sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Issue 18, Monthly Centennial Edition
Posted: 10 May 2022
In honour of the centennial appearance year of
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
To Refute Misconceptions is Guru-sevā
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Excerpt from the newly-published book A True Servant, A True Master, a collection of letters from
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja
28/3/1977 (Letter 41)
If one does not have knowledge of tattva-siddhānta, advancement in bhajana is not possible. That is why it is written in Caritāmṛta [Ādi-līlā 2.117]: “siddhānta boliyā citte nā karo alasa, jāhā haite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḓha mānasa – do not be lazy about siddhānta, whereby the mind becomes firmly fixed upon Kṛṣṇa.” Do not accept any sort of misleading teachings or instructions from sahajiyā, nāma-aparādhī people. Whatever you hear, you should only accept it when you have confirmed it with the views and reasonings of scripture. A statement is worth accepting if it is favourable to bhajana, and if it is contradictory to that, then it is to be wholly rejected, just as you would reject vile company.
To refute misconceptions is guru-sevā. If, at any point, one can understand that someone is giving misleading teachings, one should, in a civil manner, refute them and establish the faultless siddhānta. Doing so is the ideal of conviction in service to guru. If, despite knowing and hearing the truth, one conceals it, hypocrisy finds its outlet, and that entails a lapse of duty. This (refuting someone’s views) is never contrary to humility or amānī-mānada-dharma. The frivolous sentiments of prākṛta-sahajiyās have ulterior motives and spawn more or less from selfishness. In the name of Vaiṣṇavism, they cultivate attachment to material objects and the accumulation of prestige. A person who thirsts for bhajana never lacks simplicity. Hence, the dedication of their every effort for Kṛṣṇa’s sake is beautifully proven in all respects.
You should utilize whatever knowledge of scripture you have, and taking the support of but a particle of guru and Vaiṣṇavas’ mercy, refute the impropriety. “Tato duḥsaṅgam-utsṛjya satsu sajjeta buddhimān – therefore, giving up bad association, an intelligent person should associate with saintly personalities [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.26.26].” Remember this. By this, you will be able to perceive guru and Vaiṣṇavas’ direct mercy in your heart. Performing kīrtana of hari-kathā is called preaching. As it is imbued with life, it enters the innermost chambers of the heart and echoes sweetly there. That is what changes a man’s heart. Man thereby gains a new, divine life. You should preach hari-kathā with enthusiasm. Never be distracted by concerns of what to eat, what to wear, or where to live. “Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham – I bear the burden of their necessities and safeguard what they have.” Steady your heart by studying this statement of the Gītā [9.22]. The longing for service means service is one’s life; that is something gained by patience and enthusiasm.
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team