Dec 22, 2013 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the life and pastimes of our illustrious Sampradaya Acaraya.
The Householder Vow
One newly-married devotee and his wife once came to pray for the mercy of Srila Gaurakisora . Srila Gaurakisora said to the husband, "If you actually want to perform devotional service, you must live separately from your wife. Not depending on each other you can chant the Lord's holy names."
After hearing the instructions the newly-wed devotee left and did as he was instructed A few days past, and he came again to Srila Gaurakisora, who asked, "Are you and your wife taking your meals together or separately?" The husband told him, "We are living separately and carrying on our worship as you instructed, but we take our meals together." Srila Gaurakisora then asked him, "What foodstuffs did you have today?"
The newly-wed man answered, "We had very nice vegetables, the tastiest dhal, and fried eggplant." Srila Gaurakisora added, "It is not enough to only give up your external connection with your wife, because you are internally associating with her. You have not been able to give up the finest tasty dishes prepared by your wife so how will you be able to worship the Lord? Your wife is communicating with you through the medium of the tasty dishes she has prepared. Shame on you! Although you are pretentiously acting as if you are chanting the Lord's holy name, still you are desiring to taste the finest vegetables. Do you think that after a person suffers a loss of one million rupees, he will be satisfied by accepting only a handful of rice? Although he may gradually become accustomed to accepting the rice as a daily practice, he will always think about the money he lost. Even if you give such a person the nicest rice he will have no taste for it due to being in anxiety over what he has lost. Similarly, you have lost the most precious jewel of devotional service to the Supreme Lord. So, how can you become absorbed in simply eating nice foodstuffs? Externally you are disassociated from your wife yet you are maintaining internal attachment for her!"
Renunciation for Krsna's Pleasure
A householder who was present during Srila Gaurakisora's conversation with the newly-wed devotee asked Babaji Maharaja, "We see there are many Vaisnavas living together with their wives who perform service unto the Supreme Lord. Won't there be any benefit for them?" Srila Gaurakisora replied, "The living entity is the eternal servant of the Supreme Lord Krsna, but in the conditioned state he cannot recognize this. He only sees the illusory form of his wife and children. If this is the case, then his vision is illusory. One who has no eyes to see through the medium of devotional service, can never realize his real identity as an eternal servant of Lord Krsna. The tendency to enjoy materialistically is always present in the association of one's sons and wife. These days the householders who do not hear the topics of the Supreme Lord in the association of the Lord's devotees, will become attracted to their wives and children and will not attain the spiritual energy revealed by the chanting of the holy name of the Lord."
"Then again, some persons, like falsely renounced monkeys, act unattached towards their wives and children. Such householders are only making a show of renunciation. An actual Vaisnava in married life never enjoys sense gratification with his wife in any way whatsoever. He will always see his wife as a servant of Krsna and respect her as the representative of the spiritual master. Those householders who actually desire to purely worship the Supreme Lord, yet are weak-hearted due to their attachment to wives and offspring should always associate with the advanced devotees, Maha-bhagavatas. By hearing the glories of the Lord they can quickly become free from their exploitative intelligence towards the family. Gradually they will realize that full surrender to Lord Krsna is the highest benefit for the spirit soul. Body consciousness obstructs self surrender and the causeless mercy of Lord Hari. An extended form of bodily awareness is depicted as attachment for wife and children."
The Highest Happiness
Once a person saw a follower of Srila Gaurakisora's begging in the scorching summer sun at noon, during the month of March. Approaching Srila Gaurakisora, that person asked him, "Why is your servant begging in the hot sun? Everyone begs in the morning so they can return to their residence early." Srila Gaurakisora told him, "Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura instructed his servant as follows:
tomara sevaya duhkha haya yata, seo ta' parama sukha
seva-sukha-duhka- parama sampada, nasaye avidya duhkha
'Whatever distress comes about in your devotional service, is actually the highest happiness for you. Both happiness and distress in devotional service are our real claim to wealth. Accepting both of these will destroy the suffering arising from ignorance." Srila Gaurakisora always instructed those persons who were desiring their highest benefit to accept and tolerate the difficulties which arise in devotional practices in order to benedict the soul. One should understand that tolerating the dualities of happiness and distress in ones service is the ultimate way to destroy miseries arising from ignorance. Therefore one should always remain engaged in the service of Lord Hari, the spiritual master and the exalted devotees of the Lord. Whoever comes to worship the Lord in search of a comfortable situation can never become delivered from the hands of ignorance. Rather he becomes further entangled in obstacles on the path of devotional service.
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