Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj left Nabadwip last Monday with a group of Western devotees and spent the last week travelling and preaching in towns outside of Kolkata.
On this trip Srila Acharyadev particularly wanted to give nourishment to the existing devotees of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math as opposed to recruiting newcomers. At each programme Srila Acharyadev strongly preached the fundamental principles of pure devotion in order to deepen the understanding and faith of Math members who live in ‘mixed’ spiritual association and rarely, if ever, hear the conception of our guru-varga.
Srila Acharyadev emphasised that service is the only way the soul’s ultimate potential is realised, and that service must be carried out under guidance of Guru and Vaishnav. He repeatedly cited Srila Saraswati Thakur’s definition of bhajan: that which we are engaged in by Guru and Vaishnav, not that which is pleasing to our mind, should be known as bhajan.
Srila Acharyadev also made it clear to his audiences that he was not there to perform kirtan for them; he was there to induce *them* to perform kirtan. Srila Acharyadev demonstrated that he had no interest in being worshipped; the purpose of his visiting the devotees was to deepen their understanding and practice, to bring them under the shelter of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in full.
The week was highlighted by a programme on Sunday evening at our Dum Dum Park Sevak Bhavan centre. Srila Acharyadev spoke twice for more than an hour and half each time. He ended the night dancing and smiling with joy to see an audience of people dressed in pants and shirts, and wearing Kali-tilak jumping up and down chanting ‘Nitai Gaur Haribol!’