Cultivate Your Heart

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
23 January 2012, Khammam (Telangana, South India)


Today is a very fortunate day because we have come to this temple here and we are getting the association of you all. "Vaisnava sangete mana anandita anuksana" (বৈষ্ণব সঙ্গেতে মন আনন্দিত অনুক্ষণ): we always get pleasure through good association.

First one must have sukriti. Sukriti and punya are not the same thing. Sukriti is some merit coming from the previous time. "Tad vastu tadiya sevaya (তদ বস্তু তদীয় সেবায়): using His things for Him." We must use everything for the service of the Lord. Everything in this world exists for the service of the Lord, and when something is used for the service of the Lord, that is called sukriti. As for punya, the result of punya is heaven—if you do some good (pious) work, you will go to heaven, but you will have to come back from there; if you do some bad work, you will have to go to hell, but you will have to come back from there too. Actually, you know that we have all come from the same place. You think that you were born here, I was born in another place, and somebody else in some other place, but we have all come from the same place and we must all go back to God, back to home.

That is why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world. Krishna Himself appeared in this age of Kali as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu—Radha-Krishna's combined form—to take us from this kind of environment. We are suffering so much in this illusory environment, and He comes to take us to our real home. How do we get to our real home? In Satya-yuga the process was dhyan (meditation), in Treta-yuga it was yajna (fire sacrifice), in Dvapara-yuga paricharya (Deity worship), but now, in Kali-yuga, Guru and Vaishnavs come to rescue the whole world from this kind of environment through Harinam sankirtan.

If you get a great bona fide Guru and sincerely chant the Holy Name, you can get the bhakti-lata-bij (seed of the devotional creeper).

ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
গুরু-কৃষ্ণ-প্রসাদে পায় ভক্তিলতা-বীজ ॥

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"Having travelled throughout the universe and got the mercy of Guru, Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.151)

Those who are fortunate souls—who have sumedha (some good brain)—can receive this Holy Name and through this Holy Name they can get the real benefit in their spiritual life. How can you get it? As I just said, it starts from sukriti.

There is jnata sukriti (conscious devotional merit) and ajnata sukriti (unconscious devotional merit). For example, if a flower blooms somewhere in the field and just dries, it is useless, but if Vaishnavs, sadhus, or devotees can take that flower and give it to the Lord, then that flower tree will get benefit. That is called ajnata sukriti.

Through sukriti comes sraddha (faith), through faith comes sadhu-sanga (good association), through sadhu-sanga comes sravanam-kirtanam (listening and practising), and through sravanam-kirtanam the bad elements that come to your heart become removed. After that, through your devotional activities, you can get the real seed from the bona fide Guru.

So, it is necessary to cultivate your heart, to make it fertile. You have got a good seed, and you must increase, must grow your bhakti-lata-bij through sravanam-kirtanam.

I am telling to everybody present here: not puja, not anything else is effective in this age of Kali except the chanting of the Holy Name. Only by chanting the Holy Name can you get the real benefit and go to your real home... As I said, Mahaprabhu came to this world to take you home—Mahaprabhu cried, "This is not your home! You have lost your address!"

জীব জাগ, জীব জাগ, গোরাচাঁন বলে ।
কত নিদ্রা যাও মায়া-পিশাচীর কোলে ॥

jiva jaga, jiva jaga, gorachanda bale
kata nidra yao maya-pisachira kole

Sri Gorachand says, "O souls, awake! O souls, awake! How much longer will you sleep in the lap of the witch Maya?"

"Please do not sleep! Wake up! How much longer will you sleep? Come, I have come to take you home! This is not your home, you have lost your address!"

If you think about this seriously, you can easily understand this.

জীবন অনিত্য জানহ সার
তাহে নানাবিধ বিপদ-ভার ।
নামাশ্রয় করি' যতনে তুমি
থাকহ আপন কাজে ॥

jivana anitya janaha sara
tahe nana-vidha vipada-bhara
namasraya kari' yatane tumi
thakaha apana kaje

"Know that the main thing is that life is temporary and filled with all sorts of danger. Carefully take shelter of the Name and do your work."

(Gitavali, Arunadaya kirtan, 1.3, by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

This life is anitya (it is not permanent, it is not eternal). We can die at any time. You think, "I will chant tomorrow", "Tomorrow will be another day", "I will live tomorrow", but life is full of so many dangers (tahe nana-vidha vipada-bhara), so many problems can come in your life. That is why, you must take shelter of the Holy Name (Namasraya kari') and you can continue your work (thakaha apana kaje)...


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