Day 180: Gaurābda 532, Mādhava Māsa – Caturdaśī 03 Feb 2019 – Sunday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

Śrīla Gurudeva narrated the story of the boatman who rowed all night and in the morning realized
he was in the same place because he forgot to pull up the anchor.]
No aim. No object. No goal. We must have a goal. And there should not be worldly attachment. This
is called “anchor.” If you are attached to worldly things, anything, even your dog, which is the
opposite of God, this is an anchor. You should not be attached to dogs. You can still fulfill your duties
to family—as if they are servants to Kṛṣṇa—but don’t be attached. We must know our goal and take
up this anchor—and very soon you will reach your goal.

Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, February 03 1999, Melbourne

Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa

Humility, the Heart, Bandhava – 16 June 1996

Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 16 June 1996, in Houston, published by Bhaktabandhav.com

[In the following conversation with the devotees, Srila Gurudeva, Paramaradhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, speaks in alternately Hindi and English.]

Syamarani dasi: We are offering our heart, which is more beautiful than innumerable flowers at the feet of the guru.

Srila Gurudeva: The heart is like a flower. It is so soft, sweet, and fragrant. So, I cannot take out my heart, but this flower is like my heart. The devotee prays, “I want to give my heart at your lotus feet. We will do what you say. We know that you have come to help us to go to Krsna and be engaged in His service. You have no other desire at all.”

Hence, it is not just a flower we are offering. It is a representative of our sweet, soft, pure, and fragrant heart. We want to make our heart like this and it should be given at the lotus feet of the Divine Couple—Sri Radha and Krsna. We cannot make our heart like this flower, but Gurudeva can come and make it. He will offer it to the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna. He is qualified. Those who are helping us to be engaged in the service of Radha and Krsna, they are really our bandhava. Bandhava means?

Devotees: Friends.

Srila Gurudeva: They are really our father and mother.

sei se parama-bandhu, sei mata-pita
sri-krsna-carane yei prema-bhakti-data

[One who has established my relationship with Krsna, he is my supreme friend, my mother and father. He is guru.]

This is written in the Caitanya Caritamrita. Sei sei parama-bandhu means very beloved. Sei mata-pita, sri-krsna-carane yei prema-bhakti-data—the person who is giving us prema to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika is our friend, mother, father, and guru. So, the person, the Vaisnava, the guru takes us and makes our heart pure. The heart will not have duplicity, hypocrisy, and other impure things. There will be no mood to chatter and patter; there will be no envy; there will be nothing impure in the heart. There will only be broadness, and a sense of brotherhood. Guru teaches universal love. Guru and Vaisnavas are our mother, father, brother, and dear most beloved. They will make our hearts into a place of pure devotion. But, if duplicity, envy, and hatred are taught, then what is to be said? You should respect even an ant. If we can have affection for dogs who are not serving Krsna, then why can we not have affection for human beings who are taking us towards Krsna?

A person thinks, “I want to make everyone engaged in the service of Krsna.” If someone else also thinks that “I will help everyone come towards Krsna,” then both the persons should be friends and not enemies. The person should think, “He is my friend. He is also doing my service.” Shouldn’t they be friends? Why should there be a need to fight? So, we should be liberal and we should think, “Those who are making us go towards Krsna are all friends. We are of one family. Those who are not serving Krsna are friends, but they are misguided. They should be helped.”

A person who is not doing bhajana should be taught how to do bhajan. He is also Bhagavan’s son. Everyone is Krsna’s sons and daughters. Everyone should unite and serve Krsna, the Supreme Father. Anyone who brings us to Him is our friend. So, you should duly consider this and engage in Krsna’s bhajan. If a devotee comes across another devotee, then he should think, “The devotee wants everyone to be pure and to serve Krsna. So, he is my friend. We are doing the same service.” Why should there be envy? There should be brotherhood; universal love.

Devotee: Maharaja, what should be our attitude towards mayavadis?

Srila Gurudeva: There should be a mood of brotherhood. Some of their conceptions are good because they understand that “This world is maya and we don’t belong to maya.” Up to this understanding, the Vaisnavas and the mayavadis are of one mood. They realize that “We are not this body. We are the soul, the atma.” What comes after this mood will be considered. But, up to this understanding, it is all right. Later, the mayavadis desire the annihilation of the atma; they want to merge into brahma. This difference will be considered.

Sankaracarya has said, “Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja govindam mudha-mate.” This is meant for his followers. He asked them, “Why do you chant brahma, brahma? Rather, chant Govinda’s name.” One day, if the mayavadis have the association of bona fide Vaisnavas, then they will return to this path. We think that Sankaracarya was a very good Acarya. But we don’t follow him.

Devotee: Maharaja, the mind is superior to the senses. The intelligence is superior to the mind. The soul is superior to intelligence. So, when Jada Bharata instructed King Rahugana, he glorified the mind in such a way that mind can lead to bondage or liberation. So, it seems the soul is inferior to the mind. In the second chapter of the Gita, the characteristics of the soul are given. But in the fifth canto, when Jada Bharata instructs the King, he glorifies the mind.

Srila Gurudeva: No, this is a wrong understanding. Jada Bharata said that the soul is superior to the senses, mind, intelligence, and false ego.

mana eva manusyanam
karanam bandha-moksayoh
—Amrta-bindu Upanisad 2

[For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation.]

Bharata Maharajaji said this. Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. But whose?

Devotee: The soul’s?

Srila Gurudeva: Not all the souls.

Devotee: The conditioned soul?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. The conditioned soul doesn’t have any activities now. The conditioned soul has forgotten himself. But when the mind of the conditioned soul becomes clear; when the soul starts to associate with the sadhus, then by this sat-sanga, the mind becomes pure and that soul becomes inclined towards Krsna. This is meant for the conditioned soul.

Devotee: But isn’t the mind responsible for this conditioned state?

Srila Gurudeva: No. The mind has no influence there. The soul forgets Krsna because of his own self. The mind did not even exist at that time. For instance, there was a king who had thousands of kingdoms and millions of police officers. But this king stole something and was caught. A king who was superior to him put him in jail. Now, a soldier who holds a position that is far less than the king controls the king himself. The soldiers were under the king, but they control the king now. When the king is released, then when he reaches the kingdom, he will become the master of thousands of such soldiers. Therefore, the mind is guilty now. An offense was committed at the lotus feet of Krsna. So, by being guilty the soul is entangled in the net of maya. He is controlled by maya. The mind is the maidservant of maya. The mind is the soldier of maya who is controlling the soul. The king was imprisoned by this soldier.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a very influential figure. But he was caught and guarded by soldiers from all four sides in a ship. He could not eat, he could not walk. Then, he was made to drown in the ocean. Who drowned him? Soldiers, who were paid a very menial wage and who were controlled by higher authorities, drowned him. Soldiers, who held a position much lower than Napoleon, beat him and killed him. In this way, the mind is the maidservant of maya. The guilty soul is now being punished. The liberated souls are beyond; maya cannot even touch them.

Devotee: So, this is meant for the conditioned soul?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, this should be understood. The conditioned soul cannot perform any activities now. The soul’s hands and legs are tied together. The soul cannot do anything on its own. The soul cannot take birth and die according to his will. He cannot enjoy happiness and distress according to his desire. The conditioned soul is controlled and caught in the net of maya. So, what you have said applies to them. The sadhus instruct the mind.

They tell the mind, “Oh you should follow what I say. You should help him have taste in hearing hari-katha and in chanting.”

By their assistance, they will go up. And at last, the mind will go away and they will be liberated.

[Visnu dasa questions Srila Gurudeva in Hindi and Gurudeva answers in Hindi.]

Visnu dasa: Maharaja, what are the symptoms of advancement in devotion?

Srila Gurudeva: There will be taste in chanting harinama. A person advancing in devotion will also have respect for sadhus. He will have so much ruci, taste in hearing and reading Bhagavan’s pastimes. He will not have the desire to sin. He will not be attached to wealth and samsara. This will happen naturally. If a devotee is advancing in Bhagavad-bhajan, then there will be no attachment to samsara. But why does the devotee still do karma? The devotee had been riding the cycle of karma since time immemorial, and now he has stopped cycling. So, although the cycle is continuing to run, it will stop in some time.

Another example can be given. When a train comes to a halt, it doesn’t do so immediately. It runs for a mile or two and then stops.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: You had previously said in Puri that when a person stops a fan, then the fan gradually stops and not immediately.

Srila Gurudeva: Understand in this way.

Visnu dasa: You had spoken earlier that by being humble, a person is very anxious to hear hari-katha.

Srila Gurudeva: You will realize everything by being humble. Hanumanji is very humble; still he burnt Lanka to ashes. So how is he humble? To serve his Prabhu, he is ready to give up his life. This is humility. He cannot live without chanting Rama’s names. When Ramacandraji returned to Ayodhya, He was giving everyone something. He gave Angada and all the others some gifts. When it was Hanuman’s turn, Sitaji removed her necklace and gave it to Hanuman. Hanuman started biting the necklace and looked to see what was inside.

Rama asked, “Oh monkey, why are you doing like this? Don’t you know that this necklace is priceless? It has especially come from Sita’s neck. But you are breaking it and throwing it away.”

Hanuman replied, “Oh Prabhu, I was just seeing if this necklace had ‘Rama Rama,’ written inside it.”

“But is My name written in your heart?”

“Yes Prabhu,” said Hanuman. He then opened his chest and the name, “Sita-Rama,” was seen and heard.

This is humility. Humility is not an external display. A person falls at the feet of another, but at the slightest provocation, this person will try to strangle the same person whose feet he had caught. He has one hand on his feet and the other hand on his neck.

[Laughter]

This is not humility. I am seeing this happen to the sadhus here. I didn’t understand this when I was in India. But here, I am very surprised to see this. A mother had four sons and she dearly loved all of them. If one son beats his brother, then will he please his mother?

A son says, “Oh mother, be pleased for I am nicely beating and humiliating my brother.”

You should respect everyone.

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

—Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 17.31

[One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.]

These devotees are trnad api. They left their homes, and desire for prestige. This devotee has done so many paintings. She knows siddhanta also very well. She is not less than the GBC; she is more advanced than them. But she left everything for Bhagavan’s bhajan. She only desires that “My Krsna-prema should increase.”

[Srila Gurudeva speaks in English]

You should not think that I have left ISKCON and that they have forbidden me to be in ISKCON. You are really ISKCON and anyone cannot snatch Prabhupada away from us. No one can do so; they have no right. We have the right that “He is my Gurudeva and I am worshiping him.” Anyone cannot challenge this.

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