sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 3, Issue 3, Amāvasyā Special Edition
Posted: 12 April 2021
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Material Attachment is Never the Result of Guru-sevā
A letter to a younger god-brother
Appearing in English for the first time
Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅgau Jayataḥ
Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha
P.O. Mathurā (U.P.)
śrī śrī vaiṣṇava-caraṇe-daṇḍavat-nati-pūrvakeyam
(Beginning with prostrated obeisance at the feet of Śrī Śrī Vaiṣṇavas)
Ānanda, I received your letter dated 07-07-64 and from its contents became aware of your state of mind. As soon as I returned here from Bengal, my body became unwell, and due to weakness, I did not separately write back to you. There was no other reason.
It seems that you have become somewhat indifferent to direct service to the most worshipable Śrī Śrīla Gurudeva. For this reason, many thoughts arose in my mind after I saw you when I last went to Bengal. The gist of these thoughts was this: the ultimate fruit and success of everything in this world, or all assets – that is, all studying, writing, reading of Veda, sacrifice, chanting, austerity, vaidhī-bhakti and rāgānuga-bhakti – is the attainment of service to the lotus feet of śrī guru, who is a non-different manifestation of Bhagavān, Śrī Hari Himself. Or is the result of service to guru attachment to mundane knowledge and sense enjoyment? I think that attachment to material learning and the acquirement of wealth, women, prestige, and sense enjoyment can never be the result of guru-sevā.
Nevertheless, if one can stay fully engaged in service to guru, then – as opportunity permits and strictly in order to solely perform excellent service to Śrī Gurudeva – whatever [material] knowledge and so forth one may comprehend under his guidance becomes an ornament. Otherwise, if one becomes indifferent, or apathetic, to service to guru and occupied in activities that result in mundane prestige, one is totally ruined. What can be more deplorable than this? You are an intelligent boy. Consider this.
After bringing some order to the state of affairs here, I am trying to come as soon as possible, by August Pūrṇīmā or before. At that time I will bring tilak and clay with me. I have become extremely concerned to hear of [the condition of] paramārādhyatama Śrī Śrīla Gurudeva’s divine body. I hope that you will engage yourself in service to him like before, so that he will not experience any kind of difficulty. This is my request with folded palms. Please convey my respectful obesiances to all the Vaiṣṇavas. What else? Will speak further in person.
Praying for a particle of mercy from the Vaiṣṇavas,
Śrī Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa