Lectures and Sermons of Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)

Sadguru Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)

Sl. No. 3 - Lecture - (Devotion can never come where pride for wealth and prestige prevails... Humbleness... Power of Determination)

Dhaka - East Bengal Brahmomandir
Sunday, 22nd Agrahayan 1292 Bengali Calender [1886 A.D.]

Much before Rama’s arrival at Panchawati the ascetics on their way to the river for taking bath daily in the morning, used to find that someone had cleaned the path throwing away thorns and refuse and collected pieces of wood for sacrifice (‘hom’). They used to notice it daily but could not come to a conclusion. Once a kindhearted ascetic felt that possibly a devotee with a desire of serving us, was doing all these things secretly. Having thought thus, he hid himself by the side of the road and found out that Shabari, the daughter of a chandal swept the road with a broom, collected dry pieces of wood from various places and kept them at one place. Then the ascetic asked her, “My child, who are you?” Shabari was startled and lowered her head out of shyness. The ascetic said, “Why are you feeling shy? You have done nothing wrong. I am greatly benefitted by seeing your work.” Shabari said, “I do not know anything. When you all go for bathing, stone particles pinch your feet; I am the daughter of a chandal. I lost my parents at an early age. I clean the path secretly. This is because, lest you stop using this path if you come to know about it.” The ascetic said, “Shabari, you are no ordinary person. You have a wonderful feeling in yourself. I will therefore give you something with which all your wants will go.” Shabari said, “Oh Lord, I did not do all these out of a desire for money.” The ascetic said, “Not money, I will give you the priceless name of God”. Shabari was blessed to receive the ‘Name’ from the ascetic. On hearing about it, the other ascetics became angry with that kindhearted ascetic and said, “As this person has initiated the daughter of a chandal, we shall excommunicate him from the clan; we shall not dine with him.” Seeing all this trouble the ascetic told Shabari, “Shabari, I am leaving this place. You continue your austere spiritual practice staying here. Your wishes will be fulfilled.”With these words he left. In one corner of that place, in a cottage, Shabari stayed and continued her spiritual practice.

One day the ascetics, on reaching the river for bathing and finding Shabari there, rebuked her thus, “You sinner, do you take bath in this river?” Shabari said, “I have committed this wrong out of ignorance. I shall not do it again.” Legend has it, that following such an insult to Shabari, the river turned red in colour. Shabari stayed there and continued with her spiritual practices sustaining herself with fruits and roots. Since her Guru had assured her that her lord of worship would come some day, she used to pick good fruits and store them for her lord. Thus countless fruits had dried up. But she went on storing whatever fruit was to her liking. She desired to store all good fruits, all good milk products. Day and night she remained immersed in His meditation, in the bliss of thinking about Him. Around this time Rama arrived at Panchawati forest on exile. Sita was kidnapped by Ravana.

In his search for Sita, Rama arrived at Pampa lake and found the old woman engaged in her ascetic practices. Seeing the brilliance of Rama’s glow she ran towards him and exclaimed, “You have come? Come, come soon, I have stored so many fruits and roots, so much good quality milk products”. She forgot to say so many things out of joy as she tried to speak. She brought so many dried up fruits, half eaten fruits and placed them before him. Rama then said, “Shabari, your fruits are very sweet, even sweeter than those my mother Kaushalya gave.” Driven mad with love Shabari called the birds and said, “Oh birds, come, you all come and sing.” Shabari did not know what to do. She wanted to give whatever she could see around her. Rama and Lakshmana were astonished to see Shabari’s emotions. Rama told Lakshmana, “Look, this love of Shabari is the real natural love.” Shabari asked, “Can you tell me what devotion is like? Tell me how to develop devotion? I understand that one has to seek a boon. My prayer is please give me a boon so that I have devotion.” Rama said, “Shabari, your devotion is scarce even among the gods.” Shabari said, “Then I do not want anything, burn me in fire, you live through eternity.” Then Shabari was burnt in the fire of yoga. All the ascetics were astounded to see this. On hearing about the river turning red, Rama said, “Oh ascetics, you have acquired knowledge, but you do not know what devotion is.”

There is substance in these sayings—inspite of being born in a low caste family, if one craves for dharma, one’s craving is fulfilled. As soon as the desire for dharma grows one’s ego gets destroyed, and devotion develops in the egoless mind. Devotion can never come where pride for wealth and prestige prevails.

With a desire for true dharma whatever I hear at any place with humbleness is enough for me. I shall hold on to it like a miser holds on to his wealth. If I can hold on to the naam by utterance of which my life becomes blessed, it gives rise to love for Him. I want to give away everything at His feet when I have love for Him. It appears that lust of the senses do not go. But when I serve Him with all the sense organs they do not tend to go elsewhere. After having a vision of Him once, the eyes cannot forget Him. Those inherent vices whom I used to hate so far as enemies, then become friends—they tell so many tales to the Master, hear so many things. I then see them as friends helping in the Master’s work. The Master will certainly shower His grace if we can surrender our mind and soul like Shabari. Whether I am a chandal or a wretch, my kind hearted Master will shower His grace. If even once, I can call Him properly, just then He will shower His grace.

What do we find when we hear the story of Bharat? Rama did not return even when fourteen years were about to be over. Bharat then said. “I will not live any longer. The one for whom I did so much has not returned. I shall burn myself to death in a firepit. A firepit was lighted up on Bharat’s order. Ayodhya bewailed loudly. At the sametime Hanuman was despatched by Rama. At that very moment Hanuman arrived at Ayodhya with the slogan “Jai Rama, Jai Rama”. Hearing “Jai Rama” “Jai Rama”, Bharat sent his man to ask him, “Who are you? Give me my life.” The answer was “I am Hanuman, the Master is arriving.” All danger passed, it was no longer necessary to give up his life. Now, in samsar also, anybody who takes a firm determined vow, “I must achieve my Lord”, and hopes for this to realise, he also tries to imbibe all the features of the god he worships into himself and leads his life waiting for Him like Bharat.

Thus if he fails to see his Master on the fixed day, the devotee cannot rest any longer. He says, “Bring me fire, this separation is unbearable”. When the one who surrenders his self and soul to the Master and prepares to end one’s life because of separation, then the lord sends his devotee with the message, “Go inform him, I am coming.” Again what do we see in the story of Shabari? Just as Shabari who was born in a lower caste could see the god she worshipped due to the pull of her heart and said, “Let the fire burn me, may you live for eternity,” in the same way anyone in this world even of a low caste or someone down-fallen can have a vision of the Lord if one has that earnest yearning in one’s heart. The one who gets Him says, “Oh Master, may victory be to you, may I die.” The person who gets the Master does not want to retain his own existence—he wants his Master alone to exist. He is left with no ownership; “I am the head, I am wise”—all these feelings go. What remains is, “I am the servant.”

If we cannot develop natural love for the Master, like a mother, brother or friend, then can it grow for this futile samsar? In this futile samsar today we shall rejoice with relatives, brothers, friends and tomorrow it will be a state of death, loud lamentation and gradual oblivion. We have to try to remember the faces. Relatives, wife, son, daughter all are slowly forgotten—we have to try to remember them. Relatives, wife, son, daughter, all get separated. But once we develop love for this natural object of love—there is no separation. He is the Truth, eternal. My Master is not a matter of imagination, not just talks, the whole universe is running on His orders—the sun, the air, the clouds, rivers, ocean, trees creepers, the entire living beings are doing their respective work. My Master is not a simple object, that I can express Him in words—He can indeed be seen—nothing else exists like Him. Leave alone that beauty, even if a millionth fraction of it penetrates the soul then man has no capacity, no strength to forget Him.

What is the meaning of dharma if it does not propel my senses like eyes, ears to love Him? Can I subjugate my cardinal sensory vices? I may, for a day or two. But subsequently they overpower me. But in the work of my Lord they are my friends. He is dharma, my Master is dharma, my soul is content because of Him. Until the mind is absorbed in Him, the dharma which is present today and absent tomorrow, cannot save. When my son falls ill, I run. In the case of others I may stay away taking it easy. This is because he is someone else’s son and the other one is mine. There is a case of snakebite in that locality and I keep sitting unaffected, but am restless when it happens to me. In the same manner can anybody loving the Master stay calm without Him? Just on hearing of his arrival in one locality, he runs to meet Him. The river Falgoo of love flows in his heart. Until this dharma is achieved what prevails is various opinions, narrowness, groupism. But none of these remain to the last. When all the communities are held together how nice the garland consisting of various flowers looks around the neck of the Master! Blessed are we if we can love our Lord just once. Can He stay away without appearing, if anybody has such desperate yearning like Shabari and Bharat? That is why I say, what is the use if we cannot love that kind hearted friend of the wretched? When shall I store everything like Shabari for Him? When shall I have such a normal relationship with my Master the way I go to my mother? I climb on to my mother’s lap, drink milk from her breast; this does not make me ashamed. Why should I be shy of my Master? Why should I think of Him to be unrelated? I beg of you to grant natural love to me. I have a deep longing to be like Shabari, like Bharat. I am really unworthy. Bless me so that I can stand in the same way I do before my mother. When can I call my mother, my dear mother? I do not want grandeur. Oh True God, Oh True God. Let everything be the Truth. I want nothing else. You are blessed! You are blessed.