All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Question of the Week

February 9, 2005

Web-page by Vaidehi Devi Dasi

This Wednesday's youth class was especially needed. Many of the young devotees juggle their time between school, seva, and work. For me, it is torturous to sit in a classroom knowing that Srila Gurudev is out on his scooter or that Sripad Ashram Maharaj is giving the morning class. I think to myself, "Gurudev is here! I have all the time in the world to go to school. Why am I here missing his darshan?" But there is a remedy for that. There is the assurance that education is very important, and Saraswati Thakur himself stressed the fact that devotee kids should have a good education. School is also service, and it is our responsibility to become qualified persons to help build a foundation for the future of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

The kids shared advice with each other regarding the importance of taking education seriously. There is a certain job, career, or seva appropriate for each devotee. Education makes one qualified to present our capabilities in both the temple and the outside world. Take Vrndavanesvari Didi for example. She studied journalism at the university and is now able to apply her skills to the California website. If it weren't for her editing, who knows how many errors I would have mistakenly presented? Pusta Krishna Prabhu is a qualified surgeon. Through his medical training he was able to aid Srila Gurudev in very serious health matters. There are many more exemplary devotees all around the world.

This was the gist of our discussion: One devotee mentioned that by living in an ashram, you give up many things. The environment and the enthusiasm of the devotees pulls you in and makes you want to do more service. Each person has his or her own capacity, which one can increase by becoming educated. You use your energy to serve your Guru in the way you are most capable of.

Anuradha Dasi, 5 years old, affectionately joined the class.

Devaki Dasi, 10 years old, fully capable of keeping up with the older kids, reads an article about dedication.

Hiding behind Ratikantha Prabhu, Ranajit Prabhu listens to the class, hoping no one notices him.

After reading we take turns expressing how we would like to apply our education for the future of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. There are so many possibilities: aiding the devotees in physical therapy, establishing a learning center in India, prasadam distribution world wide, photo journalism for the Math website, creating an international channel for preaching, temple construction, and the list continues.

After the class, it was time for the question of the week:

How do you aspire to surrender yourself to Krishna consciousness?

Istha Devika Dasi:
"To give up all selfish desires and instead, serve Krishna. To do that I can start by serving Guru."

Vaidehi dasi:
"In my heart I feel that surrendering is such a faraway thing from what I can acheive, so the closest thing that I can do is try, in some small way, to make the devotees that serve Gurudev happy. I asked Sripad Goswami Maharaj at the Sunday class: what is love for Guru? He replied that by serving the devotees that know how to serve Gurudev, we are pleasing Gurudev, and there is some transfer of devotion into our hearts. So although I have no conception of what devotion or surrender is, by serving those devotees, I may get some devotion in my heart that is beyond me."

Vidura Das:
"The only thing needed to aspire to surrender to Krisna consciousness is to have the association of the pure Vaisnava, who will inspire you to go on in spiritual life and make advancement."

Annapurna Dasi:
"Gurudev wants us to try to see that everything is favorable, be less dissatisfied with life, and do what is needed."

Dhruva Das:
"You should find one dedicated service and do it all your life no matter how small or big it is."

Kamala Dasi:
"I need to associate with the devotees more, learn to be humble and listen to the instructions of my senior devotees."

Satyabhama Dasi:
"You can start with something miniscule, and then you add more and more. Eventually, hopefully, through that, you will become surrendered to service."

Nowla Kishor Das:
"Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare"

Ratikantha Das:
"My inspiration to surrender is to continue to serve Srila Gurudev."

Gaurasundar Das:
"To chant Hare Krsna and be happy is my aspiration to surrender."

Chinmoy Das:
"Surrendering yourself is receiving mercy from Gurudev. That's what gives you love for Krishna. The way you receive that mercy is to serve your Guru, associate with his devotees, and then maybe you will receive that mercy."

Vaidehi Devi Dasi:
" I want to take the medicine of the Holy Name to cleanse myself of false ego, discover my true role as a servitor of Gurudev and Krishna, and aspire to serve him without false pretense. I hope to find a lifestyle that will allow me to serve the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math as long as I live."

Quote of the week:

"If you can accept such an attitude of surrender and slavery, then He who can never be conquered, will be conquered. Friends will come and help you; the sadhus will come and make you understand that we should become slaves, that Krishna likes His slaves very much. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Ramananda Raya, 'Yes, this is true. The unconquerable is conquered by surrender. We can capture Him. I accept this as the beginning plane of divine love: by giving we can get as much as we risk. As much as we risk to give ourselves, so much we can demand from that unconquerable infinite.' Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, 'I accept this as the beginning of suddha-bhakti, pure devotional service. But go farther'" (The Search for Sri Krishna Reality the Beautiful p.187).