Jaya Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
As you know, Srila
Narayana Maharaja was recently in Russia, at the Unost Campsite,
one hour from Moscow. This woodland campsite is very peaceful,
and even when the children play, that is also peaceful. The
atmosphere is like a fairyland of peace and plenty, although with
material vision the facilities may appear poor. Srila Maharaja
commented that it reminds him of Vraja-mandala parikrama.
Every day Srila Maharaja has meetings with the new initiates,
(about 150 devotees, old and new, received harinama and diksa
initiations), private darsanas with individual devotees, and
small, group darsanas with groups of devotees from the various
Russian states and European countries.
In one of such
meetings Sripad Urukrama Prabhu introduced Srila Maharaja to
devotees from the Baltic countries like Lithuania, Estonia and
Latvia, and especially to very senior devotees from the pioneer
days when devotees were imprisoned. Srila Maharaja thanked them
all and said, "When I was in India I heard that there would be
200 devotees in Russia, but now I see that there are over 300."
Urukrama Prabhu related to Srila Maharaja how the devotees from
Tashkent City in the Republic of Uzbekistan left their Republic
without enough money to afford their return journey, and three of
the eight-person group did not even have passports or any other
documents. Thus depending fully on Krsna, they left with only a
great yearning to meet a resident of Goloka Vrndavana, their new
spiritual master, whom they would be seeing for the first time.
Somehow, without notice, they managed to get on the train, and
then they held a beautiful kirtana in their compartment, replete
with tables and karatalas, and attended by many curious
passengers from the other train cars. During the kirtana, the
militia, who always check the passengers for documents, passed by
them three times. By the influence of the kirtana, and the mercy
of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, they finally stopped and said, "Oh,
you are from Tashkent. Your documents are in order."
each consecutive class, knowing that most of the devotees had to
relearn the meanings of practically each word of their Vaisnava
vocabulary, from guru, to bhakti, to sankirtana, Srila Maharaja
carefully brought them from "you are not your body; you are part
and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead", to
guru-tattva, to the unlimited value of the chanting of the Hare
Krsna mantra, to Damodara-lila, to the various levels of
advancement of devotion, and ultimately to the prayojana, the
ultimate goal of life, Radha-dasyam.
On the sunny
morning of August 3, a fire sacrifice was performed for the new
initiates. It was presided over by Sri Sri Radha-Vinodabihariji
and Tulasidevi, and lead by Pujyapada Madhava Maharaja and
Pujyapada Aranya Maharaja.
Your aspiring servant,
Guru Tattva: Real And Apparent
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[Moscow, 30 July 2000]
I offer my humble
obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Om
Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja; and
the same thousands and thousands of humble obeisances unto the
lotus feet of my siksa-guru, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
Just now we have finished
singing the kirtana, sri guru-carana-padma, kevala bhakati-sadma
vando mui savadhana mate.' What is the meaning? We should try to
understand the meaning and realize what Srila Narottama dasa
Thakura is telling here how he is giving honor and how he is
presenting his mood to his Gurudeva. Sri guru-carana-padma,
kevala bhakati sadma.' Syamarani should explain.
Syamarani: Sri guru-carana-padma, kevala bhakati sadma.' In this
song Srila Narottama dasa Thakura is glorifying his Guru
Maharaja, Sri Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and all the gurus in the
guru parampara. With one's carana, with one's feet, one takes
steps. So our immediate diksa and siksa gurus are the first steps
to our connection with the entire guru parampara. Sri
guru-carana-padma, kevala bhakati sadma. Sadma means abode', and
kevala means only'. He is the only abode of bhakti. Of what kind
of bhakti is he the abode? There are three kinds of bhakti:
sadhana-bhakti, bhava-bhakti, and prema-bhakti. And of what kind
of prema-bhakti is he the abode? Madanakya maha-bhava. This is
the highest possible prema, and the only prema by which one can
serve Sri Radha-Krsna Conjugal. People wonder about the
omnipotency and omniscience of the bona fide guru. Here, Srila
Narottama dasa Thakura is leaving no doubt about his omnipotency.
By his mercy alone one can become free from millions o! f births
of past sins and offenses, and can cross over the ocean of
material existence and obtain the abode of Krsna.
Narayana Maharaja: You should understand who is a real guru. He
is the abode of bhakti, and he has all kinds of serving moods
towards Radha-Krsna Conjugal or Mahaprabhu. He can give sadhana
bhakti, and he can also give rati a high class of rati. If he is
qualified to even give prema-bhakti in Goloka Vrindavan, and the
love and affection of Conjugal Radha-Krsna, can he fall down?
Never. How much qualified must that guru be, that he can take all
ignorant persons to Krsna? If he himself is falling down, then he
is actually not guru. You are intelligent enough to reconcile all
these things, and to understand who is the real guru.
The scriptures, especially Srimad Bhagavatam, have told, tasmad
gurun prapadyeta' What is the meaning? The bona fide guru can
give conjugal love to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. He will be expert and
realized in the moods of all the Vedas, Upanisads, Srimad
Bhagavatam, Gita, and all Puranas -- everything. He will be
expert in all kinds of knowledge, and he will have realized all
that knowledge. In addition, he will be detached from worldly
desires and sense gratification. He will only be engaged in
serving Krsna with all his senses --with body, mind, soul, mood,
He is the abode of bhakti and he has no
doubts. No doubts at all. Also, he will never go to all these
atheistic universities. Never. Why? He has full confidence in his
Guru's words, and therefore he will join Srila Haridasa Thakura's
University -- by always chanting and remembering.
person like this has full faith in the Name, full faith in his
guru's words, and he has full faith in the words of scriptures
like Srimad Bhagavatam. How can he join these universities? What
would be the use? These universities are nonsense and, in the
words of your Gurudeva, their teachers are rascals. Why should we
join them? These universities are like slaughter-houses and they
are full of mayavadis. Srila Swami Maharaja came and cut down all
the arguments of the mayavadis and nirvesesavadis. Why should his
disciples join all these things? It is because they have no faith
in their Guru's words, and because they themselves are not guru
at all. They are fallen from the beginning. There is no position
from which they would fall down. Those who cannot chant the Name
day and night, those who cannot realize what is the mood of the
gopis, the Vrajavasis and Krsna, and those who are not engaging
all their senses in the pastimes of Krsna, are actually not guru.
They have no qua! lification to be guru. They cannot help us.
They cannot take us to Krsna never, never and never.
Now we see that persons who had previously taken shelter of a
very bona fide Guru, an actual Guru like Srila Bhaktivedanta
Swami Maharaja, are now giving him up and are going to Radha
Kunda to associate with sahajiya babajis there. These sahajiyas
are still greater rascals. They cannot take anyone to Krsna
because they are not following the principles of bhakti. They are
not detached from worldly desires and sense gratification, they
are living with widows and engaging in immoral activities. How
can they help real devotees? In this way you should consider what
are the qualifications of a guru.
It has been told in
sastra that we may have selected any guru before knowing all
these qualifications, and thus knowingly, unknowingly, or in
ignorance, we have accepted a guru who is not actually guru.
Therefore, after hearing from a siksa-guru, from other gurus, and
from scriptures, we should decide whether what we have done is
wrong or right. If it is wrong, we should give up that guru and
come to a realized guru. He can then help you, and you can
develop your Krsna consciousness; otherwise it will never be
If these bogus gurus cannot give bhakti, then
how can such a fallen guru, who is now coming in the bogus ritvic
system, help devotees? Fallen gurus are now becoming ritvics. You
should do pranama to them from very far away. Don't mix with
them, and always boycott them. The ritvic system cannot help
because it is only related to performance of sacrifices. [In
Srila Maharaja's The True Conception of Guru Tattva it is stated:
"Beginning from the Vedic period up to Dvapara-yuga, it is seen
that many great emperors have obtained their desired fruits by
flawless performance of sacrificesGenerally; all of these
sacrifices were performed for fulfilling material desires, the
chief of which was the attainment of heavenly planetsAfter the
completion of yajnas, the yajman (employer) pays the appropriate
remunerations to the ritviks and sends them away. The yajman and
the ritvik have no mutual eternal relationships."]
our line there is guru, there is siksa guru, there is caitya
guru, there is sravana guru, there is patha pradarsaka guru so
many gurus. Why go to these bogus ritvics? Be very far away from
them. Be careful about them. We should be very careful about
mayavadis, sahajiyas, and all nirvesesavadis. You know that in
our guru parampara line Brahma has never fallen down, Narada has
never fallen down, and Sri Vyasa and Sri Sukadeva Gosvami have
also never fallen down. You know Madhavendra Puri and Isvara
Puripada; they never fell down. You know that Srila Rupa Gosvami,
Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami and all the other six
Gosvamis, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Narottama Dasa
Thakura, and after that Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura,
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati, my Gurudeva Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana
Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and my siksa-guru Srila Bhaktivedanta
Swami Maharaja -- none of them ever fell d! own. They cannot fall
down. They are actual gurus. One should select a guru like them.
However, even if you have not as yet done so, you can think about
it more and more.
We have not come for joining any
society. We have come to serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal and
Mahaprabhu. This is our aim and object. Why remain where the
object is not fulfilled? Srila Swami Maharaja came with a
mission, and at that time the mission was fulfilled in all ways.
All joined, but those who neglected his teachings fell down. We
should try to know all these truths.
The real guru is
an uttama maha-bhagavata -- like Narada Gosvami and Sukadeva
Gosvami. They can hold up their hand to bless you with the words,
"Bhakti should come at once." And bhakti will come. There are
three kinds of uttama bhagavats. The first is Narada in his first
stage (in his previous birth, after Lord Visnu gave him His
momentary darshan). He realized Krsna in his heart, and at once
all kinds of anarthas and imperfections disappeared. He realized
Krsna, his relationship with Krsna, and his service to Krsna.
However, at that time his body was still composed of past
activities. He is therefore known as a murcit kasaya
maha-bhagavata. What is the meaning of murcit kasaya? There is
some imperfection, but it is now sleeping; not active.
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami is an example of the second kind of uttama
bhagavata. He is nirdutta kasaya. What is nirdutta kasaya? All
impurities and imperfections have been washed away. Ignorance and
anarthas are all gone.
[Some devotees were falling
asleep, and so Srila Maharaja addressed them] Don't sleep please.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare. Sit straight like this, old persons and
everyone else, and chant: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare
Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Chant more loudly.
Don't sleep. Otherwise you will lose everything.]
[Devotees chanted and then Srila Maharaja resumed the class:] The
third kind of uttama bhagavata is still more elevated. The
example is Sri Narada Gosvami in his second stage, when he
attained the body of an associate of Krsna. At this stage he has
no mortal body. He has a body to serve Krsna -- a siddha sarira,
transcendental body. If these kinds of gurus will place hands on
anyone's head, or somehow they will glance at anyone and bless
him, then prema bhakti will come at once and the disciple will go
to Goloka Vrindavan. They are so powerful.
know that Sri Narada Gosvami has thousands and thousands of
disciples: Dhruva, Prahlada, Citraketu, Valmiki, Vyasa, and
Rahugana -- so many. Just by sprinkling his mercy, they became
qualified. And you know Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Practically
everyone in the world was his disciple, but he never initiated
anyone. Why? Because he realized that, "All are serving Krsna,
but I myself am not." He is a high class of maha-bhagavata. By
his mercy, all the persons who were hearing his hari-katha in the
assembly of Pariksit Maharaja were liberated and went to Goloka
Vrndavana. This is very marvelous; but such gurus are very rare,
especially in Kali yuga.
What is then the remedy for
us? Who will help us? Only the madhyama adhikari. Sri Gurudeva
should actually be acting in the stage of madhyama adhikari.
"Prema maitri krpopeksa ya karoti sa madhyama." Madhyama
adhikaris are of three categories: madhyama kanistha, madhyama
madhyama, and madhyama uttama. The madhama kanistha cannot act as
guru. The madhyama madhyama and madhyama uttama can, however,
because they are in the line of their guru, always chanting and
remembering the pastimes of Krsna, chanting Hare Krsna with rasa
and taste, and their anarthas have practically disappeared. There
remains only a very little scent of anarthas, and there is no
offense at all: no Vaisnava-aparadha, nama-aparadha,
seva-aparadha, or dhama-aparadha. They are chanting and
remembering, and always in the line of their own Gurudeva. Though
they are not so realized, still they can help us. We have these
kinds of devotees in this world, and they can help us. But you
should know that a maha-bhagav! ata can descend in the madhyama
adhikari stage, and then he can preach and accept disciples. In
this way we can accept two kinds of gurus, and they can help us.
The madhyama adhikari gurus will take us to the uttama adhikari,
and thus the madhyama gurus and their disciples will develop
their Krsna consciousness.
We cannot say that Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Gosvami Thakura is a madhyama adhikari.
We cannot say that my Gurudeva was a madhyama adhikari. We cannot
accept that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was a madhyama
adhikari. They were really uttama adhikaris. They have simply
descended and accepted disciples -- only to help devotees. They
can come to the level of madhyama adhikari and then they can
preach. Otherwise they cannot preach and they cannot initiate
anyone. They are therefore very, very kind. Ordered by Srimati
Radhika to fulfill the desire of Radhika and Krsna, they have
accepted this position; otherwise they never would have done so.
None of the gurus in our line who have accepted disciples are
madhyama adhikari. All are uttama adhikari, but they have
descended for the time being, for the benefit of the whole world.
In sastra it has been told very clearly and strongly
what a disciple should do if he has accepted a guru who is not in
the line of devotion, who is not a realized soul, and who is not
even a madhyama adhikari, and afterwards that disciple realizes
that his guru cannot help him in devotion, in the service of
Krsna and Radhika Conjugal. If that guru is fallen, not actually
chanting and remembering, and if he is not in the line of his
Gurudeva, the disciple should give him up at once and accept a
real guru. If anyone wants to serve Krsna, and has no other
motive than to develop his Krsna consciousness, he should do
pranama and say, "O Gurudeva, I want to associate with a
high-class Vaisnava. Please allow me." If his gurudeva allows, as
did the gurus of Sri Syamananda prabhu, Sri Narottama dasa
Thakura and others, then that guru is a madhyama adhikari.
However, if he says, "No, you cannot associate with high-class
Vaisnavas. If you do, you will go to hell", then that class of
is not guru. He is like a kan-guru (kangaroo). He
may say, "If you disobey me and go to another high-class
Vaisnava, then you will go to hell." I think that such a false
guru will go to hell first, and after him the disciple will go.
We have come only for this, and some of the devotees
who have come to us have left their wives, wealth, and
aristocratic families. And so many are very learned. We should
think about this matter and try to develop our Krsna
consciousness. If you do not follow this process and you do not
know all these truths, you cannot develop your Krsna
consciousness in lakhs and lakhs or thousands and thousands of
births. You will lose everything. So I think that you should
consider what to do about this.
Bhakti is like a river,
a current. No one can remain for twenty or thirty years at the
same stage. If we think that we are not developing our Krsna
consciousness, we should inquire why our current has stopped. I
should realize whether anything is wrong in my guru or in me. If
guru is right, then there is something wrong in me, and I should
try to repair it. And, if there is a hole in guru, then I should
do this pranama to him forever: "O gurudeva, I don't want your
mercy. I want the mercy of a high-class of devotee."
a guru does not know the meaning of the mantras, like
brahma-gayatri -- if he does not know who is the istadeva, deity,
of this mantra, if he does not know upon whom we should meditate,
who should pracodayat, come in our heart, if he does not know the
meaning of gopal-mantra, kama-gayatri, gaura-mantra, and he does
not practice it in the morning, at midday, and in the evening,
and if he is not realizing anything, how can he be guru? He
should realize all these things. If he has bhakti in his heart,
he can donate it to others. But if he is not really doing all
these things, and there is no bhakti in his heart, then how can
he donate that bhakti to others? This is the thing. That is why
we are not developing. But for this, the current will go further,
further, further to Krsna.
I think that now our
class-time is over, and I want you to first digest all these
things. Tomorrow we will proceed to explain the other lines of
that song, "Sri guru carana-padma."