His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Practice makes perfect. Srila Guru Maharaj also said: Gurudev says something and the meaning is the same for the householder devotees and for the temple devotees, but in a different way.
Once, somebody asked Mahaprabhu,
"We are householder devotees—we have family, children, wives, husbands—what is our duty?"
"If you go to your home, do Vaishnav service and Nama sankirtan." Hearing it, the devotee immediately asked,
"Vaisnava chiniba kemane? How can I recognise the Vaishnav? How will I know who is a Vaishnav and how is not?"
Mahaprabhu explained it. If somebody takes Krishna Nam, says "Hare Krishna," even only once a day, they are a Vaishnav. If somebody always chants the Holy Name, they too are a Vaishnav, madhyam adhikari. And,
যাঁহার দর্শনে মুখে আইসে কৃষ্ণনাম ।
yanhara darsane mukhe aise krsna-nama
"When somebody sees you and Krishna comes to their mouth, then you are an uttam-adhikari."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 16.74)
If somebody sees you and says, "Hare Krishna!", then you are an uttam adhikari Vaishnav—maybe they see your tilak and come to criticise but if seeing you they say "Hare Krishna" they get benefit through you.
It does not mean that you will think, "Oh, somebody saw me and chanted, 'Hare Krishna,' then I am an uttam adhikari!" If you think like this, it is a big problem—it is a bad feeling and very bad. It means ego is coming.
At the same time, Gurudev said that if you say—
জগাই মাধাই হৈতে মুঞি সে পাপিষ্ঠ ।
jagai madhai haite muni se papistha
"I am more sinful than Jagai and Madhai and lower than the worms in the stool."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 5.205)
—it is actually a lie.
Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami can say it, but we cannot say it because that kind of feeling does not come to our mind; if we say it, it will be false. Gurudev said this very nicely.
It is very difficult—you must remove this kind of ego from your heart; and it is only possible through service, through kirtan, otherwise not—otherwise it is not possible. If you think you can conquer illusory environment, can conquer your ego and everything else, it is not possible. These are Gurudev's words. He said it is only possible through sravanam, kirtanam—through practising. Not in any other way.
Think about it yourself. When somebody hits you and blood comes, will you say, "Hare Krishna" and lift your head and let them hit you again? Can you think of that? It is not possible... We say it with your mouth, but it is false—it is all a lie, pretending. It can only come through practising—such dainyata, humility, such tolerance come through proper practising.
Gurudev said also that if you are a householder devotee, you can make your house a temple. What do we do in the temple? We wake up early in the morning, do mangal arati—you too can have an altar, do mangal arati, do kirtan, and go to your work (a devotee's work means working for Guru, for the Lord), and you must take prasadam.
I saw that in many countries this is very difficult—the husband and the wife work the whole day, and the whole day their Deity fasts. They do not cook during the week and only cook on Sundays. I saw many family houses like this in the West, and in India also there are many houses where they do not cook—they go to restaurants and eat out.
Even if you do not have time to cook—you work the whole day—you must bring the restaurant food for the Deity, offer it with Tulasi leaves, and take prasadam. That is practising life—but if you go and enjoy in a restaurant and when you come home your Deity or Gurudev fasts the whole day, that is not practising.
বিষয়ীর অন্ন খাইলে মলিন হয় মন ।
visayira anna khaile malina haya mana
"If you take food that comes from materialistic people, your mind becomes contaminated. When your mind is contaminated, you cannot chant the Name of Krishna."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.278)
Mahaprabhu said this. When did He say it? When on the order of Bhagavan Acharya Chhota Haridas brought some rice from Madhavi Devi.
প্রভু কহে,—"বৈরাগী করে প্রকৃতি সম্ভাষণ ।
prabhu kahe,—"vairagi kare prakrti sambhasana
The Lord said, "If someone mixes with women, I do not want to see their face!"
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 2.117)
Mahaprabhu said, "What he is doing is not out line—I do not want to see him."
Practising—you must first follow viddhi marga (rules and regulations), then go to raga marga. If you start first with raga marga (following "your heart"), you will become a sahajiya. So, first follow the rules and regulations. Do morning mangal arati, sravanam, kirtanam, do gayatri—this is regular practising.
I remember when I took second initiation in 1992, Gurudev told me, "If you practise this gayatri three times a day for one year without stopping, you must get connection with Srimati Radharani." I remember these words... but we cannot do it properly, it is very difficult. When we chant, something always comes up—the mobile phone rings, or something comes to your mind. Who can say, "I can do gayatri properly"? I cannot. It is Kali-yuga, and it is not possible in this age, but our only hope to be rescued from this kind of environment is Harinam sankirtan, chanting the Holy Name. Only this is our hope, only chanting the Holy Name, only following Gurudev's order.
"Jive daya, Name ruchi, Vaisnava seva"—follow Gurudev's order, serve the Vaishnavs. "I will serve whoever serves my Guru"—this is our tradition. Whether they are junior or they are senior, if they serve my Guru, I will serve them. This is our word; this is our promise.
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!
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