His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
I am paying my humble obeisance at the lotus feet of my beloved Gurudev, Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, as well as all the Vaishnav-vrinda, all the sannyasi-vrinda, all the devotees of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and other sampradayas also. I am paying my obeisance at the lotus feet of them all because without the mercy of Vaishnavs, without the mercy of Gurudev, our life is nothing.
Krishna gave us this human body to serve, to come to Krishna consciousness, to chant the Holy Name of the Lord, to serve Gurudev and to be established in our faith in our Gurudev and all the Vaishnavs. That is the main thing.
'শ্রদ্ধা' শব্দে—বিস্বাস কহে সুদৃঢ় নিশ্চয় ।
'sraddha'-sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdha nischaya
"Sraddha is firm, determined faith that by service to Krishna all actions are accomplished."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.62)
If you have faith, then the strongest faith is necessary. Faith is of four types—kamala sraddha, taranga sraddha, drdha sraddha, sudrdha sraddha. Kamala sraddha means you put tilaks, wear Tulasi beads (kanthi-mala), you take initiation, but when outside people cannot tolerate it and say many bad things to you, you get shy and leave everything; or maya can attack you, and you leave everything. That is kamala sraddha. Taranga sraddha means when the wind comes, a wave comes, and when the wind finishes, the wave also finishes. We come for the festival in Nabadwip Dham, for the parikrama and Gaura Purnima, or we come for some other festival, everyone chants and dances, but we cannot understand how many percent of the devotees are pure devotees, how many percent of people practise Krishna consciousness properly.
শ্রবণং কীর্ত্তনং বিষ্ণোঃ স্মরণং পাদসেবনম্ ।
sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
Hearing, practising (chanting), remembering the Lord, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, serving the Deity, offering obeisances, considering oneself a servant, thinking of the Lord as of a friend, and full surrender.
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.23)
There is nava-vidha bhakti (nine-fold devotion)—how many practitioners practise this kind of devotion? How many devotees follow ekadasi? How many devotees follow the four rules and regulations?
We can read in Sri Prema-vivarta composed by Jagadananda Pandit:
“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।
"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
Just saying, "I am Gora's! I am Gora's!" does not do. Only when you follow Gora's practices and Gora's conception will you get the proper result.
(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6)
We say we are devotees of Gora (Gauranga), we are devotees of Krishna, but to what extent, how many percent do we follow Krishna consciousness? How many percent do we follow Mahaprabhu's advice, Mahaprabhu's order (what Mahaprabhu told us to follow in His Siksastakam)? Who and how many percent of the people follow these kinds of things? We only tell others to chant Hare Krishna, but how many percent of us chant the Holy Name? We tell others to serve the Lord, but we ourselves do not follow it. We give advice to other people saying, "Follow Gurudev's instruction," but do we follow Gurudev's instruction? You must ask yourself—you must ask your heart. You do something—are you doing it properly? You follow something—are you following it properly? This is the main thing.
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