Answers to Mauritius Devotees’ Questions
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
(February, 12, 1989, Navadvip Dham, India)
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Sin. But seva not harm you. [In Bengali: amar apna...] But any possibility by other people to offer then not necessary to go myself. If I’m ashuchi (unclean) then not necessary to go myself. But no hope, anybody not is here, Deity will be thirsty? That time some aparadh. If I can think something sin will come to me [record break] then I don’t care that. I must do that. This is the rules of vaidik.
Vishvamitra Rishi one day was very hungry. Vishvamitra Rishi. In the jungle he was doing tapasya, tapasya, tapasya and he forgot his hunger, desire for food. And he was too much hungry. And his body, leaving his body, like that type of hunger come. And he was searching food. Where is food? Immediately he wants something—otherwise he die. And in the jungle there is no food, and searching, searching he went one shabarya griha. Shabarya you know? Low-class, low cast. No cast. Shabarya have no cast. They are eating dog meat. Hindu not eating dog meat. But they are also eating dog meat. That is called shabarya. Bhaktivinod Thakur said, shabarya grihete manye kaiva, that called shabarya.
[Samane kuku dog apacha amane?] Who is making for food the meat of dog, he has seen one house. And he immediately went there and not seen anybody. It is in Mahabharata this story. Immediate he has not seen anybody but he has seen some meat of dog. Maybe cooked or uncooked. I cannot remember now. But he has seen immediate up there. Then he thinks, it is shabarya griha, and he is thinking actually, “Eat or not this? If I not eat it I must die now. If I eat it that sin, much sin will come to attack me. But what shall I do?” Then he had no time, he thinks, “I must take this now. Maybe some sin will come but with tapasya I can relief, remove that sin. But if I not take this now I shall die.” Then he took that shabarya’s, dog’s meat. This story in Mahabharata.
This is example. So mattering his life. Necessary some food. Otherwise he will die. But he can take anything. So mattering the seva of the Deity. If no chance for anybody, nobody is there then who is there, he must [do into?]. He maybe dikshit or adikshit. That also not question. Must be offered something to Deity. This way.
Vaishnava-dharma is very easy dharma. But necessary to know the meanings, extract of this religion.
Mahananda Prabhu: Essence.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Again, Arjun has possible. And save the devotees of Mauritius. Guru Maharaj was very happy with them. And who able to come to Gaura Purnima time he try to come here. And everybody will keep close connection with his Gurudeva’s ashram. I’m only servitor of this Math. But Guru Maharaj gave the position, the guardian of servitor, guardian servitor, position get. But guardian maybe, but servitor. I’m servant. I’m not master of this Math. Master living here: Guru-Gauranga Gandharva-Govinda-Sundar. Gurudev, Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Gandharva-Govinda-Sundar, Giridhari is master of this Math. We are all the servitors. And we shall try to serve this way. First servicing the Vaishnavas. All the devotee of Guru Maharaj, they are Vaishnav and we shall try to serve them. If they will come here we will be very glad.
Mahananda Prabhu: Jaya Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Vishnupad Sri Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!
Namasya Prabhu? You can stay up to Gaura Purnima? No? If you stay up to Gaura Purnima that will be very good. But you are not, you cannot stay? [Aghasya?] Prabhu? One month only Gaura Purnima.
Where is no devotee, where is no servitor that is not Math. This way I want always association of devotees. Devotees coming, always, going, coming, staying: that is very good. And I’m very enthusiastic. When I’m looking all devotee doing something that gives me some [?]. Our Math seva, each ones of the devotee, they are doing. I’m very glad to see that. And I’m always thinking this is the property of Guru Maharaj. This body of Guru Maharaj. We offer this body to Guru Maharaj at the time of diksha. Then everything Guru Maharaj’s property. And we’re servitors. Who have some qualification, anybody have some qualification and that will be of servicing Guru Maharaj. [This is] very good.
What cannot get by Swami Maharaj, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, he gave all over the world harinam-sankirtan. And Guru Maharaj gave all over the world harinam-sankirtan. Swami Maharaj style gave, but somebody gone foreign way. Guru Maharaj style gave, somebody going foreign way. I’m very fallen soul, what I shall give to the devotees? They are giving me acharya they cannot teach me all [...] Then what I shall give? I can try to serve a little bit. That is all.
They give me all Guru Maharaj’s Math and all the devotees. Devotees Math this is. And devotees will serve here, devotee in his own way they can serve, no problem. Everything is going in the mood of service. Hare Krishna.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: [?] specially. We have a program there.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: When you will come then stay a little, take time to stay here. Three months maybe, maybe two months. Two-three months you can stay and visit. And my dandavat-pranam to all the devotees of Mauritius. Guru Maharaj’s own devotees.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: [?] then we have a program … eight days …
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Oh, nice, nice!
Adhokshaja Prabhu: [Speaks about preaching programs and situation on Mauritius.] Then we shall go [visit?] one place where [Ranjan sings?]. And normally I do the katha, you see. Then on 15th and 22nd anything else … on the 23rd is the feast. But there on Mauritius we got the people don’t come, they are friendly. So we desire to understand who there we need. What can you say about this? Pratipatir don’t take grains. This guest.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Now in that hasta, Hari Bhakti Vilas, there also wrote it, utsavante cha paranam.
When utsava is finished then devotee can take prasadam. Sometimes it is procedural. That is called utsavante cha paranam. And Guru Maharaj also agreed it. And we’re not very attached with viddhi-marga. We have little raga-marga. That is, here also in this Math, in the time of Guru Maharaj, few devotees taking prasadam also that day. Like Hari Charan. Krishna Sharan not taking. And myself also before one or two years I took. But then I am thinking that night time is not good to take all the prasadam served. My lobh, my attraction with prasad. Very nice, nice prasadam. Attraction we cannot deny. But after that I think: it is not good for me. That is I’m not taking, I’m taking anukalpa [on] that very day. But Guru Maharaj said if it is necessary we can do, distribute prasadam that day also, a little, no problem. But mainly it will go fasting [there?] with anukalpa. Few devotee taking sometimes prasadam also. Every year Hari Charan taking here. And it is permitted by Guru Maharaj. I’m not taking, Krishna Sharan not taking. Maybe Tapan taking.
Mahananda Prabhu: For seva also.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: For seva, yes. Hari Charan, he need for his health. This way we’re running. We’re not so attached to viddhi. But we’re going and maintaining the viddhi-marga, trying to maintain. But Guru-seva and Vaishnava-seva: this is our life. But it must will not take on Ekadashi. Must be honored Ekadashi. And maha-dvadashi. Ekadashi, maha-dvadashi. When maha-dvadashi that must be worshippable by the devotee without grain. Ekadashi must be. Krishna Janmashtami we’re doing but somebody taking prasadam after janma. But Guru Maharaj said, utsavante cha paranam. When birth and bhog, everything finished then devotee can take prasadam sometimes. We’re maintaining viddhi-marga, then no problem I think. But it is not rules of outsides telling. For the other person it is necessary to maintain.
But in the West rules some maybe changed for the western devotee. Maybe changed, that is not harmful so much. It is true: we cannot maintain properly the time. Here and San Jose: not possible. In our panjika telling one thing and San Jose panjika must be tell another thing. Twelve hours. But devotee cannot adjust always. But they are how to going? This way everything is adjustable. There little fault—no problem.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: Means like Krishna Janmashtami we should read at midnight etc in our country also? Like in our country here if it is midnight then 10:30 in our country. So we should do it at midnight itself.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: And then, you see, another purpose why we have come here that specially I’ve come to buy lot of articles. In Mauritius on the [?] is lake. And about four hundred to five hundred thousand people come there. So [?] we have two tents. In one we sell articles and another place we offer bhog and then sell prasadam. [?] he is in charge of one stall and one [?]. That’s why we’re leaving this flight to leave. Especially for the program.
Srila Goinda Maharaj: Yes, for you have proper seva. What need we must to do that, [apna?] seva. Bodily we can stay or not stay—that is not matter. But mentally we must to stay with Guru Maharaj and with Dham. Sometimes from far we can more connected with the subject. And also union in separation, that sometimes is better than direct association. This is called in Vaishnava shastra. But feeling is necessary. And feeling is always giving life us. Mood of seva. And feeling. That is necessary. Who have that he is very fortunate. And also auspicious. You’re trying nicely and try to do. And Gaura Purnima coming. There also some seva. Here also some seva. It is necessary.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: Is it good, often times it is like [?] we have program outside. In a different lake, so many people come. Is it good? [?] people [?] at ashram looks after the Deity but the all outside.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Outside different village if we can preach that is very good. In two places better than one place. Two, many places preach. And now whole world captured by Krishna consciousness. And growing more and more every day by the blessings of devotees of Krishna.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: … some questions. We intend, you see, like [?] we intend to stay two days at Kolkata Math and then at Jagannath Puri. As we were saying we need letters, you see.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: With your permission.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Kolkata Math you go easily, there no restriction. But in Puri little restriction I have done now. Many going there and not doing any seva. But how they admitted? This way some, especially some Indian. Western devotees they are doing some seva, they are staying and doing, doing some seva, no problem for western devotees. But Indian devotees sometimes cheating, bad boys. Few case happened. Then I told: I shall give letter who wants to go there it’s in letter, no problem. Without letter they stayed relative of Guru Maharaj also done it. Ten days they stayed, they are ten men. Ten days stayed and borrowed some money from the temple commander. But not give, debt on their money also. Like that somebody doing and I have no restriction for the devotee. Every devotee who is telling name of Guru Maharaj he is staying there. This also not was very good for the brahmacharis there. Sometimes they have no money. But my order was you always serve to the devotee who will come here. They are giving some money to Guru Maharaj maybe not to him that time money, like Bon Maharaj. Bon Maharaj give money here to Guru Maharaj but that time not with him.
Mahananda Prabhu: He’s given all his money and goes to Puri, then no money left.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes. This way they are doing but there devotee living sometimes very bad position. That way who is going from here from this Math I’m giving letter. Mahananda Prabhu is giving letter, no problem. Then no problem for staying there. Little restriction I have done now. Not before. One year maybe. No?
Mahananda Prabhu: Yes.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: One year before some man do some...
Adhokshaja Prabhu: Last question is when we preach outside what is the advice with general line of thought, line of preaching.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Line of preaching harinam-sankirtan first. This is our line. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said:
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa
Whom you will see you try to advice him that this is kali-yuga dharma. What preached Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in this world. And in the Veda, Gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, everywhere, Kali-santarana-upanishad, everywhere preaching about sankirtan. And we’re followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And this way we must will got relief from maya and seva of Radha-Krishna in the Vraja Dham, in Goloka Vrindavana. This way preaching you know. And in the book of Guru Maharaj there. But mainly sankirtan preaching. Our preaching is sankirtan line, line of sankirtan. And books also Guru Maharaj, books also Swami Maharaj, so many books. And Chaitanya Charitamrita, Chaitanya Bhagavat.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: Can we make the people chant like we chant on the exhibition?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes, yes. They must. Mahaprabhu said it, everybody can address to everybody. And chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra in this way. No restriction here. Only avoid the Vaishnava aparadh you must duly apprise them.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: So this we had one Prabhu [?] can we [?] now. This aroti worship, you see? We were following according to ISKCON way. So now...
Srila Govinda Maharaj: ISKCON way is not bad. But maybe some ISKCON men are doing little wrong. But their preaching program is very nice, I think. Not bad. Inside they are doing little wrong. But outside. I do not know but I’m thinking not bad. I do not know everything about ISKCON. But ISKCON’s preaching program is good, I think. But sometimes Guru Maharaj not allowed ladies chanting this way. Guru Maharaj not allowed it. But ladies will go sankirtan party, it is allowed. But chanting ladies this way like gents not allowed by Guru Maharaj. Something different with ISKCON.
Mahananda Prabhu: They are distributing beads in ISKCON. They will sell japa beads.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Guru Maharaj not selling japa beads. Not selling prasadam. Not selling japa beads, not selling prasadam. This is not Guru Maharaj’s line. But they are selling prasadam. But Swami Maharaj also told other way. Swami Maharaj told I’m giving you books, you are giving some return for seva. Not I’m selling, not we’re selling the books. We’re distributing. Book distribution program, that is he called, Swami Maharaj called ‘Book distribution program.’ And this is very nice word.
Mahananda Prabhu: Yes, that’s right. Not selling, not business.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Not selling. I’m giving this book to you and you do some seva to Vaishnav, Guru. This is nice idea. But ISKCON telling, “We are distributing the books,” but they are not distributing, they are selling books. But we are selling books. Not distributing always. That clear. Clearly. It is eyewash from government. But prasad not sold. And harinam japa-mala, japa beads not sold. Book can sell. But we’re telling distribution it is good for our preaching line.
Uddhanya nitya, you know? Uddhanya nitya? Both hand up and dancing like that. And Guru Maharaj not like ladies who’s do it. Ladies will go, chant, but not dance like that. Like a chimps.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: These articles, we can sell them? Different articles?
Mahananda Prabhu: What articles? Not Deities. You can’t sell statue, Deities of Vishnu.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: No, no, no, we don’t sell the Deities. Just some articles that we buy from here.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes, yes. You can buy and sell the articles, no problem. But japa mala [is no].
Mahananda Prabhu: [?] Prabhu is so quiet and humble that he didn’t ask any of his question. Some of these questions are his questions but he is putting Adhokshaja Prabhu in front.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: If we have any shop for selling japa mala that is possible. Shop. Through a shop japa mala we can sell. That is business. We can do the business. Like many things: japa mala, then tilak, in a shop. But house to house it is not good looking. I have one shop, I can tell: “You please come to my shop. There we’re selling everything, equipment for spiritual life.” This way we can preach, no problem.
Mahananda Prabhu: We’re not the shop, we’re the temple which tells how to use the equipment in spiritual [life]. That’s the difference.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Their mood is different. Otherwise everything is good, everything is bad. What we will do: everything is bad. And what we will do: everything may be good. And mood is necessary. Mood is servicing mood that is everything is good. But sometimes looking not good. Prasad: it is selling in Jagannath Puri. They are selling, pandas selling the prasadam. There is not harmful. We’re eating, buying the prasadam and eating. That is mood is necessary. Somebody doing some restaurant. In restaurant there is no problem.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: That is house to house we don’t sell prasadam.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: No, no. Not selling. We can say: distributing prasadam. If he wants to give some diksha to me he can give for the seva of the Deities. In this way.
Some devotee: Shop, Maharaj, we can sell?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Prasadam. Shop is good, good looking. Shop of prasadam not looking good.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: But suppose we have a shop, can we prepare cakes and sell like this? Sweets?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Sweets you can. But you do not say it is prasadam. And also not prasadam that. You can make rasagula and can sell. You can make kanchagulla and can sell. [?], everything, cakes. You can make and sell. That is not problem. But when you will tell it is prasadam this thing then not sell. This is the mood. And also that not be prasadam, I think. You can sell rasagula, they can offer to his deity, that. We’re buying from the shop, some good shop. No problem. You do, door to door, you can sell. As you like, I do not know what is the situation.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: No, no. In house-to-house we don’t sell them. In shops.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes. Then it is not harmful. Every business you can do. Shakti business.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: People order us cakes, you see, especially on marriage ceremony instead of buying them from elsewhere. [...]
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Caterer. Like caterer. Vegetarian food.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: We’re thinking, you see, of having sort of journal every month. Sort of newspaper. It won’t be so big. Extracts from Guru Maharaj, like this.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes. It is good. I’m also saw many tapes of our Guru Maharaj, we can print in journal.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: So we can take these and [...] every month, devotees are going to distribute.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: I want to do that always and I’m very enthusiast to tell it to the devotees. And I have no restriction. In the time of Guru Maharaj I’m giving everybody to signature. In the time of Guru Maharaj. They’re asking signature of Guru Maharaj. Yes, I’m taking, immediately: Guru Maharaj, give your signature. And they will print. This way.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: So we just want your grace for this journal.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes, Prabhu. You try, it is very nice program. Spreading Krishna consciousness through books, through preaching, through distributing something, very nice program. In this way we shall get some benefit. Must we get some benefits.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: We’re fallen souls, we may not remember. But if you remember us.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes, I’m always remembering my godbrothers. As you like you can tell me and I agree always. But I want spreading Guru Maharaj’s consciousness. Preaching.
Mahananda Prabhu: Krishna consciousness, but Govinda Maharaj is giving Guru Maharaj’s consciousness.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes. Guru Maharaj’s conception. Conception and consciousness. Conception of Guru Maharaj is very high. Every acharya coming to hear from Guru Maharaj. They are preaching, they are masters of our sampradaya, but they come to learn from Guru Maharaj. That is the conception of Guru Maharaj. And we want that must be praised, spread by us. But I have no qualification. [...] That is I cannot alone do it. But with the help of the devotees and the Vaishnavas and also my well-wishers I’m trying. Every way, many ways. I do not know English, but I’m not stopping to tell. I’m trying what I have I’m trying...
Adhokshaja Prabhu: No, everything is clear, we understand perfectly. It is no difficulty.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: What I have. I have four paisa, then I shall buy four paisa matter. But I must do some business. With four paisa. That will come ten paisa. And then one rupee. Then ten rupee. This way it will grow more. But we cannot stop. One man going, he did not know swimming. And I do not know his language. He do not know swimming, I do not know his language. And somebody in bank of the pond, they also do not know my language, I do not know their language. But one man going under drowning, under the water. Then what shall I do? I shall go to university for learning his language? For the people I do not know their language? Or what shall I do? I must try my best to pull up from the water that man. First. Then I think I know language or not. This is Guru Maharaj’s example. Very nice example [chuckling].
What I know I shall try with that. Very nice, Prabhu.
Adhokshaja Prabhu: With your grace, we think, everything will [...] so please remember us.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: And we shall try our best.
Jaya Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!
Jaya Adhokshaja Prabhu ki jaya!
Namasya Prabhu ki jaya!