All glories to Sri
Guru and Sri Gauranga
His Divine Grace Srila
Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
An afternoon talk of 11
August 2003 in St. Petersburg,
on His Divine Grace's 20th World Tour
|All creation is for Lord
will not come from one side; it will come from both sides. All living entities
come from the Source of Power, the Centre. There everyone has a feminine
form. Male and female are the cause of creation, and it comes from the power
of Krishna. Then, for the divine pastimes of Krishna, and activated through
the will of Krishna, some in the transcendental world are getting male forms
and some female forms. For the enjoyment of Lord Krishna all creation has
happened. But when the jiva souls are misguided by the illusory power, they
are thinking they are the enjoyers. That is the difficulty in this material
world. Then both sides the female side for the male and the male
side for the female both are obstacles for the service to Lord Krishna
in practising life.
Actually, Srila Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur said the enjoyer is Krishna,
and the suppliers of enjoyment are the living entities and the creation
of the Lord. 'Pratishta' means fame, 'kanak' means wealth, and 'kamini'
means the tendency to enjoy with everyone. This is the material world. These
are obstacles to the full transcendental service plane. We will try to engage
ourselves in the service of the Lord with everything. Then nothing will
be an obstacle in our life.
|Offering all for the service
of the Lord
in this material world we
are using everything for our own enjoyment, but if instead we use what is
required for our living purposes, considering that as prasadam, then no
obstacles will come to us. Wealth will not come, woman will not come to
man, and fame will not come. First offer to Krishna everything. Then if
we will take everything as His prasadam, there will not be obstacles in
our lives. This service to the Lord is very famous in Indian philosophy
and cultural life.
In Vaisnavism there are four Sampradayas. The Sri Sampradaya is very famous
for service to Lord Narayana. Everything they are offering for the service
to Narayana. Many stories we know about the Sri Sampradaya. What is exemplary,
we want to be like that.
Tridanda sannyas is very much organised in the Sri Sampradaya; they are
bodily and mentally fully surrendered to the Lord. They have taken a vow
that if any obstacle will come, they must prove their devotion. They have
taken a simple tridanda. It is very famous, the Sri Sampradaya, and many
grihasthas of the Sri Sampradaya hold a higher position than sannyasis.
|A Vaishnava is higher than
Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, organised by Srila Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur,
so many grihastha Vaisnavas were worshiped like sannyasis. We have seen
that, like Professor Sanyal who was a grihastha but the sannyasis would
bow down to him. Like Sripad Bhakti Saranga Goswami when he was Aprakrita
Prabhu he was grihastha and Prabhupad's disciple, but many Vaisnava
sannyasis would bow down to him. Like that. So many Vaisnava sannyasis held
a higher position, no doubt, but those sannyasis would also give honour
to the grihastha Vaisnavas because a Vaisnava is higher than all ashrams.
Grihastha, sannyas, vanaprastha we can see the position of the Vaisnava
is higher than any other ashram. Their position is always the highest, and
Srila Saraswati Thakur said it. In the Ramanuja Sampradaya they also follow
like that. Ramanuja instructed his disciples many times with such kind of
teaching. They consider the Vaisnavata. They consider everything according
to how much Vaisnavata they have. 'Vaisnavata' means, that those who utilise
everything for the service of Lord Krishna, they are first class Vaisnavas.
Always we give honour to them. Also in our Sampradaya it is very much appropriate.
Some special types of grihastha Vaisnavas are very honourable, and Srila
Guru Maharaj engaged me in service of such grihastha Vaisnavas in Vrindavan.
I happily did that service.
|Srila Guru Maharaj's example
were two grihastha Vaisnavas, a husband and wife, going for parikrama with
Guru Maharaj. But that man was very sick. Guru Maharaj told him to sleep
inside the room, and I would sleep outside the room. If the sick man would
need anything during the night, I would supply it. I was spending every
night with that man. He had asthma, and was suffering from that, so it was
necessary to supply some medicine. Guru Maharaj was living in his room,
and I was sleeping outside their room. In this way I was serving. I was
the personal servant of Guru Maharaj, but he engaged me for the service
of that person. I was a Brahmin boy, and that man was of the vaisya caste.
Natural respect I had. His name was Jatindranath Datta. Guru Maharaj gave
that name to him. I was a Bramhin boy, but Guru Maharaj engaged me in his
service because Jatindranath Datta was wholeheartedly dedicated to Guru
Here the mood of devotion is what is considered. Someone may be grihastha,
he may be sannyasi, he may be brahmachari or vanaprastha but that
is not considered as his spiritual position. The Vaisnava is always higher,
and that is considerable. Higher means one who is dedicated, physically
and mentally, to Lord Krishna, serving Lord Krishna with all wealth, all
beauty, and all assets. That is the quality considered by Guru Maharaj.
Saraswati Thakur said, if we will engage our full energy in the service
of Lord Krishna then we will be liberated from this material world. Prabhupad
Saraswati Thakur gave that consciousness to us. The Vaisnava is always worshipable
to us. Vaisnava means one who is fully dedicated, who gives everything
he is the real, perfect Vaisnava.
Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev also advised His devotees: "Whoever is a Vaisnava
will serve the Vaisnava for service to Lord Krishna. Chant the Hare Krishna
Mahamantra. You will be liberated from this illusory environment. Your soul's
position will be liberated." This is devotional life. It may be exclusive
or ordinary, that will depend upon our capacity, but we will consider devotion
as our spiritual position.
The Vaisnava will not be affected by wealth; when the Vaisnava will be in
a very poor position, he will also not be frustrated by that. He will not
be deviated from the mood of service. If any situation will come he will
not be deviated from his devotional life. To go from the plane of exploitation
to the plane of dedication it is necessary to promote ourselves through
this process. Liberation will come through service to Lord Krishna. These
are the guidelines for our spiritual life.
In the book 'Saranagati' there are so many songs which are necessary to
translate. Whoever understands the meaning of the poetry of Srila Bhaktivinod
Thakur will understand what is dedication, what is renunciation, and what
is devotion. Who is dedicated with devotion will get so many qualities and
qualifications. Who is fully dedicated must get progress in his spiritual
Jaya Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!
by Vrndavanesvari Devi Dasi
in consultation with Devashis Prabhu
Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip: