Vaishnava Para Sukha-Sukhi
HERE ENDS YOUR
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(Compiled from notes on lectures of H. H. Mahavishnu Goswami)
Today is one of the most memorable days especially for the disciples of H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, as they celebrated his 84th Vyasa puja in Rajkot with full enthusiasm. Having personally witnessed the glorious event, I will attempt to share a bit of my experience of it.
First of all, Maharaja has been faced with bad health for the last few days, with extreme cold, cough and headache and other bodily struggles due to old age. With so many disciples and well-wishers thronging in to Rajkot to meet him, talk to him and receive blessings and instructions from him, Maharaja completely disregarded his health and has been practically sleeping hardly 2-3 hours a day. The cough is so much that he can't speak 8-10 words at a stretch but these material difficulties can do nothing to the staunch determination of Maharaja in rendering uninterrupted and unmotivated loving devotional service unto the Supreme Lord. Although Maharaja rested only by 1 am the previous night, still he attended the mangala arati and sang the arati songs. Then without taking rest he went on to preside over the initiation ceremony. There were quite a number of initiates and this ceremony alone took almost 4-5 hours. Maharaja gave a very very loving at the same time deeply thought provoking lecture to inspire us to go on with devotional service for the rest of our lives.
After the initiation ceremony, although Maharaja was very much against devotees glorifying him, he kindly allowed 4-5 devotee representatives, one from each country to speak their realizations. But the most important was yet to come. After the arati Maharaja said, "Since it is Vyasa Puja, we have to glorify Vyasadev. The best way to glorify and please Vyasadev is to bury ourselves in his transcendental literature Srimad Bhagavatam." Saying this, he declared that it was not his Vyasa Puja, rather it should be from now on called "Bhagavatam Day".
Keeping this in mind, devotees wanted to please Maharaja by reciting the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam non-stop in the afternoon. The group was small in the beginning, but it grew slowly into a bigger one, on seeing the determination and joy of those who were reading it. The reading went for over three hours in the afternoon non-stop and the devotees who took part in this transcendental experience bear testimony to the amount of joy they obtained by reciting the first canto. They were so enthused that at the end of the transcendental recitation they decided to recite the second canto tomorrow Krishna willing. This is the obvious result of getting the transcendental touch of the sound vibration of Granthraj Srimad Bhagavatam.
Srimad Bhagavatam is the life and soul of Maharaj. He often says that he got all the benefits and learned so many lessons only by his unflinching attachment to Bhagavatam. His every step is based on this great literature. He is always caring for the welfare of others disregarding his own health. He is able to relish Srimad Bhagavatam because he is completely non-envious. It is not only that he is distressed when others are in trouble, but he is also overjoyed when something good happens to others. We may be able to find a Vaishnava who is para-duhkha-duhkhi, but it is extremely impossible to find a Vaishnava who is para-sukha-sukhi. This quality can appear only when one is completely non-envious and wide-hearted to give all glorifications to others. A great soul who strongly follows this principle is called nirmatsaranaam sataam. There is a beautiful verse in Srimad Bhagavatam 6.10.9 which explains this glorious character of a devotee as follows:
etaavaan avyayo dharmah
aatmaa socati hrsyati
"If one is unhappy to see the distress of other living beings and happy to see their happiness, his religious principles are appreciated as imperishable by exalted persons who are considered pious and benevolent."
Let us follow in the footsteps of these great souls who are unflinchingly following these impeccable instructions from the shastras in their lives. Our lives will be successful.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Hare Rama Hare Rama
and be happy.