Like a crying baby

Your language will go to your mother. Jiva Goswami Prabhu has given this hope. You may be a three-month-old baby, or a one-month-old baby, but through your expression of crying or something your mother will understand whether you are hungry or not.

Question: How can we know whether we are successful or not?
Srila Gurudev: When you eat how do you know that your hunger has gone? When you take food satisfaction will come and your hunger will go. This is in Srimad Bhagavatam.
bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir
anyatra chaiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ
prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus
tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ’nu-ghāsam
Satisfaction will come, you will become stronger, and your attachment with the material world will disappear. You can stay within everything, but you will have no attachment.
Vedavyas has given so much to us [chuckles]. Rsi Vedavyas composed the eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Vedanta-darshan, and so on. He presented so much knowledge in this material world, and he also gave the gist of that knowledge in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. More recently Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu found the book Brahma-samhita: it is very short but the whole conception of Mahaprabhu is there in gist form. This will all give some association to us; when direct sadhu-sanga is not possible, the holy books will give us some association. We are so fortunate that we have got so many books.
Question: What is the meaning of “without offence”?
Srila Gurudev: Ten kinds of offences are written in the scriptures, in the Padma-purana. When we are giving Harinam-diksa, initiation, to someone then we are giving them a book listing those offences. Everyone should try to memorise and avoid those offences, and chant the Holy Name.
Offences means obstacles. Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu, who is the next-generation-leader of the Goswamis, has given a very hopeful assurance, quoting from the scriptures,
nāmāparādha-yuktānāṁ nāmāny eva haranty agham
(Padma-purāṇa: Svarga-khaṇḍa, 48.49)
Harinam will remove the offences of whoever is making Namaparadha, offences to Harinam. For that reason the scriptures say, “Try to chant continuously as much as possible.” We are saying sixteen rounds, or four rounds, or sixty-four rounds, but actually the scriptures say, “Chant as much as possible, with beads or without beads.”
Your language will go to your mother. Jiva Goswami Prabhu has given this hope. You may be a three-month-old baby, or a one-month-old baby, but through your expression of crying or something your mother will understand whether you are hungry or not. If a baby is crying the mother will understand, “Now she is hungry or he is hungry. Or, his belly is double full, and for that he is crying.” The feelings of the mother always give nourishment to the baby, and the Lord is also like that. When we chant the Holy Name of the Lord, He will understand that we cannot avoid offences, and so He Himself will give His divine help to us, and our offences will go through chanting.
This post is a continuation of Cleaning the mirror of the heart.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev in Italy, September 2000, during his Sixteenth World Tour.
Further reading:
Srila Gurudev’s poetic rendering of the ten offences

The real prescription

They want to know how many hands Mahavishnu has, they want to know how many legs Nrsimhadev has, they want to know how Nrsimhadev is eating. They are reading so many big, big things somewhere, and someone is hearing, “Prabhupad said this, Prabhupad said that”; someone is telling, “This scripture said this, this scripture said that”—but nothing will come for my spiritual benefit!

The following response came in a very particular way: after patiently responding to repeated technical questions regarding the tatastha-sakti and the nature of the jiva’s fall to the material world, His Divine Grace suddenly segued into a discussion about the difficulty some devotees face with drugs and habits of intoxication, and how they can best overcome this. When a listener then asked Srila Gurudev for further advice on this point, Srila Gurudev responded with a strong reprimand on the knowledge-seeking attempt in devotional life—clearly speaking not to the immediate question at hand (which had really already been answered), but rather to the previous persons who had persisted in pressing His Divine Grace for details on the nature of the jiva’s fall.

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 Question: We are living in this Western society and more or less we are all like victims, prone to fall prey of the material environment. What is the remedy? We need some forceful advice, some stronger medicine, to help us become free of this.
Srila Gurudev: It is difficult to give forceful advice. I can give that stronger medicine. I know that medicine, but I cannot give that. That is not only your question, it is my question to myself. I need to do good for my friends. Who is taking initiation from me is my disciple and I have responsibility for my disciples. I must try to give relief my disciples first. That is my duty.
The remedy is a very simple remedy, given by Srimad Bhagavat, and I can say it to whoever is under control of me. If he or she will follow me blindly then they will get the remedy. It is very simple. Krishna gave that method to the devotees, and Mahaprabhu Himself happily accepted that remedy. But if I shall say it [publicly] in the meeting no one will learn happily. No one will learn my teachings. My disciples will learn, because I am with them from the beginning; but I also have some general responsibility for others, and their prescription must be another prescription. But actually, the real prescription is what was given by Srimad Bhagavat, what was given by Mahaprabhu. That is the real prescription, but who will learn it, who will hear it, and who will follow it?
They want to know how many hands Mahavishnu has, they want to know how many legs Nrsimhadev has, they want to know how Nrsimhadev is eating. They are reading so many big, big things somewhere, and someone is hearing, “Prabhupad said this, Prabhupad said that”; someone is telling, “This scripture said this, this scripture said that”—but nothing will come for my spiritual benefit! We are publishing so many big, big books, showing our knowledge, “I am doing this, I am doing that”, but I am not taking any instruction from my instructor or any instruction from my friend.
I am living in the ‘higher plane’, that is the egoist temple. But it is first necessary to blast that egoist plane.
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva jīvanti 
This sloka is the remedy. Mahaprabhu gave this, and Mahaprabhu accepted this.
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaranaṁ vraja
Even this verse Mahaprabhu did not happily accept. If you read Ramananda Ray and Mahaprabhu’s conversation you will see.
It is not necessary to know everything. It is not necessary to make any confusion with any hazy matter. No benefit will come to us through that. Benefit will come if we are surrendered to the Lord, and not only surrendered,
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām

Mahaprabhu said, “Yes, this is some remedy.” We may have so much knowledge about Bhagavad-gita, about Bhagavat, about Veda, Vedanta, Upanisad, but what is the use of that?
Once a friend of my friend, a magistrate in Puri, was abusing our sampradaya, saying, “If someone has not read Govinda-bhasyam how can he be considered a sannyasi of the sampradaya?” I was very disturbed. In my house he was abusing the Vaishnava sannyasis and I could not tolerate it. I came out from my room and told him, “Oh ‘Mr eligible person’, I read Govinda-bhasyam and how many hands do you see on me? How much hands have you seen on me? You read Govinda-bhasyam, and how many hands have you got? How many hands does your guru, who taught you Govinda-bhasyam, have? Has everyone got chatur-bhuj [a four-handed form]? How much progress have you made after reading Govinda-bhasya? You are a lawyer, you are dealing with material law, and illegally or legally you are doing that. How many hands have you got, that you can abuse the Vaishnavas?”
The fact is this: we may know everything of the scriptures but if we do not know how to swim we will drown in the river. That is the fact in front of us. I am initiating some persons: I want to give them the process through which they can gain liberation from this material world and join in the transcendental world. I am giving them the seeds of what I have heard and what I have received, along with my wellwishes, my blessings, and everything, and they will be promoted with that.
It is necessary to follow a real practising life, and that will come through tṛṇād api sunīchena [being more humble than a blade of grass], taror iva sahiṣṇunā [being tolerant like a tree], amāninā [not expecting respect], mānadena [giving respect]. How much are we following that? We need to preach this to them first. Leave your egoistic tendency.
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva jīvanti 
Mahaprabhu said it. Srimad Bhagavat said it.
If we want a real practising life it is not necessary to read so many things. It is not necessary to know so many matters. Only how to swim, that is necessary to know! I want to cross the river. But we want to know, “Why is the sun coming out on the east side, and why is it setting on the west side, and why is the air flowing all over the world, why is this star giving that result, and why is that star giving that.” We are trying to collect so much knowledge but we are not trying to collect how to swim.
It is my advice to my friends who are depending upon me, “Be serious for your practising life.” It is not necessary to read so many things. I told you, those three books are sufficient: Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Brahma samhita, and Chaitanya-charitamrta. If someone is a preacher, then under guidance of his Guru, if necessary, he will try to preach something. But always with these three qualities of humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others. Otherwise, the result will not come to us.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Italy, August 1999, during the Fourteenth World Tour.
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.14.3)
“In whatever position they may be, those who give up the endeavour for knowledge, surrender to the sadhus, and dedicate their lives bodily, verbally, and mentally to their talks of the Lord, can conquer the Lord, who is otherwise unconquerable.”
Spoken by Srila Gurudev in Italy, August 1999, during His Divine Grace’s fourteenth world tour.

Spiritual discovery

If we have a body then some order and some disorder must be there.  It is a reactionary world, and so reactions always come and we cannot avoid them.
nṛ-deham ādyaṁ su-labhaṁ su-durlabhaṁ
plavaṁ su-kalpaṁ guru-karṇadhāram
mayānukūlena nabhasvateritaṁ
pumān bhavābdhiṁ na taret sa ātma-hā
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.20.17)
[The human body, which can award all benefit in life, is automatically obtained by the laws of nature, although it is a very rare achievement. This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the spiritual master as the captain and the instructions of the Personality of Godhead as favourable winds impelling it on its course. Considering all these advantages, a human being who does not utilise his human life to cross the ocean of material existence must be considered the killer of his own soul.]
This body is like a boat floating in the river, and it has given us the opportunity to be gudeva2guided in the consciousness of Krishna by a good captain. In the river there are so many waves and so many obstacles, and many things are possible, but a good captain can take us the proper way, and we must be submitted to that captain.
We are fortunate that we have this form of open consciousness. Trees have consciousness, but it is suppressed. Plants have consciousness, mountains have consciousness, but it is suppressed consciousness. Animals, insects, and so on have a little open consciousness. But our consciousness is more open and with the three qualities of willing, feeling, and thinking. We can proceed, we can feel, we can think, and through that so many discoveries in this world have happened. We can divide those in two ways: one is spiritual discovery, and another is material discovery.
Scientists are making material discovery, but the rishis and munis have made so much spiritual discovery and that has been recorded. Through them we can understand that a spiritual world is existing, and it is different from this material world. Our form is actually spiritual, it is not material.
We are trying to promote ourselves from the material to the spiritual plane. It is depending upon a person’s devotion or dedication. Through dedication we will get the help of an elevator. Some persons go up step by step and some persons go by elevator, standing in one place. Fortunate souls get that help. In this way everything is moving.
We are fortunate that we have got this human body. We do not know where we will go after death, because we cannot avoid our reactions. If we put too much salt in our food, then we will suffer, and if we put too much sugar that will also be the cause of suffering. Then as proper and as appropriate we will try to proceed.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev in Italy, September 2000, during his Sixteenth World Tour.

The pillar of success

 “Failure is the pillar of success.” This is an English phrase. “Failure is the pillar of success.” If I try I must get the success pillar. One time I fall down, and then for all time I will sleep? No.

Whatever is considered good and whatever is considered bad in this mundane world—everything is bad here. Maybe that is affection, or maybe that is enviousness. Maybe that is apparently good or bad, but everything is bad.
‘dvaite’ bhadrābhadra-jñāna, saba — ‘manodharma’
‘ei bhāla, ei manda’, — ei saba ‘bhrama’
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: 3.4.176)
[“In the material world, conceptions of good and bad are all mental speculations. Therefore, saying ‘This is good’ and ‘This is bad’ is all a mistake.”]
Srila Kaviraj Goswami expressed this very nicely. And Krishna very simply said,
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ’nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 2.14)
[“O son of Kuntī, the engagement of the senses with their objects produces the sensations of cold, heat, pleasure, and pain. But these effects are temporary—they come and go. Therefore, O Bhārat, you must endure them.”]
“It will come to you and you try to tolerate it. Don’t be foolish and don’t be hopeless.”
Hope is always in my front. We are seeing that now Krishna consciousness has spread all over the world by the mercy of our Gurus. It is not a lie; everybody knows now. Krishna consciousness is spreading all over the world, and how is it possible? Five hundred years ago, or maybe less than five hundred years but around four hundred and seventy years ago, Mahaprabhu said,
pṛthivīte āchhe yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāma
“All over the world people will chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra.” And a hundred years ago Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said that in Mayapur the Western devotees and Eastern devotees will dance and chant together in Nabadwip Dham. And we see that that is happening. Where is the lie? It is true, we can see that. Then we must follow their directives.
“Chant Hare Krishna” is only the primary teaching of Mahaprabhu. It is the primary teaching. After that there will be many things and we must face those tests. When we get the seed of the bhakti lata [creeper of devotion] we must protect that bhakti-lata-bij. Then nobody can check our fortune. Sometimes some blowing wind will come and give us some disturbance, but without disturbance how will our heart become strong? If you do not exercise then your body will not be strong. If you stay the same way from your birth, if you do not play with your hands and legs then your body will not become strong.
 “Failure is the pillar of success.” This is an English phrase. “Failure is the pillar of success.” If I try I must get the success pillar. One time I fall down, and then for all time I will sleep? No. And what fault is there? I am a faulty person, I am a fallen soul, we are always saying, “I am fallen soul”. Then if I am always fallen, what loss do I have? What I practise, that is my gain. In this way we must proceed to our destiny.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Govardhan, March 1991
This is a continuation of the post ‘Falling down, getting up’.

Cleaning the mirror of the heart

Every moment will be joyful in your life. Dedication to the Lord and chanting the Holy Name, the nondifferent form of the Lord, can give us all auspiciousness.

Question: I would really like to hear about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and how we can serve him.
Srila Gurudev: Mahaprabhu first indicated to beginners that you will get all the benefit of your spiritual life if you can chant the mahamantra properly. Your mind is like a mirror covered with dust, and through chanting that dust will be removed and you will see your true form. The suffering that we experience from so many things in this material world will also reduce and finally go out.
cheto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
Through your chanting feelings of God will reveal in your heart, you will see your beautiful divine form, and your mood of service will give such happy light in your spiritual environment. You will get very close association with your Lord, like the feelings between a husband and wife.
cheto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
śreyaḥ-kairava-chandrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
When that divine form of the Lord as Harinam reveals within your heart then automatically joy will come, and every moment when you are chanting the Holy Name, the feeling of God’s association will come to you.
prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
Every moment will be joyful in your life. Dedication to the Lord and chanting the Holy Name, the nondifferent form of the Lord, can give us all auspiciousness.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advised the conditioned souls in this way.
prabhu kahe—kahilāṅ ei mahāmantra
Of all mantras this is the best mantram in this age of Kali-yuga. Other practising processes will not be so fruitful. Meditation, chanting, and congregational chanting of this mantram, and service to this mantram, will give all good results to us.
Then if we want to satisfy Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu we will first try to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra, and if we can do that continuously that is very good.

Be humble, be tolerant and give honour to others

Mahaprabhu gave eight verses as advice for the conditioned souls, and in the third verse He explained how attachment, love, and affection will grow for chanting the Holy Name. He gave this advice: if you can be humble, be tolerant, and give honour to others then you will be worry-free from your circumstances.
You can believe and you can live within the faithful plane. Faith is necessary. That is the first basis of this conception. Not only in the line of Krishna consciousness, but the first advice of all religious conceptions is, “Be faithful”. At first, beginners may not be able to maintain their faith because they are not seeing anything and not getting anything in their hand. They do not have practical knowledge and experience. For that reason strong faith will not come immediately. But through realisation, through association, through hearing, through reading, faith will become more and more strong. In different ways our faith will grow more and more, but the scriptures say that association is the best. If good association is not available then we can practise through reading the books, chanting the Holy Name, hearing from an expert, and so on.
We must try to realise our previous activity, our present spiritual situation, and our future prospect. It is necessary to take advantage of the value of the present time.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will be happy if we follow His directive to chant the mahamantra without offence. The mahamantra Himself is Radha and Krishna. Both Their Names are present within this mantra with a calling mood. Even within some processes in this material world we can see that sound can take form: now when you are talking to someone by telephone it is also possible to see their form, their mood, and so on. So, if we can chant properly They will reveal in our heart. We cannot say that it will happen immediately but anyone can get it, and if someone is sincere with their practice they will get some feelings from the beginning.

When Mahaprabhu said that there is no alternative other than chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, then it is not necessary to go left or right or anywhere else. Be steady, be faithful, and try, and success must come to you.

We are trying but not properly trying, because we are always mixing with material things, and it is natural. If we can chant without offence then proper purification will come and we must be benefitted through that. Time is a factor: it is in front of me and must give me some disturbance. But if we can see the eternal time that is nothing by comparison.
When Mahaprabhu said that there is no alternative other than chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, then it is not necessary to go left or right or anywhere else. Be steady, be faithful, and try, and success must come to you. And because “Hare Krishna” is Radha–Krishna then if They reveal in your heart you will automatically join with the Pastimes of Krishna-lila. That is the gift of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: Krishna-prema, love for Krishna, affection for Krishna, and service for Krishna. When it will reveal in your heart then Krishna will also reveal with that mood.
In this way, many things in many places have given us the clue of practising life. But at first beginners must try with faith.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Italy, September 2000, during his Sixteenth World Tour.


The mahamantra:
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

Related reading

Discussion of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Siksastakam verses in Revealed Truth
Article on the mahamantra

Falling down, getting up

Facing our shortcomings with hope and determination: words of love and wisdom from His Divine Grace.
We have attachment with this mundane world and with our body; it must be, because we are fallen souls. But we promised our Guru, “I must practise Krishna consciousness.” Taking diksa [initiation] means a promise, “I promise Gurudev, I promise Mahaprabhu: yes, any circumstance may come to me, but I will not leave your lotus feet.” And you have still not left: you are running, but only wake up from that illusion. You can see everything, and that is necessary. To always fall down somewhere is not good. Sometimes falling down is a possibility. And what loss is there? There is no loss. When a boy is running on the ground he will fall down on the ground. What loss does he have? He is not going underground; he will take help from the ground, and again he will run. This is the conception of Guru Maharaj, and not only Guru Maharaj: it is the conception of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu and Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu. They are the golden pillars of the sampradaya of Mahaprabhu.

My only shelter is your lotus feet. I may fall down, but will I sleep there?

Rupa Goswami Prabhu said,
bhūmau skhalita pādānāṁ bhūmir evāvalambanam
tvayi jātāparādhānāṁ tvam eva śaraṇaṁ prabho
“Oh Prabhu, you are my shelter. Tad api kila payodah stūyate chātakena. What shall I do? In the future, if I do not have your lotus feet I have no shelter. Then where shall I go? I cannot go to Brahmaloka [plane of non-differentiated spirit] and I cannot go to Svargaloka [plane of heavenly enjoyment]: my satisfaction is not there, my end is not there. My only shelter is your lotus feet. I may fall down, but will I sleep there? It is not possible. I am a living entity, a jiva-soul. I have willing, I have feeling, I have thinking. This is my property, and with that property I shall worship your lotus feet.”

What happened, happened. We don’t care.

Service to the Vaishnavas, and service to Guru is our only life’s goal. Then, what happened, happened. We don’t care. What have we seen? Many big, big rishis and big, big munis are sometimes falling down. But they are not completely attached with that environment. Vishvamitra Rsi also fell down. Sometimes willingly, sometimes unwillingly. Sometimes they willingly fall down. But our shelter is not there, our shelter is the lotus feet of Krishna. That is our only shelter.
You know everything, and that is the problem. That is why your heart is not satisfied with anything else. I have so much love for everybody, especially yourself. You know that love. When you come I feel it is my own atma, my own soul coming. That is how I see you.
It is not necessary to abuse anybody. We will only think, “My fortune gave me that type of environment and I fell down there. But I will not stay there forever.”

Everything belongs to my Gurus, and has been made by them, prepared by them. I can say that I am only mud, and they can make a Deity or make a dog.

I am the example. I am always telling to the devotees, I am the example. You know me. You see me, and what one Guru can do. I am looking at my Guru and I am surprised to see how it has come out. I am a very fallen soul, so how did my improvement come out this way,  and not only in a very small way? When I consider that I get so much strength. That is why I sometimes say, defeat is not in my life. Victory is always with me, because Guru Maharaj is with me.
My body, my mind, my age, everything belongs to my Gurus, and has been made by them, prepared by them. I can say that I am only mud, and they can make a Deity or make a dog. They can make anything, but my position is like soft mud. I did not know anything when I joined with Guru Maharaj’s mission, but after that everybody gave respect, and why? Not for my qualification, but for my Guru Maharaj’s qualification. When everybody is giving me respect I am thinking, “Oh, it is Guru Maharaj’s respect, it is going to Guru Maharaj.”
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said,
guru-jana-śire punaḥ, śobhā pāya śata guṇa
When anybody gives some respect, when anybody comes for service to Krishna I am thinking it is because of Guru Maharaj’s quality. By his mercy it is possible. And I have seen Guru Maharaj’s form, and how merciful Guru is.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Govardhan, March 1991
This talk is continued in the post ‘The pillar of success’
virachaya mayi daṇḍaṁ dīna-bandho dayām vā
gatir iha na bhavattaḥ kāchid anyā mamāsti

nipatatu śata-koṭir nirbharaṁ vā navāmbhas
tad api kila-payodaḥ stūyate chātakena
(Srila Rupa Goswami)
“O Friend of the needy, whether You chastise me or reward me, in the whole wide world I have no other shelter but You. Whether the thunderbolt strikes or torrents of fresh waters shower down, the chātak bird (who drinks only the falling rainwater) perpetually goes on singing the glories of the raincloud.”
ohe prabhu dayāmaya, tomāra charaṇa-dvaya,
śruti-śiropari śobhā pāya guru-jana-śire punaḥ,
śobhā pāya śata guṇa, dekhi āmāra parāṇa juḍāya
(Gītā-mālā: 1.1.1)
“O merciful Lord! Seeing Your feet become more beautiful atop the heads of the scriptures and a hundred times more beautiful atop the head of my Guru soothes my heart.”

The ray of joy

Mahaprabhu said, “Why will you chant the mahamantra? We will chant because,
cheto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
We want to remove the dust of our mind and we want to see our own divine form, our transcendental form.
Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam: all inauspiciousness and difficulties will go. And, śreyaḥ-kairava-chandrikā: before the sun appears light comes in this world, and like that, before the Lord appears some light of the transcendent will come to us and we will feel what is day and what is night.
Mahaprabhu expressed this, and then vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam: finally Mahaprabhu said you will get service to the Lord in the transcendental world. Without feeling anything you will suddenly see, “I am there.” It is like our death: when death happens that man cannot understand, “I am going to die.” He may feel it is his deathbed but when he leaves the body he cannot feel it. He will see, “Oh ho, this is my body here and I am here.” Sometimes they try to go back inside the body but they cannot enter again. Our transcendental service connection will appear like that. Then we will be happy, and when we see our situation completely change we will see the ray of joy, the ray of sachidananda. Ananda, joy, ecstasy. We will try to go back quickly there and we will not wait.
Srila Gurudev, speaking in Byron Bay, Australia, 24 April 1999

"Be sincere, be chaste"

Everyone wants to see the result, and some are getting some result no doubt, but generally we are seeing that although devotees are chanting so much and enthusiastically doing so much seva, they are not getting the result they are searching for. It is very difficult to say how some nourishment will come quickly from our activities, but if we are fully surrendered to Lord Krishna and if we have sincerity then we must get the result. Many times I have told, chastity and sincerity are necessary. It is not only for the practitioner’s activity, it is for all activity of the jiva-souls. Sincerity and chastity will give us proper inspiration and steadiness in our practising life. If we have that sincerity we will search for how our activity can be promoted to the devotional level, and we must go to the sadhu. We must try to get good association, because we know only good association can give that to us, and bad association must always be avoided.
It is not easy to recognise what is good and what is bad, but at least if we are sincere in the line of Krishna consciousness then by the grace of Lord Krishna and by the grace of Gurudev we will get that good association. We can recognise, to some degree, what is good and what is bad, but not fully because we are not qualified.

Good association

Good association means the association of the scriptures and living sadhu. It is very difficult to say who is a sadhu, and we will only follow who we are seeing has engaged his twenty-four hours for the service of Lord Krishna and for the service of Guru and Vaisnava. We will try to get his association, and he will give so much nourishment to us because he will be very enthusiastic to see our mood and he will mercifully give us his practising process, by which he is proceeding in spiritual life, and he will give us what is good for us. He will affectionately try to give us good nourishment. In this mundane world it is very difficult to choose good association no doubt, but what shall we do? Without that we will not get the proper line of Krishna consciousness.
Now in this material world we can see so many societies in the form of Vaisnava societies, and they are also trying to give some Krishna consciousness to others. Sometimes some devotees are frustrated—some sincere seekers, not devotees I can say. The sincere seeker will first ask, “Where shall I go and where not?” Then they will pray to Nityananda Prabhu and they will pray to Mahaprabhu, “Please give me that association which will be good for my practising life.” In this way they will try to search with their sincere mood and Krishna must give them good nourishment. This is my faith. But when Guru is not present then we must try to get good association and that will come through the scriptures also, like Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Prappana-jivanamrta, and so many other books written by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, Narottam Thakur, and others. That is also very good association. If we do not have the association of the living Vaisnava we can try to get that association.

Devotional mood through song

If we think about the meaning of so many songs that will also act as association of the sadhu and reveal in our heart. We will also get good nourishment through that. When some meeting would come for preaching and Srila Guru Maharaj was present, Guru Maharaj would tell me, “Sing this song.” Like Emona durmati saṁsāra bhitare paḍiyā āchhinu āmi. Guru Maharaj wanted to give that conception to others and I would think, “Why did Guru Maharaj choose this song for me? Because he wants to make me perfect. My feelings will grow in the line of that song and I shall get a good devotional mood through that song and then I can give that to others.” I would not think he told me, “Sing this song” only for singing, but I thought in this way, that this is for me and others will hear and they will also be benefitted if they follow that song. In this way Srila Guru Maharaj chose many nice songs for me and when a meeting came he would order me, “Sing this song, sing that song.” Through that I understood the songs of Bhakti Vinod Thakur and Narottam Thakur, as well as Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Prapanna-jivanamrta, and other books. These writings must give us very nice inspiration, association and a mood of service, and if we also get the association of a living sadhu, there is no question that that sadhu will always try to engage us. He will do that as his duty. He is always serving Krishna and Guru twenty-four hours a day and he will also try to engage us twenty-four hours a day in that service. If we can follow him that is very good, and if we can follow him partially that is also good. That will be good for our spiritual life.

 “Where is my fault?”

We must be sincere and we must be chaste in the line of Krishna consciousness. That means our faith must be strong: “I must get it, today or tomorrow.” If the result is not coming then I must try to search within me, “Where is my fault?” And if we try to understand where our fault is then mercifully, by the grace of Krishna, it will appear to me, “This is my fault.” ‘Fault’ has three places only, and they are all because of my ego. First is ego. From outside so many disturbances may come to us but if we try to understand why we will be careful and try to leave our mundane ego. We shall try to proceed in this way, and we must get the result: we must keep this type of faith. Two plus two is equal to four: this is a normal result and when two plus two equals five it is the wrong result and we must search where the fault is. If we can get a living sadhu that sadhu can rectify us very easily. If we pray to Nityananda Prabhu and He gives us His grace it will come to us. There is no other way.
It is necessary to leave our mundane ego as much as possible. We are all practitioners practising Krishna consciousness and we must be careful, “Why is the result not coming to me?” The result must come. We shall try to realise where our fault is, and we must be benefitted through that realisation.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Nabadwip Dham, 31 October 1999


(prabhu he!)
emana durmati saṁsāra bhitare
paḍiyā āchhinu āmi
tava nija-jana kona mahājane
pāṭhāiyā dile tumi [1]
O Lord! I am very wicked-minded and have fallen into this material world, but You have sent a great soul, Your associate (to rescue me).
dayā kari more patita dekhiyā
kahila āmāre giyā
ohe dīna-jana śuna bhāla kathā
ullasita ha’be hiyā [2]
Seeing me so fallen and being merciful, he came to me and said, “O humble soul, listen to this wonderful message and your heart will rejoice.
tomāre tārite śrī-kṛṣṇa-chaitanya
navadvīpe avatāra
tomā hena kata dīna-hīna jane
karilena bhava-pāra [3]
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya has appeared in Nabadwīp to deliver you. He has brought many humble souls just like you to the shore of the ocean of material existence.
vedera pratijñā rākhibāra tare
rukma-varṇa vipra-suta
mahāprabhu nāme nadīyā mātāya
saṅge bhāi avadhūta [4]
“To fulfil the prophecies of the Vedas, He has appeared with a golden complexion as a brāhmaṇ’s son bearing the name ‘Mahāprabhu’ and driven all of Nadia (all the world) mad with divine love in the company of His brother Nityānanda.
nanda suta yini chaitanya gosāñī
nija-nāma kari’ dāna
tārila jagat tumi-o yāiyā
laha nija paritrāṇa [5]
“Śrī Chaitanya, who is Kṛṣṇa Himself, has distributed His own Name and delivered the world. Go also and accept your deliverance.”
se kathā śuniyā āsiyāchhi, nātha!
tomāra charaṇa-tale
bhakati-vinoda kadiyā kadiyā
āpana-kāhinī bale [6]
O Lord, hearing this message, Bhakti Vinod has come to the soles of Your feet. Crying, he tells his story.
(Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur)