Nitāi-Caitanya dāsa: Regarding the distribution of mercy: What is the position of a disciple who does not feel a strong guru-disciple relationship and who is afraid to approach the guru, but does service in the background?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: As all qualifications are not the same in this world, so they are also not the same in devotees. According to the devotees’ qualifications, some are coming close, some are more distant, and there are those who are even more distant.
Gradually they will come nearer to me. (Pointing to a devotee standing nearby:) Can you come and serve me like him?

Nitāi-caitanya dāsa: No, not right now.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Why not? If a disciple has faith, then one day he will come close to me. Are you serving like those who are near? How is it possible for those who do not give their energy to me to come closer to me? As much as my disciples give their energy to me, that is how much they will receive inspiration and a sense of closeness.
Suppose a man is in a room and wants to see the sun; he wants the sunrays to come to him. But how will the sun come to him if he does not leave his room?

Mahābuddhi dāsa: We Western devotees have a lot of trouble in trying to give up sex desire. How can we be successful in doing that, so that we can give our full energy to your service?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Gṛhasthas can remain with their family members and at the same time perform bhajana. Remaining with only one family has been equated to brahmacarya. But those who look here and there, who divorce and remarry, are not pure gṛhasthas.

Mahābuddhi dāsa: But if one desires to advance further – to not always remain in gṛhastha life – how does one give up the desire for it?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Such devotees should give up householder life at once. They need not delay.

Raghunātha dāsa: What if one is not married but still has a strong desire for the opposite sex? How can one adjust?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: How can this be adjusted? He should try to give up that desire. If he does not give it up, then he can do as he likes. No one can stop him; not even guru or Kṛṣṇa can stop him. If someone wants to go to hell, what can I do?

Śyāmalā dāsī: Gurudeva, now that you have several thousand devotees, many devotees ask how they can come closer to you.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I just answered that. They should give their energy, mind, intelligence, money, and all they possess to śrī guru. To the proportion they give to guru, to that proportion they will be near to him.

guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā
sarva-labdhārpaṇena ca
saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām
īśvarārādhanena ca

śraddhayā tat-kathāyāṁ ca
kīrtanair guṇa-karmaṇām

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.7.30–31)

One must accept the bonafide spiritual master and render service unto him with great devotion and faith. Whatever one has in one’s possession should be offered to the spiritual master, and in the association of saintly persons and devotees one should worship the Lord, hear the glories of the Lord with faith, glorify the transcendental qualities and activities of the Lord, always meditate on the Lord’s lotus feet, and worship the Deity of the Lord strictly according to the injunctions of the śāstra and guru.
Prahlāda Mahārāja has said, “Sarva labdhārpaṇena ca – Whatever is mine is actually Gurudeva’s.” The disciple not only thinks in this way, but acts practically on this understanding.

Raghunātha dāsa: For many years we have been hearing instructions on how to be strong in spiritual life and abandon material desires.
Still, we do not apply these instructions in our lives. Is this because of lack of sincerity or lack of saṁskāras and sukṛti? What is the reason that although we understand the philosophy theoretically, we do not apply it?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It is both.

Mahābuddhi dāsa: How do we increase our sincerity and sukṛti?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: To the proportion you give your energy, to that same proportion your sukṛti and sincerity will increase.

Mahābuddhi dāsa: It is very discouraging that although I am an ‘older devotee,’ I am still a prākṛta-bhakta, a materialistic devotee, serving my senses. When will the opportunity come to me that I can cut this madness and give all my energy to serving guru and Kṛṣṇa? It is like looking up to a huge mountain. It makes me feel helpless.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Energy is one, and mind is one. They cannot be in two places, in the same way that two swords cannot live in the same sheath. If you give your mind to sense gratification, you will lose the opportunity to advance in bhakti. When you fully give your energy and mind to transcendental topics and personalities, you will then progress in spiritual life.
You can check to see how much of your energy you are giving to transcendental life. You give about 25% to spiritual things and 75% or more to worldly things, so how can you advance?
These questions do not come in my mind, because I have no energy, not even 0.0001%, for worldly things. Not even one moment of my time goes in vain. Even during my sleep I am sometimes chanting, sometimes offering prayers, sometimes remembering, and engaged in so many other services.

Walking with a Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2008
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