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quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012

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

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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