Srila Bhakti Bimal Avadhut Maharaj
Spiritual Family | A New Year Address
(обращение на русском языке можно прослушать по ссылке)
We are approaching the New Year. This time we’d like to spend with our nearest and dearest.
First of all, we will sincerely pray for all of them, because according to Vaishnavism, if you become a devotee then hundreds of generations of your relatives will be liberated: from the karmic sins and reactions—they will come into Krishna consciousness, actually.—We are not talking about some material salvation or relief.
So maybe we should consider that the best thing we can do for them is to become devotees ourselves. Although that may seem to lack some logic: what benefit can it bring to my grandma, father or mother?—But we know: if we become devoted people, it will be good for all our relatives.
One more thing is that we shouldn’t try to force our relatives to be spiritual people—we cannot become spiritual people ourselves. Therefore when we communicate with them and see some material shortcomings, we shouldn’t cry out loud: “What demons you are—meat-eaters!”—Don’t become a fanatic.
We should get special understanding and realize that we got special mercy and the Lord has chosen us to receive it.—My grandma could be better than me, but she didn’t receive this mercy. My neighbor is more respectable, smarter, more advanced—but he didn’t receive such mercy.
So we should appreciate that Krishna consciousness and it’s of crucial importance not to waste it.
Now let’s remind ourselves, why it can happen: first is because of criticizing the devotees and second is because of offending them. I often blame myself for thinking critically about the devotees—even those who are near to me or who are my friends. Although we can see some imperfections in others: they might not understand everything or do something wrong—we should always remember that the only means of our Gurudev was to bring them closer, not further away. So when someone was in trouble or sad, or indecisive—Gurudev bought him closer, because he knew that by doing this he gives such person an opportunity for the spiritual association and growth.
So it’s very important that we—as one spiritual family—would take care of each other, look after each other, get closer to each other—in a good, spiritual way. So we’ll be able to move as a team and grow spiritually.
I think that the New Year address should not be too long. I wish all of our devotees all the best and fulfillment of their spiritual desires next year: to those who can, I wish them to go to India for the parikram with us. To those who can’t go I wish to spend holidays in our centers with the devotees. And those who live far from the centers and are not able to come frequently—you can watch us on the Internet.
We believe that faith will let us to go through all the hard times. Times can be really hard. But the most substantial thing is one’s faith that can lead a man through life and death, and uplift him. So we hope that we’ll all develop faith, maintain it in each other, not take that out—and serve with faith.
One more time I congratulate you with this great celebration of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, his Appearance Day. We always feel Gurudeva’s presence, he appears in our hearts—in remembering, in studying, in hearing hari-katha. Let’s listen to his sweet, nectar voice, to his instructions—simple, but high. Let’s read his sermons, reread his books. And let’s all move toward Krishna consciousness!
Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!
Sri Rupa-nuga guru-varga ki jay!
Harinam-sankirtana ki jay!
Gour-premanande hari-hari bol!
Translated by Priyanana Devi Dasi
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