathā ghucāo manera byathā
duḥkhamaya anya kathā dvandva
When you chant kṛṣṇa-nāma, you achieve Rādhārānī. And by chanting Rādhārānī’s name you will achieve Kṛṣṇa.
Whoever comes to the maṭha must chant:
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
Chanting will eradicate all tension from your life. Without chanting, you cannot last for a long time in the āśrama. No one will kick you out, but you will feel tension. You will experience burning in your heart.
You will feel like your head is exploding, and you will leave of your own accord. You must take shelter of harināma, and incessantly chant. By doing so, your presence in Rādhārānī’s kuñja, in the Gauḍīya-maṭha, or in our Bhaktabāndhav Āśrama, will be a permanent situation. From here you will go home, to God.
If anyone from another country wants to go to America, he must get a visa from the American embassy. The American embassy will check one very thoroughly, and after a long time, one can get a visa.
The Gauḍīya-maṭha is a training center where people are invited to enter Vraja-pattana—the branch office of Vraja. Śrīla Prabhupāda sent the Gauḍīya soldiers house to house, preaching his message. Gauḍīya pāṭhāiyā ghare ghare. The Gauḍīyas bring conditioned souls to the Gauḍīya-maṭha, and give them training. When they are trained, then Varṣbhānavi-devī-dayitā-dāsa gives them their visa and stamp of approval to go to the spiritual world. Nayana-maṇi Mañjarī watches to see who is truly the follower of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Who is running on in the tradition?
Who is chanting, and who likes this line?
rādhā kṛṣṇa bolo saṅge calo ei mātrā bhikṣa cāi
rādhā kṛṣṇa bol bol bolo re sabāi
“Come with me,” Śrīla Gurudeva says. “Chant ‘Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’. This is all I ask. This is the only fare to go to the spiritual world. Rādhā kṛṣṇa bolo saṅge calo—come with me, while chanting Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, then I will take you to eternal Vraja. If you are only chanting Kṛṣṇa, you cannot come with me. Chant ‘Rādhā Kṛṣṇa’ and come. Without kṛṣṇa-nāma, and rādhā-nāma, do not chant anything else.”
This is our duty. This is our most important service. We must chant incessantly, while doing all activities. The Gauḍīya-maṭha is a place to practice this. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda said, “I am not a builder who brings together brick and stone and wood. I am not a carpenter who has come to make many buildings. I came only to build the temple of the soul.” How will our hearts be a temple, a playing center for Kṛṣṇa, where we continuously remember Him, like the Vrajavāsīs do? The Vrajavāsīs never forget Kṛṣṇa.
smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇur
vismartavyo na jātucit
sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur
etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ
Always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him. All rules and prohibitions are subservient to these two principles.
How can we understand Prabhupāda and the Guru-varga? How can we understand our Guru-varga? Why are people fighting now? What is the meaning of this fighting? If everyone were chanting harināma, everyone would be clean and fresh. But people are not chanting harināma properly. Where is their mālā? It cannot be seen. They say, “It is in my locker. I am a liberated soul. I do not need my mālā. Chant my name. I am the founder. Worship me. Wash my feet. Take my plate and eat my remnants. You will be purified.” They fill up their plates so high, eat a little bit, and then give their remnants to others.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura teaches us in his prayers:
kṛpā koro vaiṣṇava ṭhākura,
sambandha jāniyā, bhajite bhajite, abhimāna hau dūra
O Vaiṣṇava Ṭhākura! Please give me your mercy—knowledge of my relation with Bhagavān and the ability to do bhajana, casting arrogance far away.
‘āmi to vaiṣṇava’, e buddhi hoile, amānī nā ho’bo āmi
pratiṣthāśā āsi’, hṛdoya dūṣibe, hoibo niraya-gāmī
If I think “I am a Vaiṣṇava,” then I will never become humble.
My heart will become contaminated with the hope of receiving honor from others, and I will surely go to hell.
tomāra kiṅkara, āpane jānibo, ‘guru’-abhimāna tyaji’
tomāra ucchiṣṭha, pada-jala-reṇu, sadā niṣkapaṭe bhaji
Give me the mercy that I can renounce the false conception of my being guru and can be your servant. Let me sincerely honor your remnants and your foot-dust and foot-bath water.
‘nije śreṣṭha’ jāni, ucchiṣṭthādi dāne, ho’be abhimāna bhāra
tāi śiṣya taba, thākiyā sarvadā, nā loibo pūjā kā’r
By thinking myself very advanced and giving my remnants to others, I will be burdened with the weight of false pride. Let me always identify as your disciple and not accept wor or praise from others.
amānī mānada, hoile kīrtane, adhikāra dibe tumi
tomāra caraṇe, niṣkapaṭe āmi, kāṅdiyā luṭibo bhūmi
If I can renounce the desire for honor for myself and can offer respect to others, you will bless me with the ability to perform kīrtana purely. Weeping and rolling on the ground, I sincerely submit myself at your lotus feet.
Do we ever remember or sing this kīrtana? Do we ever try to understand this? Why are we so proud? We do not come to the Guru-varga and the Vaiṣṇavas:
ye ’nye ’ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
O lotus eyed one! Those who are not your devotees may consider themselves to be liberated by their performance of sense-control and severe sādhana, but their intelligence is not pure because they are devoid of the sentiments of unalloyed devotion towards You. As a result of neglecting Your lotus feet, which are the only shelter, they again fall down to a degraded condition.
Our mind is defeated by māyā, therefore we never come to the Vaiṣṇavas, do not follow bhakti, do not surrender, do not remember the Guru-varga, do not ever offer obeisance to them. How are we sādhus? If you do not offer obeisance to your Guru-varga, you are not a sādhu. You are only a svādu, an enjoyer. But if you are connected to Gurudeva and with Vaiṣṇavas, then what is the question of māyā? Kāma krodha ki karite pare yadi haya sādhu janāra saṅga—what can māyā do, what can lust and anger do, how can they attack us, if we are in the association of the Vaiṣṇavas?
Śrīla Gurudeva and the Guru-varga came to this world and started a revolution, following in the line of Rūpa and Raghunātha. If you cannot follow this line, at least respect them. Remember them, follow their philosophy and hari-kathā. We are now like ghosts. We must become strong. If you cannot follow, at least offer respect and obeisance to the Guru-varga, and then they will surely accept you. They will give you power. When someone chants harināma, Hari is pleased. When you remember Hari, there can be no problems in life. Whoever you are, wherever you are, everything will come to you.
Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Guru Darshan”. Available from: firstname.lastname@example.org )