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  • Affection and Reproach: The Synthesis of Love

Letters: On Acting Whimsically

śrī śrī guru-gaurāṅgau jayataḥ All glories to Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga

Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha 35 Satīsh Mukherjee Road Kolkata—26 26 November, 1977

Dear recipient of my affection,

If you truly wish to study Sanskrit, you may complete your studies while staying in the maṭha, either at Kolkata, Kṛṣṇanagara or Śrī Māyāpura.

It is best you keep in mind that we have forsaken our mothers, fathers and other family members—both nuclear and extended—in order to come to the maṭha to perform sādhana-bhajana. The principal commitment in the life of those who have renounced their homes is sādhana-bhajana. The practice of devotion is possible only by adhering to the mandates of saints, scriptures and guru. If you act whimsically—that is, operate by your very own accord or do whatever pleases your mind—your downfall is inevitable, as is an onslaught of various types of sorro

ws. Only begging alms to eat and endeavoring to find secure places for your body to stay are not considered limbs of bhakti. Trying to live according to the instructions of Bhagavān and the bhaktas is alone bhakti, and it is the only means to achieve the ultimate good. Animals and birds have no trouble finding meals, and even those who do not get food do not die. Therefore, one who, having attained the human form of life, remains anxious for only eating and sleeping, will be unable to cultivate his spiritual wealth (paramārtha); this rarely obtained human birth will go in vain.

Lust, anger and greed are man’s gates to hell, and they always lead to his spiritual doom. They may remain in a sādhaka’s preliminary stages, but as he continues to perform sādhana, by the power of bhakti and the mercy of Bhagavan and the bhaktas, they will certainly be subdued. Thus, the sādhaka will be able to obtain auspiciousness. There are many advantages and associated comforts to expect while living together with many sādhakas. If some weakness enters the sādhaka's heart, he will be restrained from engaging in reprehensible conduct, due to either a fear of other sādhakas or by their instructions. If the mind becomes restless or yearns to delve into wicked thoughts, one should loudly and ardently chant harināma—calling out to Śrī Bhagavān, who is composed of mercy and pervades the hearts of all entities. He will understand the sentiments in our hearts and, having mercy on us, will surely protect us.

In this way, I conclude—

Śrī Bhakti Dayita Mādhava

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