Everytime we go into the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam we are always reminded of our beloved Gurudev, H H Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj because he lived, breathed and survived on Srimad Bhagavatam. It was his life and soul and never he has forsaken it at any time. I was just going through one of the favourite verses of Maharaj in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.6.26
If you become a devotee means, you are swimming against the current. The current is that you are going to the sense gratificatory activities. Everybody is following and if you follow sense gratification, you will have so many companions. You go to the pubs and there may be 100 people with you and break each other’s heads. That is also companionship. That is their way to become a companion. Here (temple or Krishna conscious centre) you come and we smile nicely. That is our companionship. But the general tendency is to run away from this and that is the general flow. That is the current. If you want, you can swim in the direction of the current and then it is very easy. You just throw yourself in the river and just here and there move your limbs and you are floating because the current is helping you. But when you go against the current it is a hard job and not only the hard job but you have to struggle continuously. As soon as you stop again, you will glide down. If you stop, then you destroy yourselves.
Those who have developed that eagerness, faith, that "I must see Krishna in this life..." This life is meant for seeing Krishna. It is not meant for becoming dogs and hogs. Unfortunately, the whole civilization is going on, they are being trained to become dogs and hogs
It is said, 'shabdaadin vishayaams tyaktva'. Shabda means sound. Sound is a sense object. We enjoy the sound. Newly married couple, the husband enjoys the talking of the wife in the beginning at least. I do not know later what happens. But this is shabda. This is sound we enjoy. We enjoy bhajans - Transcendental sound.
Srila Prabhupada has done all the labour. He used to get up at 1 a.m. He was not mad and he has translated for us, given nice equivalents and the purports and not only that, he has given his own representatives who are day and night preaching the glories of Srila Prabhupada and Bhagavad Gita.
All living entities in the material world (non devotee, devotee, semi devotee, pure devotee) must associate with the Lord in the form of Time (even though we do not want) and reap the results of our past deeds. We do not have a choice in this regard.
No one can refuse to accept either summons calls or the supreme judgment of eternal time. Whether one is a devotee or not, all living entities in this material world must associate with the Supreme Lord in His form as Time.
So long there will be a pinch of a desire for sense gratification, surely there will be fight between brother and brother, father and son, nation and nation and so on. The process of unity does not stand on the plane of enjoyment or renunciation, the real unity stands on the plane of service which is transcendental to all mundane enjoyments or renunciation. That is the plane of spirit.
We are all blessed with BMW (Body, Mind and Words) by the Lord. When we make proper use of this BMW by engaging our senses in His service, then we will experience bliss and also make the people around us blissful..
There is a difference between saying "The Lord is dear to me" and "I am dear to the Lord". In the first sentence, we imply that I am loving the Lord more. In the second sentence, we imply that the Lord is loving us more than we loving Him.
Under the false pretext, false prestige, everyone is thinking that "We are independent. We can find out the solution of the problems of life by material adjustment," so on, so on. So that is our material disease. Ahankaara-vimudhaatmaa. Bewildered, they do not understand that the real strength is spiritual strength. We see daily, see daily that a very strong man, very powerful man, very good brain, very good scientist... So where is the strength? The strength is atma. As soon as the atma, or the soul, goes out of this body, so intelligent, so strong, and so many things, that is nothing. That is the difference between dead man and the living man. A living man is very powerful, very good position, everything. As soon as he lies down, he is lying down on the floor, and if you kick him on his face, he'll not protest. So where is that strength? The strength is gone. That is spiritual strength. On the spiritual strength, the body moves. Suppose you have got a very good car, Mercedes car or Rolls Royce car. But when there is no petrol, how the car will move? It is not possible. There is spirit, petrol spirit. Similarly, real strength is spiritual strength. That spiritual strength is Balarama. Bala means strength. Therefore we have to take shelter of the lotus feet of Balarama, guru-tattva.
As soon as your life is thoroughly purified by the fiery devotional service to Krishna then there is no restriction. Because attachment to anything or any living entity, is the breeding ground of discrimination.
Many a times we falsely think that our relatives will protect us, friends will protect us etc. But Narada Muni is giving us the reality of life. How much ever we are affectionate/loving to some-one, we all are dependent on Lord. We can not save our own selves. Then what to speak of protecting others ?
Whether a person is his disciple or not, Maharaj's dealings with everyone were the same, be it loving inquiries, well-wishing suggestions, or chastisements. According to whatever the Supreme Lord Krishna inspired him, the chastisement may be in the form of kind advice, suggestions, heavy chastisement or many a time it will be like sweet-coated medicines. The beauty of Maharaj is that he might have chastised a person very heavily and the very next moment he will speak to them so lovingly without any tinge of grudge, hatred, neglect or disregard. Due to his unalloyed purity, the chastisements always had a good impact as his only motive is for the spiritual well-being of the living entity.
Practical renunciation of social intercourse and full dedication to the goal of returning back to Godhead in this lifetime, becomes viable to a pure devotional aspirant by reciting and hearing the holy scriptures at a holy place. Out of befitting humility Sria Prabhupada refers to holy scriptures left by acaryas 'like the six Goswamis'. Srila Prabhupada himself is an empowered acarya of Lord Caitanya's mission and he has left us his English translation and commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam. This great contribution of Srila Prabhupada to the benefit of all humanity, was the life and soul of our beloved Guru Maharaja His Holiness Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaja. Wherever we are, if we chant this wonderful Srimad Bhagavatam then Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada will be very much pleased.
Just like how dust gets accumulated in our house on a daily basis, our mind is prone to so many anarthas. So much so we become spiritually blind and fail to see Krishna, who is very much present within our hearts. The above verse teaches us the simple and sublime method to purify ourselves.
It is said in the Shastras that those who do not chant the holy names and fame of the Lord are considered dead bodies. Our spiritual master would say that without performing devotional service, our faces look like rotten bananas. If we perform devotional service our faces will become bubbly like watermelon.
When Lord gives some challenges in life, He also definitely gives the extra strength to face it. When we patiently tolerate the challenges and with faith and determination, sincerely endeavour then merciful Lord gives the guidance, strength and knowledge to overcome all sorts of handicaps. The handicaps can be in any form physical or mental. But we should never give up faith and determination. There cannot be any problem in this world for which Krishna does not have a solution. So without getting wavered we should patiently and faithfully follow the path of devotional service.
Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in one of his lectures in Singapore says:- "Unless you purify your existence, your existence is completely mogha - useless. Do not think that you can go on reading the Bhagavata purana and go on with the dirty activities again. Don’t get upset with the situations. Situations will always agitate you. You have to completely change. Please change for the good and convert your own situation into a very nice favourable situation by controlling yourself. Nobody else has the capacity to harm you. You are the one who is harming yourself.
In this material world we always struggle hard to find the fault of others, and we try to take revenge in one way or other. We never admit our mistakes and always point out others blaming the opponent for any issues faced by us. We encounter people who harm us, insult us, plot against us, whose action seem calculated to thwart the successful achievement of our goals.
We are really saved by coming under the shelter of Srila Prabhupada. Being in Krishna Consciousness we have so many role models follow. All the Goswamis of Vrindavan, Srila Jagannath Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakurji, Srila Gaur Kishor Das Babaji, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Our beloved Guru Maharaj Srila Mahavishnu Goswami and so many more. Every senior devotee is a role model as we get to learn so much from them. The kind of maturity in devotion senior devotees have is really worth appreciating and worth following. All these devotees by their action keep on teaching us. They don't even need to speak or instruct us anything. Such powerful personalities we have in our sampradaya. Why do we go and look out in the material world then? I hope one day the whole world understands this and starts following our acaryas instead of living life aimlessly.
We should not discriminate people based on their bodily appearance, parentage or wealth. Also, Srila Rupa Goswami advises us in verse 6 of Nectar of Instruction as to how we should behave. He says - "a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed, one should overlook a devotee's having a body born in a low family, a body with a bad complexion, a deformed body, or a diseased or infirm body. According to ordinary vision, such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee, but despite such seeming defects, the body of a pure devotee cannot be polluted. It is exactly like the waters of the Ganges, which sometimes during the rainy season are full of bubbles, foam and mud. The Ganges waters do not become polluted. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding will bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water."
Maharaj says only spiritual vibrations enliven us and will always protect us at all times. Knowing this truth, we should make a sincere endeavour not to be in contact with material vibrations which are ultimately going to destroy us.
There are two golden words "Thank you" and "Sorry" which we should use genuinely and without miserliness in our dealings with others. But some times we take it for granted and don't use them either due to our familiarity with others or due to our ego
We forget that behind all our activities the Lord is standing and He is giving us the intellect, nice body, nice health and the nice opportunity. And we do our activities and when we do the activities, we think that we are doing. It is completely wrong. Unless the Lord wished nothing can happen and if we can recognize the authority of the Lord like this, then for a single second we will not forget Him. Never. Continuously we will remember Him. If you remember the Lord, you will have all the good qualities and you will be free from the four defects mistakes, illusion, cheating and imperfect senses.