sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 2, Issue 13, Amāvasyā Special Edition
Posted: 13 January 2021
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Serving Śrī Guru with Heartfelt Affection (Part 2)
Appearing in English for the first time
How does Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, who has written this verse [Manaḥ-śikṣā (1)] perform service to his gurudeva? How?
tvaṁ rūpa-mañjari sakhi prathitā pure ’smin
puṁsaḥ parasya vadanaṁ na hi paśyasīti
bimbādhare kṣatam anāgata-bhartṛkāyā
yat te vyadhāyi kim u tā chuka-puṅgavena
Service is performed in two ways: internally and externally. The service mentioned in this verse is internal service. Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is fulfilling the mano’bhīṣṭa, heartfelt desires, of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī. This is what a sevaka does. He will perform mano’bhīṣṭa sevā to his gurudeva, understanding within what gurujī wants and performing that service.
One person is massaging Rūpa Gosvāmī’s feet or fanning him, and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is speaking this verse to Rūpa Gosvāmī and smiling. Which service will please Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī the most? The service of Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. “Aho Rūpa Mañjarī, you are famous in Vraja as a very chaste lady and very beautiful. It has been a week since your husband went to another town. As yet, he has not returned. It appears that a parrot saw your lips and, considering them to be bimba fruits, bit them.” Hearing this, Rūpa Mañjarī smiled, and Raghunāthadāsa Gosvāmī also smiled.
hā modataḥ kanaka-gauri padāravinda-
samvāhanāni śanakais tava kiṁ kariṣye
Śrīmatī Rādhikā is weary. Keeping Her head on Kṛṣṇa’s lap, She fell asleep. Kṛṣṇa is softly stroking Her hair and removing any tangles with His hands, and Rūpa Mañjarī is very softly massaging Rādhājī’s lotus feet. Raghunāthadāsa Gosvāmī, with eyes of yearning, is praying to Rūpa Mañjarī for service to Śrī Rādhā: “Will I receive the remnants of your service?” In other words, Rūpa Mañjarī will say to Rati Mañjarī, “You do this service; I am going to perform another service.”
These all are the services for those who perform such [internal] service.
For us, if after understanding gurudeva’s heartfelt desire, we can perform guru-sevā with great trust and faith in accordance with our adhikāra, even at the cost of our life-air, thinking that our life-air will perpetually come and go [birth after birth], and if we can immediately engage in fulfilling his heartfelt desire, this is viśrambheṇa guroḥ sevā.
Don’t think, “A better result will come from my sādhana-bhajana than by engaging in that guru-sevā.” One may think, “What special fruit will I get merely by sitting near gurujī and serving him?” Do not think like this. Consider what he wants and depend on him. “Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo – by serving śrī guru, one attains Bhagavan’s mercy” (Śrī Gurvaṣṭaka 8). But if gurujī is not pleased, then the entire world, which you may have pleased, cannot help you in the slightest. Moreover, endeavouring to serve according to your whim will do nothing. Such service will simply be karma (pious action).
Do not act according to your whim. Depend on gurudeva. It will be that guru worries, “My sevaka hasn’t eaten yet because I haven’t.” Will gurujī not worry about such a disciple who has surrendered to him and is dependent on him? One’s service should be like this.