The respect inherent in the proper approach to love divine.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Student: We feel we have to accept you as Madhuri Rupa [“beautiful Sri Rupa”].

Srila Govinda Maharaj: Madhuri Rupa darsan karchhe ar ki [“They are seeing you as Madhuri Rupa”].

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: All rights are reserved by our Guru Maharaj. It is his wealth: he may extend it and withdraw it. Everywhere, this is the very nature of Vaikuntha-sampad—the wealth of Vaikuntha: it is flickering. So, we must be very careful to keep up. “It is not mine. It belongs to my Gurudev.” If I can think in this way, then he will keep extending it to me. Otherwise, it may be withdrawn at any moment. So fine, so subtle, so sensitive. This sort of feeling, or conception, or experience, that you may have is very sensitive, very sensitive. So, the safe position is to think, “It does not belong to me. It belongs to my Gurudev, and he has extended it to me for the time being. I am to look after it.” This mentality is the key to keeping us in that position, to keeping us up in that level.

Our Guru Maharaj said, “The highest form of service is discharged by our Guru Maharaj, by Babaji Maharaj and Bhakti Vinod Thakur. We are to follow their directions. We do not even venture to stay very near them. We shall do the service allotted to us, and then we shall come back and stay in some lower position.”

We cannot stay along with our Gurudev. Our Gurudev’s position is in the highest position—in Radha Kunda, and we must come to a little lower level but remain nearby because we have to attend to his commands. So, we must remain at an available distance nearby in Govardhan. We shall take our stand in Govardhan and always be eager for the call that may come at any moment from Radha Kunda to help with a particular service. We shall always select our position for living in a lower standard, not in the same plane as them. ‘Them’ means our Gurudev and the Vaisnavas.

pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

[“Worship the path of love in the posture of reverence.”]

This is the key to success. Always keep the raga-patha [“path of love”] at a respectable distance over our heads.

sakhyaya me namo ’stu
dasyaya me raso ’stu
(Vilapa-kusumanjali: 16)

“I sincerely pray for the duty of a servant, not that for the confidential duty discharged by a friend.” We should understand the real purpose of this attitude. It is very plain business, a very practical solution.

pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

This expression is very happy, very useful, and very, very sweet. The whole tenor of our Guru Maharaj and the nature of his service is herein. And it is not only for him; he has extended it to all, “Come under the banner of such thought about divinity and your success is insured; your position will be safely secured.”

Srila Govinda Maharaj:

guru-jana-sire punah sobha paya sata guna
(Gita-mala: 1.1.1)

[“Their feet shine a hundred times more atop the heads of my Gurus.”]

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Bhakti Vinod Thakur says, “Where is the real position of the divine feet of Radha-Govinda, the sole object of our service? On the head of my Gurudev—just above the head of my Gurudev. Krishna is nondifferent from Gurudev, and also inseparably connected with Gurudev. There are many conceptions of Guru. The mayavadis worship guru but not the Lord. There are also many who make too much of Guru, eliminating Gauranga and others. Ours is the creed that the Divine Couple or Mahaprabhu are there on the head of Gurudev. He is the highest servitor: Mukunda-prestha. The final conception of Guru is Mukunda-prestha, Gaura-prestha, Radha-prestha [“He who is the favourite of Krishna, the favourite of Gauranga, the favourite of Radha”]. Krishna is on the head of my Gurudev. He is very near and holding the respectable position. I can see only that Krishna holds the highest position in him, or in her. I want to see that Krishna. I do not want to see Krishna without Radharani, and I do not wish to see Krishna or Radharani without my Guru. Without Rupa Manjari, I will not approach Radharani, and without Radharani, I will not approach Krishna. That will be healthy thought for us: wholesome progress. Otherwise, very hazy and very hurried progress is no progress at all. We will have to return. We will be prey to retardation and misfire. We will miss the object of our adoration. So, very carefully, always with the guidance of our Gurudev on our head and heart, we shall try to move. Just as in Bhagavad-gita, it is mentioned,

yuktahara-viharasya yukta-chestasya karmasu
yukta-svapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkha-ha
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 6.17)

“Don’t be too hurried and don’t be too slow in every case. Don’t take too much food or too little.”

This is the key to success. Not with haste, and not too slow either. That should be our motto in life.


Spoken on 30 August 1981.