Acaryas Quotes Bhakti Quotes VISHRAMBHENA SEVA MEANS TO PERFORM THE APPROPRIATE SERVICES WITHOUT BEING ORDERED TO...

VISHRAMBHENA SEVA MEANS TO PERFORM THE APPROPRIATE SERVICES WITHOUT BEING ORDERED TO DO SO

An example of misjudging guru’s needs and requirements is: The disciple will tell his guru during the winter season, “Oh Gurudeva, I want to wash your feet. So bring your feet forward.”

[Laughter]

Being the season of winter, the chilly weather is making the guru tremble. He is also very thirsty and repeatedly tells his disciple, “Just bring me water and after that, you can perform the puja.”

But his disciple is overbearingly insistent and repeatedly tells him, “Gurudeva, please bring your feet forward.”

“I am thirsty!”

“Please bring your feet forward. I will wash them, because it is written in sastra.”

[Laughter]

This way, the disciple quarreled with his gurudeva. We should not behave like this. We should know what our gurudeva wants, his needs and requirements need to be fulfilled. Guru doesn’t need someone to fan him during the winter season.

A situation should also not arise where we will fan Krishna with a peacock feather fan for one hour.

Being disturbed, Krishna will say, “Are, stop it! Stop it!”

The overbearing devotee will reply, “How can I stop? I will have to fan You for one more hour.”

[Laughter]

Then Krishna will tell, “Don’t come.”

[Laughter]

“I don’t want to be fanned.”

So, we should know the appropriate measures that we have to adopt for every kind of service. We should know the needs and requirements of gurudeva and see to his needs before receiving an order from him. Then we will be an ideal disciple. A disciple who doesn’t know what his guru wants, this disciple is a kanista sisya.

And a disciple who performs services on being ordered by his gurudeva, is anyhow a more advanced disciple.

The disciple who performs services without being ordered to and brings the same things his guru wants, this is an uttama (topmost) disciple.

On being told to perform a service, a disciple who tells his gurudeva, “Wait a little, I am coming,” is not a sevaka (servant), rather, he is a vaka or baka (crane) without the letters “se”. This disciple is like a crane, which has a foot in water and stands in a meditative pose. But what is it meditating on? It is meditating for fish while standing on one leg.

So, vishrambhena guru seva means performing the appropriate services without being ordered to. The disciple will take all the orders of his guru on his head. And then, jnane prayasa udapasya namanta eva.

We should try to forget Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By thinking of our self as infinitesimal and Krishna as infinite, a wall of maryada (awe and reverence) will stand between Krishna and our self, and we will not be able to serve Krishna according to His needs and inner desires.

11 May 1996, HOLLAND

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PART 1 WHY DID KRSNA TEST THE SADHANA-SIDDHA-GOPIS?

The Sruticari, Smrticari, Upanisadcari Gopis, and the Dandakaranya Rsis, who had come to Vraja and achieved the bodies of Gopis, performed Katyayani-vrata. After their vrata the Lord called them to perform rasa-lila. He brought them into His company and showed them His love and affection. In this way He accepted them and made them eligible for His company. In the Caitanya Caritamrta, it explains that a doctor gave a medicine to a person to cure a disease but upon taking it, the disease increased. This was because the sick person did not follow the proper diet and so forth, so he became even more sick. Similarly, the jivas pray to God for so many things, but even if you give it to them, they become so proud when they receive it. As soon as they get some position, post, or qualification, then their pride devours them. When Krsna danced, played, sang, and showed His affection to the Gopis, they became proud, thinking, “I am no less than anyone. I am the dearmost of God. I am the dearmost of Krsna.” In this way so much pride came within the sadhana-siddha-gopis, and they did not respect Srimati Radharani who is svarupa-sakti, and hladini-sakti, nor the nitya-siddha-gopis, therefore the Lord disappeared. What did the Gopis do when Krsna left them? They were experiencing so much separation from Him and were greatly lamenting. After meeting with Krsna there was so much joy, but when He left, they felt extreme separation. They began to search throughout the forest for Krsna. They asked everything and everyone, “Where is Krsna?” They asked the plants, the trees, the river, everything, but no-one was ready to give any answer or response to them. As long as the Lord is present in the heart, the jivas have some foundation and strength, but as soon as the Lord leaves or disappears, then the embodied souls have no position. Because of their karma they sometimes move in water, fire, air, ether, or earth. Without Paramatma (supersoul) the embodied souls have no form, and they move here and there in the elements like orphans. This is the fate of the ‘baddha-jivas’ - conditioned souls. Those who are ‘mukta’ liberated souls, can achieve Vraja-dhama in this world, ‘bhauma Vrindavan’. Before the liberated souls go to ‘aprakrta Vraja’ - transcendental Vraja, the Lord will give them many tests. The Vraja in this world is like a training center for the sadhana-siddhas, those who have achieved perfection through spiritual practice. Before Krsna met with the sadhana-siddhas-gopis in the Rasa dance, He tested them so much. He saw that they were not displeased with Him, nor were they selfishly thinking of themselves, so they passed the test. Krsna had previously danced, sang, and embraced the Gopis, filling them with the joy of meeting Him. He then thought, “I want to see what the sadhana-siddha-gopis will do.” This was like another test. Then what the Lord was thinking would happen, did indeed occur. They did not respect the other Gopis. The Lord then disappeared and the Gopis lamented greatly searching here and there for Him. After wandering far and wide throughout the forests and groves they finally saw the footprints of Krsna. Seeing these footprints, they realized that they had never taken shelter of the footprints of the Lord. They had never meditated on or taken shelter of the symbols that are on Krsna’s feet, like the flag, goad, fish, pyramid, pot, and conch. There are very beautiful symbols on the Lord’s lotus feet and these were present in the footprints. THE GOPIS BLAME KRSNA The Gopis began to meditate on these symbols. By the influence of this meditation their hearts became completely purified, and the pride of their good fortune in meeting with Krsna was washed away. Because they meditated on His feet, everything was cleansed. Now they began to experience their own shortcomings. Before they were very proud and they thought, “Why has He left us? Why has He given us up? This is His fault. This is wrong. We left everything and came here to meet Him, and now He has neglected us!” They were thinking there was some fault in the Lord’s activities. Although externally you couldn’t see this, Krsna thought, “Now I will see their behavior.” The sadhana-siddhas-gopis were not feeling, “Oh we have neglected and disrespected the nitya-siddha-gopis, the eternal associates of the Lord.” It was like they have entered the house by force and tried to become the masters of the house. For example, it is like when a rich and wealthy person has just married a girl from a poor village. Within two days she will challenge and try controlling everyone in an attempt to become the master of the house. She will think, “Who is this aunt? Who are these in-laws? Who is this mother-in-law?” This is called ‘gusbeti’. They enter the house and within a few days try to exert their influence and try to dominate everyone thinking, “This is my place, now you can leave. Get out.” They have no respect and those who were always there, who were the masters for many, many years, are shown contempt and disrespect. Then the wife tries to become the queen, but there is no value in it. Similarly, the Lord thought, “If they are competing here in ‘bhauma Vrndavan’, then what will they do in eternal Vraja?” It is not so easy to enter the eternal realm, so Krsna thought, “I will help purify them of this pride.” For this reason, He left with Srimati Radhika. THE GOPIS FIND FOOTPRINTS The Gopis then began to weep and search for Krsna. Finally, they reached the footprints of Krsna and began to pray and take shelter of them. Then they saw another set of footprints and thought, “Oh how dear this other Gopi must be to Krsna? How great She must be? How much greater than us She must be? But we did not respect Her, we neglected Her. How great She must be that Krsna left us all but He did not leave Her, therefore She is the most dear to Sri Krsna.” When they saw Srimati Radharani’s footprints, they also saw some other items including a broken garland, and flowers that had been picked and used by Krsna to decorate Srimati Radharani’s hair. In this way they developed some faith for Radharani. DIFFERENT TYPES OF SRADDHA AND ANURAGA There is one kind of faith that is called, ‘laukika’ meaning weak or material faith. Another one is paramarthika or transcendental faith. Laukika-sraddha, material faith, can easily be destroyed, it is very flimsy. But paramarthika-sraddha, transcendental faith, is much more firm and strong when one is progressing from sraddha to nistha, firm dedication and faith. And then further it develops to ruci - transcendental taste, and then on to asakti - transcendental attraction and deep attachment. Then finally to bhava - pure ecstatic emotion, and it even goes higher to sneha, raga, mana, pranaya, and anuraga, which is loving attraction. Until this state of faith has reached all the way up to the pure state of anuraga or loving attraction, then one still has anuraga or love for one’s own body, mind, and senses. You cannot use this anuraga solely for Sri Krsna, you do not have that strength. For one’s own happiness one is ready to do anything, however for someone else’s pleasure or happiness no one is ready to sacrifice themselves for the pleasure of another, they cannot possibly do this. Therefore, tad-anuragi-jananugami, we must follow in the footsteps of those who have this anuraga, and to follow them is considered the mature state of sadhana. Otherwise you may exhibit yourself as becoming a big babaji or sadhu, and show off so much faith, bang on the drums and karatals, but as soon as you are a little bit disturbed or disrespected, or there is some disturbance in your enjoyment and sense gratification, or maybe even a little chastisement and discipline from Guru and Vaisnavas, and you have to renounce all other things for service, then what will you do? You will enter your room or house and flee from service. This is laukika-sraddha - material faith, and it is very weak. Until you follow this instruction of Rupa Gosvami, to follow in the footsteps of those who have anuraga - pure devotion, you will not be able to progress to the higher stages of devotion. Once you follow this tad-anuragi-jananugami properly then you can progress to mana, pranaya, anuraga and so forth. Otherwise this laukika-sraddha (material faith) is not very valuable. When you achieve paramarthika-sraddha (transcendental faith) this will progress to higher and higher stages of bhakti. We should strive only for this, and be prepared to sacrifice everything, renouncing all our own comforts and selfish desires. We have to sincerely look and see, who is dear to Guru, who is most dear to Krsna, and then take shelter of them. THE GOPIS LEARN FROM RADHIKA’S PRAYERS Proceeding forward, the Gopis found Srimati Radhika senseless on the ground. They began to fan Her, and witnessed many different ecstatic symptoms on Her body, like perspiring, hairs standing on end, and a choked voice. This made their faith in Her develop even more. They took shelter of Her and asked Her, “How did You get here?” Those who have good qualities or good qualifications are actually exalted, when they experience any shortcoming they have, they are not shy to express this. They do not try to hide their faults. But we try to hide our faults. We lie, cheat, and steal, and then we will make ten or twenty people our witnesses to say, “No, this is a good person. They are not a thief, they are not a sinner, they are very good.” We think, “Everyone else is a sinner, everyone else is very bad, but I am so good.” We will arrange hundreds of people to give evidence in our favor. But a good person will not be afraid to show their faults. Srimati Radhika did not say, “Oh it was your fault that Krsna left with Me.” Instead She said, “Krsna left Me. I told Krsna, ‘I am tired and cannot walk any further’. This was My own pride. I tried to engage the Lord in My own service. How great a mistake this was and as a result of this, Krsna left Me.” The Gopis, hearing Srimati Radhika’s humility, could now understand Her exalted position. If those who occupy high positions are very exalted and advanced, have all good qualities, then those under them will also be decorated with these qualities. If they express their own faults, and are very open and honest, then those under their guidance will also become like that. Otherwise they will only develop more faults. If people from the outside criticize us, we should not think, “Why are they complaining and blaming?” but instead we should be ready to accept and see our own faults. The Gopis now realized, “We have made a mistake!” Hearing the prayers of Srimati Radhika and the nitya-siddha-gopis, which are full of svarupa-sakti, the sadhana-siddha-gopis understood that these prayers are real and proper. They thought, “Until this point, we were all praying, but what was our mood?” It is said that only Madhavendra Puri, Srimati Radharani, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu understood this sloka of Srimati Radhika. There was really no one else who could understand it. Mahaprabhu also performed kirtana of this verse. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)

HOW DID THE DIETIES FOR RUPA-SANATANA GAUDIYA MATHA MANIFEST?

The construction progressing agreeably, (for the “Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Math” in Vrndavan) Śrīla Gurudeva focused on arranging Deities for...

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Vyāsadeva, in the form of Vṛndāvan Das Thakur, first prays to Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu is the root of Vyāsa, the root of all gurus. He is the mūla guru. Now many people discuss how there is currently no uttama mahā bhagavat and how kaniṣṭha adhikārīs and madhyama adhikārīs are giving dīkṣā. They are wondering, “Is this helpful or not? Do their mantras have any potency or not?” One thing that is important to understand is that madhyama and kaniṣṭhāś are not giving something of their own concoction...

FORCING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW RULES AND REGULATIONS – Is it good?

Nityānanda Prabhu didn’t beat or smash everyone. He humbly requested, and prayed to everyone. He sweetly said, “Please accept My words! This is good for you.” People then naturally changed by the Lord’s sweetness. Similarly, the sādhus also possess such mercy. There is no need to make a person forcibly follow the rules and regulations. The śāstras state, “If you don’t follow these rules and regulations, you will go to hell and be duly punished there.” But Nityānanda Prabhu and Mahāprabhu never spoke like this. They only give the moods of kṛṣṇa-prema. Even if a Vaiṣṇava is born in a demoniac family, when his demoniac family members remember him, they will immediately become happy and pleased. Mahāprabhu gave the responsibility of making everyone the followers of vraja-bhakti. He especially wanted that the nature, desires, and love of the Vraja-devīs be given to everyone. Then everyone will automatically receive attachment for anurāgamayi-bhakti. Thus, there will be no need to smash or squeeze anyone. Everyone will spontaneously change.Some say, “I become very happy by remembering the Vaiṣṇavas.” But they don’t know the reason for their happiness. Anurāga will gradually dawn on their hearts because of their respect and love for the sādhus. When their natures change, they will offer from their hearts. And then, the mood of yugala-bhajana that the sādhu has in his heart will appear in their hearts as well. There will be no need for harināma, dīkṣā, instructions, advice, or orders. When a person follows vraja-bhakti, the fragrance of his devotion will permeate the entire atmosphere and change everyone’s natures. The followers of vaidhī-bhakti, karma, and jñāna try to control their senses by various means—but it is impossible to control the senses by such endeavors. Also, nobody will change as well. But everyone will automatically change in the association of the anurāgi-bhaktas. There will be no need to give separate classes. The anurāgi-bhaktas continuously speak about the glories of the Vrajavāsīs and the Vraja-devīs.

HOW WONDERFUL IS VRAJA PARIKRAMA WITH GURUDEVA?

Gurudeva said, “By His own sweet will, Kṛṣṇa appeared in this world with Śrīmatī Rādhika and the Vrajavāsīs. For the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa and the benefit of all jīvas, Śrīmatī Rādhika brought Girirāja Govardhana, Yamunā, and all the forests of Vraja along with Her. The Vraja-maṇḍala we see on this planet, even though not all people can perceive its full glory, it is a selfsame expansion of Vraja in the topmost spiritual realm. However, the Vraja in this world offers the advantage that through sādhana in this dhāma one can be freed from his material condition and achieve spiritual perfection. Then, by the grace of the dhāma, one will enter transcendental Vraja. For this reason, out of His causeless mercy to the living beings, Kṛṣṇa descended with His associates and abode to this world. “The living beings have been circumambulating the universe for countless lifetimes in search of sense gratification, but the end result is always only distress and dissatisfaction. The jīvas do not realize that they suffer because they fail to develop their relationship with Kṛṣṇa, His associates, and their true home, Vraja-dhāma. A refugee, separated from his home and family, living in a desert-like existence, cannot relish happiness. Sri Sri Radha-Krsna sent the Guru-varga to collect souls and bring them to Vraja. They teach that if one develops even slight greed for Vraja-bhakti, and follows in the footsteps of the anurāgī-bhaktas on parikramā, then one’s life will be successful.

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