Daso ‘smi

By B. R. Sridhara Deva Goswami

My Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, told: “I’m the monitor.” We must not be afraid of the eternal existence of our guide and guru, so we are always a student. Always to serve under their direction.

krsna-prema janme, punar tenho mukhya krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya ‘sadhu-sanga’ krsna-prema janme, tenho punah mukhya anga

By associating with the sadhus and gaining their mercy one can get Krishna bhakti right up to the stage of Krishna prema. Furthermore the practitioner’s very life depends on the association of the sadhus. Without sadhu-sanga it is not possible to receive the real seeds of bhakti.1

Sadhu sanga is always necessary, the direction of the sadhus, krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya ‘sadhu-sanga’: the very origin of Krishna bhakti is in the association of the sadhus. And when you have already acquired Krishna prema janme, established in Krishna prema, tenho punah mukhya anga, he’s the principal part of your transaction, your realization, your service, and in every case his guidance will be necessary. So don’t try to be perfect, that is the greatest disease. That is almost Mayavada: “I am Brahma—so ham.” Daso ham, that is healthy mantram, formula, daso ‘ham always. Mahaprabhu says “dasa-dasanudasah”:

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro naham varni na ca grha-patir no vana-stho yatir va kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher gopi-bharttuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah

I am not a priest, a king, a merchant, or a laborer; nor am I a student, a householder, a retired householder, or a mendicant. I identify myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, the Lord of the gopis, who is the personification of the fully expanded (eternally self-revealing) nectarean ocean that brims with the totality of divine ecstasy.”2

That is Mahaprabhu himself saying like that. For whom? Only for the newcomers, and not for us? So one who thinks that he’s in perfection, on a perfect stage, because he’s appointed as an acarya, then he’s in the highest position, his position is invulnerable, indisputable, unassailable, if he thinks like that he is gone, finished.

When anyone offered obeisance to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta he would say, “Daso ‘smi.” Once before I joined the matha I was coming and going to that rented house in Calcutta. There I saw that he’s sitting straight but whoever is coming and bowing down, also he bends his waist and says, “Daso ‘smi,” in this way. So it came in my mind that we are once bending our head, and he the saint, he’s always bending his head in response to so many, so I should not bow down to him. That was my conclusion, at least I shall give him some relief. So I mentally honored him and passed away. I put this question to another senior disciple and told him that I did so.

He replied a little excited, “Why did you do that?” I explained his position that incidently he had to bend down and I thought that that must be very troublesome for him so at least I’ll give him relief. With this idea I did it. He replied, “Then it is right.”

I mentally offered my obeisance to him but not physically, only like this. Then he supported me and said: “Of course if that is your idea you are all right.”

So dasosmi, dasosmi. Men are passing through his door towards the meeting. There is a seat built on the roof and he’s at the door next to the staircase, they are all going by his front. So anyone whose coming and offering obeisance in return he’s dasosmi in this way, always dasosmi, dasosmi, dasosmi.

I am your servant. I am servant. I want to cleanse the temple in your heart. Hari Mandir. The guru wants to cleanse the heart of the disciple. Then Krishna will sit there, I must cleanse the heart, that throne. So this is the duty of a servant.

  1. Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 22.83 []
  2. Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 13.80 []

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3 Responses to Daso ‘smi

  1. “So don’t try to be perfect, that is the greatest disease.”

    Once again, Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s words are beautiful, piercing and enlightening. His articles are a treasure. Now, if only I could put them into practise nicely…

  2. Association with sadhus is integral to advancement in Krishna consciousness, so they say. Unfortunately, it seems that most all the popular sadhus of the KC movement have established organizations for the promotion of their preaching efforts which almost unfailingly become corrupt even during their presence and most certainly after their passing.
    In the age of Kali, it just seems so futile to establish a legal entity organization in the name of a sadhu because these organizations and institutions always end up corrupt and causing endless fratricidal war between the disciples.

    I think the traditional idea of a sadhu being a homeless beggar is the only good prototype of spiritual leadership in society. Whenever these modern sadhus acquire buildings, properties, assets, establish corporate entities etc. etc. etc., the whole system gets polluted and all the followers imitate with an end result of the kind of ugly and embarrassing situation we see the Saraswata Gaudiyas in nowadays with a worldwide movement that is bitterly divided along party lines.

    The movement needs more agrarian villages that support traditional homeless sadhus and less religious corporations that divide devotees over petty differences in the name of guru-nista.

    The modern Kali-yuga sadhu who owns and controls a lot of money, properties and people is the product of this imitating of the acharya and is a poor model of Vaishnavism as we move on into the 21st Century.

  3. Thanks for these completely clear declaration regarding sevaya, the service temperament that any aspirant Gaudiya should try to develop at every stage of his/her life. Most crucial point for all, always.

    I also agree till certain point with KB das´ commentary, about the dangers of starting an institution, and at the same time maintaining the inner purity of the mission and its members, mainly its leaders, ultimately its acarya. But since mostly all of us are aspiring to become and looking for sadhus for our constant well being, if all this is happening, was and is only possible due to some previous organization or institution that made certain arrangements for the preaching to be spread, and us to be benefited.

    So I think, balance is not an impossible task. Quite difficult for this age maybe, but never impossible.
    And all the difficulties a sincere sadhu has to face when trying to establish some institution (with all its respective “problems”) and looking for it never to be spoiled with external conditions, is part of the test he/she will face happily, desiring to please his/her Gurudeva by distributing the sacred message as much as possible, and trough this unique effort, proving to the (Vaishnava) world that Krsna is the Supreme Harmonizer, and let the yuktam vairagyam concept odf Sri Rupa triumph over every attempt of division…

    I think this is one of the things we need to perceive more than ever, that there is a chance, time and place for this concept of unity in diversity to be established, maintaining the many “rasas” between the many vaishnavas, looking for the general and individual well being, and taking care of ourselves not to be involved in foreign attitudes that may divert our devotional identity.

    Here one of the many links a like a lot in this connection:


    Gaura Haribol!!!

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