The following words are excerpted from a lecture given by Sripad Bhakti Sharan Vaishnav Maharaj (formerly Srutasrava Prabhu) on Srila Govinda Maharaj’s Vyasapuja day, December 25, 2007. Listen to the whole 33 minute lecture here.
Topmost Special Day
This day is a very wonderful day for us in many ways…because it’s the divine appearance day of Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj and because of our observance of the festival on this particular day then some remembrance comes to us of what our aim and objective is in this rare human form of life….
In the passing of days we don’t always get to remember what is my purpose in life, besides all the external things that can consume us very easily. Whether they’re considered to be positive things or negative things it doesn’t really matter. Bhagavad-gita describes all of that as the same really, whatever side of the coin you’re on, whether happiness or distress, heat or cold, honor or dishonor. Those things consume us in the course of our lives and then days happen like this special day, the most special of all days for us, actually. There are many many days that come on our vaishnav calendar to help us remember things, but for us no day is as special as this particular day. This is the topmost special day for us….
Relationship to the Center
Param Guru Maharaj said, “Everything should be judged according to its relationship with the center.” That’s very educational for us. What is someone’s relationship with the center? The center means Gurudev; there’s no other center for us. Ultimately you can say the center is Krishna, but Krishna is coming to us through Gurudev. Srimati Radharani is coming to us through Gurudev. Mahaprabhu is coming to us through Gurudev. Nityananda Prabhu is coming to us through Gurudev. Everything transcendental is coming to us through Gurudev. He is the center of everything, the center of our spiritual life, so everything has to be judged according to that….
He was just here and he was just showing us what his relationship is with various people who we misunderstand, misjudge and do so many miscalculations with. But he was showing us what is his relationship with them. Then we have to see that, not “What is the relationship according to my polluted selfish interest?” But, “What is the relationship to the center?”
We Will Become Happy
If we can do that our life will be happy. It’s not a question that we’ll do this we’ll get a badge, we’ll get a certificate, we’ll get a promotion, we’ll make more money, we’ll get a car, we’ll get a big house in the suburbs, no. We will live a happy life in any condition of life that we are in. We will live a happy life as a result of Krishna Consciousness. We will become happy. And this is Krishna Consciousness, real Krishna Consciousness, and this is what the vaishnavs are giving and our gurudev is giving that….
Wherever Gurudev casts his vision he finds good. In the low places where there’s no good to be found, he finds good. That’s why we’re so happy, energized and ecstatic to be with him, in his company, somewhere in the front of his glance. That glance comes over us and in spite of all other nasty things within us he finds good, and not just with one person. Sometimes we feel like that because His Divine Grace is so generous and so kind we fall into that illusion and think we’re special. Sometimes when His Divine Grace glorifies someone else we think, “He’s so kind,” but then when he glorifies us we think, “I’m special.” But he’s like that with everyone, with everyone. Nobody goes before His Divine Grace and goes away feeling bad, nobody, ever. He makes everyone feel special, naturally. It’s not that he practices or that’s his routine, or that’s his shtick, or something, naturally, because he sees that, he sees good everywhere. And our training as his students….
We are students of paramahamsa dharma. We’re in this ashram for training in paramahamsa dharma. His Divine Grace is training us in paramahamsa dharma, and he’s training us practically. Not just in theory, very little theory, mostly practice. How does he behave? That’s very important for us. The question of Arjun in Bhagavad-gita:
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasha
sthita-dhih kim prabhasheta
kim asita vrajeta kim
“What are the symptoms of a real transcendentalist, how to they move, how do they speak, how do they sit?” What are these symptoms of a paramahamsa? We see it, we don’t have to imagine, think, look through all the books, or make some computer search to suck out all the information about a transcendental person. We see; we get to see directly with our own eyes and hear with our own ears.
What are the symptoms of a paramahamsa? How does he sit, how does he speak, how does he move? We get to see it all the time. Srila Govinda Maharaj was just here with us for 26 days, and we got to see it everyday.
What is a paramahamsa like? What does he speak? He only speaks good. He only speaks good about everyone because he’s interested only in that not in anything else….
We never once heard our gurudev describe something negative–the bad results that you get for not doing something, for sinful activities, or for this or that. We never once heard our gurudev talk about these particular shlokas but they’re authorized, bona-fide. They’re in the Srimad Bhagavatam and every syllable is Krishna no doubt. But our gurudev never speaks about those things, never. I’ve never heard him speak about those things, and I think I’ve spent a fair amount of time with His Divine Grace.
Only the positive, only the positive. Sripad Janardan Maharaj was also expressing on Sunday how shloka after shloka after shloka Srila Gurudev is relishing, explaining, happily dancing with them. When he’s up in his room, one after another; they’re never anything negative. Only the most positive shlokas, only the most beautiful positive aspects of the Lord is he concerned with.
Momentous Hour of Need
Srila Prabhupad, wrote something in his introduction to Srimad Bhagavatam, a little phrase called the “Momentous hour of need” … This is a momentous hour of need. I need Krishna Consciousness; I need to be serious about Krishna Consciousness. I need to dedicate myself to Krishna Consciousness again and again. Not that you dedicate yourself once and it’s all over; you got some certificate…. After that for the rest of your life you just take out your certificate: “I was dedicated on this day, what day were you dedicated? What’s your date of dedication?” We have to rededicate ourselves, rededicate ourselves….
We have to be dedicated, we have to be serious, we have to remember the momentous hour of need. We have to stay connected with His Divine Grace, and the only connection with His Divine Grace is service. He’s the master, and in our countries we don’t even like to use that word, but he’s the master and we’re the servants. So if we stay in that relationship then the only relationship is service. But, because it’s not mundane, it doesn’t have the higher to lower exploitative feeling to it. It’s completely absent of that, and if we stay in that connection then all of these things will come to use. Everything that we ever wanted and more! I never even knew what I wanted….
Our spiritual master His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, is giving us more than we could ever want. We don’t even have the capacity to want what he’s giving us. All we have to do is stay connected with him. Connected with him means connected with his mission, with his followers, with the other servants, and to see everything how he sees it. Everything should be judged according to its relationship with the center. We must try to train ourselves. We’re in training so we have to try to train ourselves to adjust our vision in that way. Then we will get what His Divine Grace is trying to give us. And he’s trying whole-heartedly to give it to us….
He’s looking after us and he’s giving his affection to us from both sides, from his natural heart of affection, and from his promise to his guru maharaj, and in that way you know we actually are saved, but we don’t want to be complacent with that. We have to go on, we have to go deeper and dedicate ourselves, and rededicate ourselves, and rededicate ourselves until nishta, until twenty-four hours a day there’s nothing in our heart but Krishna, and that means divine service. So our prayer to His Divine Grace and to all the vaishnavs on this day that we’ll be blessed with that awareness and that capacity to go on under all circumstances.
Jay Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar
Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!