Bilvamangala Thakura. He was a South Indian brahmana, very rich brahmana. But by bad association or something like that, he became a very staunch prostitute hunter. So he engaged all his income, money, everything, after one prostitute

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"Bilvamangala Thakura. He was a South Indian brahmana, very rich brahmana. But by bad association or something like that, he became a very staunch prostitute hunter. So he engaged all his income, money, everything, after one prostitute"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

This is the experience of Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura. He was a South Indian brāhmaṇa, very rich brāhmaṇa. But by bad association or something like that, he became a very staunch prostitute hunter. So he engaged all his income, money, everything, after one prostitute. Her name was Cintāmaṇi. So it is a very nice story. I am briefly describing. So one night... Every night he was to go to that prostitute, and one night it was very terribly raining.
Lecture on SB 3.25.32 -- Bombay, December 2, 1974:

Bhakti is transcendental even to mukti. People generally consider dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). In the beginning dharma, artha, economic development, kāma, sense gratification, then mokṣa, merging into the supreme one. But bhakti is above that. Siddher garīyasī. It is above mukti. Mukti is not very much important thing for a bhakta. Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura says,

bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syād
daivena naḥ phalati divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ
muktiḥ svayaṁ mukulitāñjali sevate 'smān
dharmārtha-kāma-gatayaḥ samaya-pratīkṣāḥ

This is the experience of Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura. He was a South Indian brāhmaṇa, very rich brāhmaṇa. But by bad association or something like that, he became a very staunch prostitute hunter. So he engaged all his income, money, everything, after one prostitute. Her name was Cintāmaṇi. So it is a very nice story. I am briefly describing. So one night... Every night he was to go to that prostitute, and one night it was very terribly raining. So the prostitute thought, "Now this night Bilvamaṅgala is not coming. It is terribly raining." But Bilvamaṅgala went there, crossing the river, and the door was closed. He jumped over the door catching a snake. In this way, very dangerously, he reached the prostitute's house. And the prostitute was astonished, that "How is this condition you could come here? Oh, you are so much attracted by this skin. If this much attraction you would have to Kṛṣṇa, how it would have been nice for you." So immediately he left the prostitute's house and went to Vṛndāvana.

The fact is in his previous life he executed devotional service up to bhāva-bhakti. So his Cintāmaṇi, that prostitute, became his guru, remind that "You are so much fond of prostitute. If this attraction would have been to Kṛṣṇa, how much successful you would have..." So it acted, and he left to Vṛndāvana and lived for seven hundred years. So he has a book, Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura. That is recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for reading, Kṛṣṇa-karnāmṛta. So in that book he writes, bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syāt: "If we have got fixed-up devotion unto You, my Lord, Bhagavān," then daivena naḥ phalati divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ, "then very easily we can see Your form," divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ, "Your divine form," kiśora-mūrtiḥ, "very young boy." Kṛṣṇa is always kiśora. Kṛṣṇa's another name is Kiśora. Kiśora-mūrtiḥ. Kiśora means kaiśora, before marriage, before..., eleventh to sixteenth year. This is called kiśora age. So kiśora-mūrtiḥ. Kṛṣṇa is always kiśora-mūrtiḥ. So by devotional service, one can see the kiśora-mūrtiḥ of Kṛṣṇa very easily. Bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syāt: "If it is possible, then very easily we can see You."

When Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura was in Vṛndāvana he voluntarily plucked out his eyes. Because he was very much fond of seeing beauty of woman, so he thought, "These eyes are my enemies." So he personally plucked out his eyes. When he was going to Vṛndāvana, still he became attracted by a woman, and therefore... That woman, of course, was a very rich merchant's wife. So she told her husband that "This man is coming after me. What to do?" So that merchant received him. "Oh, he's saintly person. All right, you serve him." So Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura came to his senses. He said, "Mother, you give me the pins of your hair. So I am so much after the beauty of woman, so let me pluck out the eyes." So he made voluntarily blind. So he could not see, but still, Kṛṣṇa was coming in Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa is always in Vṛndāvana. So He was supplying milk. So divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ, he practically realized through bhakti. Therefore he wrote by his personal experience, bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syād daivena naḥ phalati divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ. And so far dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41), mokṣa, muktiḥ svayaṁ mukulitāñjali sevate asmān: "Mukti is not very important thing. She is always standing at my service," mukulitāñjali, "with folded hands, Mukti: 'My dear sir, what can I do for you?' " This is mukti's position.

So a devotee is not very much anxious for mukti because a devotee is always mukta. He is already mukta. Why should he... Suppose if you have got millions of dollars, why should you hanker after ten rupees? So bhakti is such a nice thing. But what is that bhakti? That bhakti is animittā bhāgavatī. That bhakti should be animittā, not with a motive that "I shall go to the temple and serve Kṛṣṇa for this purpose." Kṛṣṇa can fulfill any purpose you desire. It is not very difficult for Him, because He is almighty, full with all opulences. So if you want something, material happiness, from Kṛṣṇa, it is not very difficult for Kṛṣṇa. He can give you mukti even. But to ask from Kṛṣṇa anything else than bhakti is foolishness. That is foolishness. My Guru Mahārāja used to give this example: just like if you go to a rich man and he says, "Now whatever you like, you can ask from me. I shall give you," then if you ask him that "You give me a pinch of ash," is that very intelligent? Similarly, to... There is a story, that one old woman in the forest... I think it is in Aesop's Fable or somewhere. So she was carrying a big bundle of dry wood, and somehow or other, the bundle fell down. It was very heavy. So the old woman became very much disturbed, "Who will help me to get this bundle on my head?" So she began to call God, "God, help me." And God came, "What you want?" "Kindly help me to get this bundle on my head." (laughter) Just see. God came to giving benediction, and she wanted to "Give this bundle again on my head."