Day 174: Gaurābda 532, Mādhava Māsa – Saptamī 27 Jan 2019 – Sunday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

For those who are wanting so many worldly things, for those who are niṣkāma, for those who want one-pointed bhakti of Kṛṣṇa—for all—there is one process: bhakti—to love Kṛṣṇa one-pointedly. Situate yourself in one of the rāsas and chant the holy names and hear pastimes of Kṛṣṇa.
You should know that now you are children—some are older and some are younger. For all—old age is chasing after. All combined effort cannot stop it and one day death will come—for sure. What to do? You cannot take a single farthing with you. What have you collected? You cannot take even a needle or thread, or even a single hair. What you have collected is useless.Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, January 27, 2001 Brisbane
Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa

Krsna is the Controller – 12 July 1996, Vancouver

Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 12 July 1996, in Vancouver, published by Bhaktabandhav.com

[The following transcription is a translation of Srila Gurudeva’s conversation with the devotees in Hindi]

Devotee: What will happen to these certain devotees who are committing so much Vaisnava-aparadha?

Srila Gurudeva: I am not considering any of their offenses.

Devotee: You are not taking these offenses into consideration, but Krsna is seeing everything.

Srila Gurudeva: I tell Krsna, “Prabhu, You should be merciful to them.” And, Krsna will surely be merciful to them.

Devotee: Maharaja, there is the example of Ambarisa Maharaja in the Bhagavatam. Ambarisa Maharaja did not consider any offense, yet Krsna chastised Durvasa Rsi.

Srila Gurudeva: It is like this.

Devotee: Then what is the fruit?

Srila Gurudeva: The fruit is that they will deviate from the bhakti line.

Devotee: But what if ISKCON breaks up?

Srila Gurudeva: If there are leaders like this, then the devotees will also follow them.

Devotee: But how will the devotees who are not involved be affected?

Srila Gurudeva: They will not be affected. They will transcend this. Those, who are in the lower class of devotion; but yet, who don’t disobey Gurudeva and criticize Vaisnavas, and who are not on the karma-marga and who want to go towards suddha-bhakti, will be unaffected.

Devotee: A question arises regarding guru-avajna.

Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji told his disciples, “Meet with Maharaja. Listen to his hari-katha and respect him.” But they did not listen to him. This is disobeying the guru.

Devotee: We got a phone call from our guru, telling us to not see you. So is it guru-avajna that we are seeing you?

Srila Gurudeva: This is not guru-avajna. It is not written anywhere in the sastras that “Don’t meet with Vaisnavas. Don’t serve them and don’t listen to their hari-katha.” This is not written anywhere.

Svamiji had himself told the assembled devotees that “Narayana Maharaja is my beloved associate. He will give me Samadhi and he will speak hari-katha to you all. He will help you all.”

So, they don’t believe in the words of their Gurudeva? Will a guru say, “Don’t meet with Suddha Vaisnavas?” If he says so then he is not even a devotee; what to speak of being a guru?

Devotee: So, if we disobey our guru and come to see you, then it is not guru-avajna?

Srila Gurudeva: It is not guru-avajna. When a guru tells his disciple to not see a Vaisnava, then he is committing an aparadha, an offense. It will not be guru-avajna. Therefore, Bali Maharaja left his guru. It was not an offense on his side to leave his guru.

Devotee: I spoke this example of Bali Maharaja.

Srila Gurudeva: This is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Devotee: So, it is not guru-avajna, Maharaja?

Srila Gurudeva: No, it is not guru-avajna. A guru speaks this way to his disciple because of his worldly selfishness. Therefore, it is not guru-avajna. Rather, Bhakti and Bhagavan will be satisfied with the disciple who goes to see a Vaisnava, and they will uplift him in his devotion. As for the guru who speaks as such, they will make him fall down.

If a guru tells his disciple, “Kill this Vaisnava,” then this person is not a guru and his disciple who wants to kill the Vaisnava is also not a Vaisnava. I have never heard from the sastras or from Guru-Vaisnavas that Vaisnavas should be disrespected. I have never heard like this. Instead, it is stated in the sastras that if a guru criticizes Vaisnavas, then he should be forsaken. If the guru doesn’t do Bhagavan’s bhajan, if he criticizes Vaisnavas, and if he doesn’t follow the injunctions of the scriptures; then it is appropriate to leave such a person.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: In the Gaudiya Kantahara, many slokas are there, which are evidence.

Srila Gurudeva: But they don’t know these slokas.

One such sloka is:

guror apy avaliptasya karyakaryam ajanatah
utpatha-pratipannasya parityago vidhiyate

—Mahabharata Udyoga Parva 179.25

[A guru who is engrossed in sense gratification, who is a fool with no ability to discriminate between proper and improper behaviour, and who is following a different path, devoid of suddha-bhakti, is a false guru. One should immediately reject him.]

A guru who is on the wrong path, who doesn’t respect Guru-Vaisnavas, and who doesn’t follow the injunctions of the sastras, should be rejected. This is clear.

Devotee: If a guru falls, then the disciple should take re-initiation?

Srila Gurudeva: Then the disciple should wait until he finds a suddha-guru.

Devotee: Maharaja, I read one book of Krsna-Balarama Swami, where he said that a guru should be born in a brahmin family.

Srila Gurudeva: This is a lie. He is against bhakti. He sent that book to me, but I refused to accept it. I had it sent back to him and I told him, “You are acting against devotees. You are deviating from the line of bhakti. You have betrayed your guru and Vaisnavas.” My reply to him was very clear.

Devotee: I read a little of that book, and then I realized that it was totally wrong.

Srila Gurudeva: His conceptions are against our sampradaya.

Devotee: Wasn’t he in ISKCON before?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. I knew him since his childhood. I know all the devotees of ISKCON; I know those who have fallen and I also know those who haven’t fallen. I know them better than they know themselves. Gopala Krsnaji is a very good person. But he is being pressurized to act in a certain way; or else he is not like this.

Devotee: But Maharaja, shouldn’t he not give in to this pressure?

Srila Gurudeva: He shouldn’t give in to the pressure. But, there is not so much strength. He comes to me and asks many questions. He listens and understands my hari-katha.

He told me, “I greatly fear Vaisnavas. I know you very well, but these people are making me act in such a way. What can I do?”

I said, “Shouldn’t you feel sad? If ISKCON becomes against bhakti, then you should reject ISKCON and silently do bhajan. There is nothing superior to bhajan. The leaders who are acting against me are so afraid of me.

Devotee: Maharaja, can you please explain the first nama-aparadha?

Srila Gurudeva: The first aparadha is satang-nindha. The first offense to the holy name is to criticize the sadhus who are engaged in chanting harinama and in doing bhajan. These Vaisnavas should not be criticized. A man doesn’t offend guru as easily. He will respect his guru who gave him harinama and diksa. Only a degraded person will criticize his guru; or else no one will offend their guru. They know the glories of Sri Guru. But a person thinks of a Vaisnava to be like him. Although the Vaisnava is on the same platform as one’s guru, or although he may be even more advanced than one’s guru; but still, people consider him to be an ordinary person and thus, they criticize him.

Hence it is said, “The first offense to the holy name is criticizing the Vaisnavas. You should be very careful to avoid this offense.” What to speak of criticizing a Vaisnava, you should not even criticize a person who is in samsara, who doesn’t chant, and who is of bad character. You should not criticize him, or else all his bad qualities will enter your heart. Therefore, don’t criticize the Vaisnavas, or else you will suffer in hell for millions of lives. And bhakti will not be had.

Devotee: Shouldn’t we tell a man if he is doing something wrong?

Srila Gurudeva: You should be silent. You should speak to him if he is acting against bhakti. Or else, you should be silent.

Devotee: You seem to make a difference between a Vaisnava and a Suddha Vaisnava?

Srila Gurudeva: It is very difficult to become a Suddha Vaisnava. Actually, it is not that difficult. I never criticize anyone. I have never criticized anyone. So, you should never criticize anyone. But, if a fault is seen in someone, then just be silent because his previous karma is like a fangless snake. This karma will not bite him.

api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah

—Bhagavad Gita 9.30

[Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.]

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: A person’s present karma will end very soon when he is engaged in Bhagavan’s bhajan. A burnt rope looks like a real rope, but in reality, by the faintest of touches, it will crumble and fall to ashes. A snake that has its fangs removed cannot kill anyone by its poison.

Srila Gurudeva: Similarly, one who is engaged in Bhagavan’s one-pointed bhajan; who worships only Krsna and who chants and listens to hari-katha; yet if he commits an abominable action like theft or looking at a woman, or any other form of ill behavior—even so, this should not be considered. You should still consider that person a sadhu, because his actions will not bear fruit. All his inappropriate tendencies have been done away with because of practicing bhakti. All the reactions to his karma have been burnt.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: When you stop a fan, it doesn’t stop immediately. It runs for some time and then stops. Similarly, even a sadhu does something inappropriate, he cannot be punished for that. Bhagavan will Himself correct that devotee. The devotee will automatically be rectified.

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