Key to Guru Puja

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Adhivas of Sri Vyasa Puja of His Divine Grace
9 October 2018, Kolkata, part 2


Before the festival (in 1993), I decorated Gurudev's building with lights (at that time, there were no buildings at Govinda Kunda, there was only a banana grove there). I also made a banner for his Vyasa Puja festival, but somebody tore it. After that, Gurudev called me to this room. It was adhivas, and many people had come for the festival, we did not have enough rooms for everybody. Gurudev called me after the evening arati. There were some foreign devotees sitting at his veranda and one Bengali godbrother. Gurudev told me, "Why did you have to spend so much money, get all these lights, etc.? Why was it necessary to decorate my house with lights? My house is ordinary, why did you not just paint it with black paint?" When Gurudev said this, his face became grave and he fell silent. One of the devotees asked what had happened, and this is how I got to know that one of Gurudev's godbrothers had come to Gurudev and complained, "Why is it necessary to make such a big festival? Why did he need to put the lights, etc.?" That is why Gurudev told me that. You know, there is a saying in Bengali "Jhike mere bauke sakhano (ঝিকে মেরে বউকে শেখানো)—punish an innocent man to teach others a lesson (lit. 'beat a maid to teach the wife')." So, Gurudev had chastised me to teach the person who had complained a lesson.

Anyhow, after that, the festival's scope increased and became even grander. In 1996, Gurudev was in Australia for his Vyasa Puja, but we made a big festival in Nabadwip—a thousand people came to take prasadam. Later, Bamunpara temple was built, and we did the festival there. People would come for the festival three days ahead. Gurudev had explained and taught me that when you make a festival not much is necessary—a festival means Vaishnav seva, bhakta-seva. Gurudev taught me, "You fast on Janmastami, I have no objection, but you must give prasadam—if you do not give prasadam to people the next day on Nandotsav, if you do not serve devotees, if you do not make nice Nandotsav festival, then there is no Janmastami." So, it is necessary to serve devotees, to serve Vaishnavs.

People come for guru-puja, give some flower, give some fifty or hundred rupees and go away, but this is not guru-puja. Guru-puja means devotees are coming, staying here for a few days, it is necessary to serve them—to give them a room, to give them prasadam, etc. Everybody should help because everybody here is a servitor. We are neither acharyas, nor gurus—we are all servants. Why have we come to this line? None of us has come here to be a Vaishnav. Remember what I am saying. Why have we come here? We have come to become Vaishnav-dasanudas (a servant of a servant of Vaishnavs). If somebody says, "Oh, you have come to this line to become a Vaishnav," I say, "I have not come here to become a Vaishnav, neither am I a Vaishnav. I have come here to serve servants of the servants of Vaishnavs." If you get on Gurudev's boat and can stay in it, then whatever destination it may be sailing to, you will be able to reach it, i.e. you will be able to reach the Lord's abode—the highest abode and destination, and you will be able to take part in the service of Radha-Govinda in Goloka Vrindavan. That is called guru-puja.

Guru-seva is not engaging your Guru in service—it means serving your Guru, serving his devotees. "Radhara dasira krsna sarva-vede bole (রাধার দাসীর কৃষ্ণ সর্ব্ব বেদে বলে)—Krishna is the property of the maid servants of Srimati Radharani. All Vedas say this." Whose property is Krishna? Krishna Himself says "If somebody says he is My devotee, he is not My devotee." Being a servant of Krishna means being a servant of His devotees. None of us here is brahmachari, sannyasi, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahman, etc.—leaving whatever ego and pride we may have, we must become servants of servants and engage in the service of Govinda and Govinda's devotees.

যেই ভজে, সেই বড়, অভক্ত—হীন, ছার ।
কৃষ্ণভজনে নাহি জাতি-কুলাদি বিচার ॥

yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta—hina, chhara
krsna-bhajane nahi jati-kuladi-vichara

"Only a nondevotee can be considered as worthless and abominable: anyone who takes to devotional service is great—there is no consideration of class, caste or any other status for those who have taken up service to Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.67)

কিবা বিপ্র, কিবা ন্যাসী, শূদ্র কেনে নয় ।
যেই কৃষ্ণতত্ত্ববেত্তা, সেই ‘গুরু’ হয় ॥

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya

"Whether one is a brahman, a sannyasi, or a sudra, regardless of what one is, one can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.128)

If you are proud of you brahman caste and creed, it will not get you anywhere. Even a brahman must become a Vaishnav.


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Vaisnav Ke? (An Appeal to Your Mind)
'We do not want to stay in the temple because there are so many rules and regulations, everything has to be maintained at a certain time, and if you live alone, nobody will tell you anything, but you will be losing your devotional activities. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that nirjan bhajan is self-deception.'


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'The shelter of your feet, which are cooling like millions of moons, is our hope to attain the nectar of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda's Pastimes.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

If we take that mahaprasad, our senses will be controlled and bad elements can be removed from our heart—our tongue will be clean and we can start chanting properly.