This article from the Rays of The Harmonist Monthly On-line Edition is being resent by email@example.com.
The Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo is being used with permission.
The Moment We Forget to Serve Sri Guru
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Answer: Service to Srila Gurudeva is the pre-eminent objective. It is imperative to engage in the service of Srila Gurudeva at the beginning of every year, at beginning of every month, at the beginning of every day and indeed at the beginning of every moment. If we do not engage in serving Srila Gurudeva at every moment, then surely we will end up in more trouble. The moment we forget to serve Sri Guru, is the very moment we will forget our own true self.
The education imparted by the ordinary teachers and superiors of this world produces trivial results. The divine master, the parmarthika guru, does not bestow anything so insignificant. Sri Guru bestows upon us our true welfare. The moment a jiva becomes deprived of the grace of sri guru, who is the Supreme Personality of Love of Godhead (asraya-jatiya Bhagavan), several wayward desires appear in his heart. If the vartma-pradarsaka guru (one who initially guides us to the spiritual path) does not instruct us how to take shelter at the lotus feet of sri guru and how to behave toward him, then we may even lose sri guru the precious jewel we have just acquired. Nama-bhajana is indeed the sole method of bhajana, and sri guru solely instructs us on this method. If sri guru is not pleased with us, how will we gain the strength to perform bhajana? Therefore, I say, those who wish to attain the lotus feet of Bhagavan, who want true peace and who want deliverance from material existence, will make serving sri guru their life and soul, they will ceaselessly engage in that service and they will endeavour to please him even at the cost of their own life. Then no more troubles will remain, all welfare will be ensured and all their misfortune will be reduced to ashes.
Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead (visaya-jatiya bhagavan) and Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Love of Godhead (asraya-jatiya bhagavan) are the two moieties of the same whole, and Their infinitely variegated, blissful play (vilasa-vaicitrya) is the form of perfect completeness itself. The complete manifestation of Supreme Personality of Godhead is Sri Krsna and the complete manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Love of Godhead is sri guru. Only he who constantly demonstrates by his own behaviour that we should serve Sri Bhagavan throughout our entire life, is sri guru. Such a guru is present in every entity and object. Indeed, we have no other purpose than to serve such a guru at every moment.
Answer: The rsis have instructed us to become steadfast in varnasrama-dharma. There is specific utility in following varnasrama-dharma. However, Sri Gaurangadeva has said, “For how long is it useful to follow varnasrama-dharma?” Varnasrama is not our eternal dharma. It is not the inherent engagement (svarupa-vrtti) of our soul. In other words, it is not our constitutional nature. It is simply an attempt to offer worship to Sri Visnu while situated in a particular order of life and in accordance with a particular, temporarily acquired disposition in other words, while our nature is deformed by our conditioning, or while we are situated in some virupa so as to move somewhat in the direction of the true, implicit nature of our soul, or our svarupa. Varnasrama-dharma is not the same as unmotivated and uninterrupted pure devotional service to Sri Krsna. While situated in varnasrama-dharma, service to Sri Krsna is not possible, but there is some attempt to worship Sri Visnu. This is why Sri Caitanyadeva has said:
Who are you? First, you must ascertain this. Are you a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra? Are you a sannyasi, grhastha, vanaprastha or brahmacari? All of these are designations for your temporary, conditioned state; none of them signify your eternal, true self (svarupa). The real identity of the living entity’s constitutional position is that he is an eternal servant of Sri Krsna.
The soul is the servant of the Super-soul, and only service to the Super-soul is his dharma.
Answer: Among all the limbs of bhakti, sri krsna-sankirtana stands alone as the most prominent and the supremely essential limb of bhakti. By engaging in sri krsna-sankirtana, one attains the topmost qualification for living a spiritual life (paramarthika jivana). All power, all glory and beauty, the complete fulfilment of all desires, and the topmost fruit and perfection of all practices (sadhana) are invested in the holy names of Sri Krsna.
To whatever extent we are absorbed in our various activities, whatever tendencies, whatever thoughts and whatever conceptions we may have, sri krsna-nama will govern them all. When Sri Krsna’s holy name appears on our tongue, we will be able to effortlessly renounce all of our activities in connection with this temporary material world and all of our sentiments of obligation therein. We will be able to effortlessly renounce the tendency to enjoy its perishable things and all the material comforts we have until now surrounded ourselves with. Only through sri krsna-nama are all the obstacles on the path of bhakti easily dispersed. Chanting sri krsna-nama is not only the practice (sadhana), but it is also, in fact, the final attainment (sadhya-vastu) – the fruit of sadhana. Sri krsna-nama is to be constantly chanted under the guidance of sri guru. All kinds of eternal welfare manifest through chanting sri krsna-nama. Only by serving the holy name will the living beings attain all auspiciousness. Only sri krsna-nama can submerge us in the ocean of eternal joy. And sri krsna-nama itself contains the totality of all transcendent, ambrosial emotion (akhila-rasamaya).
Sri Gaurasundara is the topmost worshipful entity for everyone in the world. He is situated at the ultimate zenith among all worshipful entities. Indeed, He is supremely worshipful even for all other worshipful deities in existence. Although Sri Gaurasundara is Sri Krsna Himself, He has personally practised bhagavad-dharma, and thus He has taught the whole world that sri krsna-sankirtana alone is the pinnacle of bhagavad-dharma. Sri krsna-sankirtana alone is the highest form of meditation (maha-dhyana), the highest form of sacrifice (maha-yajna) and the highest form of deity worship (maha-arcana). Meditation on Sri Krsna, sacrifice for His pleasure, and worship of His deity form are actually ordinary activities, but accomplishing maha-dhyana, maha-yajna and maha-arcana by engaging in the sri krsna-sankirtana constitutes the perfection and complete form of these three activities.
Answer: When a person endeavours for his own happiness, he inevitably becomes a grha-vrata (he whose vows are rooted in serving his family) bent on enjoying his senses. But directing all one’s efforts toward serving Sri Krsna leads to one’s spiritual welfare. The householder devotees should always endeavour by various means to assist or serve those devotees who have renounced their beloved relatives, wives, sons, homes and so on, and who are constantly engaged in sri krsna-bhajana in every respect. Only service like this will lead them toward their true welfare and slacken their attachment to worldly life. The spiritually oriented householders (parmarthika grhastha), or Vaisnava householders, extend themselves to serve Sri Hari as profusely as they exert themselves for their own wives, sons and daughters. They nourish their wives, sons and daughters when they know that they are performing bhagavad-bhajana. Otherwise, they do not nourish serpents by giving them milk and bananas. In other words, they distance themselves from them, realizing that their association is unfavourable and an obstruction to their bhakti.
Answer: Whenever I want to become the Lord, with the hope of dominating others as their master, then I am truly enslaved by material nature. The only way for the presently endangered human society to achieve true welfare is for its members to get deliverance from their mundane existences, centred around birth and death (jada-samsara), to be delivered from the clutches of foolishness and enter into their eternal existences, centred around Sri Krsna (krsna-samsara). Only by sincerely accepting shelter at the lotus feet of sri guru, without any duplicity, can one attain deliverance from this material world. There is no other way. Can that guru, by whose mercy one can be delivered from this material existence, ever be a non-devotee? Can such a guru ever be full of extraneous desires, or a karmi, always engaged in seeking mundane rewards? Can he ever be an undercover atheist, or an impersonalist or yogi, who is only concerned with mystic powers? How can one become a genuine guru unless he is absorbed in bhakti for the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every respect?
Whether one is a householder or a renunciant, the prominent duty for everyone is to serve sri guru. When the hari-katha emanating from the lotus mouth of sri guru enters ears that are eager to receive it, then the darkness of ignorance covering the eyes is eliminated and their clarity of vision is restored. It is through these immaculate eyes alone that one can see Sri Krsna, face to face.
Our desire to become the master is the sole cause of our ruin. If by one’s own will one moves along the path of worldly life, chasing after temporary pleasures and constantly occupied with worldly activities, then one is bound to be affected by the torturous heat of the three-fold miseries. Therefore, we must by all means heed the instructions of those who disregard the dictates of their own mind as well as the advice of people who are controlled by their mental dictation, and who instead constantly engage in serving the Supreme Lord.
Next Issue – Year 3, Issue 6: “We are not the Substance; We are Potency”, 1 July 2010
Visit Rays of The Harmonist Monthly On-Line Edition at purebhakti.com for a complete list of articles
Download PDFs of the Rays of The Harmonist bi-yearly magazine from purebhakti.com
Coming soon! Order original hard copies of the Rays of The Harmonist bi-yearly magazine from bhaktistore.com
Rays of The Harmonist On-line; Year 3, Issue 5, "The Moment We Forget to Serve Sri Guru is the Moment We Forget Our True Self", by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available.
You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.
powered by phplist v 2.10.12, © tincan ltd