Service To Visnu And Vaisnava

To honor the passing of this great Vaisnava, we offer this article by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja.

Ki Rupe Paiba Seva Mui Duracara – “How can a miscreant like me obtain devotional service?”

Wherever we go, our only duty is to serve Visnu and Vaisnava. We do not have any other duty. Our life is only meant for serving Visnu and Vaisnava. One should please the Supreme Lord by always hearing harikatha, performing kirtan, or engaging in any other service. There is much more service to do after becoming liberated. Srila Guru Maharaj jokingly says that those who are afraid of doing service cannot come to the line of bhakti; especially the bhakti lineage of Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

They may do soham-soham in a jnani lineage and merge into Brahman. But in our line of pure devotion, one has to serve the devotees and the Supreme Lord now and after liberation also. By performing service one gets the object of service and love for Him. Sri Nanda Maharaj, Mother Yasoda, Radharani, and all other devotees are always engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord.

Bhagavata-dharma or bhakti dharma is very easy and difficult also. One who follows the path of bhagavata-dharma has no fear of falling down because the Supreme Lord Himself is his savior and sustainer. na skhalet patet iha: Even while walking with one’s eyes closed, one will not slip or fall. But one needs some courage to follow the path of bhagavata-dharma. Here, whatever you speak using your tongue, whatever you think using your mind, and whatever you do using your senses should all be done in relationship to the Supreme Lord. Narayana – iti samarpayet, everything should be offered to Narayana; everything should be done for Narayana. Bhagavata-dharma demands full surrender. If we do not offer our mind, senses, and sense objects to the Supreme Knowable Truth, Saccidananda Sri Krishna, we will leave behind our highest good and go towards the non-eternal. We will then become more entangled in the temporary world. We should understand that I am of the Supreme Lord, I am of Krishna, I am His eternal servant but I have forgotten Him and I have left His service. I have come to this material world and I am now suffering from the threefold afflictions.

What should I do now? Having forgotten Him and abandoned His service, I am now suffering. So I should remember Him and render service to Him with complete surrender. Then my miseries will be over and I will get transcendental happiness. This is bhagavata-dharma. In other words, you should surrender to Him who you belong to and remain for Him. This is your only happiness. You do not need dharma-artha-kama. You need Krishna prema. Therefore, not only do pure devotees not ask the Supreme Lord for dharma-artha-kama of this world; they do not ask for even liberation. They only ask the Supreme Lord for devotion to Him and His service.

A mother naturally feeds her child, puts him to sleep, gives him a bath and even cleans his stool. She does not feel bad doing all these; she actually feels happiness, even though there is no pure affection here. Mother Yasoda has pure affection for Gopalaji. Mother Yasoda’s Gopala does not become old like other children of the material world; neither does He die. This kind of love is pure transcendental happiness. When Brahmaji kidnapped the calves and cowherd boys, Krishna expanded Himself into cowherd boys and calves exactly the same in appearance and nature as the real calves and cowherd boys. While discussing the pastimes of Sri Krishna, Srila Gurudeva explained a few lines of a wonderful bhajana of Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura:

bisaye bhuliya andha hainu diba-nisi
gale phansa dite phire maya se pisaci

I have no devotion for either Visnu or vaisnava, I have become averse to them and have become blind by constantly meditating on the objects of the senses. Maya has placed a hangman’s noose around my neck.

ihare kariya jaya chadana na jaya
sadhu-krpa bina ara nahika upaya

Nobody can win over maya’s illusion without the mercy of sadhu and guru. By their mercy we can get emancipation from this world; we can win over maya and obtain the service of the Supreme Lord. But we are not associating with them. We have not developed any affection for them. So how shall we be rescued from this world?

ki-rupe paiba seva mui duracara
sri-guru-vaisnave rati na haila amara

How shall we get service to Visnu and Vaisnava? I have no devotion for either Visnu or the Vaisnavas. We are not seeing the Vaisnavas as Vaisnava; not seeing the guru as guru. We have the false feeling that “I am the only Vaisnava; there is no other Vaisnava in this world.” How can I get any service like this? Service can only be given by sadguru and Vaisnava. Sadguru and Vaisnava are the mercy incarnation of the Supreme Lord. The Lord in the form of guru or Vaisnava gives us the opportunity to serve. Without His mercy our spiritual progress is zero.

guru Krishna-rupa hana sastrera pramane
guru-rupe Krishna krpa karena bhakta-gane

You cannot separate the spiritual master from Krishna. It is said in Caitanya-Caritamrta, “Lord Krishna in the form of the spiritual master shows mercy to the living entities.” Therefore one should pray to the Vaisnavas:

adosada-rasi-prabhu patita-uddhara
ei-bara narottame karaha nistara

Narottama Thakuraji sang this kind of prayer for our benefit. “O vaisnava thakura, I am the greatest offender. Please do not see my faults. You are the rescuer of the fallen; kindly rescue this fallen soul also.”

Therefore guru and Vaisnava are everything for us. Only they can rescue us from the cycle of repeated births and deaths and award us devotional service to their worshipable Lord. Serving Visnu and Vaisnava is our only dharma. Our life should only be meant for this. That is why wherever we go, we do only one thing: service to Visnu and Vaishnava.

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