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Daily Service

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kulgachia Gram, Howrah District
6 May 2018, part 7


Even if you stay at your house, you can serve the Lord. Nobody says that everybody—the whole world—must suddenly give up their family and come here. I told this story at Nrisingha Palli, I do not know if you heard it or not. I read it in one of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's books.

One time, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was giving a class. After the class, a man came with his wife up to him and said, "My wife and I would like to take initiation from you."

"Why do you want to take initiation?" asked Prabhupad.

"We want our family to run nicely, we want our children to have good food, and so that everything is peaceful in our family, that is why we have come to take initiation from you."

"I cannot give you initiation for this," replied Prabhupad. "I tell you want you should do. I will give you a room, stay there for seven-ten days. I give lectures every morning and evening, come to my lectures every day, listen about the Lord. If you listen to it and you like me, then you may get initiation."

So, they stayed—they chanted kirtans, listened to Prabhupad's lectures during those seven-ten days. After that, Prabhupad asked them one day,

"So, do you want to take initiation or you want to go back to your house?"

"No, we will take initiation, then we will go home."

"All right, and why do you want to take initiation?"

"We have listened to your lectures, we understand the meaning of Guru now... That is why we want to take initiation."

"You will take initiation from me, but what will you give me?" asked Prabhupad.

"We are poor people, we did not come with a lot of money... What can we give you? We have brought ten rupees, we can give it to you..."

"No, it will not do."

"How much is necessary?" asked the man.

"I do not need your money."

"Tell us, what do you want?"

"I want this: you have some house, and I want you to give me a room in that house. Every day I want you to give me the food that I take. I will go to your house and stay there, and as long as I stay you must feed me. You must arrange some money and feed me."

Hearing Prabhupad's words, they were non-plussed, "Prabhupad is staying in such a big building and we have a tiny house! Where will we give him a room? What will we eat? We will feed him, and what will be left for us?" Seeing their faces, Prabhupad said, "Think about it and come to me later."

They went outside and started talking between each other. One Maharaj, a disciple of Prabhupad, was passing by and asked them,

"What are you whispering here about? Has Prabhupad not given you initiation?"

"No, he has asked for so much from us..."

"What did he ask you for?"

"He says we must give him a room in our house and feed him every day five-six times. How can we agree to this? We are poor people, how can we keep Prabhupad?"

"You are foolish, you cannot understand it! You did not understand Prabhupad!"

"What did he mean then?"

"When he gives you initiation, his servitor will give you his photograph. You must keep it on an altar. Buy a plate for him and every day give him bhoga with Ganges water and Tulasi leaves, offer flowers to his lotus feet, etc. After that, you can take that prasad. Do you think Prabhupad will come to your house and stay there? When you keep Prabhupad's vigraha (form) in your house, it means you keep Prabhupad in your house. Offer him bhog and whatever comes to you as his prasad, this is your food."

Then they understood it, "Yes, this is true! Then it is not a problem! We will keep Prabhupad's photograph on a singhasan, buy a plate, a glass—we will offer bhog and take prasad. I know this. Prabhupad spoke about it in his lectures! I did not understand it at first!"

Then, he came back to Prabhupad and said, "Prabhupad, we agree. We do not mind it. We will take initiation."

This is what is called practice. Whatever your situation is, whatever condition you live in, you must do continuous, uninterrupted service of the Lord, every day, with sincerity and dedication.

There are many people sitting here now, please those of you who do such continuous service at home every day, raise your hand. [Many raise their hands.] See? There are many. You must do such daily, perpetual service every day. Perpetual service.

Wake up early for mangal arati every day: take bath, wake up the Lord, do the arati, offer bhog, do the archan. (If you do not go to the bathroom in the morning, you can just wear fresh clothes, and if you do pass stool in the morning, you must take full bath, after that go to wake up the Lord.) If you must go out to work, then do the archan, arati, etc., cook something, offer the bhog, take prasad and go to work. If you work outside, do not make excuses saying, "How will I do it? I work..." If your wife loves the Lord and she can cook for you, then she can cook for the Lord too. She will cook, offer bhog to the Lord and you will take that prasad later. When you return home in the evening, again do evening arati, offer bhog in the evening. You must follow these rules. Offer some bhog (some fruit or something) in the afternoon also. Whatever you can—somebody can collect cucumbers, somebody has some fruit trees, etc. There are no rules that, "Oh, you must offer five kinds of fruits. Ten kinds of this, that, etc." No, offer whatever you can collect, whatever is available.

ভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু লুটিপুটি খায়
অভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু উলটি নাহি চায়

bhakter jinish prabhu lutiputi khay
abhakter jinish prabhu ulti nahi chay

"The Lord eats anything and everything when a devotee offers it, but He does not want anything from a non-devotee."


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Stay On Board
The key how not to find yourself thrown off the board: take in the Captain's instructions and stay on board without discriminating against the members of the family.


Jaya 'guru-maharaja'
'You are the mine of the siddhanta revealed by Sri Gauranga and Srila Saraswati Thakur. You discovered the divine meaning of the gayatri mantra.'
জয় ‘গুরু-মহারাজ’

Have we become a Vaishnav or do we only wear the dress of a Vaishnav? Do we practise
properly or do we pretend and show false renunciation? We must ask ourselves.