Real Guru

We must consider that the presence of uttama-adhikari (mahabhagavata), madhyama-uttama-adhikari (those approaching the stage of bhava), and even madhyama-madhyama-adhikari (those at the stage of asakti) devotees are very rare in this world. It is very rare, therefore, to have a guru of this caliber. What should we do under these circumstances? We will have to take a guru. If a guru is not “sabde pare ca nisnatam”, if he has not realized the established truths delineated in the Vedas, Upanisads and other sastras, but he has very strong faith in his pure guru and is sincerely following him, then, even if he is a madhyama-adhikari or even kanistha-madhyama do not reject that guru. If he is always serving his own mahabhagavat guru and is obedient both internally and externally to him, then do not reject him. We can give up our guru only with the consideration given by Srila Sanatana Gosvami in his Hari-bhakti-vilasa:

avaisnava-mukhodgirnam putam hari-kathamrtam
sravanam naiva kartavyam sarpocchistam yatha payah

“One should not hear anything about Krsna from a non-vaisnava. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects; similarly, talks about Krsna given by a non-vaisnava are also poisonous.”

If a guru is not serving his own gurudeva, he has left the process given by him, and his guru is not satisfied by his behavior only in that case can we reject him. However, if the guru is a madhyama-adhikari and sincere, if he is very obedient and following the footsteps of his guru, then he will gradually become uttama-adhikari. So we should not reject him. At the same time, if he is not perfect and thus cannot remove all our doubts about Krsna Consciousness, what should we do?

We should offer pranama to him and ask his permission to have the association of a mahabhagavata devotee: A disciple may ask, “May I go to Srila Jiva Gosvami”? or “May I go to Srila Rupa Gosvami?” or, “May I go to a high class of Vaisnava?” If the guru says, “No, you cannot go,” then you should give him up. On the other hand, if he says, “Certainly you can go, and I will also come,” then he is a real guru. In fact, a guru who sends his disciple to a superior guru for instruction may also be an uttama-mahabhagavata, as there are various stages of mahabhagavata, and that guru is certainly not to be rejected. For example, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura was a disciple of Srila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, but he took permission from him to take shelter of Srila Jiva Gosvami; and Srila Syamananda prabhu also took permission from Srila Hrdaya-caitanya dasa Gosvami for that same shelter of Srila Jiva Gosvami.

Murwillumbah, Australia: December 3, 2002

Must Read

God, gods, and goddesses – 1997 Feb 23 – Bali, Denpasar

One day little boy Krsna, quite naked, was playing in Brahmanda ghata. Those that have been in Vraja know Brahmanda ghata, a very famous ghata in Gokul on the river Yamuna. Krsna was playing with so many boys, Dama, Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Stoka Krsna, Lavanga, Arjuna, so many, hundreds and thousands, all naked (Gurudeva laughs), some were two days younger, some fifteen days younger, some one month, and some were four days older and some fifteen days older, like Baladeva Prabhu who is fifteen days older. All were naked, playing here and there, in the sands of Yamuna, playing and wrestling, playing hide and seek. At last all the boys came into one group with Baladeva Prabhu. Krsna was alone and all the boys were clapping and laughing, joking with Krsna. They were saying...

Who is Srila Rupa Gosvami?

We should try to mix our hearts with the heart of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Without avesa we cannot taste all these mellows. When we hear and read these verses, we should identify ourselves as followers of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and try to make our hearts one with his...

Punishment and The Do or Die Attitude

People who don’t have tolerance think, “Everyone is hating me, torturing me,” this is your sentimentality. Then bhakti and bhajana is not possible. You must be serious. Have a do or die attitude. This is diksa. Diksa is not a simple thing. Just taking a mantra and then doing as we like is not diksa. Real bhaktas have the do or die attitude. They are very serious like this. Whatever may happen, they will never give up...

Snehamrta – Govinda-lilamrta

If you remember these pastimes as described by the gosvāmīs even just a little bit, know that you have come in contact with eternality. Now the button has been pressed on and the process initiated. Gradually these pastimes will be revealed in your heart in full detail and clarity. But if in the early morning you wake, take some tea, read the newspaper, turn on the TV and watch the news, then these pastimes will not manifest to you. Ordinary rasa will come. The best news is the news of vraja-līlā, the activities of the Divine Couple in Vraja-maṇḍala. If you can hear, contemplate, or touch them in any way, then you will become connected to the eternal world. This is the advice of Mahāprabhu’s followers. This connection is not temporary, but permanent. By following this advice of the ācāryas in our guru-varga then inspiration will come, along with so much strength and energy. You will never be hopeless or able to forget these pastimes. Eventually you will find yourself picking flowers at Kusuma-sarovara with the Vraja-devīs in your eternal form, and making beautiful garlands to offer to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

OCT. 1968-A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI’S LETTER TO SRILA TRIVIKRAMA MAHARAJA

October 22nd, 1968 All glories to Śrī Guru & Gaurāṅga Seattle, Washington October 22, 1968 I offer my humble prostrated obeisance at the...

More Articles Like This