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Foundation of Devotional Life

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Caracas, Venezuela
20 September 2009, evening


Question: To get protection of Lord Krishna we must be fully surrendered. One of the ten offences says that we should not have any attachments, but we have a lot of attachments, so how can we get the protection of Lord Krishna?

Attachment will slowly go away. The question is how to remove the attachment, is it not? As I said before, attachment will go away through practice—only practice, if you can do sadhu-sanga, sravan, kirtan properly and every day, then attachment will gradually go away.

There are sixty-four kinds of bhaktyanga (rules and regulations). We cannot follow all sixty-four, but among them there are five practices that are the best and most important for us:

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"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

First and foremost is sadhu-sanga. How can we always get sadhu-sanga? You can say it is impossible—Gurudev is not here, great Vaishnavs are also somewhere else, so how will I get sadhu-sanga? If we follow our Guru's instructions, that will be Guru-sanga; we can also read his books, his scriptures.

Another of the five main practices is Mathura-vas. It means you must always stay in Mathura and Vrindavan. But you are in Venezuela now, how will you always be there? You must always remember Mathura and Vrindavan, that is called Mathura-vas.

And there is also "sraddhaya sri-murtira sevan", serving the Deity with faith. You have Deities here and you must serve Them with faith. You can say that only the pujari actually does the Deities' service, and what will all others do? There are many ways in which you can serve Lord Gaura Nitai—you can bring a flower for the programme, bring some fruit for the Deities, and so on. This is called sraddhaya sri-murtir sevan.

Also, Bhagavat-sravan: you should always read Srimad Bhagavatam. This is our main line.


I can give you one good example of the service to the Deity:


In Vrindavan, Sanatan Goswami served Madan Mohan, and Rupa Goswami served Govindaji. After Rupa Goswami, Govindaji became the family Deity of the Jaipur kings, who then continued to serve Him.

There was a period when some bad Muslim people, you can say terrorists, were breaking all temples and the king had to run away from Vrindavan to Jaipur taking the family Deity with him. That king had only one daughter, and from an early age of eight-nine years old she used to serve these Deities of Radha-Govindaji.

When the king arranged his daughter's marriage, he gave her so many ornaments and so much gold, but when the girl was going to her husband's house she cried so much, "Father, you have given me so many things, but you have not given to me what is mine. Radha-Govinda is my service, how will I stay in that house without Them?" The king hesitated, "It is our family Deities... How will I give her the family Deities?" Then, he and his wife thought what to do (the daughter was always crying) and decided to make a copy of the Deities and send Them to their daughter's house. The Deity looked just like the original Deity, even had the same ornaments, etc.

The girl again started her service, but one day the Deity told her, "Your father did not give you the original Deity. I am not the original Deity." The girl understood what had happened and sent a letter to her father (in those days, there were no phones or anything like that). She wrote, "O father, what did you do to me? You have cheated me..." The king was surprised, "How did she understand it?" and went to his daughter's house with the original Deities.

He placed the Deity in front of his daughter, next to the copy, and said, "Which is your Deity, tell me?" The girl said, "Tie my eyes: whoever is my Deity, They will come to me." The girl's eyes were tied, but as soon as she touched the original Deity, the Deity caught her hand and said, "For so many days I have not got service from you! I have been very unhappy. I cannot leave you!"

Do you see? This is what comes through service. Vigraha is like this. Somebody thinks the Deity is made of stone, made of wood, and so on, but it is nonsense. Vigraha, the Deity, is Saksad Vrajendra-nandan—He is the Lord Himself!


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Wholesome Transformation
Kirtan, purity of mind, good association, and prasad—transform your life with chaste practice: 'Practise Krishna consciousness in this way and you will see how much your spiritual life will increase.'


Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'Give me the ability to befittingly honour everyone, then I will sing the Lord's Name happily, and all my offences will be eradicated.'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

You may not know so many scriptures, but if you are gentle, have good qualities, you have sympathy, love, and affection for others, then you can be a proper manager of a temple.