— by Jagadguru Om Visnupada Srila Prabhupada
Sri Gaurasundara is Svayam Bhagavan Paratattva. His words of instruction are His limbs. The preachers of His message are His extended limbs. Sri Gaurasundara’s teachings are the weapons that nullify the degrading influence of Kali. Those who are established in such teachings are His associates. I am supplicating a few words of mine to the preachers of Gaurasundara’s teachings. All the Gaudiyas have assemble here to worship Sri Gaurasundara along with His associates and extended limbs.
The Prabhu of my Prabhu (Srila Gaurakisora Das Babaji Maharaja) has presented the essence of all His teachings in these following words:
- We should be humbler than a blade of grass (trnad-api-sunica).
- We should be as tolerant as trees (taror-iva-sahisnuna).
- We should respect all others without expecting any in return (amanina-manadena).
- It is the duty of all the souls to continuously perform hari-kirtana in such a state.
My Prabhu attracted me to his lotus feet having embodied all these instructions of Sri Gaurasundara. I am also requesting all my well-wishers to follow these principles if they really wish to attract all the souls of this world to the all-encompassing truth. The crest-jewel of all sannyasis, Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati, has given the following instruction to the Tridandi-bhiksus (sannyasis):
dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya
kṛtvā ca kāku-śatam etad ahaṁ bravīmi
he sādhavaḥ sakalam eva vihāya dūrād
Following in the footsteps of our Mahajanas, I am also requesting my well-wishers to follow these instructions. Sri Caitanyadeva is the topmost teacher who embodies the highest ideal of transcendence. We will have to repeat the instructions He has given in His Siksastakam beginning with ‘ceto-darpana-marjanam’. We are the carriers of srauta-vani (the message that is heard). We should never exhibit our arrogance or conceit—this should always be remembered.
We should not restrict ourselves in offering the resident of this world their due respect. We will request everyone to bless us with Krsna-bhakti. Regardless of how many favorable or unfavorable elements that present themselves before us, we will offer them our respect and continuously be engaged in our prema-seva to our ista-deva (worshipable Lord). This is the mantra of our worshipful Vrajavasis:
patiṁ me kuru te namaḥ
[Each of the young unmarried girls performed her worship while chanting the following mantra. “O goddess Kātyāyanī, O great potency of the Lord, O possessor of great mystic power and mighty controller of all, please make the son of Nanda Mahārāja my husband.]
vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma maule
gopisvara! Vraja vilasi yuganghri padme
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te
(Sankalpadruma 103, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura)
[“O gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipful for the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Narada, all glories to you! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and time again.”]
While preaching Sri Gaurasundara’s message (hari-kirtana) to the souls of this world, we will have to see, listen, and learn from this world. But we should never forget that all the knowledge and opulence of this world is perpetually present to nourish our service to Sri Guru. If the highest forms of knowledge and learning present themselves to serve a particle of dust from the lotus feet of Gurupadapadma—only then will such knowledge and learning bear fruit. Or else, such knowledge and learning are in vain for they are like a fleeting mirage. This should always be remembered.
I consider it to be my duty to remind my well-wishers (who are going to preach in the West) of the following instructions of my Prabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami:
anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate
prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumuksubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate.
When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Krsna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Krsna is not as complete in his renunciation.]
While describing slokas such as ‘jayati-jayati namananda rupam murarer’, Srila Sanatana Gosvami has elucidated on the meaning of the aphorism, ‘anavrtti-sabdat, anavrtti-sabdat.’ I request my well-wishers to constantly repeat these instructions of our Guruvarga while offering their heartfelt respect to everyone they meet. The people you are going to preach to are greatly advanced in enhancing their worldly requirements. Their sense of discrimination is refined and they are to be respected. By presenting factual devotional conclusions to them, they will become suitable recipients of srauta-vani. We are to be greatly hopeful in this regard. By taking shelter of sahisnuta (tolerance), we will continuously perform hari-kirtana in an honest manner. This will inevitably lead to a lasting affect on them.
While engaged in our preaching services, we should be careful to not imbibe a competitive spirit. We are only going door to door to preach the Truth. We should not fear from from anyone’s disrespect or respect. We should only strive for the happiness of our Prabhu. We need only render sincere service to our Prabhu. We should remind ourselves that we are not going to preach to flatter anyone for their worldly learning or exalted lineage. Neither should we be repulsed by a person’s foolishness for such a state has only arisen because of a flawed conception of the real self (svarupa-bhranti). The people of this world are greatly advanced than us in terms of material amenities. We don’t desire such amenities. We, Tridandi-bhiksus, are only going to do kirtana of Caitanya-vani. Except for the happiness of Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas, we don’t desire anything else. We are only the medium of their instructions. A Tridandi-bhiksuk is a living mrdanga of Sri Caitanya. This mrdanga will continuously be played upon while being under the shelter of Sri Gurupadapadma.
The continuous guidance and instructions of Sri Guru-Vaisnavas will be the polestar of our lives. We will wave the flag of Bhagavan Sri Gaurasundara’s instructions and follow the dharma of a Parivrajaka (a wandering mendicant). We have accepted the Parivrajaka-dharma to only preach the innermost heart’s desire of Sri Guru Gauranga. We will be initiated into kirtana by placing ourselves under the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva. As a result, we will not be overcome by the desire to explore different places for our sense-pleasure. The hidden deity of extraneous desires will not have the courage to disturb us.
Our nitya-dharma is to only serve Sri Gaura-nama, Sri Gaura-dhama (Gaura’s holy abode), and Sri Gaura-kama (Gaura’s desires). We will only subsist on madhukari-bhiksa (likened to the collection of honey from different flowers by a bee) to preach the ideals of our Matha (spiritual refuge). We are not enjoyers or renunciants. We only nourish the topmost desire of carrying the shoes of our transcendental forefathers. By being humbler than a blade of grass, we will tell everyone that complete dependence on the Absolute Truth is the actual freedom of expression. Such freedom renders its material counterpart useless. Such material freedom is a part of this world, which is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. By imbibing the sixfold principles of surrender that have been authorized by Sri Rupa Gosvami Prabhu, we will continuously be engaged in hari-kirtana.
[Translated from Bhagavat Patrika Year 20, Issue 5]