Strongest Faith

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
14 October 2018, Dum Dum Park, part 2


For a newcomer, it is necessary to have faith, sraddha. There are different kinds of faith—kamala-sraddha, taranga-sraddha, drdha sraddha, sudrdha sraddha. It is necessary to have the strongest faith. Devotion comes through faith—depending on what kind of faith you have, that kind of devotion will come to you. Not everybody has the same faith for the Lord, for the Guru.

I have explained it before. Kamal-sraddha means little or soft faith, newcomer's faith. Taranga-sraddha is, for example, when there is some festival or programme, their faith is there like a wave—just as when the wind is there, the water of the river always comes in waves; but as soon as the festival finishes, everybody goes to their homes and almost everybody is attacked by maya.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur told also: when Gaura Purnima finishes, everybody is ready to go to their own home, but they do not know what their real home is. He even cried in sadness, "They have come here and done Nabadwip Dham parikrama for seven days, and now they are going to that home, which is not their real home, but they go there thinking it is their home." Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur would say, "You are going there, but do not cheat me. You are going to your homes, but do not forget me, do not forget the Lord."

These are the main things. When there is a festival, so many devotees come, so many people come, but after the festival almost all people leave and they are attacked by maya—they return to their own job. That is taranga-sraddha.

So, there is kamala-sraddha, taranga-sraddha, then drdha sraddha, much faith. We may have strong faith, but sudrdha-sraddha (the strongest faith) is the faith that Srila Haridas Thakur has: when Muslim people beat him at twenty-two market places, everybody told him not to chant the Holy Name, not to chant Hare Krishna (they said, "If you chant, we will beat you!"), but Haridas Thakur chanted loudly. They beat him, but he still chanted loudly. That is called the strongest (sudrdha) sraddha. That is main thing.

"Adau sraddha, tatah sadhu-sanga...": first faith, then good association. Good association means not only sitting with the Guru. Actually, we always think the opposite—we see Gurudev doing some material work, we see Guru as martya-buddhi (mortal), but this is not so. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said also, "Baba Radha badha." His brother Lalit Prasad thought, "Bhaktivinod Thakur is my father," but Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur always thought, "Bhaktivinod Thakur is more than a father. He is not an ordinary human being—his body is transcendental. He has come from the Lord—he is my Guru who is the Lord Himself or His associate coming in front of me. He is not an ordinary person, an ordinary human body. Bhaktivinod Thakur's body is transcendental. Ultimately, he is an associate (parsad) of Srimati Radharani." Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw Bhaktivinod Thakur like that. Somebody thinks about our Gurudev also, "Oh, he is my uncle, why cannot I stay at the temple?" But we think Gurudev is not an ordinary person—he is not only a father, uncle, etc. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj brought him from Goloka Vrindavan, he did his service in this world, showed us so many pastimes, and after that the Lord Himself, or his Gurudev, called him and he went to him. That is the main vision.

Gurudev is

সাক্ষাদ্ধরিত্বেন সমস্ত-শাস্ত্রৈ-
রুক্তস্তথা ভাব্যত এব সদ্ভিঃ ।
কিন্তু প্রভোর্যঃ প্রিয় এব তস্য
বন্দে গুরোঃ শ্রীচরণারবিন্দম্ ॥

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam

"I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who is said by all the scriptures to be the Lord Himself, and considered to be so by the sadhus, yet is also the Lord's beloved devotee."

(Sri Sri Gurvastakam, 7)

Mother Yasoda and Sachi Mata also thought that Krishna or Nimai Vishvambhar is their son. It is vatsalya rasa. But we see the scriptures, we see Chaitanya-charitamrita, and we can learn from Mahaprabhu's teachings. Sanatan Goswami and Rupa Goswami also clarified it. The Guru is the Lord Himself who comes to us in the form of the Guru, and the Lord Himself also wants to hear His teaching, His conception—Krishna Himself wants to hear Krishna-katha from Sri Ramananda Rai.


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