Vrajanātha dāsa: More gurukulīs have arrived.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [To the gurukulīs] You should deeply think about whether you want money or pure bhakti. If you want pure bhakti, then attend my classes at any cost.
Devotee: We are so young, and there are so many things in the world that pull us. Māyā is very strong. What is your advice for us to keep strong and develop in bhakti?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: If there is a strong rainshower, you can be protected by a big umbrella. Do you understand? Similarly, if you take shelter of a pure Vaiṣṇava, you can very easily be protected from māyā. Anything more?
Devotee: Gurudeva, what will happen if there is no association in the place where we live?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Without good association you will not attain pure bhakti. You can chant the holy name, but it is very difficult to chant properly without good association.
Devotee: What should we do if we are not in good association?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You should all come under the umbrella of a powerful Vaiṣṇava at once.
You should know that all of my Western sannyāsīs and thousands of my brahmacārīs are from ISKCON, having lived there for twenty- five, twenty, ten, or five years. They became so much attracted by hearing my classes that they came to me and joined.
Ṭhākura dāsa: Yesterday I had a dream, and you were in it. I was very scared in that dream, and I woke up with that feeling of fear in my heart. I want to ask if being scared is a normal thing. I was scared because all of my close, intimate friends, and the people who I really, really care about and who are important in my life, are in ISKCON. I am afraid that once I accept your lotus feet, I will be very much discriminated against by them.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: In your childhood and as you grew up, did you not have a deep connection with your father, mother, sister, and other relatives?
Ṭhākura dāsa: Yes.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: And now you have even more of a relation with the ISKCON leaders and other devotees. Do you understand?
Similarly, you can again give up your present relationships for relationships that are better for your bhakti. Everyone wants success in his or her life, and the most successful thing is pure bhakti. If you want bhakti, especially pure bhakti, then come to me.
Do you know the definition of bhakti? I know that you cannot explain it.
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
[The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhāvas), which is not covered by jñāna (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.]
Can all of you bravely come to my evening class?
Vrajanātha dāsa: They have all been coming every day.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Come to my class this evening, and there we will define pure bhakti. In pure bhakti there is no anyābhilāṣa, no desires other than the desire to please Kṛṣṇa.
[To Prema-prayojana dāsa] Please explain this verse in brief.
Prema-prayojana dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva is saying that it is important to understand the definition of pure bhakti, uttama-bhakti. In brief, the meaning of the verse is this: Pure bhakti is the continuous, unbroken cultivation of all activities of the body, mind, words, and spiritual feelings that are meant exclusively for the benefit of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which are completely free from all other desires, and which are not covered by karma (fruitive activities), jñāna (knowledge to get liberation), yoga, and other things.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Almost all the ISKCON leaders are anyābhilāṣitā, which means that they have desires other than the desire for bhakti. They want money – and also bhakti. They have bhakti, but it is ‘adhama-bhakti,’ meaning the lowest class of bhakti.
I request you all: don’t lose your time. Try to achieve pure bhakti.
Thank you all. Gaura-premānande!
Morning Walks and Conversations with Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja 2010
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