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quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012

Sri Guru Tattva by Bv Suddhadvaiti Swami

Sri Guru Tattva Part 1 7 by Bv Suddhadvaiti Swami 

Fui obrigado a falar a verdade diretamente e sem rodeios

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, mestre espiritual de Prabhupada, um pouco antes de partir desse mundo disse: “Eu certamemte devo ter causado problemas nas mentes de muita gente. Alguém pode inclusive pensar que sou seu inimigo porque, por serviço e devoção à Verdade Absoluta, fui obrigado a falar a verdade diretamente e sem rodeios. Fiz isso exclusivamente com o intuito de tentar dar-lhes Krishna e devoção imotivada a Ele. Espero que algum dia possa ser compreendido”. Srila Prabhupada fez similar declaração em seus dias finais.


O Vaishnava Nunca Morre

“Engana-se quem afirma que um Vaishnava morre, quando ele está ainda vivendo no som! O Vaishnava morre para viver, e vivendo dedica-se sempre em espalhar os santos nomes por todo a parte.” (Esse verso foi composto por Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura e está exibido no samadhi de Srila Haridasa Thakura em Sri Purushottama Kshera, Jagannatha Puri).

If Guru Is Not Uttama

Vrndavana, India: September 19, 1992

 Syamarani dasi: In your recent discussions on Jaiva-dharma, Chapter 21, you mention that Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara understood that they could only attain perfection by getting diksa from an uttama-adhikari. Our god-brothers in ISKCON may not be uttama-adhikari, but they are giving diksa. How will their disciples achieve perfection? By sending them to you for further guidance?


Srila Gurudeva: Diksa-guru must be qualified; Or, siksa-guru must be qualified. We cannot achieve perfection without a qualified guru.

Syamarani dasi: ‘Qualified’ refers to an uttama-bhakta?

Srila Gurudeva:  Certainly he must be more advanced than us. He must be more advanced than that sadhaka.

Syamarani dasi: What would be the general procedure, then, for the disciples of our god-brothers?

Srila Gurudeva: They will gradually develop in this birth, and then in the next birth, and then in the birth after that.

Syamarani dasi: What about the situation wherein the diksa-guru is madhyama-adhikari, but that madhyama guru can direct their disciples to an uttama siksa-guru? In that case, can the disciple attain perfection even with a madhyama diksa-guru?

Srila Gurudeva:  Krsna will arrange everything.

Syamarani dasi: How does Krsna work it out?

Srila Gurudeva: He sees what is needed in the disciple’s heart. If the disciple is a sadhaka, then Krsna will make arrangements. If the disciple is not a sadhaka but only a disciple – simply thinking “I am a disciple,” but not following bhakti, then Krsna will not do anything.

Syamarani dasi: What do you mean by the word sadhaka?

Srila Gurudeva: Those who have greed are sadhaka. [“When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krsna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 22.105).]

Syamarani dasi: If a sadhaka can connect with a siksa-guru who is an uttama-bhakta, they can attain perfection in that way?

Srila Gurudeva: How did you come to me?

Syamarani dasi: By your mercy and our Prabhupada’s mercy.

Srila Gurudeva: How?

Syamarani dasi: By Aditya’s mercy (a god-sister).

Srila Gurdueva: Who made this arrangement?

Syamarani dasi: Krsna.

Srila Gurudeva: Then certainly Krsna will make whatever arrangement is required.

Jagatarini dasi: What do you mean by ‘disciple’?

Srila Gurudeva: He calls himself a disciple, but he has no greed. He is not seriously doing anything for his advancement in bhakti.

Jagatarini dasi: It is just a formality? He is not serious and not interested in advancement?

Srila Gurudeva: He does not actually want to improve.

Syamarani dasi: So, even if one’s diksa-guru is madhyama, and he has a siksa guru who is uttama…

Srila Gurudeva: Madhyama Vaisnavas are of so many varieties– basically there is madhyama-kanistha (a beginner madhyama), madhyama-madyama (an intermediate madhyama), and madhyama-uttama (an advanced madhyama). Madyama-uttama is about to become uttama; this will do. He will be a rasika Vaisnava – very interested in Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis.

Without lobha, genuine spiritual greed, we cannot go forward an inch. There should be real greed, and we should judge whether or not our greed is real. If a person has greed for anything, he will not consider whether the process to achieve that thing is right or wrong. He will only think, “I must have it.”

He is not discouraged if all common persons are telling him not to strive for that objective. Rather, upon the appearance of true spiritual greed he will see how the gopis attained that raga, or spontaneous attachment, for Krsna – how Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were situated in raganuga-bhakti and reached the level of svarupa-siddhi and vastu-siddhi. [they are Krsna’s eternal associates, but as an example for us they played the role of conditioned souls advancing. –ed] He will see how the Srutis achieved gopi-bhava, and determine, “I will also have to do this. Beg, borrow or steal, I will have to adopt their methods.” Spiritual greed will not come just by reading books.
If we have some greed to enter this type of bhakti, we will have to adopt the method of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura, and especially Srila Rupa Gosvami.

(This paragraph is taken from later in the darsana):

When a person has greed, he will not question about other things. He will only question how he can attain his desired goal. Suppose I see a very beautiful picture that is with you. There is no concern for me regarding how it came to you, how you collected it, or what is its price value. My question, or concern, is how to collect it from you – by theft or by giving anything, by hook or by crook, I will have to take it. If I have so much greed for that picture, my question or concern will be only on this point.
The ruci, or taste, of a person with such greed will not go to anything which is not helpful.

Syamarani dasi: Their taste will not go where?

Srila Gurudeva: It will not go that thing which is not helpful in the development of raganuga-bhakti. Do you understand?

Syamarani dasi: Right now I no longer have a taste for painting, because I don’t see how it is helpful.

Srila Gurudeva: A natural taste will come for anything which is helpful for raganuga-bhakti. Such devotees will not need to ask anyone, “Should I do this, or not?” The presence or absence of taste will determine what to do and what not to do.
If anyone tells something which is not helpful for raganuga-bhakti, they will think this to be very painful for them. For example, if you are extremely thirsty and a man gives you very warm salty water, as is found in Mathura and Vrndavana, will you drink it?

Syamarani dasi: No.

Srila Gurudeva: Similarly, a raganuga-bhakta will only adopt those things that are helpful for development in raganuga-bhakti. If someone forcefully says to you, “You should do this,” you will think that a harassment; you will feel difficulty.

Syamarani dasi: You were speaking to our god-brothers about how the spiritual master comes and eats what his disciples offer to him. You were also speaking about the occasion when the guru is not uttama. I forgot what you said at that time. Can you please explain this again? Can the disciple offer prasadam to a madhyama diksa-guru, and will that madhyama guru be able to take it and pass it up the disciplic succession? Or…?

Srila Gurdueva: Initiated disciples should always believe, “My Gurudeva is uttama, and very near and dear to Krsna. Krsna will like whatever he will do. He is most dear to Krsna.”

Syamarani dasi: But some persons thought that Bhavananda and Ramasvara and other ISKCON gurus were uttama. Later those persons found out they weren’t, and felt cheated.

Srila Gurudeva: They should consider what kind of guru someone is before taking initiation from him.

Syamarani dasi: Even if the gurus are not actually uttama, it is okay for the disciple to think that they are?

Srila Gurudeva: If we are giving everything of ourselves unto the lotus feet of Krsna, He will surely give us connection with a good guru. If we are not so qualified and we have so many material desires, then Krsna will make different arrangements. After that, the disciple will gradually develop, and later on he will be able to think who is a proper guru or not. He will then take initiation again.

Jagatarini dasi: We saw so many unqualified people who took diksa from Prabhupada.

Srila Gurudeva: But they had no doubt in Prabhupada. Those who are performing activities of bhakti will gradually develop, and those who were not qualified and left Prabhupada will go to hell. At the same time, there are persons who left Prabhupada but still have the faith that he is bona fide. For example, Bhavananda left hari-bhajana, but if anyone asks him whether his guru is pure or not, he will say, “My guru is pure.” I think that whoever has not committed offenses at the feet of guru will again return to the path of bhakti.

Jagatarini dasi: It is a weakness of heart that they could not complete the process? I’m asking this because you just said that if one is sincere he will get a good guru, and if he is insincere, he will not. But sometimes it seems that one who appeared to be more sincere had some difficulty, and one who seemed insincere got Prabhupada.  It seems that it is difficult to criticize and say that those who got Bhavananda were all insincere.

Srila Gurudeva: When the disciples of Prabhupada were initiated and joined the movement, at that time their faith was good. If they would have had regular, qualified Vaisnava sanga, this mishap could not have come about. For example, after Prabhupada’s departure Bhavananda and Ramesvara and others became free in their preaching – their mixing with ladies and gentlemen and materialists. There was no control, so they began to do what they liked. There was no one to regulate them, so they had no fear.

Syamarani dasi: Nowadays, many of the devotees coming into ISKCON and taking diksa from our god-brothers are understanding that their gurus are not on Srila Prahbupada’s level of uttama, but that they are on some level of madhyama. Is it okay for them to think that their guru is on some level of madhyama?

Srila Gurudeva: They should think, “My Gurudeva is really a Vaisnava, and by surrendering to him, we can attain the service of Radha and Krsna.” If they do not regard their guru in this way, they will not be able to obey their holy master, and gradually they will go down. If they think, “My guru is really a Vaisnava, bhagavat-svarupa (a manifestation of the Supreme Lord), they will gradually go up. Then, when their heart becomes so sincere, Krsna will arrange the right person as guru.

Jagatarini dasi: Perhaps the disciples’ madhyama guru is ahead of them, and if he is advancing and advancing, then he will be able to guide them to some proper course?

Srila Gurudeva: Guru is akandha-tattva. If a guru says, “Chant harinama,” this idea is not of that gurudeva. It is of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami. And actually, this idea came from his guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and actually this idea came from his guru. At last, the origin is Krsna, and from Krsna comes Baladeva Prabhu.

Krsna is akandha-guru; Baladeva Prabhu is akandha-guru. We should obey our spiritual master and think that he is obeying Krsna and Baladeva, the root gurus. We should think that, “In this way, I am obeying Baladeva Prabhu.” Guru is a manifestation of Baladeva Prabhu.

If we see that our guru is different from Baladeva Prabhu, Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, then we should do namaskara (offer respects) to him, and have no further relation with him – if there is a difference. And if there is no difference, we should treat him as a manifestation of Baladeva Prabhu.

Syamarani dasi: But hundreds or thousands of ISKCON devotees now think, “My Gurudeva is madhyama”. This is because of all that happened in ISKCON.

Srila Gurudeva: Do you think your Gurudeva is madhyama?

Syamarani dasi: No.

Srila Gurudeva: Why?

Syamarani dasi: Because he has the words and characteristics and symptoms of an uttama-adhikari.

Srila Gurudeva: You are coming to me. What do you think about me? Do you think I am uttama or kanistha?

Syamarani dasi: I think you are uttama.

Srila Gurudeva: I’m telling you that I am kanistha-adhikari.

Syamarani dasi: I don’t believe it. None of us here believe it.

Srila Gurudeva: You are not believing?

Syamarani dasi: No. Because you have the laksana (symptoms) of an uttama.

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, you know the laksana of an uttama?

Syamarani dasi: Well, you seem to.

Srila Gurudeva: [laughing with some sarcasm, as only an uttama-bhakta, or madhyama-uttama, can actually recognize such symptoms with realization] You are so qualified.

Jagatarini dasi:  A disciple cannot really see on what level his guru is situated.  You have said on other occasions that he has not got the qualification to judge.

Srila Gurudeva: Why are you bothering about these things? You have connection with a real guru, so what problems are with you?

Syamarani dasi: None. But we are surrounded by people in ISKCON who have these problems and are asking these questions.

Srila Gurudeva: They should work out their problems. Why are you wasting your time with this? I am also travelling in so many places, and I am not bothered. I believe in akandha-guru tattva – purna-guru-tattva (the full, complete, undivided principle of guru).

Syamarani dasi: How do we avoid purusa-bhava (the false ego of thinking “I am the doer”) when we are preaching and lecturing to audiences?

Srila Gurudeva: By thinking, “I am a servant, or maidservant, of Krsna. I am preaching to give pleasure to Krsna. I am preaching so that Krsna may be pleased and our gurudeva may be pleased.” With this conviction, purusa-bhava will not come. Being very simple, with prema, love and affection, we should preach and serve; as Lalita does, as Rupa Manjari does, as Rupa Gosvami does.
How many disciples did Rupa Gosvami have? How many sisyas (initiated disciples) did Srila Sanatana Gosvami have?

Syamarani dasi: Unlimited. Millions.

Srila Gurudeva: Millions?

Syamarani dasi: I mean, in the spiritual world.

Srila Gurudeva: Srila Rupa Gosvami did not accept any sisyas. He only had one [initiated disciple], namely Srila Jiva Gosvami; no other. But he preached and wrote so many books, and anyone who was actually connected with him became like him – with no purusa-bhava.

November 29, 1992

Syamarani dasi: We sing nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai to the spiritual master. ["Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kisora's amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Sri Radha and Krsna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva.” (Sri Gurvastakam, Verse 6)]
If the spiritual master is not siddha (perfect in self-realization), but he is sadhaka (a devotional practitioner aspiring for pure devotion), is there any benefit in singing that song?

Srila Gurudeva:  So much benefit. Baladeva will take all these things.

Syamarani dasi: Even if the disciple thinks that the words of the song are going directly to his sadhaka guru, still, Baladeva is taking it?

Srila Gurudeva: Krsna and Baladeva are the root-guru. As akhanda-guru (complete guru), They will take the worship. So, no harm.



Nitya-lila-pravistha  by Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada explica: “Nós meditamos nos passatempos de Krishna com o intuito de sermos introduzidos em seus passatempos eternos, em Goloka Vrindávana. Isso é nitya-lila-pravistha.”

Ao deixar esse mundo, um devoto puro é considerado “nitya-lila-pravistha” pois, estando totalmente livre do condicionamento material, alcança o privilegio de participar eternamente nos passatempos transcendentais de Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.

Avirbhava e tirobhava

Srila Prabhupada explica: “Avirbhava e tirobhava. Aparecimento e desaparecimento. Tal como o nascer do sol e o por do sol...

 Quando o sol se põe, isso não significa que ele acabou. Somente não está visível a nossos olhos. O mesmo ocorre com o aparecimento e desaparecimento de uma encarnação de Deus ou de um devoto puro do Senhor.”

Divina Associação

Homage to the World Acarya

by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

bhakti_siddhanta_sarasvati.jpg - 21859 Bytes
His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottara-sata
Sri-Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada
The following speech was given by Abhay Charan Das (His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada) before the members of the Sri Gaudiya Math in Bombay, in February 1935, on the appearance anniversary of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada:
saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri caranaravindam
"In the revealed scriptures it is declared that the spiritual master should be worshiped like the Supreme Personality of Godhead and this injunction is obeyed by pure devotees of the Lord. The spiritual master is the most confidential servant of the Lord. Thus let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of our spiritual master."
Gentlemen, on behalf of the members of the Bombay branch of the Gaudiya Math, let me welcome you all because you have so kindly joined us tonight in our congregational offerings of homage to the lotus feet of the world teacher, acaryadeva, who is the founder of this Gaudiya Mission and is the President-acarya of Sri Sri Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha -- I mean my eternal divine master, Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja. Sixty-two years ago, on this auspicious day, the acaryadeva made his appearance by the call of Thakura Bhaktivinoda at Sri Ksetra, Jagannatha Dhama at Puri.
Gentlemen, the offering of such an homage as has been arranged this evening to the acaryadeva is not a sectarian concern, for when we speak of the fundamental principle of gurudeva or acaryadeva, we speak of something that is of universal application. There does not arise any question of discriminating my guru from yours or anyone else's.
There is only one guru, who appears in an infinity of forms to teach you, me and all others.
In the Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.12) it is said:
tad-vijnartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham

"In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth."
Thus it has been enjoined herewith that in order to receive that transcendental knowledge, one must approach the guru. Therefore, if the Absolute Truth is one, about which we think there is no difference of opinion, the guru cannot be two. The acaryadeva to whom we have assembled tonight to offer our humble homage is not the guru of a sectarian institution or one out of many differing exponents of the truth. On the contrary, he is the jagad-guru, or the guru of all of us, the only difference is that some obey him wholeheartedly, while others do not obey him directly. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.17.27) it is said:
acaryam mam vijaniyan / navamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyasuyeta / sarva-deva-mayo gurun

"One should understand the spiritual master to be as good as I am," said the Blessed Lord. "Nobody should be jealous of the spiritual master or think of him as an ordinary man, because the spiritual master is the sum total of all demigods."
That is, the acarya has been identified with God Himself. He has nothing to do with the affairs of this mundane world. He appears before us to reveal the light of the Vedas and to bestow upon us the blessing of full-fledged freedom, after which we should hanker at every step of our life's journey. The transcendental knowledge of the Vedas was first uttered by God to Brahma, the creator of this particular universe. From Brahma the knowledge descended to Narada, from Narada to Vyasadeva, from Vyasadeva to Madhva, and in this process of disciplic succession the transcendental knowledge was transmitted by one disciple to another till it reached Lord Gauranga, Sri Krsna Caitanya, Who posed as the disciple and successor of Sri Isvara Puri. The present acaryadeva is the tenth disciplic representative from Sri Rupa Goswami, the original representative of Lord Caitanya who preached this transcendental tradition in its fullness. The knowledge that we receive from our gurudeva is not different from that imparted by God Himself and the succession of the acaryas in the preceptorial line of Brahma. We adore this auspicious day as Sri Vyasa-puja-tithi because the acarya is the living representative of Vyasadeva, the divine compiler of the Vedas, Puranas, Bhagavad-gita, Mahabharata and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
One, who interprets the divine sound, or sabdha brahma, by his imperfect sense perception, cannot be a real spiritual guru, because, in the absence of proper disciplinary training under the bona fide acarya, the interpreter is sure to differ from Vyasadeva (as the Mayavadis do). Srila Vyasadeva is the prime authority of Vedic revelation, and therefore such an irrelevant interpreter cannot be accepted as the guru, or acarya, howsoever equipped he may be with all the acquirements of material knowledge. As it is said in the Padma Purana:
sampradaya-ivhina ye mantras te nisphala matah "Unless you are initiated by a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra that you might has received is without any effect."
On the other hand, now who has received the transcendental knowledge by aural reception form the bona fide preceptor in the disciplic chain, and who has sincere regard for the real acarya, must needs be enlightened with the revealed knowledge of the Vedas. But this knowledge is permanently sealed to the cognitive approach of the empiricists. As it is said in the Svetasvatara Upanishad (6.23):
yasya deve para bhaktir
   yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hyarthah
   prakasante mahatmanah

"Only unto those great souls who simultaneously have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."
Gentlemen, our knowledge is so poor, our senses are so imperfect, and our sources are so limited that it is not possible for us to have even the slightest knowledge of the absolute region without surrendering ourselves at the lotus feet of Sri Vyasadeva or his bona fide representative. Every moment we are being deceived by the knowledge of our direct perception. It is all the creation or concoction of the mind, which is always deceiving, changing and flickering. We cannot know anything of the transcendental region by our limited, perverted method of observation and experiment. But all of us can lend our eager ears for the aural reception of the transcendental sound transmitted from that region to this, through the unadulterated medium of sri gurudeva or Sri Vyasadeva. Therefore, gentlemen, we should surrender ourselves today at the feet of the representative of Sri Vyasadeva for the elimination of all our differences bred by our unsubmissive attitude. It is accordingly said in the Bhagavad-gita (4.34):
tad viddhi pranipatena
   pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
   jnaninas tattva darsinah

"Just approach the wise and bona fide spiritual master. Surrender unto him first and try to understand him by inquiries and service. Such a wise spiritual master will enlighten you with transcendental knowledge, for he has already known the Absolute Truth."
To receive transcendental knowledge, we must completely surrender ourselves to the real acarya in a spirit of ardent inquiry and service. Actual performance of service to the Absolute under the guidance of the acarya is the only vehicle by which we can assimilate transcendental knowledge. Today's meeting for offering our humble services and homage to the feet of the acaryadeva will enable us to be favored with the capacity of assimilating the transcendental knowledge so kindly transmitted by him to all persons without distinction. Gentlemen, we are all more or less proud of our past Indian civilization, but we actually do not know the real nature of that civilization. We cannot be proud of our past material civilization, which his now a thousand times greater than in days gone by. It is said that we are passing through the age of darkness, the Kali-yuga. What is this darkness? The darkness cannot be due to backwardness in material knowledge. Because we now have more of it than formerly. If not we ourselves, our neighbors, at any rate, have plenty of it. Therefore, we must conclude that the darkness of the present age is not due to a lack of material advancement, but that we have lost he clue to our spiritual advancement, which is the prime necessity of human life and the criterion of the highest type of human civilization.
Throwing of bombs from airplanes is no advancement of civilization from the primitive, uncivilized practice of dropping big stones on the heads of enemies from the tops of hills. Improvement of the art of killing our neighbors by means of machine guns and poisonous gases is certainly no advancement from primitive barbarism, which prided itself on its art of killing by bows and arrows. Nor does the development of a sense of pampered selfishness prove anything more than intellectual animalism. True human civilization is very different from all these states, and therefore in the Katha Upanishad (1.3.14) there is the emphatic call:
uttisthata jagarata prapya varan nibodhata
ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya
durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti

"Please wake up and try to understand the boon that you have in this human form of life. The path of spiritual realization is very difficult; it is sharp like a razor's edge. That is the opinion of learned transcendental scholars."
Thus, while others were yet in the womb of historical oblivion, the sages of India had developed a different kind of civilization, which enabled them to know themselves. They had discovered that we are not at all material entities, but that we are all spiritual, permanent, and indestructible servants of the Absolute. But because we have, against our better judgement, chosen to completely identify ourselves with this present material existence, our sufferings have multiplied according to the inexorable law of birth and death, with its consequent diseases and anxieties. These sufferings cannot be really mitigated by any provision of material happiness, because matter and spirit are completely different elements. It is just as if you took an aquatic animal out of water and put it on the land, supplying all manner of happiness possible on land. The deadly sufferings of the animal are not capable of being revealed at all until it is taken out of its foreign environment. Spirit and matter are completely contradictory things. All of us are spiritual entities. We cannot have perfect happiness, which is our birthright, however much we may meddle with the affairs of mundane things. Perfect happiness can be ours only when we are restored to our natural state of spiritual existence. This is the distinctive message of our ancient Indian civilization, this is the message of the Gita, this is the message of the Vedas and the Puranas, and this is the message of all the real acaryas, including our present acaryadeva in the line of Lord Caitanya. Gentlemen, although it is imperfectly that we have been enabled, by his grace, to understand the sublime messages of our acaryadeva, Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivarajakacarya Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, we must admit that we have realized definitely that the divine message from his holy lips is the congenial thing for suffering humanity. All of us should hear him patiently. If we listen to the transcendental sound without unnecessary opposition, he will surely have mercy upon us. The acarya's message is to take us back to our original home, back to God. Let me repeat, therefore, that we should hear him patiently, follow him in the measure of our conviction and bow down at his lotus feet for releasing us from our present causeless unwillingness for serving the Absolute and all souls.
From the Gita we learn that even after the destruction of the body, the atma, or the soul, is not destroyed; he is always the same, always new and fresh. Fire cannot burn him, water cannot dissolve him, the air cannot dry him up, and the sword cannot kill him. He is everlasting and eternal, and this is also confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.84.13):
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
   sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha buddhih salile na karhicit
   janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah

"Anyone who accepts this bodily bag of three elements (bile, mucus, and air) as his self, who has an affinity for a intimate relationship with his wife and children, who considers his land worshipable, who takes bath in the waters of the holy places of pilgrimage but never takes advantage of those persons who are in actual knowledge -- he is not better than an ass or a cow."
Unfortunately, in these days we have all been turned foolish by neglecting our real comfort and identifying the material cage with ourselves. We have concentrated all our energies for the meaningless upkeep of the material cage for its own sake, completely neglecting the captive soul within. The cage is meant for the undoing of the bird; the bird is not meant for the welfare of the cage. Let us, therefore, deeply ponder this. All our activities are now turned toward the upkeep of the cage, and the most we do is try to give some food to the mind by art and literature. But we do not know that this mind is also material in a more subtle form. This is stated in the Gita (7.4):
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
   kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
   bhinna prakrtir astadha

"Earth, fire, water, air, sky intelligence, mind, and ego are all My separated energies."
We have scarcely tried to give any food to the soul, which is distinct from the body and mind; therefore we are all committing suicide in the proper sense of the term. The message of the acaryadeva is to give us a warning to halt such wrong activities. Let us therefore bow down at his lotus feet for the unalloyed mercy and kindness he has bestowed upon us. Gentlemen do not for a moment think that my gurudeva wants to put a complete brake on the modern civilization -- an impossible feat. But let us learn from him the art of making the best use of a bad bargain, and let us understand the importance of this human life, which is fit for the highest development of true consciousness. The best use of this are human life should not be neglected. As it is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.9.29):
labdhva su-dulabham idam bahu-sambhavante
   manusyanam arthadam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu mrtyu yvan
   nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat

"This human form of life is obtained after many, many births, and although it is not permanent, it can offer the highest benefits. Therefore a sober and intelligent man should immediately try to fulfill his mission and attain the highest profit in life before another death occurs. He should avoid sense gratification, which is available in all circumstances."
Let us not misuse this human life in the vain pursuit of material enjoyment, or, in other words, for the sake of only eating, sleeping, fearing, and sensuous activities. The acaryadeva's message is conveyed by the words of Sri Rupa Goswami (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.255-256):
anasaktasya visayan yatharham-upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyamucyate
prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumuksabhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate

"One is said to be situated in the fully renounced order of life if he lives in accordance with Krsna consciousness. He should be without attachment for sense gratification and should accept only what is necessary for the upkeep of the body. On the other hand, one who renounces things that could be used in the service of Krsna, under the pretext that such things are material, does not practice complete renunciation."
The purport of these slokas can only be realized by fully developing the rational portion of our life, not the animal portion. Sitting at the feet of the acaryadeva, let us try to understand from this transcendental source of knowledge what we are, what is this universe, what is God, and what is our relationship with Him. The message of Lord Caitanya is the message for the living entities and the message of the living world. Lord Caitanya did not bother himself for the upliftment of this dead world, which is suitably named Martyaloka, the world where everything is destined to die. He appeared before us four hundred and fifty years ago to tell us something of the transcendental universe, where everything is permanent and everything is for the service of the Absolute. But recently Lord Caitanya has been misrepresented by some unscrupulous persons, and the highest philosophy of the Lord has been misinterpreted to be the cult of the lowest type of society. We are glad to announce tonight that our acaryadeva, with his usual kindness, saved us from this horrible type of degradation, and therefore we bow down at his lotus feet with all humility. Gentlemen, it has been mania of the cultured (or uncultured) society of the present day to accredit the Personality of Godhead with merely impersonal features and to stultify Him by claiming that He has not senses, no form, no activity, no head, no legs, and no enjoyment. This has also been the pleasure of the modern scholars due to their sheer lack of proper guidance and true introspection in the spiritual realm. All these empiricists think alike; all the enjoyable things should be monopolized by the human society, or by a particular class only, and the impersonal God would be a mere order-supplier for their whimsical feats. We are happy that we have been relieved of this horrible type of malady by the mercy of His Divine Grace. He is our eye-opener, our eternal father, our eternal preceptor and our eternal guide. Let us therefore bow down at his lotus feet on this auspicious day.
Gentlemen, although we are like ignorant children in the knowledge of Transcendence, still, my gurudeva has kindled a small fire within us to dissipate the invincible darkness of empirical knowledge. We are now so much on the safe side that no amount of philosophical argument by the empiric schools of thought can deviate us an inch from the position of our eternal dependence on the lotus feet of His Divine Grace. Furthermore, we are prepared to challenge the most erudite scholars of the Mayavada school and prove that the Personality of Godhead and His transcendental sports in Goloka alone constitute the sublime information of the Vedas. There are explicit indications of this in the Chandogya Upanishad (8.13.1):
syamac cha vlam prapadye
sa valac shyamam prapadye
"For receiving the mercy of Krsna, I surrender unto Krsna."
Also in the Rg Veda (1.22.20):
tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah
diviva caksur atatam visnor yat paramam padam

"The lotus feet of Lord Visnu are the supreme objective of all the demigods. These lotus feet of the Lord are as enlightening as the sun in the sky."
The plain truth so vividly explained in the Gita, which is the central lesson of the Vedas, is to understood or even suspected by the most powerful scholars of the empiric schools. Herein lies the secret of Sri Vyasa Puja. When we meditate on the transcendental pastimes of the Absolute Godhead, we are proud to feel that we are His eternal servitors, and we become jubilant and dance with joy. All glory to my divine master, for it is he who has out of his unceasing flow of mercy stirred up within us such a movement of eternal existence. Let us bow down at his lotus feet.

Gentlemen, had he not appeared before us to deliver us from the thralldom of this gross, worldly delusion, surely we should have remained for lives and ages in the darkness of helpless captivity. Had he not appeared before us, we would not have been able to understand the eternal truth of the sublime teaching of Lord Caitanya. Had he not appeared before us, we could not have been able to know the significance of the first sloka of the Brahma-samhita:
isvarah paramah krsna
anadir adir govindah

"Krsna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes."
Personally, I have no hope for any direct service of the coming crores of births in the sojourn of my life, but I am confident that some day or other I shall be delivered from this mire of delusion in which I am at present so deeply sunk. Therefore let me with all my earnestness pray at the lotus feet of my divine master to allow me to suffer the lot for which I am destined due to my past misdoings, but to let me have this power of recollection: that I am nothing but a tiny servant of the Almighty Absolute Godhead, realized through the unflinching mercy of my divine master. Let me therefore bow down at his lotus feet with all the humility at my command.

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Srila Prabhupada Page


What spiritual path are we trying to follow? The path of Pure Bhakti.

This is the path of seeking loving connection with the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, under the auspices of His Divine Consort, Srimati Radharani, in a mood of loving devotion (pure bhakti), through congregational chanting of the holy names (harinam sankirtan), devotional service (bhakti yoga & seva), and the living blessings and guidance of pure and senior devotees (Sadhus and Vaishnav Thakurs) and qualified spiritual master-teachers


                                                Radhe Radhe Radhe  Jai Jai Jai Sri Radhe

The Books Are Our Siksa-Gurus

The Books Are Our Siksa-Gurus

If my heart has accepted Srila Rupa Gosvami as my siksa guru, and I am accepting all his teachings, no one can challenge this. My heart accepts this. If I am accepting as my siksa-guru Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, there are none to challenge. This is the relation between one heart and Gurudeva.
We should treat all the books of the Gosvamis as our siksa-gurus. We should offer pranama to the books, and then read them. If we do this, we will realize that all siddhanta is coming automatically in our heart. This is the process of reading – not reading, but serving – the books.
Never try to ‘eat’ prasadam. Once someone asked me, “Will you eat anything?” I replied, “I have never eaten anything in my entire life.” He then asked, “So, how are you alive?” I said, “I have served prasadam.” Try to be like this. Don’t ‘chant’ Hare Krsna; try to serve Hare Krsna. Don’t ‘eat’ maha-prasada, always try to serve.
When you are reading these books, don’t ‘read.’ Serve. Offer pranama, place the book on your forehead and heart, and pray, “O Prabhu, you are personally Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Please be merciful to me.” This is the process of reading.
When you are reading the dialogue between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda on the bank of the Godavari, you can think, “I am on the bank of Godavari. Raya Ramananda and Mahaprabhu are sitting here. I am also peacefully sitting with them, and hearing all their topics. O Mahaprabhu, O Raya Ramananda Prabhu, please be merciful to me. Please sprinkle your mercy upon me so that I can understand this high-class siddhanta.”
Without praying in this way, you will have doubts and you will not be able to realize anything. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami never met personally with Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami, or Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami. He only met with Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami. How, then, can he write in Caitanya-caritamrta that they are all his siksa-gurus? The answer is that everything Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had in his heart was from Srila Rupa Gosvami, and then he explained his heart’s realizations to Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Krsnadasa Kaviraja received rasa-tattva from Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and all siddhanta from Srila Jiva Gosvami. From where did that siddhanta come? Srila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami collected appropriate siddhanta from all the scriptures, such as Veda, Upanisads, and Vedanta. From that he made some notes, but the information was not organised. Srila Jiva Gosvami put that information in order; thus everything is coming from them. Srila Sanatana Gosvami wrote many books, one of which is Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took the essence of all the topics therein and gave it to Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. They realized all the knowledge they received, not like us who think, “Krsna is my siksa-guru, and Rupa Gosvami is siksa-guru, but I am not taking any essence from them and I don’t follow them. To follow a guru actually, by heart, is the acceptance of siksa-guru.
That is why Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is able to write [in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.36-37]:
sri-rupa, sanatana, bhatta-raghunatha
sri-jiva, gopala-bhatta, dasa-raghunatha
My instructing spiritual masters are Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Bhatta Raghunatha, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.
ei chaya guru—siksa-guru ye amara
tan’-sabara pada-padme koti namaskara
These six are my instructing spiritual masters, and therefore I offer millions of respectful obeisances unto their lotus feet.

Los Angeles, California: June 4, 1998

Focused to Sri Guru

by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja

ftsg.jpg - 13809 Bytes In Srimad-Bhagavatam Narada Muni gives the following advice as a general recommendation as to how to get free from unwanted desires, kama:
asankalpaj jayet kamam, krodham kama-vivarjanat
arthanartheksaya lobham, bhayam tattvavamarsanat

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.15.22)
We are not to allow ourselves to contact or enter any plan of life. We are to be always open to deal with the present, not with any plan for the future. If we do not have any kama, any plan, then anger may not come. When there is some obstruction in fulfilling a plan we become angry in life, but if there is no plan of life then we are always open to serve the present and in that way we are clear – free from debt and obligation. Whatever comes in the present we do as our duty. But when there is a plan we become angry if any disturbance will come in carrying that out. Arthanartheksaya lobham – and lobha, greed, can be conquered just by seeing the reactions of money. If we collect energy from outside, that money comes with the sin and mentality of the man from whom we collected it. It is contaminated with their particular mentality. If we have this conception we may not have greed for any energy that comes under our command.
Bhayam tattvavamarsanat – we apprehend so many good and bad things – we fear. In order to conquer fear we are to cultivate understanding of the real nature of this plane: it all runs by the Lord’s will but we are throwing in our separate interest which comes back to us as reaction. We are to accept that our individual opinion may not be successful here. Everything that comes in clash with the Absolute Will shall have to vanish.
With this idea we will be open in the present and free from any future plans.
All these advices are expressed, but in the end it is given:
etat sarvvam gurau bhaktya
puruso hy anyasa jayet

(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.25)
“There is only one thing by which we can conquer all these abnormalities. What is that? Guru-bhakti. ‘I am a servant of my Guru. Whatever he shall say, I shall do.’ Concentrate on this point.” We are to withdraw all plans and put everything just in this one point: “Whatever will come through the Guru, the representation of the Lord, I shall do that.” There is no necessity of any other thinking, planning, designing, etc.: “I want this, I shall do that,” is all unnecessary. We are only to concentrate on one point. The representation of the Supreme is there – the Guru – and what is wanted by him, we shall do that. Everything is focussed to that one point without seeing anything else.
Exclusive focus is illustrated in the example of Dronacharya testing his students by asking them to aim their arrows at the eye of a toy bird placed in a tree. Each aimed in turn, and Dronacharya asked, “What do you see?”
The first replied, “The bird, the tree, etc.”
Dissatisfied, Dronacharya said, “Stand aside.”
But when it came to the turn of Arjuna, he replied, “I can see the bird.”
“Can you see the whole of the bird?”
“No. Only the head.”
“The Whole of the head?”
“No. Only the eye of the bird.”
“You cannot se anything else?”
“No. I can see only the eye of the bird.”
Only then was Dronacharya satisfied.
In this way all should be concentrated to one point, “I have connection with the representation of the Supreme, the Guru, and I am at his disposal. Whatever he shall say, I shall do. I am not a servant of anyone else.”
etat sarvvam gurau bhaktya
puruso hy anjasa jayet

(Bhagavatam 7.15.25)
In that way there will be no anger, no lust – nothing. If one can do such exclusive Guru-bhakti it will strongly keep him in a safe position, and that is the key to very easy and quick success.
yasya deve para bhaktir, yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah, praksante mahatmanah

(Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23)
A person who serves Guru and Krsna can understand the real meaning of the Scriptures, otherwise the real meaning will not be revealed and one will not be able to follow their real purpose. That is the apriori method of studying the Vedas. Acharyyavan puruso veda – the meaning of the Upanisads can be understood only by those who have their Guru. Not everyone can understand the real meaning of the Upanisads, but only those who are at the disposal of a real Guru can have access there. By intellectualism we cannot understand their real meaning. Only by approaching the Guru with a serving attitude will the meaning be revealed. He will come and express Himself to us, and we are to have the mood, “I am unqualified and low, but He will come and give admission irrespective of any intellect, study or anything else on my part.”
Research scholarship in the illusory world is all quite a different approach. Scientific research is going from one misconception to another misconception. It is all misconception. It is error and has falsehood at the root. Acintya-bhedabheda. The centre is such that everything is at His command: “Let there be light”, and there was light. “Let there be water,” and there was water.
The research scholars try to research the nature and cause of everything, but ultimately it is all His sweet will. Neglecting that, they simply research, research, research, but if His will is withdrawn, everything will be falsified.
We do not want to apparently deep knowledge of the researchers. We have no concern with what is actually this partial, infinitesimal, surface knowledge which is so attractive to those floating, giving and taking, in that section. It is all false and black-marketeering. Everyone’s money is black and they are transacting with that. In this society false notes are being circulated as real currency.
Acintya-bhedabheda. Everything is His will, and it is the greatest adventure to search for Krsna, to search for the root of the whole infinite. It needs sufficient courage and preparedness to face the risk. To go to discover the North Pole or the highest peak of the Himalayas needs so much courage and involves risk, then what to speak of the courage necessary to find out the Absolute Cause of the Whole. Internal courage – spiritual courage – is necessary. We are to have soul’s courage and have the confidence of deep faith. We are to understand the noble character of the faith within us.
Without electricity we cannot have connection with the moon and other planets. Our hands and eyes cannot contact there. Faith can connect us with the farthest things. All other methods fail. Faith is substantial, it is not part of an illusion of the mind. The whole mind is a concocted thing: it is a source of forgery. Faith is not to be found there. Faith is a function of the soul.
We cannot even see what is within our own body without the help of some apparatus. Through faith, sraddha, the soul can approach and see the higher world.
By faith we can approach the highest, noblest thing, not by our hand or by the help of any mundane elements.

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Srila Bhakti Raksaka
Sridhara Maharaja Page

Close to Sri Guru

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Devotee: Is there any spiritual difference when the disciple is in the physical presence of his Guru and when he is many miles apart? Srila Sridhar Maharaj: We can get benefit only through sraddha (sublime faith). The position of Guru should not be considered as mundane, it should not be identified with his mundane appearance. Only through sraddha are we able to approach him, from any distance. Still of course, by physical vicinity we can get the chance of hearing from him, and of witnessing many practical dealings that may help us on our path with the knowledge of Vaisnava-sadhachar, what should be the conduct of a Vaisnava.
In this way we can have some sort of conception about these things, but sraddha must be there. Sraddha, or respectable faith must be there in either case – physical closeness or distance is not the question. In the lower stage, physical nearness has more efficacy. By his movements, his talks, and his instructions we are to learn the spiritual etiquette, and many spiritual ideals which may also become clear in his company. So physical vicinity will be useful in the lower stage, but sraddha must be there otherwise we may commit offence.
Physical nearness devoid of faith may be the cause of offences against Gurudev. Sometimes the senior Godbrothers may be very helpful in our dealings with Gurudev when we are beginners. Sri Gurudev’s conduct may not always be very clear or helpful for us, so in that case some senior Godbrother may come to help us and explain his movements and do away with any difference we may see in him.
isvaranam vachah satyam tathaivacharitam kvachit
tesam yat svavacho yuktam buddhimams tat samacharet

(Bhagavatam: 10.33.31) “The instructions of the great personages are always true, but their conduct and their practices may not always be useful to the beginners. So the sober person will accept those practices that are backed by his words, understanding that in his higher stage he may do something which may not be useful to those of a lower stage.
He has such spiritual power that what may be seen as a defect in the beginner, cannot harm him in any way. Therefore the fair minded beginners will accept those practices which are in consonance with his instructions, as being useful to their progress.” We should not imitate but rather we should. Not anukaran (imitation) but anusaran (to follow in the footsteps). We must understand the difference.
So faith or sraddha is the first thing necessary for us; then whether we are near or far from our spiritual guide, we can have his connection. Connection in the proper line, that is the vital point; the proper plane which is independent of gross or subtle animation. The energizing plane that stimulates our enquiry about our won inner welfare, that is part and parcel of the quest. Brahma-jijnasa – the quest for the plane of understanding.
This has been given in Vedanta, and when it has come to Sriman Mahaprabhu in the line of Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is developed to krsnanusandhan, the search for Sri Krsna. Vedanta is the flower, and Srimad-Bhagavatam is the ripe fruit of spiritual knowledge. That which is somewhat mixed with activity, yajna, etc, in this plane, is found in the Veda. When that flowers in Vedanta it becomes purely conscious enquiry; “who am I, where am I, what am I?”
When the fruit is ripe that develops into utility; that is krsnanusandhan. In Vedanta the enquiry is about the infinite environment, where I am a part only , and in Srimad-Bhagavatam, the nature of enquiry is more developed – krsnanusandhan – “Who is my Master, who is my Guide, for Whom I am existing?” This is the plane of Srimad-Bhagavatam, madly seeking, “With whom may I have the fulfilment of life? Where is that Master of my heart?
I can’t continue without my Lord.” Mahaprabhu came with that – krsnanusandhan – the ripe fruit of the Veda tree, the plane of Srimad-Bhavagatam. Everywhere we are searching for Rasa, for satisfaction. We may undertake this work or that, but the common factor is the quest for satisfaction. Sriman Mahaprabhu has given the plane of Bhagavatam, “Who can satisfy all the thirsts within me?
Where is my Lord, the fulfilment of my heart?” Real enquiry must be for this only, otherwise your enquiry will never stop. When enquiry comes to this stage and we can have proper guidance then gradually we will be taken to Him, our master. Who are you searching for, that Rasa, that happiness, that pleasure? That is your Master, your Guardian. That is not your servant. It is not to come and satisfy you, with you as the master. It is everything to you.
Everything for which you are moving, this way and that, the goal of your enquiry, or whatever you are doing – that is the centre. You are searching for fulfilment, and fulfilment in the highest stage means this – Krsna. Real search begins only when you come across the Sat-Guru, the Krsna-bhakta. Earnest enquiry begins there. Pranipat, pariprasna, sevaya – you must be conscious that you are to be utilized by Him, for Whom you are searching. Only by seva, service, can you be admitted back into that World. From the very beginners stage it is sraddha, faith that can lead you to the great plane, the noble plane.
When I left the mission of my Guru Maharaj, after his disappearance, I came here quite helpless. I had to find my shelter and so I began to search the books which I had. What I received from my Guru Maharaj, I began to research the references in the Scriptures. I tried to dive deep in there, to collect the very basis of real devotional life. I found that it is saranagati; and wherever I found the verses recommending and relating to that, I tried my best to collect them and compile the nectar in the life of one who has fully surrendered himself to the feet of the Divine Lord.
That is Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam. In my study I found that it has been mentioned that saranagati, surrender is alone sufficient to produce all sorts of development in bhakti. Nothing else is necessary. So try your best to stick to saranagati, and automatically everything will come to you from the other side. Yoru business will only be to adhere to saranagati to the most intense degree possible. Saranagati is enough, surrender, and without that no devotion, no bhakti can stand.
The greatness and the substance of saranagati has been sung, praised and appreciated in such a way. The surrendering temperament is the very basis. “I am for you. You may utilize me, or you may neglect me, still I am yours. You may accept or reject me, but you are my Master. You are independent and may deal with me in any way you like. You can put me in eternal hell, or you can take me on your lap. You have every right over me.” With such heart we must approach our Lord.
That is noble, that is Divine. The highest degree of Divinity we can find there. Not only in our own effacement, but in our self-surrender. That is the real _expression of the negative towards the positive. The negative cannot exist without the positive, and so too the positive cannot exist without the negative. In the words of our Guru Maharaj, Predominating Moiety and Predominated Moiety. Two moieties, two halves of the One Whole.
One predominating and one predominated; but both have equal importance in their existence. One cannot stand without the other, and the fullest _expression of this principle is Radha-Govinda. Our mantram, our Guru-parampara, the Rupanuga-Sampradaya - all are leading towards that. In support of that we find the vatsalya-rasa, dasya-rasa, etc., but the direct lead is towards madhura-rasa.
They are leading us to the full Rasa. All others are partial, subordinate and subservient – supplemental to the main Rasa, madhura-rasa. But that supplemental service is also necessary. Madhura-rasa does not stand alone. It must have its paraphernalia; the friends, the parents, etc., must be around this Rasa. And so fortunate are those who have inner liking for such Rasa. Vasudev Datta has said,

yadi gaura na ha’ta, tabe ki haita kemane dharitam de
radhara mahima, prema-rasa-sima, jagate janata ke?
“If Mahaprabhu had not appeared then how could we sustain our lives? How could we live? What type of ecstatic Rasa has He imbibed that we have been able to have a little taste? Without this our lives would be impossible. Who else could take us to the acme of realisation of the position of Srimati Radharani.
She holds the highest position. She is the greatest victim to the consuming capacity of Sri Krsna. She stands as the greatest sacrifice before Krsna’s infinite consuming power. Rasaraj-Mahabhav – the Rasa is there, and She is the drawer of that Rasa from the storehouse. She has such negative capacity that she can draw out the Rasa from the storehouse. She has such negative capacity that she can draw out the Rasa to the highest degree both in quality and quantity.
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj said, “My Guru is Radharani. She will be very gracious to You Krsna if You help me in discharging the order of my Gurudev – if You help me in my propaganda work.”

krsna taba punya habe bhai, e-punya koribe jabe
radharani khusi habe dhruva ati boli toma tai
“If You seek anything, if You are in want of anything Krsna, then that is the good will of Radharani. And She will be pleased with You if You help me, because I am attempting to carry out the order of who is none but Srimati Radharani personified. So You must help me.” Krsna had no other alternative but to come down to him and help in his propaganda work. He had to come.
Devotee: Sometimes we feel like a stone. You speak such wonderful things but we can only sit like stone, like a rock.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Who?
Devotee: Myself especially.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: You are like a rock?
Devotee: Yes.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Why?
Devotee: I don’t know. You speak so many wonderful things that perhaps we cannot dare to venture into that area.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj (laughing): My words could not soften you but rather they petrify you? (everyone laughs) Hare Krsna, Gaura Haribol, Nitai-Gaura Haribol.

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Srila Bhakti Raksaka
Sridhara Maharaja Page

The Spiritual Master and the Disciple

by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja

sbrsm7.jpg - 10588 Bytes One should approach the spiritual Master for general guidance, to get the proper standpoint in life. That is the most important thing we can get from guru. The standpoint we get from our ordinary lives may come from anywhere and everywhere, but that may mislead us and misguide us. So we must be very particular about getting the proper direction. That direction is given in Bhagavad-Gita: tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. The Lord has given us this general guidance of where we should try to get the standpoint or measure through which we are to understand. The standard by which we come to measure truth, untruth or anything must come from a real plane, not a vitiated plane, an ordinary plane or vulnerable plane. It must come from that plane which has two qualifications: jnani and tattva darsi, the conception of the thing and also the practical benefit. The proper standard will allow me to measure what is right and what is wrong. Also the qualification of the seeker of truth is given. His attitude must be of this type pranipat, pariprasna and seva. Pranipat means surrender to such knowledge.
The knowledge we are approaching is not an ordinary class of knowledge. It is a subject which we cannot make an object to our subjective self. We must understand it to be a super-subjective thing, which is superior to me. So pranipat means I must surrender to that superior thing. I want Him, He is not an objective thing which I can make an object with myself as subject. This sort of attitude must be there. Pranipat also means that I have finished my interest in the outside world of experience. I have no charm for anything in the world where I have already travelled. I am offering myself exclusively at Your altar and I want to have Your grace. In such a mood we shall approach the higher knowledge.
Then pariprasna, honest inquiry is always allowed, but not with any tendency for discussion or in the way of argument. All efforts should be concentrated in a positive line, leaving aside the state of doubt and suspicion. With all attention we shall try to understand because it is coming from a higher plane with which I am unfamiliar and which is ever new.

Bottle And The Bee

But the most important thing is seva. Not that I am going to get knowledge, that I shall get the help of that plane and use it for the persons living here. Higher knowledge won’t come to serve the interests of the lower plane but I must pledge to serve that plane. With this attitude I shall approach that plane and that knowledge. I shall serve Him and I won’t try to make Him serve me or my lower plane. That idea won’t allow me to enter that domain. Rather, I shall have the fullest tendency that if I get that knowledge I must serve. I must offer myself to be utilized by Him, and I shall not try to utilize it in my way, to satisfy my lower animal purposes. With seva vritti. I shall seek the plane of real knowledge, to have the standard from there of what is to be understood and to have a proper estimation of the environment we are in. Pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya – this is Vedic culture. It is always imparted by this submissive process and never by intellectual approach. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada used to give this analogy. The honey is in a bottle and a bee is sitting on the glass and trying to lick the bottle. Some foolish person may say the bee is licking the honey. In the same way the intellect cannot approach spirit. I may think that I have got that by such approach. But is it possible?
A barrier is there, like a glass barrier. So intellectual understanding is not real achievement of the higher knowledge or higher plane. Only through faith, sincerity and dedication can we approach to be a member of that higher plane. Only if we are admitted, if we get the visa, then we can enter that country, the plane of higher, divine living. So the candidate shall approach with these three qualifications: pranipat, praiprasna and seva. Then he can approach the truth which is the higher plane of reality. It is always found in the Gita that we should approach with this sort of attitude of humility, sincerity and dedication.

No Other Way

In Bhagavatam a particular passage is given: sabde pare ca nisnatam brahmany upasamasrayam. In the Veda and Upanishad also we find strotriyum brahma nistham guru evabhigacchet. Guru eva means that we must certainly approach the spiritual master. Abhigacchet means that the approach should not be haphazard or hesitatingly. One should go with a clear and honest, full heart. Our Gurudeva used to say, “You have not come here cutting any return ticket.” I have seen, I have got full experience of this mortal world. I have nothing to aspire after here. One must have this clear consciousness that there is no other way to live. No one can live in the mortal plane whereas the innate tendency everywhere is to live. There is no means to lie here, but I only want to live, to save myself. So I am running to take real shelter, and this is my earnest desire and utmost necessity. Samitpani means that the necessary materials will be taken by the disciple. He won’t go to trouble his own guru. With his own bed, baggage and everything he requires he will go to the spiritual master, not to show some kindness to him, that I have come to give you some name and fame, etc.

Qualification of Guru

And what will be the position of guru? Srotriyum brahmanistham. Srotriyum means that he will be well-versed in the sruti sastra. This is not ordinary knowledge but revealed truth. Revelation in many shades has been spread throughout the world from the higher plane. Guru must have some spacious, graphic and extensive knowledge about revealed truth. And he should already be practicing the real life. Sabde para ca nisnatam means that one should be well-versed in revealed truth, sabde sastra, or sruti sastra. Not only the precepts of the revealed scriptures, but one should be in contact with and conversant with the very object of the scriptures. One should approach an experienced person who is established in that plane of consciousness if he wants to get relief and to understand what is the highest benefit in the world and how to attain it. His activities are all with Brahman, not with the material world. Brahman is the plane which can accommodate everything. It is the most fundamental, Vyoma or basis of everything. Guru is always leading his life in relation with that plane and not with any mortal mundane reference. He is always doing everything in connection with that plane. Whatever he does is only in that consciousness. That is brahmanistham.

Highest Good

Tasmad gurur prapadyeta jijnasa sreya uttamam. Everything around me is mortal. It will all vanish, and it is all a source of deception. We are living in the midst of misconception (maya). Whatever conception we have got about the environment is based on misconception of things in the absolute sense. All our conceptions are relative since it is only our provincial selfishness which has been imposed on the environment and we are living under that. Within such circumstances we shall feel the necessity of approaching guru, the guide or preceptor, with the purpose of inquiry (jijnasa). And what is our inquiry? Sreya uttamam. What is the highest good for us? We shall approach the guide with this inquiry.

Fossil Fatherism

These things are necessary. We are approaching something real. It is not imaginary only. It must be sought in a real way, and that may be difficult. But we must face that, otherwise we shall go in a wrong way and then we will say, “Oh, there is nothing.” That will not happen if we go according to the real process. Then we must come to have experience of the divinity. Scientists think that the subtle aspect of nature is coming from the gross. But their idea is upside down. We must realize that everything is coming from the higher to the lower, form up to down. It is not fossil fatherism but soul or God fatherism. The scientists say everything is upward moving, but it is just the reverse. Everything is coming down. In Bhagavad-Gita it is mentioned urdhva mulam adhahsakham. One who knows the real purport of the Vedas is one who can understand that the material conception is upside down. One who can understand this has got some conception of the Vedic knowledge. Matter does not produce soul. It is rather that the soul contains within its negligent portion the conception of matter. This world exists like an eczema or a disease in a wholesome body. This is the Vedantic vicara (understanding). So we must observe everything with this attitude, that everything is coming from up to down. In this way we must approach knowledge with a submissive attitude and then we will understand everything in truth.

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Srila Bhakti Raksaka
Sridhara Maharaja Page

The Deep Meaning of Akhanda Guru-tattva

Special On-line Edition for the Appearance Day of
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition
Year-1 Special On-line Edition
Posted: 21 December 2008
Views: 3765

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

The Deep Meaning of Akhanda Guru-tattva
A letter written by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja
Translated into English for the first time
(Portrait of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja)
Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Jayatah
Sri Goloka-ganja Gaudiya Matha
Goloka-ganja, (Dhubadi)
6th June 1972
[The name of the recipient did not appear in the published Bengali letter]
Affectionate greetings.
Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas and Sri Bhagavan - these three are antaryami. In other words, they are the internal witnesses and know our heart. They see the Truth and speak the Truth. They extend their causeless compassion to the conditioned souls of this world in ways that are unnoticed by mortal intelligence and inconceivable to it. Truly nothing in this world can compare to their compassion. Only a soul who possesses sufficient spiritual merit can fathom something of their unsurpassed compassion.
Sri Guru and Bhagavan see into the core of our hearts. Longing to see the innermost love and devotion of the sadhakas and sadhikas blossom, Sri Guru and Sri Bhagavan fulfil their desires in ways that are at times obvious and at others unseen. In this way they secure the sadhakas’ and sadhikas’ conviction in sadhana-bhajana. Without becoming exclusively dedicated to bhajana, how else can one reap any genuine results?
Uttama haiya apanare mane trna-adhama – a person who is truly situated on an advanced stage of bhakti deems himself more insignificant than a piece of straw.” This mentality is the sole requisite and the metre of one’s eligibility to obtain the mercy of Sri Guru and Bhagavan. If the deep passion to engage in devotion, the bhakti-vrtti, fails to rise in one’s heart, do you think it is possible for one to receive causeless mercy? Causeless mercy, of course, does not depend on any condition, and yet it will escape the reach of one bereft of bhakti.
Yogyata vicare kichu nahi pai, tomara karuna sara – when I look for my own eligibility, I find that I have none; your compassion is the essence of everything I have” (“Gurudeva, krpa-bindhu diya”). Every sadhaka or sadhika expresses his or her feelings of humility with such heartfelt prayer. Despite being established in the rightful eligibility to receive the grace of Sri Guru and Bhagavan, it is the devotee’s innate propensity to express such humility. That alone is his real merit and the wealth of his sadhana; that humility is really his heroic glory.
Causeless mercy is something that escapes the appreciation of someone beset by mundane conceit and egotism. In a state of such egotism, a person’s impetus and longing to serve cannot fully flourish, and he fails to perceive the omniscience of Sri Guru and Bhagavan. Gripped by mundane vanity, the conditioned soul is locked into foolish arrogance, similar to that of a bloated, puffing frog that disparages the ocean on the assumption that nothing surpasses his dingy water-hole – only because he has been forever stuck in it. He even thinks that he can slight the whole earth.
Those who have found shelter, however, surpass all obstacles and hurdles on the strength of their bhakti and become illuminated with the divine, unsurpassable compassion of Sri Guru and Bhagavan.
asoka-abhaya-amrta-adhara tomara carana-dvaya
tahate ekhona visrama labhiya chadinu bhavera bhaya
from Saranagati
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Your two feet are the foundation of immortal existence free from sorrow and fear. Finding solace in their shelter, I have now shed my mortal terror of material existence.
The above verse represents the ardent prayers of devotees who are resolute in loving service.
sri guru-vaisnava-bhagavantinera smarana
tinera smarane haya vighna-vinasana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila (1.121)
Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas, and Bhagavan – even remembrance of these three obliterates all obstacles.
By extolling their qualities the heart is cleansed and the multitude of vices (anarthas) and impediments to the process of bhajana are cast far away. No vanity or egotism can survive in a heart that is honestly rapt in hearing, chanting and remembering the glories of Sri Guru and Bhagavan. Such persons have been initiated into the religion of honouring all others, with no expectation of receiving respect in return. They have already abandoned all such adversities to bhajana. This indeed is the undeniable and conclusive truth.
Vaisnavera guna-gana karile jivera trana – if the soul sings of the Vaisnavas’ glories he will obtain deliverance.” According to this statement, it is essential to offer prayers, praises and hymns to Sri Guru and Vaisnavas, even though they are in fact equipoised, being satisfied in the bliss of their own bhajana and completely aloof from any external gain.
Those who have taken shelter at the feet of a genuine guru have already deserted ill-suited company. Only by establishing themselves in sadacara, or respectable and ideal conduct, could they have proceeded to accept a guru. Once strong conviction (nistha) in bhajana develops in a person, he abandons asat-sanga, the company of all types of persons who are detrimental to his bhajana – no matter how near and dear those persons are – knowing them to be enemies playing the role of his relatives.
If you are to walk the path of bhajana, you must certainly be wary of offences. That does not mean that when one is unable to do so, one retreats, or withdraws, from the path.
aparadha-sunya haiya laha krsna-nama
from “Nadiya-Godrume”
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Free yourself from offence and just chant the holy name of Sri Krsna. This is the instruction of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila, 4.71)
If one utters the holy name without offence, one attains the wealth of divine love.
prema-dhana vina vyartha daridra jivana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila, 20.37)
Without the wealth of divine love, the life of a poor person like me is without use.
For such reasons, it is instructed that one remain distant from any blasphemy of the sadhus, of the scriptures, and of Sri Guru. Although in the preliminary stages one may make some offence while chanting the holy name, by the grace of Sri Nama Prabhu all such offences will be dispelled.
Guru mata, guru pita, guru hana pati – Sri Guru is our mother, Sri Guru is our father, Sri Guru is our husband and master.” This statement of the mahajanas is in no way opposed to the conclusive truth, nor flawed by any improper sentiment.
Sri Guru is asraya-vigraha, the form and abode of divine love. He is a beloved maidservant of Sri Bhagavan. Sri Guru-tattva is the sakti of the Absolute, or in other words, its transcendental feminine aspect. Teaching others to serve Sri Bhagavan is Sri Guru’s constitutional function. He is a gopi, a legitimate maidservant under the direction of the sakhis. As such he is a dearly beloved servant-girl, adept in the art of serving in the pastimes of Sri Bhagavan, that supreme enjoyer and object of all loving relationships.
Chodata purusa abhimana, kinkari hailu aji kana | varaja-vipine sakhi-satha, sevana karabu radhanatha – O Kana, by abandoning the ego that I am the enjoyer, today I have become Your maidservant. O Radhanatha, in the forest of Vraja, in the company of the sakhis, I will serve You.” This is the true nature (svarupa) of perfected souls. Although they are garbed in male form in this world, they have achieved the transcendental nature (bhava) of gopis, either as sakhis or dasis. Facilitating the love sports of the transcendental, ever-fresh Cupid is their sole preoccupation.
One must also know Sri Gurudeva to be bhagavat-svarupa – he who, in nature, personifies Sri Bhagavan. There is a difference, however, when Sri Bhagavan Himself descends and assumes the role of guru. At that time, He is established in the identity of the visaya-vigraha (the object of all love). Though He performs the function of the asraya-vigraha (the abode of love) He is in truth the Absolute Enjoyer, the supreme objective of all service. In that case, would it be wrong to address guru as pati, meaning the husband, or master, of one’s life?
Guru is a single indivisible principle, which reveals varying specialities and astonishing traits when deliberated upon. Guru-tattva can be understood according to various considerations and perspectives in each of its divisions: the Supersoul (antaryami), Sri Guru within the heart (caittya-guru), and Sri Guru manifest directly before our vision (mahanta-guru). For one who understands the indivisible principle of guru-tattva in its totality, there is no fault in addressing visaya-vigraha purusottama Sri Krsnacandra as one’s pati (meaning “husband” or “the master of one’s life”) during the time in which He assumes the role of asraya-vigraha and manifests His pastimes accordingly. Only after deliberating upon all such aspects of guru-tattva have the Vaisnava mahajanas written the afore-mentioned couplet, which states Sri Guru to be one’s pati.
Furthermore, the nurturing and affection a mother or father gives their child differs vastly from the love shared by a husband and wife. No matter how old a son or daughter gets, in the eyes of a mother and father they will always be the beneficiary of their affection – in a subordinate position. A husband and wife, however, are equals.
Even amongst friends (sakhya-bhava), although they share an intimacy as one soul and one life, their equality with each other retains feelings of seniority or juniority to others. In vatsalya-bhava, children (juniors) are always the dependents, while parents (seniors) are the providers. But in conjugal love no such distinction exists, although some obligations and restrictions are imposed.
sevya-sevaka sambhoge dvayor-bhedah kuto bhavet?
vipralambhe tu sarvasya bhedah sada vartate
from Sri Radha-vinodbihari tatvastakam (2)
by Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
In the utter union of the servant with the served, from whence comes the distinction between the two? But in the utter separation of these lovers, the full range of their distinction expands forever.
This verse substantiates that intimacy and equality exists between husband and wife. It is solely for this reason that when we offer tulasi leaves at the feet of sri radha-alingita-vigraha, the form of Sri Krsna embraced by and united with that of Sri Radharani, [or in other words the form of Sriman Mahaprabhu], we are in fact offering tulasi at Her feet also. But when Their forms manifest separately, Sri Radha cannot accept tulasi leaves at Her feet.
Think yet again, though: in this mundane world, the designations and distinctions of male and female exist. But in Goloka-Vrndavana, Purusottama Sri Krsna is the only purusa (enjoyer), and all others are His potencies (sakti), or His ‘female’ servants. The Bhagavad-gita states that the jiva is sakti, and therefore a real entity in the form of a quality; that is, she is one of Sri Bhagavan’s characteristics or capacities. Hence, it is not ever possible for the jiva to be the enjoyer.
In the material realm, a woman experiences three phases of life – as a daughter, as a wedded wife, and as a mother. Specialities and differences exist in and between all three phases. As a daughter and mother, a woman experiences both sides of the affection exchanged between a parent and child. As a wedded wife, however, she experiences the arousal of conjugal love within her. Each variety of love, as a servant, a friend, a parent or a lover, bears the mood of servitude, yet expresses its own unique speciality.
So, relating all this to akhanda-purna guru-tattva, the indivisible, complete principle of Sri Guru, if one were to use the word pati in reference to Sri Guru, it would be directed towards the visaya-vigraha aspect of divinity, which is also related to and included in guru-tattva.
Atma-samarpana, or full submission of the self, is the sole goal of every sadhaka and sadhika. If this completeness, or entirety, does not come in one’s sadhana, Sri Bhagavan will remain at a great distance. Evidence of this is Draupadi as well as the Vraja-kumaris.*

* In both these examples, Krsna remained at a distance until the devotees fully surrendered themselves to Him.
With this I shall conclude.
Your ever-well-wisher,
Sri Bhaktivedanta Vamana

Translated from the compilation of letters (Patravali) of
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja
by the Rays of The Harmonist team

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Guru Position Paper

Dear devotees,

Please accept our dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Since the departure of our beloved Gurudeva, Nitya-lila pravista Om Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, the Sannyasa Council in consultation with the members of the Bhakti Trust International, senior math commanders and eminent preachers, has begun the process of developing and codifying the principles and aims of our sanga, known as the International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society. Sri Guru is always present in his instructions and within the hearts of sincere disciples. We pray fervently that Srila Gurudeva guide us in our humble attempts to fulfill his mano bhista. Our discussions thus far have resulted in two papers that are being presented for your consideration.

Our Society, as envisioned by Srila Gurudeva, has many responsibilities and yet has a distinctive inclination towards encouraging individual initiative and decision making on the local level. The institution or society has as its primary responsibility, the preservation and teaching of the eternal spiritual principles conveyed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through our guru-parampara . The form that our society takes and any guidelines and bylaws that we may adopt, are meant to follow and uphold those principles.

Thus you will see in the two papers that are presented, that there is little in the way of rules and regulations. The topic is mostly guru-tattva and how we are responding to the complexities of that issue now that there are multiple devotees taking on that role within the same society. The emphasis is to clarify our spiritual relationships and our mutual goals. The processes by which we achieve these may be adjusted according to time, place and circumstance, as long as the original principles remain fixed as our guiding beacon.

The first paper on guru-tattva was written to be presented at the Vraja-mandala Parikrama of 2011. There were some issues that had not yet been discussed by the international body of sannyasis and senior devotees. We waited for those meetings to be concluded so that a summary of those discussions could be given at the same time. These meetings addressed the practical application of the guru-tattva paper based on the experiences gained and input received from members of the world-wide sanga over the last 9 months. The second paper is a summary of the meetings held in Govardhana during the parikrama in November, 2011.

These papers will certainly stimulate discussion and responses from devotees around the world. That is a good thing. Please keep the discussions philosophical and respectful. The discussions may center around guru-tattva or they may explore other areas of personal and sanga development. This is a challenging and exciting time. Let your voices be heard.

Aspiring for the service of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas,

Swami BV Vaikhanas