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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ramanujacharya > The Life Of Ramanujacarya > Chapter Five > GOVINDAS SERVICE



Now realizing that his gurus intention had been to entrust him completely to the care of Ramanuja, Govinda served his cousin with a contented heart. Within a few days he had discovered all of his new master's requirements and  rendered service to him so perfectly that all the other disciples were struck with wonder. One day, while they were talking with Govinda, some of them elaborately praised the quality of his service. On hearing this, Govinda surprised  them by saying, "Yes, my good qualities are certainly worthy of praise.Shocked at hearing such proud words from a Vaisnava, they reported the incident to Yatiraja, who called Govinda to him, saying, "Although it is true that all the  good qualities of a devotee are seen in your person, you should never allow this to make you feel arrogant or conceited.To this Govinda replied, "After many thousands of births, I obtained this human form of life, but even then I was  going astray and falling from the path of true perfection. It was your mercy alone that saved me from the darkness of delusion and therefore whatever good qualities others may see in me are due to you alone, for I am by nature  fallen and lowminded. Thus whenever anyone offers me words of praise, it is in actuality praise of yourself. For this reason I fully approve of such statements." On another occasion, when several of Yatiraja's sciples were walking to  the asrama, they were shocked to see Govinda, who had not even finished his morning duties, sitting down outside the house of a prostitute. Again Yatiraja summoned his cousin to ask him about his unusual behavior. "Why were  you sitting at the door of a prostitute's house instead of attending to your morning duties," he inquired."That woman was singing the tales of the Rama* yancm such a sweet voice," came the reply, "and I was so captivated by  hearing the pastimes of SrT Rarracandra that I could not bring myself to leave. For Us reason my morning duties have been neglected." On hearing this, everyone was filled with wonder to understand Govinda's simplicity and  natural devotion.