How Affection Develops

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
3 July 2013, Sri Nabadwip Dham, part 1


Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru rila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay

Question: In the Vaishnav world, there is some love and affection in the dealings between devotees, between the guru and a disciple. How we can develop more affection to our Gurudev?

Actually, some things come from sukriti, some things come from association, and some things like love and affection come through seeing others' example. It is similar to how love and affection comes within a family. You should think that we are all one family—sometimes there is love and affection, sometimes there is chastisement, but if we cannot think that we are all one family, that we are the same family, that we are Gurudev's family, then love and affection will not come. If you think that our relation is based only on giving or taking initiation, and after that this relation finishes—it is not like that.

Even if you consider parents' love and affection for their children. When the parents are alive, when the children are alive, then there is so much love and affection, but after that family members slowly, slowly grow apart and that love and affection also becomes distant. For example, it happens in some families where a daughter gets married and does not visit her parents regularly—then the parents stop thinking about her so much, and she also does not think about her parents so much.

Here it is also like this. When we stay together, there is more love and affection among us, but if some distance comes, then not everybody will feel love and affection. Just as every animal's love and affection is not the same, so is the love and affection of every human being.

I have told many times that some people take initiation to get something, some take initiation to give something up, and some take initiation to serve their Gurudev. When parents take care of their children, some parents think, "My children will become very big, and when I am old, they will take care of me." Their love and affection can be like that. Some parents take care of their children thinking, "Because I have produced my children it is my duty to take care of them." This is another type of love and affection. Love and affection can be of many types. Mostly, love and affection comes and grows stronger by seeing others—from association—when you understand, "Oh, he does so much for Gurudev, why cannot I do also something? I must try to do something too." Some strong feeling comes in this way.

I have seen many families. In one family, there are eight-nine brothers, all are married, and all live together. Their wives come together and there are maybe one-two bad ones among them who say things like, "We must live separately! Why must we all stay together? They have many children, and I have only one baby, then why must I take care of so many things?" Some jealous person can come from another family, but if somebody sees that others do so many good things, others take care of the brothers very nicely, that others have love and affection, then one day they too will think, "Why cannot I do that?" They live together and learn from others. That family lives together and there is not fighting, no jealousy in their family. Gradually, all bad feelings go away. If there is one bad person in the family, they become good through the association with others.

If somebody has a strong lack of love and affection, if somebody has never got any proper love and affection in their life, when they come to stay with devotees and live with devotees, they gradually become good too, but if somebody lives alone or stays far away, then they will not be able to understand these things. When you live with devotees and see their behaviour and practice, then love and affection come properly.


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