Dear Sriman Uddharan dasa Adhikari.
Please accept my humble obeisances in remembrance of our Divine Masters.
“You cannot see me dancing, but in my heart I am dancing.”, so said Srila Sridhara Maharaja upon hearing the approach of the nagara sankirtana party as it returned to his Math. Likewise, reading your response to my email immediately caused me to dance very happily within my heart.
I was also very happy that you caused me to remember this talk of Srila Govinda Maharaja:
Student: If I act in a bad way, no nice, avaiṣṇava way, can the devotees chastise me and tell me, “No no. You should act this way.” They can do that? They can correct me?
Mohanānanda Prabhu: What Prabhu is asking is if he is behaviour, his etiquette, is not Vaiṣṇava etiquette way, can other devotees correct him?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Yes, if [behaviour is not Vaiṣṇava way? 12:15], other devotees must correct, but friendly.
Student: And if I argue back?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Yes, friendly and affectionately. Otherwise, not will listen from you. I have seen it. I can chastise Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ. You know Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ. Now Araṇya Mahārāj. But Hari Charaṇ. I also gave sometime slap to Hari Charaṇ. Also Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ. This happen one day, may be two three days also. Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ doing much wrong front of others, respectable devotee they have come to Maṭh, and he is loudly telling so much bad, and I told Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ, “Prabhu, outsider is here. Don’t loudly tell it. What they will think?” And he not listen. He more loudly telling to me, māne, he is very angry, more loudly telling to me, “You do not know what happened. You are not looking that.” That way he is chastising me. Firstly I surprise to get this chastisement, and I am looking, there outsider man, they are looking, “What happened?” But I have much hope from them. If they see we are very quite Vaiṣṇava, we are very generous, then they will come forward to us, our sampradāya.” And he is doing that wrong. Then I told, “Prabhu, it is my order you keep hold your tongue.” And again he. Then I told, “Now I shall break your leg.” [Laughter] “I shall break your legs. You know I can do that.” Then he have [become more] guarded. But that Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ is very affectionate with me always.
Student: Balabhadra can easily break my legs Mahārāj. [Laughter].
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: That Kṛṣṇa Śaraṇ, still he is very affectionate with me, and after half an hour he apologize to me, “Oh I was very angry Mahārāj. You don’t mind.” But I know he anger. Anger can come to anybody, but later will think, “It is not good. It is bad.” Also I told to him, “If I not say this, you not will stop your tongue. That I told it. And I do not want to break your legs. You know that.”
Sometimes things happen. In Badarik ashram in the road, Hari Charaṇ doing many things disturbance. Our whole party, sixty party, by walk two hundred eight miles, two hundred eighty kilometres, we are walking, and one place Hari Charaṇ make [?], and I gave slap to Hari Charaṇ. But he is my right hand. He is my right hand. Then, after five minutes I embrace him. “I was very angry to see your this activity. Please forgive my offence.” And immediately I am making friend. That is necessary. They knows I am affectionate. Guru Mahārāj ousted many times to Hari Charaṇ, wants to make out lastly, but lastly I told Guru Mahārāj, “Mahārāj, he is my friend, and I do not know where is our properties. In the crops field, what is our property I do not know, and he knows everything. He is very worker, he is doing all the work. Mahārāj, if you oust him, who will look after the [?]” “What he wants to take?” Guru Mahārāj told. He told something wrong, and Guru Mahārāj was very unhappy. And I told to Guru Mahārāj, “You leave him. I shall take care of him.” And Guru Mahārāj, “He not will come up to my veranda.” I told, “Yes Mahārāj, [?] but you not make kick out. I shall take care of him.” And Guru Mahārāj, “Yes.”
So, some cooperation necessary. Otherwise, not possible [to] make our Mission. Guru Mahārāj also tolerated. Guru Mahārāj nature was very heavy nature. No brahmachārī in his Maṭh, and why? He is highly qualified man. All the Vaiṣṇava respecting Guru Mahārāj, and why his Maṭh is empty? And I am also very affectionate with all. Still, why Guru Mahārāj’s Maṭh is empty? And only cause he was very strict and strong minded and do not wants to make. That was his nature. He do not wants to make disciple. You not heard in lifetime any guru given his disciple the chair. You take history who Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, you not will get it anywhere. But before, two and half years before, Guru Mahārāj left his chair, and he not took one disciple. Then Guru Mahārāj’s intention what was, we can understand very easily. He do not want to be in the position of guru. He doesn’t like it. Guru position is very heavy. Also, I am also searching somebody [?]. I am searching someone who will take this position. But he must qualified, otherwise it will be … it will destroy.
Student: So, if I misbehave, and my godbrother devotee corrects me, tries to correct me, and he is right and I am wrong, but I think I am right, how can he prove that I am wrong? Can we look Guru Mahārāj’s books?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Yes. There also very helpful at times the rules and regulations. And second thing is that that is very good, it is my experience that I have got too much through that, his godbrother, Guru Mahārāj’s godbrother took me and oust many times from Kolkata to Nabadwīp, from Nabadwīp to Kolkata, from there to there they ousted me but I not went out. That is, I know Guru Mahārāj’s full support with me and it is helpful for me. And I know Guru Mahārāj do not want it. If Guru Mahārāj will say, I must be get out, but not maybe, but must be it is legally must be, but not. That is, I need sevā of Guru Mahārāj. If he will throw, why I shall go out? I shall go out of gate and sit only. And again I wants to try to come inside for service to Guru Mahārāj anyhow. But it is my experience, who have some faith to someone, if we can refer to him, that is very good for us. Maybe he have no faith to him, but he have faith to Vraja Vallabh. Then, if Vraja Vallabh, he will try to listen that. And everybody must be humble no doubt. That is necessary. Sometimes very enthusiastic boy jumping over his master. That is not his actually fault. That is enthusiasm. He have affection, everything, but he cannot walk, he jumping. That’s happen. It’s possible. But all depending with affection, affection and regard. Regard, Vaiṣṇava regard, we must give to the Vaiṣṇava, and we must give affection to everybody. Otherwise, we cannot do anything. And it is our teachings, if we will follow the line of Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, then we must respect the Vaiṣṇavas first. Give respect, proper respect, to Vaiṣṇavas. If with my guru sometimes different can come opinion, opinion can come different with my guru, but it’s also example given Guru Mahārāj. I heard from Guru Mahārāj this. Goswāmī Mahārāj and Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur, there discussion, going some discussion. Prabhupād have not so much experience about out world, but Goswāmī Mahārāj mixing with the general people too much, and he have some experience. Then, Prabhupād said, “It will be good, and you do this.” And Goswāmī Mahārāj said, “If I shall do, I shall not be successful. But if I do this way, it will be successful.” And Prabhupād, summarily he wants to dismiss it. Then, Prabhupād said, “No. No. You do this.” And Goswāmī Mahārāj, “Prabhupād, you don’t guess it. If I go this way, that man will be angry and not give permission also.” And Prabhupād was busy, maybe something happen, and Prabhupād said, “No. No. What I am telling, you do this.” And Goswāmī Mahārāj knows, “It is only my sevā. I can do it. Other cannot do it. And Prabhupād what way telling to do, if I go, I not will be successful.” Then, lastly, Goswāmī Mahārāj said, “Prabhupād, I differ with your divine grace, but I am going.” [Laughter] This word: “I differ with your divine grace, but I am going, I am following your order.” Then Prabhupād smiled and called Goswāmī Mahārāj and told, “Yes. You are experience more than me. Then, you follow your line. I need sevā.” [Laughter] And Goswāmī Mahārāj was little angry: “Prabhupād cannot understand I must be failure. I shall go.” Then, lastly he told, “Yes, I am going, but I am differ with your divine grace.” “Divine grace”, he telling “Your divine grace”, but differ. It is not possible. When he is divine grace, then I cannot differ with him. That is, I am disciple and he is my divine grace. But he told angrily, “I differ with your divine grace, but I am going.” This sometimes very [nice?25:10?]. We need sevā. Which way it is possible, we shall try to do. Sometimes, one bottle of wine if we give to income tax commissioner, with packet cigarette one bottle of wine, 569 [Rupees], like that, then why I shall loose … one bottle of wine maybe 400 rupees, but he will give me permission several lakhs rupees. Then why I shall loose it? It is also one kind of bribe to the servitor. “Oh? You do not like it? Okay, you do.” I need sevā from that boy, from that man. Then I know it is my desire, but I cannot do that, that is, I have not that time or energy to run with motor cycle, here there, there, there, there. If I go to Vṛndāvan, 300 rupees I spend, and whereas he will go to Vṛndāvan, maybe two litres of petrol he needs for his motorcycle. That 50 rupees and 300 rupees. It is not same. That way I must try to gain, not loose. And by hook or crook. It’s one kind of bribe, but I am giving. I am paying maybe 8% or 10%. Every month I am paying something. It is one kind of bribe I am saying, but I know without that he cannot do this.
— Srila Govinda Maharaja, 93 GB Meeting 1A 1B 2A w. bkg edits
There are many valuable lessons in this talk, two appeared prominently in my mind. I have already given the hint to one of them. Some other duties are dragging me away from completing my reply to you. I shall try to return to it as soon as possible. In the meantime, I wonder if you can ascertain the two points of reference from your email that drew my attention to the above excerpt.
I pray all is well with you and my dear sister, Srimati Lilavati Devi.