TEXT 152
mali hana kare sei bija aropana
sravana-kirtana-jale karaye secana
SYNONYMS
mali hana—becoming a gardener; kare—does; sei—that; bija—seed of devotional service; aropana—sowing; sravana—of hearing; kirtana—of chanting; jale—with the water; karaye—does; secana—sprinkling.
TRANSLATION
"When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of sravana and kirtana [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout.
PURPORT
To live with devotees or to live in a temple means to associate with the sravana-kirtana process. Sometimes neophyte devotees think that they can continue the sravana-kirtana process without worshiping the Deity, but the execution of sravana-kirtana is meant for highly developed devotees like Haridasa Thakura, who engaged in the sravana-kirtana process without worshiping the Deity. However, one should not falsely imitate Haridasa Thakura and abandon Deity worship just to try to engage in sravana-kirtana. This is not possible for neophyte devotees.
The word guru-prasada indicates that the spiritual master is very merciful in bestowing the boon of devotional service upon the disciple. That is the best possible gift the spiritual master has to offer. Those with a background of pious life are eligible to receive life's supreme benefit, and to bestow this benefit, the Supreme Personality of Godhead sends His representative to impart His mercy. Endowed with the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master distributes the mercy to those who are elevated and pious. Thus the spiritual master trains his disciples to render devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called guru-krpa. It is krsna-prasada, Krsna's mercy, that He sends a bona fide spiritual master to the deserving disciple. By the mercy of Krsna, one meets the bona fide spiritual master, and by the mercy of the spiritual master, the disciple is fully trained in the devotional service of the Lord.
Bhakti-lata-bija means "the seed of devotional service." Everything has an original cause, or seed. For any idea, program, plan or device, there is first of all the contemplation of the plan, and that is called bija, or the seed. The methods, rules and regulations by which one is perfectly trained in devotional service constitute the bhakti-lata-bija, or seed of devotional service. This bhakti-lata-bija is received from the spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. Other seeds are called anyabhilasa-bija, karma-bija and jnana-bija. If one is not fortunate enough to receive the bhakti-lata-bija from the spiritual master, he instead cultivates the seeds of karma-bija, jnana-bija, or political and social or philanthropic bija. However, bhakti-lata-bija is different from these other bijas. Bhakti-lata-bija can be received only through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one has to satisfy the spiritual master to get bhakti-lata-bija (yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah). Bhakti-lata-bija is the origin of devotional service. Unless one satisfies the spiritual master, he gets the bija, or root cause, of karma, jnana and yoga without the benefit of devotional service. However, one who is faithful to his spiritual master gets the bhakti-lata-bija. This bhakti-lata-bija is received when one is initiated by the bona fide spiritual master. After receiving the spiritual master's mercy, one must repeat his instructions, and this is called sravana-kirtana-hearing and chanting. One who has not properly heard from the spiritual master or who does not follow the regulative principles is not fit for chanting (kirtana). This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (2.41): vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. One who has not listened carefully to the instructions of the spiritual master is unfit to chant or preach the cult of devotional service. One has to water the bhakti-lata-bija after receiving instructions from the spiritual master.

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