Gift of Service
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
জন্মমৃত্যুজরাব্যাধি, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi come to everybody: birth, death, old age, disease happen—this kind of problems comes to everybody. "বৃদ্ধকাল আওল, সব সুখ ভাগল, পীড়াবশে হইনু কাতর, vrddha-kala aola, saba sukha bhagala, pida-vase ha-inu katara: old age came, and all happiness fled—subjugated by diseases, I became distressed" (Saranagati, 6.3). Every year we are growing older, and day by day becoming more and more tired...
অন্যাভিলাষিতা-শূন্যং জ্ঞান-কর্ম্মাদ্যনাবৃতম্ ।
anyabhilasita sunyam jnana-karmady anavrtam
"The highest devotion is that which satisfies Lord Krishna, free from the coverings of any pursuits such as action, knowledge."
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh, 1.1.11)
অন্য অভিলাষ ছাড়ি, জ্ঞান কর্ম্ম পরিহরি,
anya abhilasa chhadi, jnana karma parihari
"The topmost process of devotional service is to worship the Lord with body and mind, giving up desires for fruitive activities and mental speculation."
(Sri Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 13, Srila Narottam Das Thakur)
Kaya-mane karibe bhajana: we must serve with our mind and body.
কায়মনে করিব ভজন ।
sadhu-sange krsna-seva, na pujiba devi-deva
"One should serve Lord Krsna in the association of devotees without worshipping any demigods."
(Sri Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 13, Srila Narottam Das Thakur)
It is written about Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur,
করিতেছ উপকার যাতে পর উপকার
karitechchha upakara yate para upakara
"You are giving great benefit by helping other souls get service of Lord Krishna."
You must engage everybody in the service of the Lord—everything that exists in this world is to be used for the service of the Lord.
In Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's times, educated people were rare. Once, a boy came to Chaitanya Math and wanted to join the mission. Prabhupad observed him for a few days and saw him walking around the Math, here, there. Finally, he asked the temple manager,
"I see one boy has been coming here for the past few days... Why is that boy not doing any service?"
"That boy is useless, he cannot do anything," replied the manager, and Prabhupad said, showing his anger,
"You are foolish, that is why you cannot engage that person in service. It is not his fault, it is your fault that you cannot engage him. Bring that boy to me."
Prabhupad met the boy, asked him many questions, and finally gave him a great service. The boy turned out to be highly educated, so Prabhupad told him, "When I am giving a lecture, you must write the lecture down." At that time there were no computers, no typewriters, nothing, so he would write it down by hand. This is how the Gaudiya magazine was published. The magazine came out every month, and each twelve months he made it into a book. Now we have fifty-two books like that. He was always with Prabhupad—when Prabhupad went on preaching tours, gave lectures, he would be there, writing his lectures down and then he would publish it in the Gaudiya magazine. His name is Sundarananda Vidya Vinod. He came from Bangladesh, from the same area as Narottam Das Thakur.
কুলিয়াতে পাষণ্ডীরা অত্যাচার কৈল যা'রা
kuliyate pasandira atyachara kaila ya'ra
"You forgave all the atheists of Kuliya village, despite their bad behaviour. Loudly you proclaimed to one and all: one who is more tolerant than a tree can always chant the glories of Lord Hari."
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur gave to us so much, he gave us Srila Prabhupad—if he had not come, how would we get Guru Maharaj, Gurudev? Actually we cannot see Gurudev properly,
অন্ধীভূত চক্ষু যার বিষয ধূলিতে ।
andhibhuta chaksu yara visaya dhulite
"Our eyes are full of dust, how can we see the eternal things, the perfect things?"
অপ্রাকৃত বস্তু নহে প্রাকৃত-গোচর ।
aprakrta vastu nahe prakrta-gochara
"Spiritual substance is never within the jurisdiction of the material conception. This is always the verdict of the Vedas and Puranas."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 9.195)
It means you cannot see the transcendental things with your material eyes. You must have the eyes to see it. You have other eyes in your heart, and through those eyes you can see everything.
Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj writes, "প্রকাশিলে গৌর-সেবা ভূবন মঙ্গল, prakasile gaura-seva bhuvana mangala: you have manifested the service of the Lord all over the world."
A great desire is necessary, if you have a great desire, you will be able to serve. If you have a strongest desire, you will serve your Lord, serve your Guru, and Krishna will take your service, Guru will take your service—mercy comes through desire.
In His conversation with Ramananda Ray, when discussing karma-misra bhakti, Mahaprabhu said, "Eho bahye, age kaha ara." Jnana-misra bhakti—"Eho bahye, age kaha ara." Jnana-sunya bhakti—"Eho bahye, age kaha ara." Then they came to Lord Krishna's paramour love, Krishna-prema bhakti—the highest conception. Gopis' prema, gopis' service mood are the main things for us in our spiritual life. Gopis do not think about themselves at all; they never think about themselves.
"কিসে ভাল হয় কভু না বুঝিনু, kise bhala haya kabhu na bujhinu": what will be good for me, what will be bad for me—I do not know anything, it all depends upon you, Gurudev. When I came to you, I bowed down to you, I surrendered to you heart and soul, that is all I know, and other things—what I get, what will be good—that is up to you. I do not know what is service, what is karma, I do not know anything, but I can try to follow your order, I can try to follow your advice. That is what we can do.
If we forget our duty, forget our service, forget what I am here for, what I got the human body for—now we know that, but if we forget it—if there comes even a little distance from our service, Maya is always ready. Maya is always searching for a hole. Just as a snake is going everywhere searching for a hole where it can enter and rest, Maya is also searching for a hole where she can take rest. As soon as she gets some place, gets a chance, you will be immediately attacked by Maya. " নিকটস্থ মায়া তারে জাপটিয়া ধরে, nikatastha maya tare japatiya dhare: [When souls become averse to Krishna and desire enjoyment,] nearby Maya seizes them." (Pv, 6.2) Maya is always around you and always searching for an opportunity, always wants to get a chance to catch you. So, we should try to engage ourselves in the service...
Rest is also necessary—for service, then it is not a problem; but not as an excuse for laziness. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur told,
নিদ্রালস্য-হত সুকার্য্যে বিরত
nidralasya hata sukarye virata
"I am subdued by laziness and sleep, averse to performing good deeds, and eager to perform sinful deeds."
Nidralasya hata: nidra means sleeping, and alasya means laziness. Sukarye virata akarya udyogi ami: we always avoid the good activities and always go to the bad activities.
প্রতিষ্ঠা লাগিয়া শাঠ্য-আচরণ
pratistha lagiya sathya-acharana
"I engage in deceitful behaviour in pursuit of prestige. I am ruined by greed and constantly covetous. Such a sinner as I is shunned by devotees, and is a constant offender."
We are always offenders...
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