Acyutānanda dāsa: I have a question. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says we should be humble:
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka (Verse 3)
[Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that has been trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless and offering respect to everyone according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Śrī Hari.]
How can we develop such qualities?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa has given independence to all jīvas – to some degree, not fully – and with that independence the jīva may or may not do what Kṛṣṇa wants him to do. If a man wants to serve Kṛṣṇa, he is required to strictly follow the instructions in this verse, thinking, “I should not be angry. I must follow tṛṇād api sunīcena. This will bring bhakti.” A person who wishes to advance in bhakti is never allowed to quarrel with anyone for his own gain.
Bharata and Śrī Rāmacandra quarrelled with each other, but for what reason? Bharata told Śrī Rāma, “I will not take the kingdom. You must take it.” Rāma replied, “No, you should take it.” They were quarrelling only for the purpose of giving, not for taking. On the other hand, Duryodhana and the Pāṇḍavas were fighting for taking.
“I must attain love for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. By following the principles of tṛṇād api sunīcena (thinking oneself more insignificant and lowly than the straw in the street, etc.), I can attain Their service.” When one develops this mood, he will strongly follow these principles.
Read and follow Upadeśāmṛta. Amṛta means ‘nectar.’ Why are these instructions (upadeśa) called nectar? It is because following them gives kṛṣṇa-bhakti up to rādhā-dāsyam (personal service to Śrīmatī Rādhikā). Rādhā-dāsyam is the aim and object of our life and sādhana-bhajana. If one truly desires this attainment, he will follow Upadeśāmṛta. If we have everything in our life except bhakti, we really have nothing; whereas if we have only bhakti, our life is successful.
There are two additional principles to follow: strictly reject what is not favourable for kṛṣṇa-bhakti and strongly accept what is favourable. By such practice, anarthas will gradually diminish and you will become a pure bhakta.
If a person is giving medical help to all jīvas, is this good or bad?
Acyutānanda dāsa: It is good.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Is it favourable for bhakti, or not?
Acyutānanda dāsa: No.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: If you give medicine to a thief or murderer, thus making him healthy, he will again murder others. And what will happen to you?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Sin will come to me because I helped him.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Gradually give up all other engagements and attachments, and become one-pointed to kṛṣṇa-bhajana and rādhā-dāsyam. Maintain this determination: “I will not give a particle of my energy to anything else.”
api tyaktvā lakṣmī-pati-ratim ito vyoma-nayanīṁ
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇau sva-rati-maṇi-dau tvaṁ bhaja manaḥ
Manaḥ-śikṣā (Verse 4)
[Furthermore, O mind, please abandon even the attachment to Lakṣmīpati Śrī Nārāyaṇa, which leads to Vaikuṇṭha. Rather, live in Vraja and worship Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, who bestow upon devotees the precious jewel of Their rati (spiritual attachment).]
Give up even the worship of Nārāyaṇa, Dvārakādīśa, and Mathureśa, and give up the desire for vātsalya (service in the mood of Kṛṣṇa’s parent) and sakhya (the service of a friend). Keep only the Divine Couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in your heart, with a desire for direct service to Śrīmatī Rādhikā.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: Gurudeva, if someone is a doctor by profession and is helping others to do sinful activities – if that is his profession – then what can he do to be free from the sinful reaction?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: That person needs to somehow maintain himself. But we are not doctors, engineers, or any other profession, so how do we maintain ourselves? If one is a doctor by skill yet totally engages in bhajana, his maintenance will be automatically taken care of.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: If doctors give you their money, you will purify them.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why should they not give their entire selves? Why give only money? One day they will have to give up that profession.
Money means energy.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: So, if they give their money, will they get purified?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes. If one has money, he should donate it for Kṛṣṇa’s service.
Without my desiring money, so much money comes to me. I accept everyone’s money without any change in my consciousness, and I engage their money in beautiful, favourable works for Kṛṣṇa. For example, I use it for dhāma-sevā and for creating places for hari-kathā. A person will then come and hear hari-kathā and perform kīrtana, and he will advance in bhakti.
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