sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 3, Issue 5, Amāvasyā Special Edition
Posted: 10 June 2021
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Obstacles Reveal the Barometer of Our Progress
A letter to a younger god-brother
Appearing in English for the first time
Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅgau Jayataḥ
Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha
śrī śrī vaiṣṇava-caraṇe daṇḍavat-nati pūrvikeyam – I first of all offer my obeisances at the feet of the Vaiṣṇavas.
Ānanda, I received your letter written on 4.12.59 on 22.12.59. Since the letter’s address was written in Bengali script, it circled around for almost 20 days before arriving here.
From your letter, I have understood the state of your mind and am quite sad and concerned. It appears to me that you have written this letter while crying in deep anguish. Service to Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas is not easy, as various types of obstacles and impediments arise from time to time to examine us. In the absence of such obstacles, what else would serve as the barometer of our progress and service attitude? Through this measuring stick alone, it can be understood how much progress one has made. Your mind should never become disturbed by such obstacles. It is also not appropriate to become full of sorrow. Then you may suddenly end up acting in an undesirable manner [and harm yourself].
The nature of a conditioned soul experiencing pain is that he becomes extremely aggrieved and thus bewildered about his duty, and then he rashly does something he shouldn’t. As a result, instead of his gaining any auspiciousness, the path to his auspiciousness is blocked indefinitely.
You are a virtuous boy. Even if there is any such cause [of disturbance], make your mind steady and peaceful and ponder how you can even more firmly devote yourself to the service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas.
We are all well here. I hope that by the mercy of Śrī Śrī Gurudeva, you too are well by now. When I come for Vyāsa-pūjā, I will discuss all this in person. Remain calm and steady.
What else? I conclude here.
Śrī Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa