Monday, November 3, 2008
A True Vaishnava Spirit
On December 27, 1936, several days prior to the setting of the blazing sun of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya, Om Vishnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, he spoke to an gathering of his closest disciples, at which time he said the following words:
"I have disturbed many people because I felt myself obliged to speak the unadulterated truth. I have told everyone to worship Hari without hypocrisy and because of this some people have perhaps considered me to be their enemy. So I have caused many people anxiety by telling them to give up other desires and hypocrisy and to sincerely serve Krishna. Some day they will be able to understand what I was getting at.
All of you please preach the message of Rupa and Raghunath with great enthusiasm. The ultimate object of our desires is to become specks of dust at the lotus feet of the followers of Rupa Goswami. Remain united in following the asraya-vigraha in order to satisfy the transcendental senses of the one, non-dual supreme truth. Make your way through this impermanent, transitory life in whatever way you can, keeping the goal of worshiping the Lord foremost in your minds. Don't abandon this goal, even in the face of hundreds of dangers, insults, or persecutions. Don't lose your spirit if you see that the majority of people cannot accept the principle of selfless service to the Supreme Lord. Never abandon your bhajana, hearing and chanting Krishna-katha, the be-all and end-all of your devotional life. Please always chant the name of the Lord, being humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than the tree.
This body is like the aging cow which in ancient times was meant to be offered up in sacrifice. Only we desire to offer the body to Krishna in the sacrifice of the Holy Name established by Sri Krishna Chaitanya and his associates. We do not seek to become heroes performing great works or religious deeds; our true being and our identity is that of a speck of dust at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Prabhu, life after life. The stream which flows from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur will never be dammed up. Remember this and vow to double your efforts to fulfill Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's desires. Amongst you are many capable and worthy individuals. We seek nothing for ourselves; our only motto is:
adadanas trnam dantair idam yace punah punah
srimad rupa-padambhoja-dhulh syam janma-janmani
Taking grass between my teeth, I pray repeatedly that I may become a speck of dust at Sri Rupa Goswami's lotus feet, birth after birth. (Raghunath Das Goswami, Muktacarita.)
While living in the world, we encounter many difficulties; but there is no need for us to be bewildered by these difficulties -- nor need we make any effort to remove them. What is necessary is for us, while we are still here, is to learn what will remain after we have removed all those difficulties -- what will be the nature of our eternal life. There are so many things which we want or don't want, but we have to come to terms with this duality of attractions and repulsions. The more we distance ourselves from Krishna's lotus feet, the more these things will draw us in. We can only begin to comprehend the exquisite taste of service to Krishna's lotus feet after transcending these worldly attractions and repulsions and being attracted by his holy name. The doctrines of Krishna-bhakti seem startling at first, perhaps even perplexing. Knowingly or unknowingly, every human being is struggling to eliminate the adventitious elements in life which interfere with his direct experience of eternal fulfillment. Our only obligation is to go beyond duality and to enter the world of that eternal fulfillment.
We have no attachment for anyone in this world, nor any hostility. Whatever arrangements we make in this world last but a moment, while the need to search out the supreme fulfillment is equally unavoidable for everyone. May all of you work united and in harmony toward the same goal: to earn the right to serve the root asraya-vigraha. May the current of ideas propagated by Rupa Goswami flow throughout the world. May we never under any circumstances become indifferent to the seven-tongued sacrificial flame of the Holy Name. If our attraction to it remains ever-increasing, we will achieve all perfection. Remain faithful to Rupa Goswami's followers and preach Rupa and Raghunath's teachings enthusiastically and fearlessly."
Source: Excerpted from the book "Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates" by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj