Sincere and Eternal Service

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Siliguri, Deity installation anniversary
27 May 2017, translated from Bengali, part 6

 

Govinda always rests in the heart of His devotee. Always remember it and serve sincerely, simple-heartedly. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave a Govardhan sila and gunja-mala to Raghunath Das Goswami, and when he served Govardhan with heart and soul, intimately, he could get the darshan of Radha-Krishna's internal, intimate pastimes. Such is the service to a Deity.

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)

It is necessary to serve the Deity with faith.

সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণনামে—এই মাত্র চাই ।

সংসার জিনিতে আর কোন বস্তু নাই ॥

sadhu-sange krsna-nama—ei matra chai
samsara jinite ara kona vastu nai

I desire only to chant the Name of Krishna in the association of the sadhus. There is no other way to conquer samsara.

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 6.13)

Now you have got this rare human birth,

দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম লভিয়া সংসারে ।
কৃষ্ণ না ভজিনু দুঃখ কহিব কাহারে ॥

durlabha manava janma labhiya samsare
krsna na bhajinu duhkha kahiba kahare?

"I have got a very rare human life in this world, but I have not worshipped Lord Krishna. Whom can I tell of my misery?"

সংসার সংসার ক'রে মিছে গেল কাল ।
লাভ না হইল কিছু ঘটিল জঞ্জাল ॥

'samsara' 'samsara' kari' michhe gela kala
labha na ha-ila kichhu, ghatila janjala

"Time has passed as I have been busy in my material life, and I have got nothing—only became burdened."

কিসের সংসার এই, ছায়াবাজী প্রায় ।
ইহাতে মমতা করি' বৃথা দিন যায় ॥

kisera samsara ei chhayabaji praya
ihate mamata kari vrtha dina yaya

"What sort of world is this? It is like a trick, a show. While I affectionately take it as my own, days pass by in vain."

দিন যায় মিছা কাজে নিশা নিদ্রাবশে ।
নাহি ভাবি মরণ নিকটে আছে বসে ॥

dina yaya michha kaje, nisa nidra-vase
nahi bhavi marana nikate achhe vase

"My days are passed in useless work and nights are wasted on sleeping. It never occurs to me that there is death sitting next to me."

Nobody knows when each of us will have to leave, you must always keep it in mind.

কৃষ্ণ সে তোমার কৃষ্ণ দিতে পার
তোমার শকতি আছে ।
আমি ত কাঙ্গাল 'কৃষ্ণ কৃষ্ণ' বলি
ধাই তব পাছে পাছে ॥

krsna se tomara krsna dite para
tomara sakati achhe
ami ta' kangala 'krsna krsna' bali
dhaitava pachhe pachhe

Krishna is yours. You can give Krishna. You have that power. I am very poor. Calling, 'Krishna!' 'Krishna!', I run after you.

And there is also this very beautiful Saranagati kirtan:

সর্ব্বস্ব তোমার চরণে সঁপিয়া
পড়েছি তোমার ঘরে ।
তুমি ত' ঠাকুর, তোমার কুকুর
বলিয়া জানহ মোরে ॥

sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya,
padechhi tomara ghare
tumi ta' thakura, tomara kukura,
baliya janaha more

I have offered everything at Your feet and taken shelter in Your home. You are my Master; please consider me Your dog.

(Saranagati, 19.1)

তব নিজ-জন, প্রসাদ সেবিয়া
উচ্ছিষ্ট রাখিবে যাহা ।
আমার ভোজন পরম-আনন্দে
প্রতিদিন হবে তাহা ॥

tava nija-jana, prasada seviya,
uchchhista rakhibe yaha
amara bhojana, parama-anande,
prati-dina habe taha

Whatever remnants Your devotees leave behind after honouring Your prasad I will eat every day with great joy.

(Saranagati, 19.3)

If we can always keep ourselves within the mercy of sadhus, Guru, Vaishnavs, then we will get supreme benefit. This life is temporary and very rare. In Satya-yuga people lived 100,000 years, got the Lord through meditation; in Treta-yuga people made fire-sacrifices, their lifetime was 10,000 years; but it is said in the scriptures that if you make thousands and thousands of sacrifices, the result of all these sacrifices will not equal to chanting of the Holy Name just once.

একবার কৃষ্ণনাম যত পাপ হারে ।
পাতকীর সাধ্য নাহি তত পাপ করে ॥

eka-bara krishna-name yata papa hare
patakira sadhya nahi tata papa kare

"A sinner cannot commit more sin than once chanting Krishna's Name can remove."

কটি জন্ম যদি করে শ্রবণ-কীর্ত্তন ।
তবু না পায় ব্রজের নন্দের-নন্দন ॥

koti janma yadi kare sravana kirtana
tabu na paya vrajera nandera nandana

"If you practise hearing and chanting for millions of lives, you may still not get the Son of Nanda who dwells in Vraja."

You can practise sravan and kirtan for millions of lives, but you will still not get the Lord—because it means you have too many offences. You must chant the Holy Name without offences. It is said in the scriptures that atyahara, prayasa, prajalpa, niyamagraha, laulya, janasanga (অত্যাহার, প্রয়াস, প্রজল্প, নিয়মাগ্রহ, লৌল্য, জনসঙ্গ—too much eating, hoarding, too much talking, doing what is favourable while not giving up what is unfavourable, greed, associating with nondevotees)—these six things destroy devotion.

কৃষ্ণ যদি ছুটে ভক্তে ভুক্তি মুক্তি দিয়া ।
কভু ভক্তি না দেন রাখেন লুকাইয়া ॥

krsna yadi chhute bhakte bhukti mukti diya
kabhu prema-bhakti na dena rakhena lukaiya

"If you ask Krishna for anything except devotion, He can give you those things—bhukti, mukti, liberation, and so on—but He will hide devotion from you. You will not get devotion."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 8.18)

If you come to the Lord asking Him for a house, a car, etc. the Lord will give you everything, but He will make you forget Him and take devotion away from you.

You cannot get the Lord through any karma, any jnana, or any yoga—if you want to get the Lord, you can only get Him through devotion. How can you get devotion? Can you buy it with money? Bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-sangena parijayate (ভক্তিস্তু ভগবদ্ভক্তসঙ্গেন পরিজায়তে, Brhan-naradiya Purana)—you can get devotion through the association of devotees. If you associate with devotees, devotion will come; and if you do not associate with devotees, devotion will not come. That is why it is said that we must give up bad association. "Asat-sanga sada tyaga chhada anya gita-raga" (অসৎ-সঙ্গ সদা ত্যাগ, ছাড় অন্য গীতরাগ, Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 15): "give up bad association, do not listen to the material songs and music."

অসৎসঙ্গত্যাগ,—এই বৈষ্ণব-আচার ।
'স্ত্রীসঙ্গী'—এক অসাধু, 'কৃষ্ণাভক্ত' আর ॥

asat-sanga-tyaga,—ei vaisnava-achara
'stri-sangi'—eka asadhu, 'krsnabhakta' ara

"Vaishnav's line of behaviour is to always give up bad association. Those who associate with women is one kind of bad persons, and another kind is those who have no devotion to Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.84)

You must give up this kind of bad association. Then,

অন্য অভিলাষ ছাড়ি, জ্ঞান কর্ম্ম পরিহরি,
কায়মনে করিব ভজন ।
সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণসেবা, না পূজিব দেবী-দেবা,
এই ভক্তি পরম কারণ ॥

anya abhilasa chhadi, jnana karma parihari
kaya-mane kariba bhajana
sadhu-sange krsna-seva, na pujiba devi-deva
ei bhakti parama karana

"The topmost process of devotional service is to worship the Lord with body and mind, giving up desires for fruitive activities and mental speculation. One should serve Lord Krsna in the association of devotees without worshipping any demigods."

(Sri Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 13, Srila Narottam Das Thakur)

So, remember these five things:

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)

Does 'Mathura-vasa' mean that you must go to live in Mathura? No.

যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
গৃহেতে গোলোক ভায় ॥

ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
grhete goloka bhaya

On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.

('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

When there is bhajan, service going on in some house, that house is Goloka Vrindavan. It must be nitya-seva—every day, eternal service. When there is eternal, constant service going on in some house, that house is Goloka Vrindavan. Remember this. Muslims pray namaz several times a day, and according to our scriptures we feed the Lord several times a day. You can actually pay sastanga-dandavat and be a complete yogi in this way.

যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
গৃহেতে গোলোক ভায় ॥

ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
grhete goloka bhaya

On the day when there is service going on in some place, that place is Goloka Vrindavan, and this is actually not a matter of one day only—you must engage in nitya-seva of the Lord, you must serve the Lord constantly, eternally.

 

— : • : —

 

 

 

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Alwarnath Prabhu
'I always remember Alwarnath Prabhu and how much service he did for the devotees. He may have left his body here, but Gurudev always keeps a room for him in his place.'

 

Gaya Gora madhur svare
'Bound in Maya's net, you work in vain. Now, while you are still conscious, chant 'Radha-Madhava'.'
গায় গোরা মধুর স্বরে

There is no retirement in a devotee's life. We must do service until death.

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