Sailing or Treading Water?
His Divine Grace
Vaishnavs are adosa darasi, they do not see others' fault and they do not criticise or offend others.
Madhavendra Puri had two disciples, Ishwar Puri and Ramachandra Puri. What is the position of Ishwar Puri and what is the position of Ramachandra Puri (who always made Vaishnav-ninda and had to leave Puri because of that)? Vaishnavs do not blame others, they look for their own faults. They do not criticise others—only Krishna-katha always comes from their mouth.
You must see the Vaishnav through your ears. If somebody criticises others, offends others and talks nonsense, how can they be a Vaishnav? How do you recognise if one is a Vaishnav? If somebody does not chant the Holy Name, does not preach, how can they be a Vaishnav? Vaishnav always preach (jive daya, Name ruchi, Vaishnava seva)—they brings souls who have become averse to Krishna, to this path. This is jive daya. They engage others in service to the Lord.
What do we preach about? We preach the words of Gurudev.
চারি বর্ণাশ্রমী যদি কৃষ্ণ নাহি ভজে ।
chari varnasrami yadi krsna nahi bhaje
"Whatever varna (a priest, fighter, manager, or worker) or asram (a celibate, householder, renouncer of the household life, or monk) you may belong to, if you do not worship Krsna but engage in your prescribed duties, you will have to fall into a terrible hell."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.26)
In the same way, "Guru bade Gauranga bhaje, sei papi raurave padi maje: the sinner who worships Gauranga without the Guru will fall into a terrible hell." You cannot get Krishna without the Guru.
Why do we worship the Guru? Why do we make festivals and glorify our Guru? Foreign devotees understand it. You can see they come from abroad and become pujari here. This is called revolution! Brahmins do not do puja, but devotees from other countries come and do it. They play mridanga, they do kirtan, but why do we not know kirtans? They do not even speak Bengali but they can chant kirtans. Why is this so? Because we do not practise. Practice makes perfect. When somebody sings a kirtan, you sing along—this is practice.
Gurudev said that wherever you are staying you must proceed with your spiritual life. We chant kirtans in the evening and morning, you can learn them by heart, then you will not think about other things, your mind will not go to other talks, and time will not be wasted. You come after work in the evening, you can go to bed and wake up early in the morning, do mangal arati, chant kirtans. How much time does it take? You say, "Oh, I have no time," but you have time for other things. It is necessary to practise. You are going home and you must practise there.
If you chant the Holy Name and remember Gurudev's face at the time of death, you can go to Gurudev, but if you see others' face and if you practise other things, then you will not be able to remember anything at the time of death. We lack practice. Gurudev said there are different kinds of devotees in this world—somebody is a 10% devotee, somebody is a 20% devotee, some is a 50% devotee, and so on.
There is no want of food or clothing. People come to the Math asking for many things, "I want this, I want that," but these foreign devotees do not come for this—they only come for mercy. They are not interested in big buildings or anything like that.
কৃষ্ণ ভুলি' সেই জীব অনাদি-বহির্ম্মুখ ।
krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
Having forgotten Krishna, the soul wanders throughout the universe. Being thus covered by illusion, the soul goes through all kinds of material suffering.
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117)
We forgot the Lord, and as a result we are burning now with the three-fold miseries. We have forgotten our Father, we have forgotten our Lord... We forget what Gurudev taught us, what he said to us. We backchat, we lie to Gurudev, we debate with Gurudev, but where does that take us in the end? Think about it. You have come here to practise spiritual life, so proceed in this way, do not take the wrong path. Gurudev is the captain of this Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math boat, and we must stay in that boat. If we can stay in this boat, then we can get to the place where Gurudev is taking us to.
Remember this and practise.
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