Our Spiritual Lifestyle

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking to devotees in Canada
16 October 2011, part 1


I am very happy to see you all.

You can preach from there, you can do sankirtan, you can read the books, always keep contact with the devotees, listen to lectures. That is good for you.

'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
কৃষ্ণে ভক্তি কৈলে সর্ব্বকর্ম্ম কৃত হয় ॥

'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

"Sraddha is firm, determined faith that by service to Krishna all actions are accomplished."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62)

Gurudev said, "Anywhere you stay, you must maintain your spiritual life." You can make your family Krishna's family. You cook for the Deity, cook for your Guru, you serve your Guru, you do some job for your Guru—this family is only Krishna's family. Do you understand it? We are servants of Krishna, we are servants of Gurudev. We must maintain our spiritual life in this way. It does not matter where we live, we can live anywhere—in a forest, jungle, in a small house, cottage, etc.—it is not a problem. What is necessary is to maintain our spiritual life.

শ্রবণং কীর্ত্তনং বিষ্ণোঃ স্মরণং পাদসেবনম্ ।
অর্চ্চনং বন্দনং দাস্যং সখ্যমাত্মনিবেদনম্ ॥

sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
archchanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam

Hearing, practising (chanting), remembering the Lord, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, serving the Deity, offering obeisances, considering oneself a servant, thinking of the Lord as of a friend, and full surrender.

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.23)

Sravan, kirtan, sraddhaya sri-murti sevan, bhagavat sravan: hearing, chanting, serving the Deity with faith, hearing Bhagavat-katha. What does good association mean? When you read the books—when you read the scriptures of Gurudev, of Guru Maharaj, of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj—you get their association. It is not necessary to stay with the sadhu or bona fide Guru together (physically). You know that mosquitos also stay together with the Guru, but they do not serve—they disturb. Some servitors show false renunciation, they serve their Guru, but they have some other desire (material desire) inside. This is called false renunciation, it is not good.

You know that everybody, even big-big sannyasis, would pay their obeisance to Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur when they saw him, even though he was a householder. Many sannyasis who stayed in Mayapur also paid their obeisance to Kunja Babu (later Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj), although he was a householder too. Prabhupad said, "Samsara bhitare na bahire (সংসার ভিতরে, না বাহিরে)? Is family life inside or outside?" You cannot judge family life externally. Somebody can be wearing saffron clothes, somebody can be a sannyasi, but they can have some other material desire—they look like a sannyasi, but inside they live a family life. And somebody can be a householder, wearing white clothes, but their lifestyle is a sannyasi life.

আসক্তিরহিত সম্বন্ধসহিত ।
বিষয়সমূহ সকলি মাধব ॥

'asakti-rahita,' 'sambandha-sahita,'
visaya-samuha sakali 'madhava'

"When you are free from material attachment and establish relationship with the Lord, then you will see that everything around you is Lord Madhav Himself."

('Vaishnav ke?' verse 12)

We can stay in a family life but without attachment—anasakta hana visaya bhunja' (অনাসক্ত হঞা বিষয় ভুঞ্জ', Cc, 2.16.238). Mahaprabhu told Raghunath Das Goswami, "You can serve your family without attachment, it is not a problem." Anasakta hana, visaya bhunja (accepting material things without attachment)—that is good for us. That is our spiritual lifestyle.

Mahaprabhu and Prabhupad said that it is not necessary to show monkey renunciation (markata-vairagya). "Markata" means a monkey. Monkeys walk naked, they wear no clothes, they do not eat anything except fruit, but they always have some material desires. Do you understand? It is necessary to understand this clearly.

If you can continue your practising life in this way, it will be good for you.


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A Reality Check
'Our Gurudev and Vaishnavs bestow their mercy on us, but we cannot see it because our ego is standing in the way. We think we know everything, we are very powerful and knowledgeable, but in fact we know nothing, we have nothing.'


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'Unanimously all of your godbrothers see within you the revelation of Sri Rupa and Srila Saraswati Thakur.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

Mind does not know what is the right way, what is the wrong way, that is why Gurudev
and Srila Sridhar Maharaj always tell us not to follow our mind.