Kṛṣṇa is love, and love is Kṛṣṇa. The aim and object of the teaching of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is simply to know this. Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa have combined to become Śacīnandana Gaurahari (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu), who is more merciful than either of Them. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu travelled throughout India, from north to south, from east to west, preaching love and affection everywhere He went. This was also the mission of Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmi Mahārāja and our entire guru-paramparā.
We want to associate with everyone on the platform of love and affection, not by controlling others. You cannot bring others to Kṛṣṇa’s service by manipulating them or controlling them. You cannot even control your own mind, what to speak of controlling others’.
Mahāprabhu exhibited His love and affection in the jungles of Jharikhaṇḍa by causing the wild animals to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra together in ecstatic love. By His influence, the behaviour of these wild animals towards each other changed; they lived together peacefully and even drank from the same watering places. It was by His mercy that He quickly spread love and affection throughout this planet and the universe. The love that He preached is Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s special prema.
If you want to make your life successful, happy, and peaceful, then try to give all of your love and affection to Kṛṣṇa and, with Kṛṣṇa in the center, give your love and affection to all living beings. Don’t try to control others by your order or your thoughts. Try to give your whole being. Love has nothing to take but everything to give.
If your aim is to preach Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s love and affection, then dedicate your whole life for others’ welfare. They will reciprocate with that love, and thus give their life to serve Kṛṣṇa. However, if you try to control them, they will not offer their love and affection. Avoid criticizing others; criticize your own mind and bad habits instead.
The first point is that if we want to show love to others, it is essential not to cause them any pain or suffering, or to burden them for our personal happiness or maintenance. Our first concern is for the happiness and satisfaction of others.
We want to be completely selfless in our dealings, and for this, we have the example of the tree, which gives its bark, roots, fruits, leaves, wood, and shade. The tree offers everything to others with no expectation of remuneration. Why can’t we human beings be so selfless?
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us this verse:
tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam verse 3)
A devotee thinks himself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that has been trampled beneath everyone’s feet. He is more tolerant than a tree, he has no pride, and he offers respect to all others according to their respective positions. Thus, he is able to chant the holy name of Śrī Hari continuously.
I want my sannyāsīs and preachers to understand this verse and follow it completely, and to teach others by their personal example. I want them to behave selflessly, trying to give their hearts to others. I have come to give my heart, not to take anything from you. This is the preaching of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He gave His heart even to dogs, lions, and tigers.
We need not ask anyone for money. If we preach the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu selflessly, God will automatically send money like a shower of rain from the sky. We need not worry about that at all. This is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teaching and example.
Please listen very carefully to my words so that they don’t evaporate in the air. Don’t forget what I am saying. Listen carefully, write down these instructions, and then try to follow them.
My desire is that you understand the object of the mission of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmi Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, and our guru-varga. Spread it broadly all around the world. Begin where Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmi Mahārāja left off, and continue to preach more and more.
At the present moment, we see that many senior Vaiṣṇavas and sannyāsīs are falling down, derailed from their devotional service and giving up their practice of chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa. I request that our preachers set a high standard of behaviour, and preach the mission of their gurudeva.
If you want to be successful in your life, the first necessity is to give up the desire to praise yourself. Don’t think, “I am very glorious and talented. I can preach everywhere.” Instead, glorify your dīkṣā-guru and śikṣā-guru everywhere. If you do this, you will be successful in your preaching and glory will come into your pocket. I have realized this, and you should also realize this fact. If you glorify your guru-paramparā, everyone will be pleased with your preaching and praise you. Go on with your preaching, and take care not to seek that praise. Remember that you are a servant of your dīkṣā-guru and śikṣā-guru. Don’t be ambitious to create your own disciples; rather, try to bring disciples to your gurudeva’s lotus feet.
―Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja (Odessa, Oekraïne, september, 2002)
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