sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

Rays of The Harmonist Fortnightly Edition

Issue 19, Monthly Centennial Edition
Posted: 24 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

"Serving" Jīvas

by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja

Excerpts from the newly-published book A True Servant, A True Master, a collection of letters from
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja


SBVVGM for Fortnightly posting

In a life of service, the devotees’ every act and behaviour, every move they make, every habit and prudence, even everything they wear and adorn themselves with are considered favourable to bhakti. The purpose of karma is bhakti; the purpose of jñāna is to experience what one has heard about one’s cherished objective or, in other words, bhakti; the purpose of yoga is to be utilized and united in the service of Śrī Bhagavān, which is bhakti. Bhakti and service – the two are synonymous. That is why only the devotees of Bhagavān are established in the genuine dharma of service. The service to living entities that the ku-karmīs invoke is a deceit born of unrealistic fantasy. The terms jīva-sevā (service to other entities) and jīva-prema (eternal love for other entities) are fictions, contrary to conclusive truth, and are illogical. One will never attain the result of service to Śrī Bhagavān by serving the conditioned souls’ gross senses and becoming a regular purveyor of their bodily and mental demands. One can never attain a transcendental life of service by serving that which is inert or loving the illusory objects produced by māyā.

26/7/1972 written to Umā Dīdī (Letter 14)

One cannot serve Bhagavān just by serving other baddha-jīvas (conditioned souls). This fact is in accordance with truth and philosophical conclusion. There is ample proof of it. An example is Ṛṣabhadeva’s eldest son, Bharata Mahārāja, and his mundane delusion and attachment to a fawn. As a result of Bharata Mahārāja’s serving and contemplating a baddha-jīva at the time of death, he had to take birth as an animal. By serving liberated personalities and great, perfected souls – that is, by serving guru and Vaiṣṇavas – service to Śrī Bhagavān is surely achieved, because they have forever maintained direct connection with Śrī Bhagavān. Since baddha-jīvas have no memory or knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, everything from serving and helping them to demonstrating one’s sympathies for them turns into a cause of material bondage. The word sevā (service) cannot be used for baddha-jīvas; the word sevā is only applicable in relation to Śrī Bhagavān, who is the worshipful object of all, of even supremely liberated personalities. Likewise, one cannot have prema for baddha-jīvas; the words dayā (compassion) and sahānubhūti (sympathy) are used for them. Only Śrī Bhagavān, the supreme object of prema, warrants our use of the word prema. How can a home that is disconnected from the powerhouse have power? Hence, no one can ever attain his soul’s welfare by serving baddha-jīvas. Rather, such activities lead to an inferior destination.

5/8/1974 (Letter 21)

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