In the Face of Austerity

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
23 June 2013


We must practise properly, but we are not, we are making offence to Vaishnavs... Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said it very nicely: we think, "Oh, this sannyasi is very nice—he gives me clothes, money, shoes, food; but that sannyasi is not good because he tells me to do this service, that service." Or we think, "This temple is very nice, they give me good prasadam, food, there, but in that temple the prasadam is not so good, they only tell you to do this service, to do that service." Such is the mood in this Age of Kali...

Sometimes householder devotees get so much austerity from their wives, husbands, children, that they think, "Oh, why did I get married? Why did I do it?!" For example, a brahmachari gets married and when his family gives him a hard time he suffers so much; at that time he understands it was a mistake and out of despair again joins the temple. Only when they suffer so much, do they understand it, but before that they cannot—you think that a wife will give you so much love and affection, nice food, etc. but you do not realise that it is maya. Attracted by that, you leave the temple, become a householder. You become engrossed in that enjoyment and by and by your life is finished...

Some problem, some austerity will come through your service—if everything always goes smooth it is not service. If your boat is going one way and the current of the river is going the same way, your boat will go easily, you do not have to make so much effort, but if the current is going in the opposite direction, then you will have to give so much labour, have to row so hard. Actually, how much austerity are you getting in your service?

As an example, in Gurudev's time when I just came I was alone. A new devotee, I did not know any Krishna consciousness, I did not even know what a Guru was. I did not know anything, and on the day I came to the temple an old sannyasi told me, "What did you come here for? You are an educated boy, you can do some job. There is no Guru here." At that time Gurudev was out of India, it was 1992 (his first world tour). In 1985 Srila Sridhar Maharaj declared that Gurudev was his successor, and in 1992, seven years later, the devotees would say there was no Guru in the temple. At that time, there was not a single disciple of Gurudev in the temple. I was the first to come and take initiation. Then you can imagine how much austerity I had to manage.

Do you know why everyone was afraid of me in Gurudev's time? Because I did everything myself—whatever work, whatever labour was there, I would do it myself. I am still like that. You saw when we went to Siliguri I distributed prasad. Everybody said, "Maharaj, why are you doing this? You are the Guru..." In what scripture is it written that the Guru will not do any service? Mahaprabhu Himself did service—Mahaprabhu Himself distributed prasadam...

Actually I want to engage everybody in service, that is why I can chastise everybody, but when I chastise somebody they think, "Oh, Maharaj does not love me." Gurudev said about me, "Acharya Maharaj's heart is very soft, there is no dirt in it, that is why he can chastise you in front of everybody. He does not hide anything, he tells everything in front of everybody." It is true—I cannot hide anything...


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Mind and Heart: Be Careful
'So much unhappiness, so many problems will come through your service—it is impossible to harmonise with everybody, so some problem must come—but do not leave your service at that time.'


Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by Mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.'

You may lose your friend if they fail in Krishna consciousness in that class, but you must
always increase your spiritual life, and you will get new friends in your spiritual life.