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At Stake

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
19 March 2014


If you take initiation but do not understand properly how to practise and how to do service, then your initiation is nothing.

দীক্ষাকালে ভক্ত করে আত্মসমর্পণ ।
সেইকালে কৃষ্ণ তারে করে আত্মসম ॥

diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama

At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Krishna accepts them as His very own.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.192)

To take initiation (diksa) means to receive divine knowledge (divya jnana). When we come to take initiation, Krishna always thinks, "He is My soul." But if we do not understand, do not realise these things, then we cannot proceed in our spiritual life.

We must always remember that at any time we can go away from our service. Deceit (kapatata, কপটতা) does not coexist with humility. If you say one thing and do another, it is called kapatata (deceit, duplicity, insincerity). If you are insincere, then one day you will leave this path... Vaishnavs are always simple-hearted (saral, সরল), they have kamala-sraddha (gentle, accommodating faith). We must always keep our mind and heart simple, sincere.

Gurudev often said, "Do not use me. I will use you." We must always remember it. If we can give something for the service of Guru, Vaishnav, Bhagavan, we can get a supreme benefit. We must utilise ourselves properly. What does Gurudev give you? Money, wealth, land, etc. is nothing. Gurudev gives the Holy Name to your heart, but if that Holy Name is not dancing in your mouth, then you can understand yourself whether your bhajan is going forward or backward.

Unwanted elements (kutinati) and bad association (asat-sanga) should go away. We always want to be in good association. Without good association you cannot get anywhere, that is why we need sadhu-sanga, Bhagavat-sanga, and association of the devotees of the Lord. Otherwise there is no way out—if you wash a piece of coal with 50 kg of milk, it will never be white. We must increase our spiritual life.

One devotee of Krishna can save the whole universe, but if you want to be a devotee of Krishna, you must keep the association of devotees. You cannot become a devotee of Krishna without the association of devotees...

In a paddy field there is rice and there are also weeds. If you do not clean the weeds, the rice will not grow—the weeds will grow instead. In the same way, if you have some other material wishes or bad desires (anya abhilasa, অন্য অভিলাষ) in your mind and do not remove them from there, they will slowly increase and grow. If you have some Vaishnav aparadh, some sadhu aparadh, Guru aparadh, etc. in your heart and if you do not avoid it, these bad things will slowly increase and all the good quality that you got from your Guru, from the Vaishnavs and Bhagavan will be removed.

Another thing is that even great Vaishnavs who have so many good qualities, who know so many scriptures fall down for this reason—because of such desires, because of kanak, kamini, or pratistha. They think, "I know everything," but the feeling must come to everybody, "I also should learn from this little boy," "I can learn something from this small brahmachari" or, "There are so many things I should learn from others." If, instead, aham-buddhi, ahankar comes to your mind and you think, "I know so much," "I understand so much," then you will eventually lose your service. We must learn so many things from others, and it does not matter whether somebody is a scholar or not a scholar, you must give respect to everybody—you must give respect even to those who took initiation yesterday only. This is Vaishnav etiquette, this is Vaishnavism, and it is necessary to practise this.

Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur also said that we must give honour to everybody because we do not know who comes in front of you—we do not know if Brahma comes, Vishnu, Siva, or even Narad Muni comes. How will we know it? We cannot, so we must respect everybody. You have no enemy in this world—you yourself are your enemy and you yourself are your friend (niji-i nijer bandhu, niji-i nijer satru, নিজিই নিজের বন্ধু, নিজিই নিজের সত্রু).

We must understand these things properly and always remember, always think about this. Otherwise there is no other way, no other solution...



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