Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is in continuation of the previous offering titled "Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj Vyasa Puja 2016", wherein we were hearing some of the glorification of Maharaj, which were shared by the devotees in Sri Sri Radha Neel Madhav Dham, Rajkot on the auspicious occasion of his Vyasa Puja in the morning. Now we shall hear the memories shared by the devotees in the beginning.
HG Devakinandan Prabhuji: "After Radhika and myself got initiated from Maharaj in London, and returned to Singapore, there was a temple president in Singapore who would not accept our initiations as bonafide. (He doesn't accept any of the ISKCON Gurus.) He kept calling us by our other names and said that our initiations were not valid and did not allow us in service. I was a bit upset by this and in those days there were no handphones. But Maharaj called me one day from London and asked how things were after initiation. When I told I was upset with this person Maharaj asked me, "What did you tell him?" I said Maharaj that, "I have told him that I am disciple of H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj and that I am initiated by Maharaj." Maharaj said that "That is wrong. You should not have told him that." I told Maharaj, "Why Maharaj? The initiation is real right?" (laughter) Maharaj said, "It is real, but you see this person does not see it as initiation and even I myself did not see that as initiation." I got confused and asked "Is it an informal thing or is it real initiation?", (laughter) because he said opposite things in the same sentence.
Maharaj clarified, "When you are saying that 'I am initiated', the question that you are invoking is "whose disciple are you?" So you should not say that way. Instead, you should present yourself in such a way, that people should ask you, "Who do you belong to?". Then you can say that, "I belong to H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj". That's when I realized that Maharaja's way of initiation is very different from my common understanding. For me, it was a process, but for Maharaj initiation was a sense of ownership and ownership means a sense of accountability and Maharaj said, "When you someone say that, 'I belong to somebody', nobody questions." When you say that, "I am initiated by someone", then everybody has some idea or the other. But when you say that you belong to someone, then the whole question of initiation is bypassed. Our relationship is that, now that you have taken initiation, you belong to me. It is my duty now to train you, to give you instructions and it is your duty to follow them because you belong to me." Then I realized how for Maharaj, initiation meant belonging to him. And this is how he treated all of us as one big spiritual family.
So, this is something which I learnt early in our spiritual life and this is the real meaning of initiation. The moment we know that belong to our spiritual father, then our behavior, our thoughts, and actions all represent him. Then we become so much more serious about we behave and we constantly introspect ourselves because we know that we are no longer our property. Because he has already said that,"You belong to me", so where is the ownership on our side? And the moment we start thinking that way, then it becomes very easy in spiritual life as in every stage we think, "What is that Maharaj will require for me to do?" And if our ways are different from his, then we have to change it and do what he wants. Hare Krishna. Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj ki Jai."
Krishna willing, we shall continue to hear further glories of Maharaj in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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