Actual Service

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura extols the supreme position of Guru-Vaishava-anugatya.

Actual service to Krishna (Krishna-seva) happens only through the service of Krishna’s devotees; guru and Vaishnava. Sahajiyas are not able to understand this. They think, “One who worships Krishna (directly), he is the greatest,” and thus they consider themselves Vaishnavas, take service from others and themselves abandon the service of guru and Vaishnava. However, one who has heard the teachings of Sri Caitanyadeva and the Goswamis of Vrindavana know that true service to Krishna (Krishna-seva) happens only through the service of Krishna’s devotees.

Those who abandon the service and guidance of the sadhus and Sri Guru (Sadhu-Guru-seva and anugatya) and feign the service of Krishna (Krishna-seva) and the service of the Holy Name (nama-bhajana), make offenses (aparadha) with every step they take. Whenever one is making offense, they are not chanting the holy name of Krishna, or engaging in the service of Krishna. On the contrary, all surrendered devotees who proceed under the guidance of guru and Vaishnava and serve them, practice Guru-Vaishnava anugatya and seva and in truth serve Krishna and chant the holy name. Only those who serve Krishna’s devotees with faith and affectionate love (adara and priti) receive the mercy of Sri Caitanyadeva and the Goswamis.

During the time when my conception was, “I am greatly learned in mathematic scriptures, I am greatly learned in philosophical scriptures,” by good fortune I obtained the association (darsana) of sri gurudeva. He struck down my great truthfulness, my pure and ethical life, my scholarship and so forth, knowing them to be trifling. I understood, “I cannot conceive how great this personality is who can strike down (all) my great virtues!” By him striking me down, I was able to understand, “There is no one so lowly or abominable as me; this is my nature. This great soul (mahatma) is not attributing any value to scholarship, ethical character, and any of the things I am considering to be supremely desirable.” Then I understood, “What invaluable things must be present within this great personality!” Then I considered, “Either he is extremely merciful or he is extremely egotistical (ahankari).” Then I humbly prayed to the Lord for mercy. Thereafter, by the mercy of the Lord, I was able to understand that apart from the mercy and service of this type of great personality who is devoid of desire for anything of this world (niskinchana maha-purusa) there is no other road towards my welfare. When I properly understood in this way, I then received the shelter and abounding mercy of sri gurudeva and thus became fulfilled.

Through the strike I have received from sri gurudeva, I have understood that if the people of this world are not struck down in the same way, they will not become conscious, their proper awareness will not come about. So I am saying to everyone, “I am the greatest fool. Among all the people present in this world, I am the greatest fool and you all should not be a fool like me. You should not remain absorbed in calculative (illusory) subjects, but rather you should all enter into subjects of the spiritual world (Vaikuntha-katha), only then will you become great personalities.” I am speaking to you all the good words of he whom, by the mercy of the Lord, I have understood to be the supreme good (param-mangala); sri gurudeva.

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