All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Devotional Qualities are Supreme

by His Divine Grace Srila
Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

An afternoon talk of
11 August 2003 in St. Petersburg, Russia,
on His Divine Grace's 20th World Tour

All creation is for Lord Krishna's enjoyment
  Attachment 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 general 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 all ashrams
  In our 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
  There 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 Maharaj.

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.
"You will be liberated"
  Prabhupad 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 life.

Jaya Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!
Transcribed by Vrndavanesvari Devi Dasi
in consultation with Devashis Prabhu

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