Unswerving Devotion

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Bengali/English lecture on Sri Vyasa Puja Day
29 September 2019, Tarakeswar, part 5

 

I will tell you some examples of Guru-seva. I heard that Sripad Shanta Maharaj spoke about Ramanuja Acharya's disciples in the morning. What do you think? I always listen to what is going on and I hear who gives class and what they say. So, I am going to tell you about one of the disciples of Ramanuja Acharya named Dhanur Das. Many of you have heard this story before, but many forget it also.

Ramanuja Acharya had a disciple named Dhanur Das. Dhanur Das was very poor, he did not have any money, but he always served his Guru—he had a Deity at home and would always cook and offer bhog to the Deity. How did he manage his life? He would go for collection (begging).

Our Subir Prabhu was also like that (always lived serving his Guru). He left us the day before yesterday. In the end, his wife and son had not given him any food for two days! I always told him to come and stay at the Math, I offered him to give some money so that his family could manage, but he refused. Before he passed away, he managed to sell some land and wanted to give some donation to the Math, but his family kept the money. When I heard the news of his passing away, I called his wife and asked her what had happened because I had just spoken to Subir Prabhu the night before—he said he would come for my birthday, said, "I will come to offer my obeisance to you." He wanted to give some donation also. His wife said that he had some pain the night before. I asked where the pain was, and from what she said I gather he had heart pain—when they rushed him to the hospital in the morning, he started shouting because of pain and then passed away in the car. They had not given him food for two days. This is what you call a wife, and this is what you call a son!

We fall into this material family life, we become slaves of our material life, but do they show you any mercy? You go to such great pains to bring up your sons, but does your son ever come to you to say, "Father, you have become old now, retire and serve the Lord." Does any child ever say this to his or her parent? You destroyed your life for them—you went through so much trouble to bring them up, you cleaned their stool, you fed them, you clothed them, you did everything, but do they ever show you any mercy after all this? Not a drop! If you come to stay at the temple, the family will oppose it heavily. I know everything. Why are people so foolish? O Lord, give them a drop of devotion, give them a drop of faith so that they may take the association of sadhus, so that they may come to You! I always pray for you all to the Lord. I always pray to the Lord that you may get relief from the illusory environment and come to the Lord to serve the Guru, to serve the Lord.

So, Dhanur Das and his wife lived by begging. Dhanur Das told his wife, "If we go begging together to the same place, then we will collect little. Better if we go separately to different villages." So, Dhanur Das went begging to one village, and his wife to another. There was one man of bad character in the village that his wife would go to. Seeing the beautiful woman begging, he thought if he showed her money, she would do bad things with him. So, one day he came to the woman and said to her, "You are so beautiful, why are you begging in this scorching sun? What do you need? Why do you beg scorching your body under the sun? If you come to my house, I can give you much money, rice, dal, etc." But nobody can cheat those who are truly wise. Do you think anyone can cheat a devotee of Krishna?

Tricking all illusion, tricking liberation, devotees come to the door of the Lord. True devotees outwit maya, outwit liberation. 'Liberation' means thinking, "Oh, if I stay with my husband, I will have no problem," but devotees do not wish for any of this. Devotees think, "If austerity comes, let it be as long as my Govinda is happy." Devotees actually look forward to austerity—no matter what problem comes, they never forget Govinda. We must always think like this. Never forget the Lord, in happiness or in sadness.

So, by hook or by crook, Dhanur Das's wife escaped the ugly man every time he came to her, and she never told about it to her husband. She thought, "What will it do if I tell him? He will just tell me not to go for collection." So, she never told him about it.

One day, she told Dhanur Das, "You go for collection today, I cannot go—I need to do some laundry at home." So, Dhanur Das went for collection and she stayed at home. Suddenly, somebody knocked on the door. At first she did not hear the knocking because she was doing laundry, but then she heard the noise and got alarmed, "Gosh, who has come today? My husband has gone for collection, and it is too early for him to come back. It must be that ugly man! He must have got to know I am alone at home..." Then she thought, "If I do not open the door, he will break it out... Better I go open it." Thinking about her Gurudev and taking shelter of Gurudev, she thought, "What will be will be." Then, thinking and remembering about her Guru, she opened the door. When she opened the door she saw that her Gurudev himself was standing in front of her! She was very surprised—she quickly paid her obeisance and invited him in. She gave her Guru the only battered stool they had at home saying, "Gurudev, please sit here. I will bring some water for you." Then, she brought a glass of water and said, "Gurudev, you drink this water, I will come just now." Meantime she thought, "I have given Gurudev a glass of water, but there is no food in the house and I cannot give him anything to eat. What will I give to Gurudev?" Then she remembered the ugly man, "That man told me I could come to his house and he would give me much money, rice, dal, vegetables. I will go to him!" What danger! Understanding the danger of going to that man's house, Dhanur Das's wife ran there quickly. By the time she arrived at the house of that man, she was out of breath.

The man got worried, "What happened? Why are you panting?"

She told him quickly, "You told me that day that if I come to your house you will give me everything. I have come today. My Gurudev has come to my house, please give me what you have."

"Yes, yes, you sit down," said the man.

"I do not have time to sit down. Gurudev has come to my house! I gave him a seat, but I do not have anything at home. Please give me what you have."

Then, the man gathered some things and gave her two sacks of bhoga. Dhanur Das's wife said, "How will I carry two sacks home? OK, I will take one sack and you take the other one, help me carry it home!"

They came home. She told the man, "This is my Gurudev, sit with him." She washed some fruit and quickly offered it to Gurudev, "Gurudev, please have this fruit, I will cook something just now." She went to cook and the man stayed with her Gurudev. Then, Dhanur Das also came home, and they both sat and listened to the Guru's Hari-katha. As the bad man listened to the Guru, his heart became clean—all the lust, anger, etc. he had in his heart, everything was removed.

[Somebody's phone rings.] Switch off your phone. There cannot be anything more important in your life than this. Problems are outside, what problems do you have? Prabhupad said, "Even if your house is on fire, you do not have to go there." Remember this.

So, the man listened to the Hari-katha and all the lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, etc. that was in his heart, all the attraction to another's wife that was there, everything was destroyed. Then, the man asked Dhanur Das, "Please ask your Guru if he can give me initiation." Dhanur Das's Gurudev gave him initiation and the man started chanting the Holy Name. Since then he became a devotee.

Devotees: Nitai Gaura Hari bol!

He had no attachment to Dhanur Das's wife any more—instead, he would say, "She is my family member."

You too are all my family members. This is Chaitanya Saraswat Paribar [family of Chaitanya Saraswat Math]. When you come here, you do not need to keep any bad feelings. When you are among your family, you must always behave sweet, you must give everyone affection, you must respect everyone. "He is that Guru's disciple", "He is this Guru's disciple", "He does this", "He does that"—not like that. We are all children of one family. If any of us goes the wrong way, we must explain it to them and bring them to the right path. If somebody does wrong, we must discipline them, if somebody does not understand something, we must explain it to them again and again. Do not keep any anger, demands, greed, etc. towards anyone, those who do, they have an impure, unholy mood. They are born with such mentality, and they are not sons of our own family. Those who are within the grasp of maya, whose mind is impure, who do not practise Krishna consciousness, they see that somebody is another Guru's disciple and they come to beat them, to attack them, to hit them, to throw chilli powder on their body, etc. This is not right. This is not devotional line. You will never hear me teach you such things. If somebody hits you, you must tolerate it. Surrender to the Lord, "O Lord, save me! I will serve You no matter what suffering comes. I pray I may serve You no matter who comes to disturb me."

Sripad Shanta Maharaj: Everybody has suffered—Prahlad Maharaj, Pandavas...

Yes. What suffering did they not undergo, tell me? How much Prahlad Maharaj suffered! Is anyone of you suffering so much? How much austerity he went through! Why do you leave Krishna consciousness (service to the Lord) then? Why do you leave your Guru? Prahlad Maharaj was thrown under the feet of an elephant, he was thrown from a hill, he was thrown into fire, he was fed poison! What he did not go through! But did he leave the Lord? He always remembered the Lord. We, on the other hand, get a little problem—some problem comes with our son, daughter, wife or in the family, and we break easily. No! O Lord, I will never leave Your service! Whatever austerity You give me, give it—whatever austerity You can give me, I will unswervingly tolerate it! I will take everything on my head and tolerate everything, but I will never be able to forget You.

You must always remember this, then you will get supreme benefit.

 


 

 


Always present at festivals and preaching programmes, but always humbly in the background, many of us remember seeing Sri Subir Prabhu (Sri Somya Krishna Prabhu). We are much obliged to Sripad Shanta Maharaj who managed to find rare glimpses of Prabhu in photographs. In the photograph above: Sri Somya Krishna Prabhu is to the right of Srila Acharya Maharaj.

 

 

 

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A Servitor's Mood
(Two Lazy Disciples)
'We always want to be lazy, but we do not realise that Krishna always goes to those who do service. We must enter the seva (service) planet, and we must go there through good association, through sravanam, kirtanam.'

 

Namo namah tulasi maharani
'O Tulasi Maharani, O Vrnda Devi, I offer my obeisance unto you again and again. O Narayani, I offer my obeisance unto you again and again.'
নমো নমঃ তুলসী মহারাণি

So much unhappiness, so many problems will come through your service, but do not leave your service at that time. Try to be attached to your service.

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