A Shift In Objective
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy of Gurudev."
ওঁ অজ্ঞানতিমিরান্ধস্য জ্ঞানাঞ্জনশলাকয়া ।
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
I offer my obeisance unto Sri Gurudev, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the salve of divine knowledge.
gurvvabhista-supurakam guru-ganair asisa-sambhusitam
I offer my obeisance unto he who perfectly fulfils his Gurudev's most cherished desires; who is fully adorned with the blessings of his Gurudev’s associates; who is expert in all aspects of Vedic knowledge, both conceivable and inconceivable; who is the pre-eminent follower of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu's line; who is known as 'Govinda'—Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj; whose beautiful, effulgent, exalted form is infused with pure devotion; who is the Guru of the entire universe; and who is the giver of the seed of divine love for the Supreme Lord.
Actually, a cloudy day is not a bad day in our life. What day is a bad day in our life? The day when we cannot chant the Holy Name, the day when we cannot hear Hari-katha, Krishna-katha, bhakti-katha—that day is a bad day in our life.
"Bhakta-sangete mana anandita anuksana (ভক্ত-সঙ্গেতে মন আনন্দিত অনুক্ষণ)": we always feel happy to be in the association of devotees. Among us today here are devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, devotees of Lord Ramachandra... You know that there are four ages: Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapar-yuga, and Kali-yuga. Worshipping Lord Ramachandra was in Treta-yuga, but we live not in Treta-yuga—we live in Kali-yuga and we must know what is the dharma (prescribed religion) of Kali-yuga.
Srimad Bhagavatam says, "Kalau dosa nidhi": in Kali-yuga people are so proud and there is so much difficulty in Kali-yuga, but we are actually fortunate—in this age of Kali we are getting the Holy Name. This Holy Name can rescue us and all souls all over the world from this kind of environment. That is why we worship Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who brought this Holy Name in this abode.
কলের্দোষনিধে রাজন্নস্তি হ্যেকো মহান্ গুণঃ ।
kaler dosa-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah
"My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 12.3.51)
But it is not like the tradition to come to a temple, pay dandavat and go. We must practise properly—practice makes perfect.
How will the Holy Name come to your mind and to your heart? Through association. If you chant the the Holy Name and you keep good association, you will get the benefit through the chanting of the Holy Name.
'সাধুসঙ্গ', 'সাধুসঙ্গ'—সর্ব্বশাস্ত্রে কয় ।
'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'—sarva sastre kaya
"Good association", "good association," all the scriptures keep saying. Only by good association can you get all perfection.
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.22.54)
If you always keep the association of sadhus, you will get everything—you will get the real benefit.
This is how it comes:
আদৌশ্রদ্ধা ততঃ সাধুসঙ্গোঽথ ভজনক্রিয়া ।
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
"In the beginning there is faith, then good association, then practising life. After that, the offences gradually go away, faith becomes stronger, taste comes, then attachment, then there arises affection and love. This is how love to God comes to those who practise Krsna consciousness."
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh, 1.4.15-16)
First you must have sukriti, then you get sraddha, then sadhu-sanga. You know that you can give sukriti to others very easily at any time. For example, if you offer a flower to Lord Ramachandra, Lord Nityananda, Lord Mahaprabhu, Lord Krishna, or Lord Balaram, you can give some real benefit to the tree or plant where that flower had come from. This is how one gets sukriti. Through sukriti you get faith. It is necessary to have a strongest faith because the quality of your devotion depends on the quality of your faith (the more faith you have, the more devotion you have, "sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari). Through faith, you get sadhu-sanga, then sravan-kirtan, then anartha-nivritti.
So, first is faith, then sadhu-sanga, sravan-kirtan, anartha-nivritti, then comes nistha, sincerity. It is necessary to be always sincere, then you will have attachment to service. But we worship the Lord anyhow, at any time we fancy—we come to a temple one time, do some puja and go back home. We do puja for our own enjoyment, for our own fulfilment—we do not worship Krishna for Krishna's satisfaction, we worship Him for our own satisfaction. That is the problem.
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