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Do Not Despair


Spoken by Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
on 12 January 2008



There are so many devotees from different countries here. Different countries means different languages, different cultures, different lifestyles, different food—everything is different; but our conception is one, and that is Krishna consciousness.

You are all together here, and you have come to see me here in Nabadwip. I am your friend, your master, or your everything, I can feel that you feel it. Then, I feel my responsibility is so big. I always think how I shall serve you. Actually, there are two factors, one is physical and one is spiritual. The spiritual factor is there, it is everyone's property, and you come here for spiritual life, not for material life. At the same time, you also cannot ignore your material life, that is why sometimes you all suffer. Sometimes you suffer from a different kind of weather, a different kind of climate, etc. but you do not care for that, and that is good for you all, and good for me also.

At present, I am invalid, but not mentally. I am physically invalid, and that invalidity has come through my desperateness. I feel it now, but the time is already gone—now my health is not under my control now. That is my difficulty. However, I am still hopeful about you all, I am happy with you all because you are so tolerant and humble. I see that these are your best qualities, that is why day by day I am getting enthusiasm, not disappointment. I am sick and under the control of doctors, but I still cannot stop my service to the world affairs, i.e. Krishna consciousness mission, that is why I am again trying to go abroad, first of all, for maintenance and, second, for preaching. This is my situation at present. I do not have much capacity for preaching now. I feel the medicine is working nicely today, then I can talk, but if the medicine does not work over me, then I become invalid and cannot talk with anyone. Fortunately, I have got this medicine. Nevertheless, Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and other scriptures say that you must try to serve your Gurudev, your Mission until your death. 'Mission' means service to Gurudev. My English is not so enriched, but it exposes my heart. I am trying to express it in some way.

Anyhow, the culture of this country, the language of this country, the lifestyle of this country, everything is different, you know it, and I know it also, but it is necessary to harmonise by both you and me.

There is a little difficulty. When my brain was strong, I had no problem—when Srila Guru Maharaj told one word, I could go four words ahead. You can see what happened just now. I told to a devotee that three devotees had left yesterday. The devotee is English, but they are looking for that one English word and cannot find it. Now, if that devotee was myself, and I was Srila Guru Maharaj, and that question came to me, I could immediately understand who Srila Guru Maharaj meant. Why? Because I am interested and deeply engaged with their life. The devotee is trying to adjust with it, and I am also trying to adjust with everyone's language, lifestyle, etc. but our teachings is one, i.e. serve to Krishna, serve to the Guru, serve to Vaishnavs, serve to the Mission of the Guru. Gurudev gives us one service, and that service is service to the Lord, it is meant to satisfy Krishna. How will Krishna be satisfied? If we serve our Guru, Vaishnavs, then Krishna will be satisfied, Krishna will be happy. Krishna said,

ye me bhakta-janah partha na me bhaktas cha te janah
mad-bhaktanam cha ye bhaktas te me bhakta-tama matah

"[Lord Krishna told Arjuna] 'Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.'"

(Sri Chaitnaya-charitamrita, 2.11.28)

Krishna says, "If somebody is My devotee, I think they are My devotee, but those who serve My devotees' devotee, are higher devotees and they can serve Me best—such a devotee's service is more valuable than My own devotee's service because conditioned souls suffer so much and My devotees' devotee is trying to correct that sufferer and trying to engage them in My service through their Gurudev. Mad-bhaktanam cha ye bhaktas te me bhaktas-tama matah. The best devotee is the one who serves My devotees." This is the target of our life. At the same time, there is also some danger here because we live in this mundane world, our activity is always mixed with mundane affairs, then there is kama, krodha, lobha, mada, moha, matsarya [lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, envy], and kanak, kamini, pratistha [thirst for money, companions, fame]. These are all obstacles in our life, and they all disturb our service mood. We must be careful about this. Whenever some disturbance comes to us, we will try to solve it under the guidance of a proper teacher.

Everyone is not teacher. Everyone feels, "I am a teacher," and this also should be adjusted. A one-year-old or a two-year-old devotee knows some language, knows some English, and tries to translate Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, but when somebody then tries to translate from this English into Russian, then I think it will not be perfect because the subject matter is not mundane, it is not some material subject.

We know some songs of Chandidas, we cannot follow them fully, but I remember some words from there—everything impossible can become possible through service to Krishna, and those who believe it are true servitors. To believe something means to have sraddha, faith. If we have faith in Krishna consciousness, then we can adjust with everything. There are many examples given in our scriptures. Why did Vyasadev make this huge book for us that we call "a scripture"? If you try to see what is inside this book, you will see that there are so many stories, but why did these stories come to us? So that we can adjust our consciousness. We cannot conceive how many stories there are in Mahabharata, for example. There are one lakh slokas (one hundred thousand verses) in this world, and we have heard that the Mahabharata that is written for heaven has many more slokas. There are so many stories in this book, and these stories are very sweet, hopeful. When we read the Vedas, or some part of the Vedas (Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, Rig Veda, Ayurveda, etc.), or when we read the gist of the Vedas that is recorded in 108 Upanisads (I have not read all of it, only some)—what do we see? The Vedas are big, Upanisads are shorter, they present the ideal in a shorter form, but Mahabharata presents everything to us, and we feel it with our heart and faith. These two things—heart and faith—are necessary for us.

We have seen one story in Mahabharata, you have also heard it from me.

There was a vyada—a deer hunter. He would go to the jungle, hunt for deer and then sell deer meat. On his scale, there was a Narayana-sila on the left side, and he would put the meat on the other side. The Narayana-sila probably weighed 500 gram or 250 gram. This is how he sold deer meat. One day, a brahman saw it. He chastised the hunter, "Why do you use Narayan-sila?! This is Bhagavan Narayan!" Fearful, the hunter said, "If this is so, you please take this sila!" The brahman took it and brought it to his home. Three days later, Narayan came to the brahman in a dream saying, "I was very happy with that hunter. He nourished Me every day—I was swinging on his scales. And you have come and disturbed My mind! Take Me back to the hunter!" Do you see? Where are all the rules and regulations? Where are all the prescriptions of the Vedas? There are none. What is there? Devotion, dedication, and faith. When the brahman said it was a Narayana-sila, the hunter believed that it was a Narayana-sila because a brahman had said it. The hunter immediately apologised and gave the sila to the brahman. So, first it is necessary to have faith, then it is necessary to proceed in the line of Krishna consciousness under the guidance of that faith.

So many disturbances will come, we can tolerate that. Mahaprabhu teaches us very simply—humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others. We try to do it, but we are not always successful—do not be disappointed, do not be frustrated. "Krishna has given this situation and this situation has come to me, I am trying to harmonise this situation, but if I cannot do it, then I give it up to my master—he will look after everything, he will see to everything, and he will do what is good for me"—it is necessary to have such kind of faith. If we are successful with this practising procedure, then we are very, very close to liberation, and after we attain liberation, everything will be fine, you will see and feel it. When everything becomes transcendental, you can talk to an apple, and the apple will say, "Yes, I am ripe now, you can take me," or if you talk to a banana, the banana will say, "Come after one day, I will be fully ripe then." When everything is transcendental, it means everything will be working with us. It can be a blade of grass, a plant, a human or maybe an animal form, it does not matter—everything is transcendental there.

Uddhav Maharaj said,

asam aho charana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham cha hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam

"The gopis of Vrindavan have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krishna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vrindavan, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet."

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.47.61)

Uddhav said to Krishna, "I want to be grass on the road where Vraja-basis walk, where gopis walk—then some dust will fall on me and I shall be fully satisfied and grateful."

Before that, Krishna sent Uddhav to Vrindavan saying, "Go to Vraja Dham, see how is everyone, how they are maintaining their life—and tell Me about it." When Uddhav Maharaj came there, he was surprised to see their devotional mood. Radharani spoke brahmar-gita, and Srila Guru Maharaj always recited one line from there. "Smara-ruja upamantrin bhanyatam anya-varta. It is not necessary to give any excuse on behalf of Krishna. We do not want to hear it from anywhere, speak about something else." Such is the devotional mood of the gopis.

Then, we must feel, we must live with this—this is our life. There is no hopelessness here. Hopelessness is the attachment with the mundane—when mundane attachment comes, then we sometimes become hopeless, otherwise not. We accept whatever Krishna gives us.

I spoke with one devotee yesterday. He has been staying in a government-run guesthouse for a few months, but he says he is very happy. He is paying dandavat to me and asking for blessings, etc. I am surprised to see the mood of devotees. What I want to say is that you are all from different countries, you speak different languages, you have different styles of maintaining your material life, but you are all enriched with Krishna consciousness. This is your best form that I see in you all, and also mostly you are all young. This is my good fortune to have your association. I am thinking you are all a gift of Srila Guru Maharaj to me.

Try heart and soul. As much energy as you have, try to put all energy for the service to my Guru Maharaj. When you feel some disturbance, you must still proceed, do not stop. "Srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah. Listen, O sons of nectar!"

All these words are not for playing. There are so many words in a dictionary, they are not for playing only—all words have some good meaning. Our Upanisad says, "Srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah. You are all sons of nectar, nectarean ocean," only a liberated person can feel how much truth there is in these words. I use the word "person" ("a liberated person"), and it means that after liberation we are not demolished—after liberation, we will also have a form as a servitor. Scriptures say, "Muktir hitvanyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih." It means when you give up ("hitva") other forms ("anyatha-rupam"), you become established in your true identity ("svarupena vyavasthitih"). What is our svarup (original identity)? Our svarup is service to Krishna:

jivera 'svarupa' haya—krsnera 'nitya-dasa'
krsnera 'tatastha-sakti' 'bhedabheda-prakasa'

"By its intrinsic nature, the soul is an eternal servant of Krishna; souls come from the marginal energy of Krishna and are simultaneously one with and different from the Lord."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.108)

krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsaradi-duhkha

Having forgotten Krishna, the soul wanders throughout the universe. Being thus covered by illusion, the soul goes through all kinds of material suffering.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117)

But this "duhkha" (sadness, frustration) will all go away once I become established within Krishna consciousness. We say we have been practising for so long—somebody has practised for twenty years, somebody for twenty-five years, somebody for fifteen years, ten years, etc.—we have been practising all this time, then we must have something, we must have some Krishna-conscious mentality and we can proceed with that to our goal, which is the life of a servitor. "Jivera 'svarupa' haya Krsnera 'nitya-dasa'. The intrinsic nature of the soul is being an eternal servant of Krishna." We must try and try until our death:

yavat achhaye prana dehe achhe sakti
tavat karaha krsna-pada-padme bhakti

"As long as there is life and strength in the body, you should render devotional service to the lotus feet of Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, Madhya-khanda, 1.342)

Jay Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!


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What did Gurudev leave us for? So that we join the festival, give some glorification, take prasadam, and leave? Our service does not finish there.