His Divine Grace

Place: birthplace of Srila Sundarananda Thakura, Mahespura.
Time: Friday, 20th February, 1925. (During Gauda-mandala parikrama)

The identity of prema-dharma, or atma-dharma:

There is a difference between the propensity to love and the propen­sity for sense gratification. Those who think there is sense gratification in prema-dharma should understand they are harboring a desire for sense gratification in their hearts. Atma-dharma alone is prema-dharma, or the propensity to love; mental speculation comes from the propensity for sense gratification. The eternal, pure, unmotivated love of the worshiper for the object of his worship, and the object of worship's pure love for the worshiper is called prema-dharma.

There is an eternal harmony in prema-dharma. The moment we fall from our propensity to love the Supreme Lord, who is one without a sec­ond, we begin to enjoy each other. Krishna alone is the object of service, and all His devotees are meant to serve Him.

All human beings, who are like co-wives, are servants of Krishna alone. When we understand this, we don't feel any difficulty and we realize our eternal constitutional form - that is, we realize ourselves as Vaisnavas. Then the natural affection between one Vaisnava and another develops.

Mental speculation, or the propensity for sense gratification:

In this world of enjoyment there is no question of real love. Rather, everywhere there is opposition and struggle. Here, one person's happi­ness causes another's distress. One's profit makes another a loser. For example, when someone eats the flesh of goat, hen, or fish, the eater may get some temporary happiness, but the goat, hen, or fish does not feel happy. One human being earns money by competing with and envying another, but this does not give happiness to that other person. Gaurasundara's devotees never cause others anxiety. But materialists consider minute objects to be the things they should enjoy by opposing the un­divided Absolute Truth. We often cheat ourselves and others by saying things we consider pleasing to the mind like, "Bless me to gain wealth," and so on.

Two types of merciful incarnations:

Lord Krishna is ever attracting all living beings. He manifests before us in this world in two ways: in the deity form and in the form of His holy names.

The difference between a duplicitous non-Vaisnava and a sincere Vaisnava:

Cheaters worship the deity with sixteen ingredients to get good chil­dren and grandchildren. They are cheaters because their intention is to get something from the deity in exchange for their service. This can­not be called seva, or service. Seva is that which pleases the deity. That which pleases one's own senses is called bhoga.

The Mukunda-mala-stotra (5) describes a Vaisnava's mentality:

nastha dharme na vasu-nicaye naiva kamopabhoge
yad bhavyam tad bhavatu bhagavan purva-karmanurupam
etat prarthyam mama bahu-matam janma-janmantare 'pi
tvat-padambho-ruha-yuga-gata niscala bhaktir astu

"I have no attraction to performing religious rituals or holding any earthly kingdom. I do not care for sense enjoyments - let them appear and disappear in accordance with my previous deeds. My only desire is to be fixed in devotional service at the lotus feet of the Lord, even though I may continue to take birth here life after life."

Those who are bewildered by the varieties in this world, or those who spend their time in mental speculation, cannot speak so boldly. Non-devotees, or those who practice a non-Vaisnava religion, say, "I want something in return." At present, this kind of non-Vaisnava religion is passing in the name of Vaisnavism. Everywhere we see nondevotional endeavors in the name of devotional service. If we are duplicitous, we can worship for millions of lifetimes, play mrdanga for millions of life­times, perform kirtana for millions of lifetimes, and try to demonstrate deceit as religion, but while worshiping or playing the mrdanga or per­forming kirtana we will end up as travelers on the path of fruitive activities. We will not develop bhakti.

We cannot achieve auspiciousness without sincerely rendering ser­vice to the pure devotees of the Supreme Lord. What serious cheating is going on in the world in the name of worshiping the deity and chant­ing hari-nama! Some people accept cheating the Supreme Lord and His devotees as devotional service to the Supreme Lord!

The difference between a show of service and sincere service:

Let me tell you something about this village. What the bestower of love of God, Srila Sundarananda Prabhu, a companion of Srila Nityananda Prabhu, preached here four hundred years ago we see only as a pervert­ed reflection at present. Nowadays, hari-kirtana is not performed for the pleasure of Sri Gaura-Nityananda, the fathers of sankirtana. Rather, nowadays only the external practice of hari-kirtana is done - kirtana for sense gratification, for curing an outbreak of cholera or to bring prosper­ity to the village. Serving the Lord and making a show of serving the Lord are two different things. We must be careful. The deity should be taken care of properly. Not just anyone can become a servant of the de­ity. You can hire a pujari with a ten-rupee salary, but paying someone ten rupees to sing nama-kirtana or lecture on hari-katha does not give you sincere service. You can't pay a fifty-rupee fee and get a pure recita­tion of Srimad-Bhagavatam. This type of external show of devotion only encourages word jugglery and pleases the minds of ordinary people. It is not devotional service or Vaisnava-dharma. Rather, it is bhoga, or the path of karma.

The selfishness of those who desire material enjoyment and libera­tion:

All of you know that the whole world runs either on the desire for material enjoyment or the desire for liberation. The soul's actual propen­sity, however, is something other than the endeavor for material enjoy­ment or renunciation. We often rush to enjoy something from an enjoyer by making ourselves look like renunciants. Similarly, enjoyers demand something for their own enjoyment from renunciants.

If the products of agriculture, industry, and science are engaged in the service of Lord Visnu and the Vaisnavas that is their perfection:

Here is an anecdote from the life of Sri Ananda Tirtha Madhva Muni. One time, he was going to Badrikasrama with his disciples. At that time a Maharastrian king named Mahadeva was having a pond dug for the wel­fare of the people. When the king saw Sri Ananda Tirtha passing by, he ordered him to help dig the pond, but Sri Madhva, who was an intelligent sevaka in the Lord's service, in turn engaged the king, who was a great fruitive worker, getting him to dig the pond while he himself continued on to Badrikasrama. The karmi king did not know that a welfare act to serve ordinary people can be carried out by ordinary laborers, but if a spade is put into the hands of a self-realized soul, it deprives the whole world of the most important welfare activity.

Developments in industry, science, and agriculture are useful if they are engaged in the service of Vaisnavas, but if they are used to serve ma­terial enjoyers, then they are a waste of labor and the cause of the world's destruction. Until we are firmly convinced that service to Lord Vishnu and the Vaisnavas is topmost, we cannot achieve any good fortune.

Insincere arcana or kirtana are not arcana or kirtana:

This is why first of all, it's our duty to worship the Lord's deity. Deity worship is not for one's sense gratification - filling the belly or fulfilling some selfish interest. We beg at the door of every human being, "All of you kindly understand the real characteristics of prema-dharma."

The behavior of contemporary so-called Vaisnavas is fit to be criti­cized even by mundane smartas and ordinary people. They say that the behavior of such so-called Vaisnavas does not befit a human being, what to speak of a Vaisnava. Instead of being transcendental, these false Vaisnavas are more abominable than ordinary people and should be punished by the king. An external show of the path of auspiciousness is not actually the path of auspiciousness. Anyone can dress up and pretend in a drama to be Narada Muni, but let the honest people worship the Supreme Lord and the sincere glorify Lord Hari. Simply because someone knows how to sing a melody doesn't mean he is chanting Hari's pure holy name. Only one who has taken shelter at the lotus feet of a pure Vaisnava guru is given the right by his guru to chant the holy name.

The previous history of Mahesapura:

In the year 1284, people lived in Sundarananda Thakura's village. The village belonged to the Nadia District. Even today the gosvamis of Saidabad identify themselves as seminal descendants of Srila Sundarananda Thakura's disciple. The house of the late Lal Mohan Vidyanidhi was in this village.