His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Guru Maharaj always says, always chastises me, "Always avoid karma!" Krishna also says in Srimad Bhagavad-gita, "You must avoid all karma." Karma means your duty, so your duty must always be avoided. You can ask how it is possible—if we avoid all duties, how will we eat, how will we live? Krishna says, "Yes, avoid all duties, but it does not mean that you must leave your job, leave your work, that you must not cook, etc. It means you must do everything, but you must do it for Me."
So often we do some service, but if that service does not please Vaishnavs, does not please Gurudev, then it will be karma. Service (seva) and duty (karma) look the same, and Gurudev always gives this example: A cat catches its baby with its mouth, and that same cat later catches a rat with its mouth—although both look the same, the cat takes its baby to serve the baby, but when it takes the rat, it takes it to eat it. Both look the same, but one is karma, one is service (seva).
For the service of Krishna, for the service of the Lord, for the service of Gurudev, you can do everything, but not for your self,
আত্মেন্দ্রিয়প্রীতি-বাঞ্ছা—তারে বলি 'কাম' ।
atmendriya-priti-vancha—tare bali 'kama'
"The desire to gratify one's own senses is kama (lust), but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krishna is prema (love)."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 4.165)
For myself, I cannot do anything, I must not do anything; but for Gurudev, for the service to Vaishnavs, for the service to the Lord, I can do anything and everything, even a sin. Even if I think, "Oh no, it will be a sin!" it is not so—if it is service to Krishna, I can even steal. Even stealing is not problem for the service to Krishna.
Mahaprabhu had a servitor who name was Govinda. Before, Govinda was the servitor of Iswar Puri (Gurudev of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). Ishwar Puri asked Govinda, "When I die, you must serve Mahaprabhu," and Govinda always served Mahaprabhu. Every day, after the night time prasadam, he would massage Mahaprabhu's head, body before Mahaprabhu went to sleep.
One day, Mahaprabhu danced and chanted so much and when he came back to Gambhira (at that time, Mahaprabhu was staying in Puri, and the place where He stayed is called Gambhira) He was so tired that He lay down in the doorway of His room. His room was very small and had only one door, so when Govinda saw Him lying in the door way, he asked Mahaprabhu,
"Prabhu, please move Your body so that I can go inside... I have come to serve You..."
"Today I am tired, I cannot talk, I cannot move..."
"If You cannot move, what can I do? I have come to serve you, but how will I do it if You do not move?"
"Do as you like, I cannot do anything, I cannot talk..."
Govinda thought, "What am I to do? He is sleeping, and if I cross Him, my foot dust will fall on His body..." Then he got an idea. He spread his cloth and put it on top of Mahaprabhu's body, and cross Him like this. Then, he massaged Mahaprabhu's head and body, did all his service, and Mahaprabhu got a good sleep.
At midnight, Mahaprabhu woke up and saw Govinda was still inside the room.
"Govinda, it is midnight! Why are you still here? It is so late! Why did you not take prasadam?" Mahaprabhu asked Govinda.
"Prabhu, how can I go to take prasadam? You are sleeping in the doorway, how will I come outside?" answered Govinda.
"How did you come here then?"
"I came inside for Your service, but I cannot come outside for my own benefit, to take prasadam, etc. For Your service I can cross You. I know it is a sin and I did wrong, but I did this wrong for You, I cannot do it for myself."
This is the example. For the Lord, for the Guru and Vaishnavs, we can do everything.
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