Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj used to say how great Krishna is - First of all it is very difficult for the child to reside inside the mother's womb for 9 months, without free movement. And more difficult it is for the child to come to the outer world. It appears that neither the mother, nor the child can survive in that process. But by the complete mercy of Krishna, child comes out.
Failures are stepping stones to success. But in reality it becomes very difficult for us to face repeated failures. We may face one or two failures, but when there are setbacks in every walk of life, then we tend to become morose and our morale goes down. We start losing hope and faith in Lord as well.
Forgiveness is an important quality we should strive to cultivate and as our beloved Guru Maharaj often says, saintliness is not the monopoly of few. All of us should become saintly by cultivating these qualities. Then only we can be called sane human beings.
when we serve the Supreme Lord the Lord we get UPASS and also it is eternal.
U stands for Ultimate dearest object - ramanam
P stands for Prosperity - vita pradam
A stands for Attractive (one who gives actual love or pleasure) - rati pradam
S stands for So near - samipe
S stands for Supersoul who is nityam or eternal
This is a warning for one and all in the spiritual advancement of life. Unless one is sufficiently protected by the Lord, he may fall down from his spiritual position; therefore one has to pray constantly to the Lord for protection and the blessing to carry out one's duty."
When we have a thorn in our leg, it causes a lot of pain and misery. To remove the thorn the doctor might have to cut open that portion. Though it will be very painful, it is absolutely required to remove the thorn. But fearing the pain, if we allow the thorn to stay, then the damage will be more severe. We can experience relief only after removal of thorn. Similarly when we have the attachments and Krishna removes it, it might be painful for some time, but we can experience real peace only after we give up those attachments. Attachment to beauty, wealth, fame, followers etc are indeed a curse for they takes us far away from the Lord. We tend to forget the Supreme Lord and see His hands in all these things and falsely start believing that we are getting all this because we deserve it and due to our own endeavour. The moment the thought "I " and "Mine" enters us we go very far away from the Lord
When one sincerely repents for the mistake, Lord reciprocates to such a repentant soul in a unimaginable manner, as per His own sweet will. The devotees in Bhagavatam have repeatedly shown this to us in many instances. As soon as Parikshit Maharaj sincerely repented for disrespecting Samika Muni, Lord miraculously arranged for Sukadeva Goswami and all the sages to meet Parikshit Maharaj at the bank of Ganges and gave an opportunity for him to hear Srimad Bhagavatam before his death.
We have to follow the instructions of the spiritual master and continue to perform our devotional service and this cannot be done alone. We can only do it in the loving association of devotees. I use the word devotees and not disciples because Maharaj would not like it if I use the word disciples. Maharaj always told everyone that our relationship has no formalities. "It is just like father and son or grandfather and grandson. Anytime you want to talk to me, you please pick up the phone." No one was exempt from calling Maharaj on the phone. Sometimes devotees say, "You mean your Guru Maharaj does not have a personal secretary – someone who will pass on the message?" Maharaj was his own personal secretary and would get angry if you do not call. For devotees who would not call for a week, Maharaj would say, "Why you did not call me for so long? I was waiting for your call." And for those who were in difficulty, he would call them and ask them how they were. He did not ask them just spiritual questions. But he would ask them how is your family doing, how is your job, health etc.
Maharaj did not just teach us how to live but he also taught us how to leave. It was an amazing way for someone to leave us and everything we have ever read in Srimad Bhagavatam, Maharaj just symbolized it even at the point of leaving and at that point when he left us, I remember in my heart not feeling pain, but at the moment when he was going to leave, I actually remember saying, "Prabhujis, he is with us. He is still with us but he is concentrating on Krishna. Let us chant" and I remember feeling very happy that my spiritual father was actually showing that this is how we have to connect to Krishna at the last point of our life. And it is a lesson we all cannot forget because Maharaj left in total consciousness, totally conscious with nothing on him except kanti mala, Tulasi maharani, the chanting of the Holy names and hearing of Bhagavatam. This was the perfect way to leave.
Nobody needs you anytime. But we simply want to have that thing in the head. So we are creating tremendous expenditure and to meet that expenditure he has to work like a mad-man and he thinks that he is very busy. The point is that we must be as simple as possible. We can be. But as soon as you are with family, family might not be simple. Then there is a dilemma again. I can be simple. But my children don't want to be simple. They are affected by illsuory energy. I understand the illusory energy. But the dependants don't want to understand.
The day you are victimised by the illicit ideas, that day is horrible than death. So it is better to die than to fall prey to this. To that extent it is horrible. Death is much more easy than to follow illicit way.
Everywhere when faith in Krishna is absent we are consumed by worries. Those who have strong faith in Krishna, they are not worried. They don't worry about the past or future. But they are very particular about the present. This is the way to get out of the dualities. Please try these points and sort out your situations, to the best of your ability and if you are not able to sort out, leave it to Krishna - As it is, He is doing it.
Our life is full of battles and death is the final battle. Maharaj fought this final battle so well and he was in full control of his final moments by remembering the Lord". So our life in this material world is really journey through a forest and battle front and it is important to remember the Lord at every step.
The only companion for us at all circumstances is the omnipresent Lord. Not realising this truth we keep running around false shelters and when that crumbles we are shattered. All these other shelters have a beginning and an end and are temporary. The Supreme Lord's shelter alone is permanent."
Maharaj was 91 when he left and his sister is 96. She still walks without a stick and she had come for Maharaj's samadhi. Maharaj had to take care of all their marriages. All sisters’ marriages he had to take care of and by the time his eldest daughter was getting married, he was finding at the same time, a groom for his youngest sister. He had to work very hard day and night for the money. Maharaj said, "Every business I started, somehow or the other, there were losses. And every time I started, I had to stop, but I never gave up because Krishna was always supporting me." So Maharaj worked hard all his life. And that is why even when he became old, he could not stop working, could not stop moving. In the last three months also, he was actively preaching.
To children, Maharaj was always loving. That is why he started Prahlad School. He was always dedicated to building up a future for children in Krishna consciousness. If you ask Maharaj’s son Shyam prabhu, how Maharaj brought up his children, he said, "My biggest regret is till today, I do not understand why my father took sannyas, because he was the most loving father we ever had. He was there in every stage of our lives. We were never in want of anything and he left his house when his thaali (plate) was full. At the height of everything being perfect, when his wife was serving him nicely, when the children were doing very nicely, when he was going for all the programs, when everything was very smooth, he left. This is what we could not understand." Years later, when Maharaj had stroke and when his son came to see him, after that day, Shyam prabhu told me, "Now I understand why he took sannyas. Because he had so much to give. It was not enough for us to hold his love within just the confines of the family. He had so much to give. So much love and so much care and so much dedication to Srila Prabhupada." Maharaj told once, "I left and took sannyas because I knew that everything was alright in the house. If I were to move at a time when everything was good, then I have to depend more on Krishna and more on Srila Prabhupada." So this was the mood that Maharaj had.
Maharaj was renowned for his sadhana. In Dwaraka, he would wake up at 1.30 or 2 o'clock in the morning daily. When he was shaving, he would finish reciting half of Bhagavad Gita and by the time he finished his bath, the other half was on the way. He was so fast with chanting. Sometimes I would be just putting my ear to the bathroom door, trying to catch up with the verses Maharaj was chanting. By the time he was ready to start chanting, by 2.30 or 2.45 he would have finished all the important verses. By Mangala arati, he made sure, he finished his rounds. He always told me to try to finish 16 rounds before Mangala arati so that when you stand up for Mangala arati you won’t fall asleep. Otherwise when you wake up for Mangla arati, you are half asleep. By the time you start chanting your rounds, you are fully asleep. So it is better to wake up in the morning. I asked Maharaj how to wake up in the morning. He said, "the problem is we are thinking we are waking ourselves but the Supersoul wakes us up. If the Supersoul knows that we want to wake up and we sincerely pray to Supersoul, why will He not wake us up for the morning Mangala arati?"
A very famous quote goes like this, "When you try to change the system, system itself changes you." This is especially more often quoted by police officers and government officials of our country. They say that due to peer pressure they have to take bribe. Because the odd man out is harassed professionally if he does not help the superiors in sinful activity.
Maharaj said, "I used to be surprised why when people would walk by and see me, they would bow to me." Maharaj asked, "Why you are bowing to me?" They said, "We are bowing because we can’t do what you are doing. We can do all the seva but we can’t sit and read Bhagavatam. So we bow to Bhagavatam and to you."
Maharaj said, "The motive must be very clear. Why do we want to preach and do more in seva? A sincere road sweeper is better than a fake transcendentalist. Please remember this. Have the desire, but don't worry too much about it. The time will come when these desires will be fulfilled, a time when you will be free to spend more time with such things. The word inertia is very nice. Even though desire is there we cannot do. This inertia is because of contact with modes. Our activities are not controlled thats why the modes are always fighting with each other within us. The desire to do the seva is in the mode of goodness, the inertia is there because passion and ignorance are fighting with goodness. Until the activities are controlled the inertia will always keep the desire dormant.
Maharaj, for those who had worked with him, he was very kind and loving but when it came to preaching or building temples he could be quite merciless. He had the same attitude that we read Srila Prabhupada had about building temples. Very strict on time. Very strict on Lakshmi. Not a cent should be spent more and not a cent should be spent less. Every time we presented the budget to Maharaj, and how much we would spend, myself and H.G Vaishnava Seva Prabhu would be sweating for half an hour making sure we had all the figures before him and then from Rajkot, we will call him in Nasik. We would give him 10 or12 breakdowns of amounts and he would listen to all of them and then put down the phone saying, "Very good, very good." We would be relieved. Within the next ten minutes, Maharaj would call back and say, "Devaki, the sixth amount, why is it so much? Something is wrong somewhere". Then we would really sweat. I will say, "Maharaj, please give me 5 minutes" and put the phone down. Then I would ask Vaishnava Seva Prabhu to pick up the phone and talk to Maharaj. Maharaj had such an amazing memory. Being a lawyer, I do not know why I had to deal with Lakshmi. Maharaj would say, "As far as you are so bad with Lakshmi, that is your qualification. If you are any smarter, you would take the money. I know how bad you are with figures". So Maharaj was always trying to keep us in balance. He was very pakka with whatever he did. Very expert.
Though many a times we keep saying that vaani is greater than vapu, we indeed feel the separation of our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj and always wish that he could have stayed with us for some more time. Maharaj is a true well-wisher for all of us and always used to lovingly correct us whenever we are going away from the gamut of devotional service
Externally we may try to be nice to everyone. But internally we feel envious. And out of envy gradually we start disregarding others. This showy act is definitely witnessed by Krishna Himself and taking us one step farther from Him finally, cause Krishna is more pleased with cooperation. As our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj always says "Our showy business is going to end one day." We have to realise this truth and have to give up our pride and false ego. When we give up our pride and ego, then we would not hurt others. Thus we can move closer to the Lord, by being humble and submissive. Here, Krishna gives us the way to His lotus feet, i.e., cooperation. Cooperation comes with tolerance, no fault-finding, no blaming, no criticizing, no arguing, and finally praising others efforts.
Here Lord Shiva is telling Mata Parvati how he was in trance meditating on Supreme Lord Krishna and therefore did not notice Prajapathi Daksha when he entered the sacrificial arena. Daksha not realising the transcendental position of Lord Shiva, out of envy chastises and cursed him for not paying him respects. Pure devotees are always meditating on the Lord that makes them to forget the surrounding at times.
"Arjuna forgot that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present there instructing him to fight. That is the forgetfulness of the conditioned soul. The Supreme Personality gives directions as to what is good and what is bad, and one simply has to act in Krishna consciousness to attain the perfection of life."
The learned scholar seeks to relish the real rasa in the spiritual form. In this sloka, it is definitely stated that spiritual rasa , which is relished even in the liberated stage, can be experienced in the literature of the Srimad Bhagavatam due to its being the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissively hearing this transcendental literature, one can attain the full pleasure of his heart's desire."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore described in the sruti-mantras, Vedic hymns, as "the fountainhead of all rasas." When one associates with the Supreme Lord and exchanges one's constitutional rasa with the Lord, then the living being is actually happy. (raso vai sah; rasam evaayam labdhvaa anandi bhavati- Taittiriya Upanishad).
Since the Supreme Lord is the fountainhead of all rasas, devotees are the greatest fans (rasikas) because they are fans of the Supreme Lord who is the Supreme Hero.
By Maharaj's grace we found a nice acronym (SHINE) to remember these 5 divine qualities -
S - Satisfied fully in any condition of life - tushta manah
H - Humble - vimadah
I - Indifferent to material formalities - hata trapah
N - No tinge of material desires - gata sprhah
E - Enviouness does not exist at all - vimatsarah