Lift the Anchor
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Does anybody have any question? I have told so many things...
Question: Can we use our bad qualities to serve Gurudev?
Everybody does not have equal capacity, all my fingers are not the same size, then you have some capacity for service and you also have some bad quality. You know you have some bad quality, then try to remove it.
I tell this example in every class. Suppose you have a bad habit, like you smoke or take tobacco. If you drink milk and take tobacco, then you will not get benefit from drinking milk. So, bad qualities have to be removed otherwise it will not work. You must follow the main conception. We must reject whatever bad things in we have inside otherwise if you are weak (if you have some bad qualities), disease will always attack you. Just as when a person is not healthy, when a person is weak, disease will always attack them.
Maya always surrounds you and she is always searching for a hole—just like when an ant is going, it is always searching for a hole, or when a rat is running, it is always searching for a hole how to enter. So, maya is also always searching for a hole and if you have some weakness, she will enter. You must try to do good things, try to use your good qualities. Bad qualities must always be rejected.
ভক্তি-অনুকূল মাত্র কার্য্যের স্বীকার ।
bhakti-anukula matra karyera svikara
"Engaging only in activities that are favourable to devotion, rejecting everything unfavourable to devotion ..."
(Saranagati, by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
You must accept what is favourable to devotion and you must reject what is unfavourable to devotion. I always say this in my classes. As Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, it is not possible to take milk and take tobacco, the two do not go together.
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur also told another story.
This year you went to Ganga Sagar with me and you saw that there was a tide and a boat got stuck in the soil in the middle of the Ganges. You saw also that the boatman had put there some anchor with five claws (bhukti, mukti, siddhi, kami, etc.—enjoyment, liberation, extraordinary skills, lust, etc.) so that the boat does not go away. Previously, there used to be not so many roads and streets, and people always travelled by boats; and the boats were rowed manually, without a motor. So, one day, there was a couple going for their marriage ceremony—they had taken food and all the necessary things with them and took a boat to the place of the wedding. They started off and were supposed to reach the place at night (in Hindu religion, weddings are always at night). The four men, two on each side, kept rowing and everybody felt asleep in the evening. They kept rowing the whole night and when the sun rose in the morning, they were surprised, "What has happened? We should have already reached the place!" The boatmen were all tired, and one of them noticed, "Oh, we are in the same place! We have not moved anywhere during the night!" That is because they had forgotten to pull the anchor.
So, you do service the whole day and night, you chant, chant, chant, chant, chant the whole day and night, but if you have some material desires inside (bhukti, mukti, siddhi, kami, etc.), then you will not be able to reach your destination. That is the meaning of that story.
Devotee: How does this desire come?
It comes automatically—if you want it, it will come. As I have said, desires attack those who are weak, also desires always attack those who are lazy (an idle mind is devil's workshop).
Devotee: So, you must remove the anchor first?...
Yes, first you must remove the anchor, then the boat can go. When you have so many material desires inside you—when you want enjoyment (bhukti), liberation (mukti), perfections (siddhi), etc.—then how will you go? You will chant and work the whole day, but there will be no result. That is the reason why you cannot reach the proper place. You must remove your material desires—Gurudev always said, "Do not do what your mind is telling you to do."
Mind is very naughty, and you can fall down at any time. Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "You say you are a Vaishnav, but dusta mana kisera vaishnav (দুষ্ঠ মন—তুমি কিসের বৈষ্ণব ?)—if your mind is naughty, what kind of Vaishnav are you then?" That is the first line of his poem. It is very nice, I always like to tell about Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, his words are very strong.
"Those who have given up money, women, and fame, are the true Vaishnavs."
(Vaishnav Ke? 11)
These are the main things...
This is my conception. You can understand it easily. If you do not understand these things, then you can ask questions. Sometimes some contradiction comes, but I tell it clearly.
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