YOU CANNOT BLUFF SRI GURU
24 January 2001
[The following is a lecture given on Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Appearance Day. We learn from sadhu and sastra that there is no difference between the appearance and the disappearance days. Both are God-given opportunities for immersing in his glories and instructions, and our relationship with him:]
Be Sincere and Obey Sri Guru
I have previously explained about the duties of disciples. I explained that guru-nishta is the backbone of bhakti. Without guru-nishta, no one can have any kind of devotion. One may have taken initiation, but if there is no nishta, he is inferior to a person who has not taken initiation and has not had a fire sacrifice, but is actually following guru.
I have seen and realized this. There was a disciple of Paramapujyapada Srauti Maharaja, named Narayana prabhu, who was totally surrendered to my Guru Maharaja. He was always serving by his mind, intelligence, and by all the limbs of his body. He was living with our Guru Maharaja, hearing hari-katha, and fully accepting all his instructions. We all had so much honor for him. I especially had so much love and honor for him, as did Paramapujyapada Vamana Maharaja, Paramapujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, and all others. Why? He was not initiated, but he was more than initiated. He was a real diksa disciple. Sincerity and obedience were his main principles.
On the contrary, I see so many other disciples who are hiding things in their hearts from guru. * They think, “My guru doesn’t know anything. He is foolish, so I can cheat him.” They don’t say this directly, but they think in this way. They think they can bluff their guru or any pure devotee. But in reality, a pure devotee cannot be bluffed. He who can control Krsna—how can you bluff him? If he is really guru, he can never be cheated or bluffed.
You should know the identity of Sri Guru. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written in the second verse of his Sri Manah-siksa prayers:
na dharmam nadharmam sruti-gana niruktam kila kuru
vraje radha-krsna pracura-paricaryam iha tanu
saci-sunum nandisvara-pati-sutatve guru-varam
mukunda-presthatve smara param ajasram nanu manah
“O my dear mind! Please do not perform either dharma or adharma mentioned in the Srutis or Vedas. Rather, you should render profuse loving service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna Yugala here in Vraja, for the Srutis have ascertained Them to be the highest principle of supreme worship and the Supreme Absolute Truth. Always meditate on Sacinandana Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, richly endowed with the complexion and sentiments of Srimati Radhika, as non-different from Sri Nanda-nandana. And always remember Sri Guru as most dear to Sri Mukunda.”
O mind, you should always consider that Sri Sacinandana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is actually Vrajendranandana Syamasundara, and He is actually Sri Guru.
Srila Raya Ramananda told Mahaprabhu, “I am only your instrument. What I am speaking is only by Your inspiration. You are speaking. The mouth is mine, but actually, everything is being said by You.”
One may say, “I want to serve Mahaprabhu like the gopis. He is my beloved Mahaprabhu, and I am His beloved.”
Can we do this or not? This is sahajiya, deviation. This is called gauranga-nagara-bhava, and it is apasiddhanta, against conclusive philosophical truth. We should not think in this way. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Guru, and we should do whatever He orders.
One day, Vallabha Bhatta asked Sri Advaita Acarya, “Why do you loudly chant ’Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare?’ Every living entity is female and considers Krsna as her husband. It is the duty of a chaste wife, devoted to her husband, not to utter her husband’s name, but all of you chant the name of Krsna. How can this be called a religious principle?”
True Religious Principles
Sri Advaita Acarya responded, “In front of you is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the personification of religious principles. You should ask Him, for He will give you the proper answer.”
Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Vallabha Bhatta, you do not know religious principles. Actually, the first duty of a chaste wife is to carry out the order of her husband. The order of Krsna is to chant His name incessantly. Therefore one who is chaste and adherent to the husband, Krsna, must chant the Lord’s name, for one cannot deny the husband’s order. Following this religious principle, a pure devotee of Krsna always chants His holy name. As a result, he attains the fruit of ecstatic love for Krsna. My husband has ordered Me to chant His name. He has said, ‘You should do this, and that will make Me happy.’ Therefore, I must make Him happy and I should serve Him.”
Hearing this, Vallabha Bhatta was speechless.
Prior to this, Vallabha Bhatta had told Mahaprabhu, “I have tried to describe elaborately the meaning of Krsna’s holy name. Kindly hear the explanation.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “I do not accept many different meanings for the holy name of Krsna. I only know that Krsna is Syamasundara and Yasodanandana. That’s all I know. The only purport of the holy name of Krsna is that He is dark blue like a tamala tree and is the son of Mother Yasoda. This is the conclusion of all the revealed scriptures. I conclusively know these two names, Syamasundara and Yasodanandana. I do not understand any other meanings, nor do I have the capacity to understand them.”
Whatever Vallabha Bhatta said, Mahaprabhu simply replied in such a way that he became speechless. Vallabha Bhatta wanted to defeat Mahaprabhu and show his own glory. He wanted to show, “How qualified I am. How learned I am.” But he was not able to defeat Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is jagad-guru, universal guru. Therefore, whatever He has ordered and whatever He has taught, we should try to follow totally.
Mahaprabhu has told us, “You should chant Krsna’s name. Hare Krsna.” Actually Krsna has ordered this in the shape of Mahaprabhu, and therefore we must follow. Understand that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Guru. He is Krsna Himself, with the mood of Srimati Radhika. It is very important to know this. Does anyone know anything in this world that can cover the knowledge of Mahaprabhu? Can anything be hidden from Him? For those who have this guru, Mahaprabhu, their hearts cannot be cheated or bluffed. Never. Those who try to bluff guru will be bluffed instead. We should not try to cheat guru or Vaisnavas. All Vaisnavas are guru, and to do what they want is bhakti.
Be A Servant In The True Sense
We should try to know the desires of Sri Guru. One who understands guru’s desires both internally and externally, is called a sevaka, a true servant. One who is not a sevaka may receive an order from guru but has difficulty in obeying.
When Sri Guru says, “Go and bring a glass of water.”
He will say, “Oh Gurudeva, how can I do this?”
“Go and bring a glass of water.”
“Gurudeva, if there is no water, what should I do? Should I wash the glass or not? Should I bring hot water or cold?”
This person is not a sevaka. Moreover, if one directly refuses to obey the order, he is not a sevaka, but a baka, crane. We should try to be sevakas in the real sense like Sri Govinda dasa, Srila Jiva Gosvami, Sri Syamananda prabhu, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, and Srinivasa acarya. We should become a sevaka like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, who was the sevaka of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. We should be a disciple like my Guru Maharaja. He took his life and soul in his hands to fulfill the desires of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. In this way, if you want to have bhakti, you should have nishta, and then Krsna’s mercy will come to you.
Krsna’s Condensed Mercy is Sri Guru
All the sastras have given so much glorification of Sri Gurudeva. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written Sri Guruvastakam. In these slokas, he has truly glorified Sri Guru, from the first verse to the last. I have explained about these slokas in Germany, especially ‘samsara davanala lidha loka tranaya karunya ghanaghanatvam.’ Krsna’s condensed mercy is Sri Guru. What is he doing? ‘sri vigraharadhana nitya nana’—he is always serving Sri Vigraha, Krsna Himself and Srimati Radhika Herself. He is always directly serving the Deity by making preparations and performing arcana, worship. He is always engaged in sravanam, hearing, kirtana, glorifying, smaranam, remembering and so on. He offers four kinds of naivedya bhoga, foodstuffs, to Krsna, and he honors that prasadam along with all the devotees. He does not take prasadam alone. ‘Sri radhika madhavayor apara’— he is always very lolu, greedy, to taste the entirety of the guna, rupa, nama—the qualities, form and names of Sri Radha and Krsna. Moreover, ’nikuñja yuno rati-keli-siddhai’— thissloka reveals the very confidential character of Sri Guru, and this is why it is said further, ‘saksad-dharitvena.’ He is not Hari, but he is ‘haritvena.’ All the qualities of Hari are embodied in him. He is not Krsna and he is not Mahaprabhu, but all the qualities of Krsna and Mahaprabhu are directly in him. He is the eternal, very high class confidential servant of Srimati Radhika?and Krsna.
A Bona fide Guru Will Remain The Same
Many devotees have asked, “If a guru has initiated a disciple, will that disciple receive the same guru in the next birth, or some other guru?” If the guru is not bona fide, if he has not realized his constitutional form, and if he is not an uttama-adhikari, then the guru may change. Krsna will arrange for that.
If he is a kanistha-adhikari, like a vartma-pradarsaka-guru, not realized, he will be changed. On the contrary, a bona fide guru will not be changed. He will help his sincere disciples anywhere and in any way, birth after birth.
A bona fide guru has so many ‘sets of clothing.’ He may sometimes change his garments, but his personality stays the same. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, but He was Lord Krsna. Sri Gadadhara Pandita was in that form, but he was Srimati Radhika. Similarly, guru is the same. Sri Guru is one. He may change—sometimes shaving, sometimes in a white garment, sometimes in a sannyasa garment, but the personality is the same.
Try to understand what I am telling you. One cannot serve Srimati Radhika in a male form. Therefore, when Sri Guru is serving Sri Radha-Krsna Conjugal, he will be in a gopi form. That is why it is stated in the guru-mantra, ‘krsnanandaya dhimahi’ and ‘pracodayat.’ The disciple is praying, “Be merciful and manifest how you are serving Krsna and Srimati Radhika.” Then he may reveal himself. Otherwise, it is very hard to know all these things.
Narada Muni sometimes comes as Madhumangala, but his soul is the same. He comes in so many forms, as Srivasa Pandita, as Naradi-gopi, and so many others. If anyone has realized who his guru is and if that guru has manifested himself to that disciple, then he will not change. That same guru will help you. Don’t be disturbed by the garments.
The Power of Krsna
If one is really Sri Guru, even if he is a madyama-uttama, then the power of Krsna or Mahaprabhu will act in him because he is a representative of Krsna. Krsna has sent him. If an ordinary person, like a kula-guru is not qualified, but his disciple has the idea that, “My guru is Krsna,” and that disciple has worldly desires, his worldly desires will be fulfilled. How? Because he is thinking that his guru is Krsna. If his desires are not fulfilled, the blame will come to Krsna. Krsna must therefore fulfill those desires. The disciple should be sincere even if he has a kula-guru. If there is no sincerity, he will achieve nothing. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written that even if one worships a dry straw, thinking that it is Krsna, he will get some benefit. Somehow you should try to obey Sri Guru and Vaisnavas. Honor all Vaisnavas, otherwise you cannot serve Sri Guru. He will not be happy.
If Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada has so many disciples, and some may not have completed their progress to become self-realized, who will they be within their next life?
Srila Prabhupada will come. Somehow, in any form, he will come. This is explained in Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Gopa-kumara’s guru kept coming back to him, here and there, in different lives. At last he said, “My heartly blessings to you. You should at once go to Goloka Vrndavana.” Gopa-kumara then had a vision of Goloka Vrndavana and said, “At once, I’m going. I’m going.”
[*Editorial Endnote: During Vraja Mandala parikrama, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja told the visiting devotees: “I know which of you are writing ‘prema’ letters to each other. If you come to me and tell me about your problem of lust, then I will help you and save you from it. If you do not come and tell me, you will become more and more entangled in it, and you will go to hell. I know everything that is going on in your mind. If a Vaisnava does not know everything in your mind, he is not a Vaisnava.”
Another instance took place in France, in the next year. During a class on guru-tattva, Srila Maharaja said, “Srila Rupa Gosvami has written, “Visrambhena gurau-seva.” This means ‘service to gurudeva with intimacy.’ What is the meaning of intimacy? We can open our hearts to gurudeva. In the West, if one goes to the bathroom, he may become naked at the time of taking bath. In Indian culture we don’t do this, but now Indians are following the Westerners. Be that as it may, if you are seeing yourself in a mirror at that time, there is no harm if you are naked because there is no other person to see you. The mirror is not a person. Gurudeva should be seen in this way. He is like a mirror; meaning a bosom friend. We can open our heart fully and give it to Gurudeva so that he may read it. There is nothing to conceal from him. If you are concealing anything from him, it is duplicity: ‘How are you?’ ‘Okay.’ ‘Any problem?’ ‘Nothing’. The disciple is not revealing that he is making love with a girlfriend or anyone else. The effect of this will be an atom bomb, although in the beginning it seems like nothing. One may think, “Oh, Gurudeva should not know all these things. Otherwise he will chastise me and make some problem for me. This neglect of gurudeva will be like a hole in a needle that becomes large enough for an elephant to pass through. Don’t do this.”]
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