kiba mantra dila, gosani, kiba tara bala
japite japite mantra karila pagala
"My lord, what kind of mantra have you given Me? What kind of power does it
posses? Chanting this maha-mantra made me mad!"
(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 7.81)
কবে নবদ্বীপে সুরধুণী-তটে
'গৌর-নিত্যানন্দ' বলি' নিষ্কপটে ।
নাচিয়া গাইয়া, বেড়াইব ছুটে,
বাতুলের প্রায় ছাড়িয়া বিচার ॥
কবে হবে বল, সে দিন আমার ।
kabe navadvipe, suradhuni-tate,
'gaura-nityananda' bali' niskapate
nachiya gaiya, bedaiba chhute,
vatulera praya chhadiya vichara
kabe habe bala se dina amara
"When will I wander along the banks of the Ganges in Nabadwip, sincerely
calling out, 'Gaura-Nityananda!', while dancing, singing, and running about,
without any thinking as though mad? Tell me, when will that day be mine?"
"When will I, chanting and chanting the Holy Name, become crazy? When will
that day come to me?"—Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is singing this for us.
When Mahaprabhu went to South India, He saw there one brahman sitting
in one of the temples—he was reading Srimad Bhagavad-gita and crying.
Many people laughed at him because his pronunciation was not good, he did not
read correctly, etc. Mahaprabhu observed him for some time and then asked, "O
brahman, you are reading Gita, but what meaning are you getting from
it that you are crying?" The brahman replied, "I do not know the
meaning, but my Gurudev has ordered me to always read Gita. For as
long as I am reading Gita, I can see Krishna driving Arjuna's chariot,
but when I stop reading Gita, I can no longer see it. I do not
understand what mistakes I make, what wrong pronunciation I have, etc. but
because when I read it I can see Arjuna and Krishna my heart does not want to
stop reading it."
We too much practise in this way. That is why our society's name is Sri
Chaitanya Saraswat Krishna-anusilana sangha ('anusilana' means
practice). Practice makes perfect. We must try to practise
kirtan. There are sixty-four types of devotional practices, among them
nine are the main, and among those nine these five are the best,
"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)
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)
সংসার সংসার ক'রে মিছে গেল কাল ।
লাভ না হইল কিছু ঘটিল জঞ্জাল ॥
কিসের সংসার এই, ছায়াবাজী প্রায় ।
ইহাতে মমতা করি' বৃথা দিন যায় ॥
দিন যায় মিছা কাজে নিশা নিদ্রাবশে ।
নাহি ভাবি মরণ নিকটে আছে বসে ॥
'samsara' 'samsara' kari' michhe gela kala
labha na ha-ila kichhu, ghatila janjala
kisera samsara ei chhayabaji praya
ihate mamata kari vrtha dina yaya
dina yaya michha kaje, nisa nidra-vase
nahi bhavi marana nikate achhe vase
"Time has passed as I have been busy in my material life, and I have got
nothing—only became burdened. 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. 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."
We never think that our death is so near, we do not know when we will have to
leave this body and go away. We have fallen into this material world, but
when will Maya Devi be merciful to us and cut this net? When will this bound
by Maya jiva soul become detached from the visaya and be able to serve the
Lord? When will I be able to serve my Guru and the Vaishnavs?
We must always keep these thoughts within our hearts.
You can give up everything, but it is very difficult to give up yourself. We
must give ourselves to the lotus feet of the Lord. You have heard the story
of Bali Maharaj—when Vamandev took the entire creation with His two steps, He
asked Bali Maharaj, "Bali, you must keep your word. Give Me the third step of
land!" Bali Maharaj replied, "Prabhu, I do not have anything else. You have
taken everything with Your two steps. I have nothing else to give." Vamandev
asked again, "Nothing? Think carefully, think well." Then Vindhyavali (Bali
Maharaj's wife) came and whispered to Bali Maharaj, "Prabhu keeps asking you,
but you do not understand it—you have given everything, but have you given
yourself? Have you offered yourself at the lotus feet of the Lord?"
"Sri Krishna hears the prayers of one who surrenders in this six-fold way:
(1) humility, (2) self-submission, (3) embracing the Lord's guardianship, (4)
maintaining the faith that 'Krishna will certainly protect me', (5) engaging
only in activities that are favourable to devotion, (6) rejecting everything
unfavourable to devotion.
dainya, daya anye mana, pratistha-varjana
chari gune guni hai karaha kirtana
Humility, compassion, honouring others, and giving up prestige—become
qualified with these four qualities and chant the Name.
(Sri Siksastakam Giti)
Who can engage in kirtan[chant the Holy Name, glorify the Lord, serve and practise
properly]? Who has the right to do kirtan? Not everybody
has such a right, or qualification. Many may have a good tune, a good rhythm,
many may be proud of their tune, of their voice ("I sing very beautifully"),
but who can do kirtan?
ধন জন আর কবিতা সুন্দরী
বলিব না চাহি দেহ-সুখকরী ।
জন্মে জন্মে দাও ওহে গৌরহরি
অহৈতুকী ভক্তি চরণে তোমার ॥
dhana jana ara, kavita-sundari,
baliba na chahi deha-sukha-kari
janme janme dao, ohe gaurahari!
ahaituki bhakti charane tomara
"When will I declare that I do not desire wealth, followers, erudition,
beautiful women, or any other bodily pleasure? O Gaurahari! Birth after
birth, please give me unconditional devotion to Your feet."
ছাড়িয়াছে যারে সেই ত বৈষ্ণব
chhadiyachhe yare sei ta vaisnava
"Those who have given up money, women, and fame, are the true Vaishnavs."
(Vaishnav Ke? 11)
You can leave money, you can leave women, but pratistha is pig's
stool—we run hither and thither after pratistha, but when one becomes
a real Vaishnav, pratistha will run behind them.
'O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by Mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.'