śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year-1 & 14, Number 6
Posted: 23 July 2008 & 28 July 2021
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Utilize Every Moment to Attain True Well-being
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Śrī Bhagavān has said: “A truly intelligent person should shun evil company but seek the association of holy saints who, with their instructions, gnaw away the knot of our mind’s worldly attachments” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 11.26.26). This means that for our true well-being we should always accept the guidance of the true guru and not be misled by pseudo gurus. The guru never accepts preya-panthā, the path to pleasure, for he is a follower of śreya-panthā, the path to true well-being. And he instructs his disciples and others to walk along this real path as his own true guru instructed him.
If a disciple asks the guru for permission to drink alcohol, the guru is sure to disapprove and never grant it. When the guru does not indulge the disciple in his prayer for the cravings of his mind, he might dismiss the guru. Such disciples accept only those gurus who are ready to supply fuel to their desire to indulge in sense enjoyment. These days, accepting a guru has become a fashion meant not for the disciple’s true well-being, but for getting one’s sensual pleasures approved of. Like selecting a barber or washer-man, such appointments only satisfy social or family customs.
As soon as Truth is ascertained, it should be ardently put into practice then and there. Since the span of our life is very short, we should not misspend even a moment of what still remains of it in attending to worldly affairs. Rather, we should utilize it to perform our service to Śrī Hari. King Khaṭvāṅga attained his highest good by engaging in Lord Hari’s service for but one muhūrta (forty-eight minutes) and Ajāmila by serving Him just at the time of death. The following anecdote illustrates this point:
Śivānanda Bhaṭṭācārya – by faith a Śākta, or worshipper of goddess Kālī, or Durgā – sent his son Rāma-kṛṣṇa to purchase some sacrificial animals like goats and buffalos and other necessary articles for the upcoming festival of Durgā-pūjā. When Rāma-kṛṣṇa was returning home after purchasing them, he met Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura, a holy saint of the highest order. After Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura talked with the youth instructively, the youth’s mind was changed altogether. He let the animals go in order to obtain initiation from the Ṭhākura, and went home empty-handed.
Śivānanda was waiting expectantly for his son to return with the goats, buffalos and other articles for Devī-worship. Seeing that he returned without them, he anxiously asked about them.
Śrī Rāma-kṛṣṇa replied that he had been blessed to have gotten the grace of the illustrious Vaiṣṇava, Śrīla Narottama. Upon hearing this, his father flared up with excessive wrath and called him a disgrace to the family for accepting a guru who had not taken birth in a brāhmaṇa family.
Rāma-kṛṣṇa was fortunate enough that upon hearing the Truth from the mouth of Ṭhākura Mahāśaya he was roused from the worldly mire and at once gave up the duties of this world as deplorable and insignificant in order to engage in the service of Hari.
Since we cannot rely on even the duration of a breath, for it may be our last, we should utilize even this moment for attaining our true well-being. For this end, we should not listen to anyone of this world who might give us contrary advice. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.18) Śrī Ṛṣabhadeva teaches us, “We are encompassed by death, and whoever does not deliver us from it cannot be obeyed as our well-wisher, even if he is a guru (like Śukrācārya to Bali), a near relative (like Rāvaṇa to Vibhīṣaṇa), a father (like Hiraṇyakaśipu to Prahlāda), a mother (like Kaikeyī to Bharata), a demigod (like Indra to Nanda), or a husband (like the yājñika-brāhmaṇas whose wives were devoted to Śrī Kṛṣṇa).” Such was the case with Śrī Rāma-kṛṣṇa Bhaṭṭācārya, who wisely courted his father’s certain displeasure to secure his true well-being.
Adapted from The Gauḍīya, Volume 24, Number 10
CC-BY-SA Rays of The Harmonist No.19 (Gaur Purnima 2009)