His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
[Addressing a leader devotee:]
I am telling you—you must be strong. Sometimes, it is necessary to have a strong mind, a strong heart.
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said in one of his books, maybe Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur had told it, "Even if your boat is sinking, you must keep rowing." Even if you are going to die—your boat is sinking and there is so much water in it—you must keep rowing, you cannot abandon the boat. That is the main thing. I too was very happy before Gurudev gave me this service: so many problems have come to me after this position came, but I have not run away from preaching, I have not run away from the Mission—I am still preaching, still going on, still making festivals, still making temples. That is the mercy of Gurudev.
তোমার সেবায় দুঃখ হয় যত,
tomara sevaya, duhkha haya yata,
"All the distress I encounter in Your service is also my greatest happiness."
"In the course of service to You so much sadness will come, so many problems will come—so many problems with health, body and mind, will come—but this is all not a problem, it is happiness." You must understand this.
You must think also: we have been following so many false orders of lust, anger, greed, etc.—we have been following so many false orders maya, but:
বড় দুঃখ পাইয়াছি স্বতন্ত্র জীবনে ।
bado duhkha paiyachhi svatantra jivane
"I experienced only great distress in my independent life. All my distress has gone away by embracing Your feet."
"When I was independent, I got so much sadness, but when I surrendered to You, all kinds of sadness went away." Mainly, surrender is necessary. That is the main thing.
Your health may not allow you much, but you must come and give class, you must keep in touch with the devotees. That will make me happy. If you sit in one place and keep thinking that your health is not good, then you will become weaker and sicker. If you stay with the devotees, you will get strength, but if you sit in one place and think about so many nonsense things, your mind will get polluted and there will be a big problem.
When our health is weak, so many diseases come. Here it is the same—when we are weak in our practice of Krishna consciousness, when we do not practise Krishna consciousness properly, then all kinds of maya will be attacking us. "Nikatastha maya tare japatiya dhare (নিকটস্থ মায়া তারে জাপটিয়া ধরে): [When souls become averse to Krishna and desire enjoyment,] nearby Maya seizes them." (Pv, 6.2)
[Addressing another leading devotee:]
When Gurudev first time went to your country, you arranged everything and Gurudev recognised you as a good soul, a good devotee, a senior devotee in your country, but you become unhappy because sometimes you do not get proper honour from the junior devotees. It is not necessary to be unhappy. It is not necessary to think that someone does not give you respect—Gurudev gave you respect, Gurudev gave you honour, that is sufficient for you. Why will you think about it? You know, when I go preaching, not in every place there is much devotion, proper culture or respect, but you see how much I am digesting. I tolerate so much galagal (criticism) from them. How much I tolerate... Such tolerance must come to you too, in this way you can continue your practising life. Your health is good and you can go preaching from time to time, otherwise after your daughter gets married, you can come to me, stay with me and take sannyas...
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