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Servitor's Livelihood

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
12 October 2018, Dum Dum Park, part 1


There was a festival two days ago, and I am feeling a little tired today, but at the same time I must also give nourishment to the devotees all over the world.

First, I am paying my full obeisance to my beloved Gurudev, Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. I am giving my full obeisance to all the Guru-varga, to my Godbrothers and Godsisters, as well as my well-wishers and all my friends. My dandavat to you all.

Everything we have actually comes from our Guru. Without Gurudev's mercy we are nothing, we have no power. We are only instruments. Gurudev gives all power. That is the main thing. Whatever I have, I have got everything from my Guru. I am a fallen soul, I do not think that I am a Vaishnav—I never think so, nor do I want to be a Vaishnav. I want to be Vaishnavs' servitor—a servant of the servant of Vaishnavs. That has been my desire from the beginning, since the time I started my temple life in 1992.

Even in my early days, I did not know any Krishna consciousness or anything, but I tried to follow the rules and regulations of the temple, I tried to follow Gurudev's instruction. Even when Gurudev chastised me much, even when he beat me many times, I never had ego, no bad thoughts came to me. I always thought that Gurudev gave me this chastisement and it was good for me because I had read Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita scripture: Mahaprabhu chastised Jagadananda Pandit so much and Sanatan Goswami cried, he told Mahaprabhu, "You are giving bitter to me, and You are giving sweet to Jagadananda Pandit." Mahaprabhu got shy hearing that. That is how I understood what Gurudev's mercy is. He also told me many times what mercy is: when somebody has service, then they have mercy, and if somebody has no service, they have no mercy; this is the meaning of mercy.

I have always tried to follow Gurudev's instruction, Gurudev's order, and Gurudev taught me everything. I would wait for him to come. I always stayed in Nabadwip, and Gurudev would come there only a few times a year, not so many times: mostly, before Gaura Purnima and before his appearance day (before his Vyasa Puja). He mostly stayed in foreign countries, giving nourishment to foreign devotees. Gurudev always told me, "Vinod, you are in Nabadwip, and you have taken a very big burden from me, that is why I can sleep properly when I am in Kolkata or abroad." I said, "Gurudev, I have not taken any burden from you because you are doing everything, I am only an instrument."

When I joined the temple, Gurudev told me to always do kirtans, follow the rules and regulations, attend mangal arati and all the programmes, and I tried to do that. Sometimes, I would go to the crops field, and as soon as I came back at noon, I heard the bhoga arati had finished and I would run with my legs all covered with mud to start Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's arati. Sometimes, I remember I could not attend Param Gurudev's arati, and I would join the temple arati then.

In the morning, some senior Vaishnav would read Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, at noon and in the afternoon Srimad Bhagavatam, and in the evening Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. After much responsibility came to me (some seva in the crops field, construction, and other things), I could not properly attend the programmes and sit at the class at noon and in the afternoon, but I would be there every time in the evening, listening to the class on Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. Before, I had some wish, "Oh, I want to give the class on Chaitanya-charitamrita," but then I told myself, “No. Gurudev did not order me to give class and read Chaitanya-charitamrita." One day, however, Gurudev was sitting in the Western brahmachari building (somebody give him an asan, and he was sitting there), and he asked me, "You always go to the crops field, you are doing the marketing, etc., but you must also read Chaitanya-charitamrita sometimes. You can give the class on Chaitanya-charitamrita." I answered, "Gurudev, yes, if you give me an order, I can give class on Chaitanya-charitamrita at night time." Then, I started giving classes. At first, I was afraid, but Gurudev gave me an order, so the strength came to me, and I started giving classes.

I understood also one thing. Gurudev told it to me many times also: Gurudev said he was a very naughty boy, but Srila Guru Maharaj gave him a certificate, taught him so much, and then he became a good boy. My example is the same: Gurudev taught me, beat me, and I have also become a good man, I think...


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Gift of Service
'Mercy comes through desire. If you have a strongest desire, you will serve your Lord, your Guru, and Krishna, Guru will take your service. But if there comes even a little distance from our service, Maya is always ready: as soon as Maya gets some place, you will be immediately attacked by her.'


Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to you for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon [which may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti]. O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as Bala Gopala in Vrndavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?'

If you can avoid these three—kanak, kamini, pratistha—and give them to their proprietors, then you will have no problem and you will not fall down.