Make Service Your Goal,
Means, and Sustenance

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Spoken on the holy disappearance day of
Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
8 April 2017, Sri Govardhan,
Translated from Bengali, part 2

 

Gurudev travelled around the world many times—he would stay in Nabadwip only two months a year, and travel around the world the rest of the time to rescue the fallen souls. As Mahaprabhu said,

পৃথিবীতে যত আছে নগরাদি গ্রাম ।
সর্ব্বত্র প্রচার হইবে মোর নাম ॥১২৬॥

prthivite yata achhe nagaradi grama
sarvatra prachara haibe mora nama

"My Name will be spread in every town and village of the world."

He would preach Mahaprabhu's conception everywhere, "Be humble, tolerant, give honour to others."

তৃণাদপি সুনীচেন তরোরিব সহিষ্ণুনা ।
অমানিনা মানদেন কীর্ত্তনীয়ঃ সদা হরিঃ ॥

trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree, who gives due honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.239)

তৃণাধিক হীন দীন অকিঞ্চন ছার ।
আপনে মানবি সদা ছাড়ি অহঙ্কার ॥

trnadhika hina, dina, akinchana chhara
apane manabi sada chhadi ahankara

Give up your false ego, and always consider yourself lower than grass, poor, needy, and mean.

বৃক্ষসম ক্ষমাগুণ করবি সাধন ।
প্রতিহিংসা ত্যজি অন্যে করবি পালন ॥

vrksa-sama ksama-guna karabi sadhana
pratihimsa tyaji anye karabi palana

Practise tolerance like a tree. Stop ill-treating others, instead nurture them.

জীবন-নির্ব্বাহে আনে উদ্বেগ না দিবে ।
পর-উপকারে নিজ-সুখ পাসরিবে ॥

jivana-nirvahe ane udvega na dibe
para-upakare nija-sukha pasaribe

Do not trouble others for your own upkeep, and forget your own happiness in the course of helping others.

(Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

Sacrificing his own life, forgetting his own happiness and comfort, Gurudev would go door to door preaching the message of Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu told Sanatan Goswami,

জীবে দয়া, নামে রুচি, বৈষ্ণব সেবা ।
ইহা বহি সনাতন নাহি আর ধর্ম্ম ॥

jive daya name ruchi vaisnava seva
iha bahi sanatana nahi ara dharma

"Be merciful to the souls, chant the Holy Name, and serve the Vaishnavs. Sanatan, besides this, there is no other religion."

There is no other religion. This is the only religion—to be merciful to the jiva souls, which means bringing the souls averse to Krishna to this path. Why do the sadhus, Gurus and Vaishnavs establish temples? What does Gaudiya Math stand for?

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)

Sadhu-sanga is necessary. What does sadhu-sanga mean? It means to live following the words of the sadhus. Prabhupad said, "Serving the jiva souls brings benefit to the soul." "Serving the jiva souls" means bringing them to this path—engaging every soul in the service of the Lord. Everything that exists in this world is created for the Lord, not for our enjoyment, but we, overcome with ego, try to enjoy it. "Serving the jiva souls brings benefit to your soul. Following the whims of your mind on the pretext of service is not service—service means following and satisfying the Guru and Vaishnavs."

"Chhadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payechhe keba (ছাড়িয়া বৈষ্ণব-সেবা নিস্তার পায়েছে কেবা): Without service to the Vaishnav, you cannot get any relief." Without service to Vaishnavs, there is no remedy—if you do not serve Vaishnavs, you will not get any result.

One day, Sanatan Goswami told Rupa Goswami, "Go and invite all Vaishnavs who live in the Dham. I am going to make Vaishnav seva." He invited everyone without exception and he wanted to see if all Vaishnavs would come or not. On the day of Vaishnav seva, Sanatan Goswami saw that one Vaishnav did not come. He thought, "I must have committed some offence at his feet, that is why he did not come." So, Sanatan Goswami personally came to that Vaishnav and said, "Prabhu, I did not see you at the Vaishnav seva, I must have committed some offence at your feet..." The Vaishnav said, "Yes, you have. Once, passing Govinda Kunda during parikrama, you laughed at me. I cannot walk properly and you laughed seeing me." Sanatan Goswami said, "Prabhu, yes, I did burst out laughing. If this is why you are upset, then please forgive my offence... Can I say something though? Prabhu, I did not laugh at you that day—passing that place I saw the private pastimes of Radha-Krishna, that is why I laughed."

I would like to say that if I have made any offence at anyone's feet, please forgive me. Please come to the programme, I want to serve you all.

হরিস্থানে অপরাধে তারে হরিনাম ।
তোমাস্থানে অপরাধে নাহিক এড়ান ॥

hari-sthane aparadhe tare hari-nama
toma-sthane aparadhe nahika edana

"If one offends the Lord, the Lord's Name delivers him, but if one offends you, O Vaishnav, one has no salvation."

If you make an offence to the Lord, Vaishnavs can remove that offence. But if you make an offence at the feet of Vaishnavs—at the feet of those who remove your offence—then who is there to save you? Is there anyone else, a second person, who can save you? That is why we must be always aware that we do not make an offence at the feet of Vaishnavs.

I always tell you,

তৃণাধিক হীন দীন অকিঞ্চন ছার ।
আপনে মানবি সদা ছাড়ি অহঙ্কার ॥

trnadhika hina, dina, akinchana chhara
apane manabi sada chhadi ahankara

Give up your false ego, and always consider yourself lower than grass, poor, needy, and mean.

বৃক্ষসম ক্ষমাগুণ করবি সাধন ।
প্রতিহিংসা ত্যজি অন্যে করবি পালন ॥

vrksa-sama ksama-guna karabi sadhana
pratihimsa tyaji anye karabi palana

Practise tolerance like a tree. Stop ill-treating others, instead nurture them.

When our Guru Maharaj first came to the temple, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj declared seven days later, "This boy will be my next successor." Many had a problem with that and could not tolerate it, but Gurudev tolerated it himself and told others to tolerate too. He always said, "Wait and see. It is necessary to be patient. Do not lax your service because you do not get the result." He also said, "Wherever you stay, do not leave your service. Wherever you stay, maintain your practising life."

 

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