November 12, The procession around Radha Kund and Shyam Kund. It is something of an irony that Iskcon should be the conduit that nourishes a hundred different Vaishnava sampradayas in Braj. So many babajis, Bengali or foreign, were in Iskcon or the Gaudiya Math.
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You should consider the acarya, meaning the Guru, to be Me Myself, and never disrespect him. Do not find faults in him, taking him to be an ordinary human being, for Sri Guru is the aggregate of all the gods. Krishna bestows His mercy upon the devotees in the form of the Guru. This grace consists of the treasure of worshipping Sri Krishna, and the fruit of this bhajana is the treasure of prema which is bestowed upon the surrendered disciple.
The Guru is the special devotee-manifestation of the Lord. If the disciple does not think like that, he might consider the Guru to be an ordinary mortal being, and that will result into a great offence which will make all his sadhana bhajana fruitless, like the bath of an elephant.
One who wants to worship the Supreme Lord must first of all take shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Guru. If it is necesary to take a learned and experienced teacher to learn something in this mundane world, then it is needless to say that one needs a Guru to learn bhakti, which is the highest science in the spiritual world, from.
Another special feature of devotional knowledge is that the merciful Sri Bhagavan has personally appeared within this world in the form of the Guru to teach bhakti to the people of the world.
We have briefly discussed the Guru-principle above. When the gravity gurutva of the Guru-principle is understood, then there will be no more doubts about the importance of taking shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Guru. Knowledge on all these Guru-principles is acquired in the association of the sadhus. Without the company of the devotees of the Supreme Lord, the principle of Guru cannot be understood.
Hence the scriptures and the great saints first of all advise the people who wish to do sadhana bhajana and who desire the highest welfare, to associate with the saints.
Anyone who lovingly relishes these topics, that are the swift pathway to the cessation of ignorance, will gradually develop faith, attachment and devotion for Me. The most fortunate amongst these human beings will attain the association of the saints.
While hearing topics of Sri Krishna from the mouths of the greatly realised devotees of the Lord, the heart, which is polluted by attachment to sense objects, will be somewhat purified and one will realise that the body and everything related to it is temporary, and the ocean of temporary material existence seems impossible to cross.
Then, the heart will become eager to cross the impassable and miserable ocean of material existence, that is filled with the crocodiles and sharks of lust and anger, to attain the eternally blissful lotus feet of the Lord and to find a suitable captain for the sturdy ship of the human body — Sri Guru. This human body is the adya, the root cause of all welfare, and sukalpa, expert in accomplishing its goal.
The living entity attains this rarely attained human body, which is like an excellent boat that has Sri Gurudeva as its captain. On top of everything I am providing favorable winds to steer it in the right direction.
A person who does not endeavour to cross the ocean of material existence despite receiving this body is destroying himself.
Thus we must understand that association with the bhaktas has not taken place if one has not realised the necessity of taking shelter of the feet of a Guru. Wherever the association of the devotees is attained or is going on and there is no realisation about the obligation to take shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Guru, or such shelter has not yet been taken, we must understand that the real association of saints has not taken place yet, or that due to some mischief the results of association with the saints are not yet tangible.
When a person wishes to be blessed with the fruits of sadhana bhajana and he desires to take shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Guru, it is absolutely necessary that he takes shelter of the feet of a bona fide Guru. When the Guru-potency awakens within a saint he becomes known as a bona fide Guru. This Guru-potency awakens within a saint in the following way — those who have removed the dirt from their hearts through their practice of sadhana bhajana; in whose hearts bhakti has awakened and who have become ornamented by saintly qualities such as compassion and kindness — their hearts melt when they see the misery the conditioned souls go through in the material world of maya.
By instructing the conditioned souls in the practice of bhajana, they destroy their miserable condition and they are eager to bless them by giving them the relish of bhakti rasa. A person who covets devotion to the Supreme Lord is blessed by taking shelter of such a qualified and bona fide Guru. The characteristics of such a bona fide Guru have been described in Srimad Bhagavata If he is not, then he cannot remove the doubts of the disciples that take shelter of him.
Then again he is para brahma nishnata, which means that He is a devotee, or that He is endowed with transcendental realisations about Sri Krishna. If he is not, then he cannot infuse realisations on bhajana within the heart of his disciple. The heart of anyone who is enlightened by bhakti cannot be covered by the darkness of lust and greed and so on.
Therefore the definitions of a bona fide Guru given by the sastras are as follows: 1 He is filled with realisations about the Personality of Godhead due to his firm faith and his firm adherence to the worship of the Lord. Thus he can destroy the doubts in his disciples. Thus he has become so powerful that he is able to bring the disciple onto the path of bhakti and infuse this power within him.
A saint who is endowed with such attributes and who is filled with parental love for his disciples, can attain the position of a bona fide Guru. Such a bona fide Guru is able to destroy different obstacles the disciple may find in his bhajana, bless him with prema and bring him to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.
On the other hand, a person who desires to be known as a Guru may have many virtues, like high birth and so on, but if he does not have the above mentioned characteristics, he will not be counted amongst the bona fide Gurus. Therefore a faithful person who is eager to do Sri Krishna-bhajana should take shelter of the lotus feet of a maha purusha who is endowed with the right qualities, receive initiation into Sri Krishna-mantra from him and learn bhajana from him.
Hari Bhakti Vilasa 1. A Guru who is born in a faultless and sinless family, is himself sinless and faultless, behaves as he should do, belongs to a certain asrama, is free from anger, knows the Vedas and all other scriptures, has faith, does not find faults, speaks affectionately, is nice to behold, pure, nicely dressed, young, engaged in the welfare of all living entities, intelligent, prideless, satisfied, non-violent, able to judge transcendental truths, endowed with parental love, expert in puja of the Supreme Lord, grateful, affectionate towards his disciples, able to punish and reward, practising homa mantra, a knower of all kinds of arguments and counter-arguments, pure-hearted and merciful is an ocean of glories.
He always speaks the right words everywhere. Therefore the grace of the Guru is coveted —. Some people think that a bona fide Guru is very rare in this world and it is not easy to recognise and attain a bona fide Guru. Thinking like this, they do not endeavour to take diksha-mantra and thus waste the precious moments of their rare human lives. In this connection it must be said that when the Lord descends as the bona fide Guru for the benefit of the world, He is never hard to attain or unattainable for the genuine seekers of bhajana and those who are eager to take shelter of the bona fide Guru.
Those who give up crookedness and associate with the saints with a simple and innocent mind, for the cessation of their material miseries, and earnestly take shelter of the feet of a bona fide Guru, for the sake of worshipping the Lord, praying to the Lord with an eager heart, while hoping to attain the bona fide Guru, will certainly be blessed with the shelter of a bona fide Guru — of this there is not even the slightest doubt.
Merciful Sri Hari will certainly provide good luck and opportunities to such people, who are so eager to do bhajana. The first three of the 64 items of bhajana that are described by Srimat Rupa Gosvamipada are guru padasrayas tasmat krishna dikshadi sikshanam visrambhena guroh seva Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.
In the scriptures, a mutual examination of Guru and disciple is also described as necessary. If this is not done then they may both experience obstacles in their bhajana in the future. In other words, if the Guru does not have the characteristics that are described in the sastras, the disciple will inevitably experience obstacles in bhajana and if the disciple is not qualified then the Guru will inevitably experience obstacles in bhajana.
Not only that, this also has a very valuable result. When the sadhaka who is eager to receive diksha stays for a few days with the Guru and engages in his service he will also become qualified for both diksha and bhajana. On the other hand, the Sri Guru-principle will melt with compassion when he sees the sincere service rendered to such a maha bhagavata great devotee.
The practising devotee fulfills a main human pursuit by attaining the diksha mantra from the lotus feet of Sri Guru, whose heart is melting of compassion, being satisfied with his service. In this way the practising devotee will be blessed with the true relish of ambrosial bhakti rasa. Here it is noteworthy that a maha purusha, who is endowed with extraordinary powers, can examine the qualifications of a disciple on mere sight, or can make an unqualified candidate at once qualified and can thus give initiation to a candidate at once.
For such great persons there is no bondage to the above rules and regulations. This, however, does not apply to all ordinary persons. What is meant with diksha, or initiation? In his Bhakti Sandarbha Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada quotes the sastras to describe the glories of initiation —. Hence he has been swallowed by ignorance and illusion, and being under such illusion, he identifies with his false body, senses and mind.
Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself said — diksha kale bhakta kore atma samarpana; sei kale krishna tate kore atma sama sei deha korena tara cid anandamoy; aprakrita dehe tara carana bhajoy C. This is factually not the opinion of the Gosvamis. The sastras and the sayings of the Mahajanas have shown the glories and the eternality of taking initiation, and from the ancient Mahajanas down to the present day sadhaka samaja society of practising devotees such purificatory rites have always existed.
If someone knows this, but is still averse to taking shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide Guru, it will result in an offence to the chanting of the holy name. It is not only an offence to the scriptures and the sayings of the Mahajanas, but it is also a sign of disrespect to the Guru-principle — these two powerful offenses will be committed. Of all the different mantras that have been mentioned by the sastras in connection with diksha, the Sri Krishna-mantra is the most important, because Sri Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead, the origin of all Personalities of Godhead.
Of the three playgrounds of Sri Krishna — Vrindavana, Mathura and Dvaraka, the greatest attribute of Godhead — sweetness — is manifest in Sri Vrindavana, where Sri Krishna plays like a cowherd boy. Therefore the mantras in connection with this Vrindavana-lila are the greatest. Although these mantras have all been written down in sacred books and publications, their japa will yield no fruit without initiation.
The mantra must be received from the bona fide Guru. Some people also consider the word, syllable hare krishna maha mantra as a diksha mantra, but this hari nama maha mantra has not been counted amongst the diksha mantras in any of the initiation manuals because if it is chanted out loud, how can it be counted amongst the diksha mantras? At some places this hari nama is being given in advance of the diksha to purify the ears and the heart, but this is not called diksha.
The question may be raised: When the hare krishna mantra is called the maha mantra, then will not perfection be attained by taking this mantra alone? The answer to this is that the hare krishna mantra is called the maha mantra because it is more powerful than any other mantra in bestowing prema.
Still, if there is no fourth case ending sampradana, dative case and the rishyadi shadanga six standard sequences that form a certain pattern of composition are not there it is not a diksha mantra. One should know that before accepting diksha the fruit of hari nama sankirtana will be the taking of the shelter of the bona fide Guru and his instructions on diksha, and after taking diksha the fruit of nama sankirtana will be prema. The giver of the mantra is called the diksha guru and the giver of instructions on bhajana is the siksha guru.
However, if the diksha-guru passes away before the disciple was able to receive instructions on bhajana from him, then one should accept a similar great saint, who is expert in bhajana, as a siksha guru in the matters of bhajana, and serve and attend him like he is Sri Guru himself. The Guru from whom one takes shelter in the life of bhajana to learn bhajana is called a siksha guru.
To bestow bhakti upon the conditioned souls and to take them to Him, merciful Sri Krishna has appeared internally as the antaryami siksha guru the inner monitor and externally as the acarya, who is the topmost bhakta. In Sri Caitanya Caritamrita it is described — siksha guru to jani krishnera svarupa; antaryami bhakta sreshtha ei dui rupa. He is called the caitya guru, the teacher in the heart. Therefore He does not teach the devotee as the caitya guru. The form of the Lord that is worshipped within the heart of the devotee, appears within the heart of the devotee as the antaryami and teaches and engages him in the ways of loving Him in his own particular mood.
And yet again, the topmost devotee who externally teaches the disciple bhajana in a tangible form, is also Sri Krishna as such. Some are preaching a philosophy which is not in any scripture, saying that one must take a siksha mantra from the siksha guru. However, there is no such a thing mentioned in the sastras or by the mahajanas as a siksha mantra. Let therefore no one be deceived by such an errant, un-scriptural theory.
It is not that the duties of the disciple end after he has taken diksha from the bona fide Guru. There is a special need to serve Sri Gurudeva after taking initiation, because the satisfaction of Sri Gurudeva is the root cause of the satisfaction of the Lord and the destruction of all obstacles in bhajana for the sadhaka. Nevertheless, the sadhaka will not be able to transcend these bad habits on his own, although he may try various means to do that. The only way to destroy these bad habits is to please Sri Guru.
Also, the only way to please the Lord is to please Sri Guru. From this, it is understood that the root cause of bhajana sadhana and the attainment of its fruit, meaning the destruction of all kinds of bad habits and the attainment of the Lord with prema, is the satisfaction of Sri Guru.
Guru-tattva-vijnana (excerpt by Radhakunda Mahanta Sri Sri Ananta das Babaji)
During the earlier years of his life he held the occupation of a teacher, living with his wife and children. Having heard of the fame of Sri Kunja Bihari Das Babaji Maharaja, a renowned bhajananandi saint at Radha Kunda who was influential in the area of Jharikhanda during his householder life, in Sri Ananta Dasji decided to leave for a pilgrimage to meet the saint. Having arrived at Radha Kunda, he met with the mahatma and received initiation into a disciplic succession descending from Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Srimati Jahnava Mata. During the following two months, Sri Kunja Bihari Das Babaji taught him the mysteries of the philosophy, worship and meditation practiced in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. At the end of this visit, despite his desire to stay at Radha Kunda, Sri Kunja Bihari Das Babaji ordered him to return to his village to preach the message of Sri Caitanyadeva, initiating people into the practice of spiritual life.
Sri Guru and Bhakta Tattva Vijnana by Ananta Das Babaji
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