Worship of Sri Guru
Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura
vando mui savadhana mate
jahara prasade bhai, e bhava toriya jai
krsna-prapti hoy jaha ha’te
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya,
ar na koriho mane asa
sri-guru-carane rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasade pure sarva asa
cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya-jnan hrde prokasito
prema-bhakti jaha hoite, avidya vinasa jate,
vede gay jahara carito
sri-guru karuna-sindhu, adhama janara bandhu
lokanath lokera jivana
ha ha prabhu koro doya, deho more pada-chaya
ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana
1. The lotus feet of the Spiritual Master are the abode of pure devotional service. I bow down to those lotus feet with great care and attention. My dear brother [my dear mind]! It is through the grace of the Spiritual Master that we cross over this material existence and obtain Sri Krsna.
2. Make the teachings from the lotus mouth of the Spiritual Master one with your heart, and do not desire anything else. Attachment to the lotus feet of the Spiritual Master is the best means of spiritual advancement. By His mercy all desires for spiritual perfection are fulfilled.
3. He who has given me the gift of transcendental vision is my Lord, birth after birth. By His mercy Divine knowledge is revealed within the heart, bestowing prema-bhakti and destroying ignorance. The Vedic scriptures sing of His character.
4. O Spiritual Master, ocean of mercy, and friend of the fallen souls, You are the teacher of everyone and the life of all people. O Master! Be merciful unto me, and give me the shade of Your lotus feet. May Your glories now be proclaimed throughout the three worlds.
“It is the causeless mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga that I came here to meet you all. I am very happy at such causeless mercy of Guru and Gauranga. Unless one gets such mercy, how can one cross over this dreadful ocean of material existence and go deep into the other part, the other shore? That means beyond the material ocean, material world, there is the abode of Lord and that is our eternal home. Now the question is how can we go there? The only way to go there is to offer prayers at the lotus feet of that Guru who is an expert navigator, who can ferry us across this dreadful ocean and take us there.
vando mui savadhana mate
jahara prasade bhai, e bhava toriya jai
krsna-prapti hoy jaha hoite
The lotus feet of the spiritual master are the abode of pure devotional service. I bow down to those lotus feet with great care and attention. It is through the grace of the spiritual master that we cross over this material existence and obtain Krsna.
Only by the mercy, prasada of that Sri Guru, one will be able to cross over this dreadful ocean of material existence and develop Krsna-bhakti, as a result of which one gets Krsna.”
‘Sri’ is Very Significant
Sri-guru-carana-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma, the lotus feet of Sri Guru are the abode of bhakti, bhakti-sadma. Abode of bhakti only. I offer my prayers there, offer my obeisances there very carefully, with utmost care, savadhana mate.
One should understand the real potency of Sri-guru-carana-padma. ‘Sri Guru’ - these words are very significant. Sri means what? Sri means, sobha, sampada, srestha. Sri means beauty. Sri means transcendental wealth or asset and Sri means the topmost. These are some of the meanings of this word Sri.
Sri Guru means what? Guru who is endowed with Sri. Understand? That means endowed with prema-bhakti.That is Sri Guru. Understand me? And this word Sri can only be used with a Guru who is present, understand? Present! Who is always manifest! Not unmanifested. That is Sri Guru. Sri Guru is always manifest! It is not that Guru is unmanifest, he is eternally manifest. Understand me? Therefore, we say Sri Guru. There is no question of un-manifesting or disappearing. He is eternally manifested, therefore we say, ‘Sri Guru,’ this word Sri is used; otherwise we cannot use this word Sri.
In this world, Sri Guru is the only beauty; he is the only asset and only wealth. Nothing else is there. And he is eternally manifest, eternally there, yes. There is no question of unmanifesting or disappearing. Sri Guru is nitya, eternally there.
Carana means feet. Sri-guru-carana-padma, the feet of Sri Guru are compared to the lotus. This is also very significant. Why are they compared to the lotus, not compared to anything else?
Lotus flower looks very nice and beautiful and lotus has honey in it, sweet honey. The bumblebee collects honey from many flowers but especially collects honey from the lotus flower. What sort of special honey it is? The honey collected from other flowers and the honey collected from the lotus flower have some differences. The honey from the lotus flower is special honey. The bumblebee goes and collects honey from the lotus flower. It is known as padma-madhu, special type of honey. Padma means lotus, madhu means honey. The sisya, disciple, who is like a bumblebee is very hungry and greedy to have that special honey, he relishes it.
Mellifluous Ocean of Bhakti
The lotus flower grows out of the water but it is not touched by the water. It remains untouched. One of the synonyms of water is rasa, mellow. The lotus grows in the water; similarly, the feet of Sri Guru are compared to the lotus that grows in the ocean of transcendental bhakti-rasa.
Such is the lotus feet of Sri Guru! They are aprakrta, not material, they are transcendental. The lotus feet of Sri Guru is the abode of transcendental bhakti-rasa and filled with all madhuri, all beauty that is very relishable.
As the lotus looks very beautiful to the eye, nayana-abhiramam and attractive to the heart, citta-akarsaka; very nice and shining, similarly, the lotus feet of Guru are very beautiful to look at by the eyes of the sisyas, disciples. The lotus feet of Guru are also very attractive and very radiant and lustrous, snigdha.
So the activities of Sri Guru, the form, qualities, pastimes, are all very beautiful to the eyes of the sadhaka-bhakta. In the meditational eye, the bhakta, sadhaka-bhakta sees the beautiful lotus feet of Sri Guru. Upon seeing them, he gets a soothing effect in his afflicted heart. He is afflicted with three tapas, three kinds of sufferings: adhyatmika, adhibhautika andadhidaivika. So when he meditates on the beautiful lotus feet of Sri Guru, he gets a soothing effect and the affliction cools down; and he gets a very pleasing scent. As a nice scent comes out from the lotus, similarly the lotus feet of Sri Guru have that extremely pleasing scent. That scent is coming from the lotus feet of Sri Guru.
Lotus Flower & the Bumblebee
The bhramara, the bumblebee, wanders everywhere. He goes to various types of flowers. One type of flower is there known as the ketaki flower; not available in the west, I think. It is available in India. On that ketaki tree where the ketaki flower grows, they have thorns that are similar to the rose plant but the ketaki flower has thorns on its petals. Then the bhramara, the bumblebee, goes there being attracted towards the scent (ketaki flower also has a very nice scent), but because of the thorns on the petals, the bumblebee’s wings become torn and it gets so much pain and affliction. Now in a suffering situation the bumblebee thinks, ‘Oh, why did I come here? My wings are torn now! I am getting so much pain and affliction. Where to go? Where to go? Where to go? Where is the shelter? Where can I get shelter, where there is no pain, no affliction, only peace? Where can I get shelter, where there is no pain, no affliction, only peace? Where can I get relief?’
So, wandering hither and thither, at last that bumblebee comes to the lotus flower and experiences the cooling, soothing effect and gets relief from pain and suffering. He comes to the lotus flower and gets a soothing affect, ‘Oh, so cooling! Such a soothing effect is here in the lotus flower!’ So he takes shelter in the lap of the lotus flower; inside the lotus flower. And the lotus also gives him shelter and thereby he gets such cooling effect. The lotus allows him to suck this nice, sweet honey. The bumblebee sucks nice sweet honey from the lotus and gets nourishment.
Three Types of Suffering
Similarly, the jiva, wandering, wandering, wandering in innumerable brahmandas, universes, in innumerable species of life in this material world, is only getting suffering, distress, misery, pain, torture and more suffering. No happiness! No pleasure! No cooling effect, only blazing fire, samsara-davanala. He is in the blazing forest fire. This samsara, material world is like blazing fire. Nobody puts fire here, nobody puts fire into the forest, but automatically two pieces of wood when they rub, fire ignites automatically and the whole forest is burnt. The animals there suffer painful burning effects and are burnt to ashes.
Similarly, in this material world the jivas, the conditioned souls are burning in three types of tapas, heat, three types of sufferings: adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika. They give a burning sensation. So, wandering in innumerable universes and innumerable species of life, at last a bhagyavan jiva, one who is a fortunate soul, comes to the lotus feet of Sri Guru and takes shelter there. Brahmanda brahmite kono bhagyavan jiva. Such cooling shade is there! Guru’s lotus feet gives him shelter and also allow him to suck, like the bumblebee sucks the sweet honey from the lotus. Similarly, the guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Guru allows that soul to suck the nice honey, thereby he gets real nourishment, and gets premananda, real happiness.
Padma-madhu, the honey collected from the lotus flower is a very special type of madhu, honey, and it is a very good medicine for the eye. If you go to Ayurvedic doctor, kaviraja, he will advise, “Oh, you have eye disease, you have some impurities in your eye, you cannot see clearly, you get pain in your eye; alright, put some padma-madhu in your eye, that will clear it up, clean up all impurities and the eye will be very clear, then you will be able to see very well.” This padma-madhu has special quality. In Ayurvedic sastra it is mentioned there. Similarly, guru-pada-padma, the honey emanating from the lotus feet of Guru is so sweet and nectarean. If one fortunate bhakta, sisya,gets it and can relish it, then his material eye will be cleansed off. All materialism, all nasty things that were there in the eye will be cleansed off.
Why the Feet of Sri Guru are
Compared to a Lotus
Sometimes the eye is covered up with the dense darkness of ignorance.
om ajnana timirandhasya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
We offer this prayer, “I was born in darkness of ignorance. I was blind, I have no real vision. My eye was not opened. So Guru, out of causeless mercy, with the torchlight of knowledge opened my eye.”
So when the material eye is covered up with painful eye diseases. The kaviraja advises the patient to put some padma-madhu in his eye, so all the impurities can be cleansed. Nice drsti-sakti, power to see clearly, will develop after impurities have been cleansed. Then he gets nice vision, thereby he will be able to see very subtle things, which he could not have seen otherwise.
Similarly, when one takes shelter at the divine lotus feet of Guru and gets the Guru’s mercy then Guru allows that surrendered soul, that bhakta, that sisya, to taste that sweet honey, nectar, emanating from his lotus feet. That is a medicine. Thereby his material eye will be cleansed of all material contaminations and he will develop transcendental vision. Ajnana-andhakara. He was blinded with this materialism, this dense darkness of ignorance but now that is gone, the darkness of ignorance is dispelled by the mercy of Sri Guru. He receives divya-jnana-caksu, the eye of knowledge. Guru imparts tattva-jnana to that surrendered soul.
So by the mercy of Guru, he gets tattva-jnana and develops that transcendental vision. Through that eye, or vision, he will be able to see the beautiful form of Syamasundara. No more darkness of ignorance only effulgent light is there emanating from the lotus nails of Sri Guru. That dense darkness of ignorance that is covering the eye will be gone. The disciple has received that transcendental vision through which he can see the beautiful form of Syamasundara. This is the madhu, the honey that is emanating from the lotus feet of Guru, which works in such a wonderful way. Therefore, sri-guru-carana-padma, it is so significant why the feet of Sri Guru are compared to the lotus.
Special & Wonderful Characteristics
Padma-madhu has some Ayurvedic qualities, medicinal qualities. If you put padma-madhu in your eye, your eye will be cleared of all the impurities, you will develop nice eyesight, you will be able to see very subtle things and also the eye disease will be cured. So padma-madhu cures and cleanses the impurities of the eyes, but it cannot clean the impurities in the heart. Understand my point? Padma-madhu can cure the impurities from the eye but it cannot cure the impurities from your heart! But madhu, the honey emanating from the lotus feet of Guru, guru-pada-padma-madhu,it cures both! The eye as well as the heart! It is special honey. It has wonderful characteristics; it cures both the eye as well as the heart. Understand? This is sri-guru- carana-padma-madhu. It cleanses the heart and makes the heart pure, purified, then it becomes a proper place, suitable place for Govinda to take rest.
tomara hrdoye sada govinda-visram
govinda kohena—mora vaisnava-paran
“O Vaisnava Thakura, Govinda takes rest there in your heart, because your heart is Vrndavana, eternal abode of Govinda.”
So Govinda takes rest there peacefully, blissfully; never leaves your heart. Guru makes the heart of a surrendered disciple like that by allowing him to take shelter at his lotus feet which is like the lotus, and allows him to suck that special type of honey emanating. Honey with that wonderful characteristic which cleanses the impurities from the eye as well as the heart.
Unfailing Medicine for the Fortunate Jiva
A conditioned soul is like a diseased person who is suffering from various kinds of material ills, bhava-rogi.And that disease is very chronic disease. He has taken many medicines: Allopathic medicine, Homeopathic medicine, Ayurvedic medicine. He has taken so many… but the disease is not cured. Incurable disease!
Disease has become a chronic disease; he has already lost his vitality, jivana-sakti. He cannot digest any food now. He has lost his vitality because the disease has become chronic. He has used many, many medicines. Too many medicines means bad effect, also. Here you find that people are taking so many strong drugs. What is the effect of those strong medicines? Due to various side effects of those strong medicines chronic and incurable diseases come. Afterwards even if they eat something, they cannot digest, digestive power, digestive fire is very low now. So what shall he do? He cannot survive now; he is in a dying condition.
Once this condition is there, kaviraja advises, ‘Alright, there is only one thing that he can eat and that is madhu, the padma-madhu, special type of madhu. Give him the honey collected from the lotus flowers,padma-madhu, then he’ll regain his vitality and will be cured from his dying condition.’ A person, a jiva, wandering in innumerable universes, undergoing innumerable species of life, completely hopeless is getting only suffering and pain here. So that person, that jiva, affected with chronic, incurable disease; when at last, being disappointed from every side, everywhere, he fortunately comes to the lotus feet of Sri Guru who is a vaidya, physician, who knows the perfect medicine, unfailing medicine, to cure bhava-roga, the material ills.
The fortunate jiva comes to the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who knows why this person has been suffering, what is the reason of his suffering, or disease. He knows that this is the reason; he has been suffering from innumerable lives here in this material world. He is hopeless now, there is no hope of surviving, no medicine will act on him. Only one medicine is there, that is the honey emanating from the lotus feet of Guru, guru-pada-padma-madhu. So he allows, ‘Alright, take shelter here.’
As a lotus flower allows the bumblebee whose wings are torn up by the thorns of the ketaki flower to take shelter in it, similarly, sri-guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Guru, allows such a hopeless, wandering soul to take shelter at his lotus feet. He allows him to suck the honey whereby that suffering soul gets some vitality, nourishment and gets life. That is why we say sri-guru-carana-padma. The lotus feet of Sri Guru are compared to the padma, the lotus and not compared to anything else. It has a great significance.
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kinto prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
“The Spiritual Master is honored as much as the Supreme Lord because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and is followed by all authorities. Therefore, I offer my most respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my Spiritual Master, who is a bona fide representative of Lord Hari.”
Guru is saksad-dharitvena; he is as good as Lord Hari. He does not belong to this material world; he belongs to the spiritual world, that is Krsna’s world. But he comes down here because of his mercy, causeless mercy. Two things are there, either he voluntarily comes to deliver the fallen souls, seeing the suffering of the fallen souls his heart bleeds or by the direction of the Lord, when the Lord sends him and tells him to go to the material world. So, it is by the will of Krsna this guru-pada-padma descends here, to shower his mercy unto the suffering souls, those jivas who have been drowning here in this dreadful ocean of material existence from time immemorial. That guru-pada- padma descends here and stays here in this material world.
Someone may raise this question; this is the material world, illusory world, three modes of material nature; sattva, rajas, and tama gunas are here. If Guru comes here, stays here, how can he stay here and not be affected with it? How can he retain his transcendental nature or situation in this dreadful ocean of material existence and not become affected? How does he act here?
This is very easy to understand. As the lotus flower grows out of the water and lives inside the water but it is not being affected, it remains untouched. Similarly, Guru, though he comes here, he remains untouched. He never becomes affected with the three modes of material nature. He remains untouched. This is the lotus feet of Sri Guru; therefore, it is compared to a lotus.
So when the bumblebee comes to the lotus, the lotus gives shelter to that bumblebee in the core of its petals. Thereby, the bumblebee also doesn’t become affected with water; it remains there being untouched with water because it is in the core of the lotus. Similarly, a fortunate disciple or bhaktawho has taken shelter at the lotus feet of bona fide Sri Guru need not be afraid of this material world, material nature. He cannot be affected by the material nature because he has sincerely taken shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Guru. As the lotus gives shelter and protects the bumblebee from being affected or touched by the water similarly, Sri Guru gives shelter to the disciple at his lotus feet and protects him from this material world. This is the lotus feet of Sri Guru. Understand, how the guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Sri Guru are compared to the lotus.
Rising and Setting of the Sun
Another very significant point is there. When the sun rises, the lotus blossoms and the petals open. When the sun sets, the petals of the lotus become closed. When the lotus sees the rising of the sun, it blossoms, the petals open. Similarly, when the guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Guru sees bhakti-vrtti in the heart of a sincere disciple, a very ardent, intense desire, crying of a suffering soul, in the heart of a jiva. An intense desire to get bhakti, go back home, back to Godhead, to understand Krsna and get Krsna in this very lifetime then the petals of the lotus opens! So that is like the rising of the sun. But when the sun sets, the petals of the lotus become closed.
Similarly, one disciple has come, he has developed intense desire, burning desire in his heart to love Krsna, unconditionally then the guru-pada-padmagives him shelter. But many times we see, in the course of time that bhakta, that disciple looses hisbhakta-vrtti because of aparadha. If he commits aparadha: nama-aparadha, vaisnava-aparadha, like that, he looses his bhakti-vrtti. His bhakti-vrtti becomes shrunken. Now he is not carrying out the order of the Guru, he is not hearing the message of the Guru, he is not accepting the instructions of the Guru, he is not acting according to the instructions of the Guru, so he is avoiding or disobeying. That means the sun is setting now. When the sun sets, the petals of the lotus close. Similarly, the Guru disappears from the vision and heart of that disciple.
Sri Guru is Always Manifest
Of course, one who is an advanced devotee, who has made advancement, he has already developed taste for this transcendental mellow. So for him this is not applicable. It is only applicable for the neophyte devotee, one who has not made any advancement, one who has not developed any taste for it. If such a disciple or devotee commits some aparadha and associates with offenders or materialistic persons and doesn’t associate and hear from bona fide sadhu than the sun will set for him. Due to his offences, he will disobey the order of Guru, he will violate the instructions of Guru, and the directions of Guru and he will act according to his own whims. Thereby, the guru-pada-padma will disappear from him.
But this is not applicable for very advanced devotees; those who have already developed taste for this transcendental mellow. They cannot leave it because it has become their life and soul. Without relishing the transcendental mellows, they cannot survive. For those bhaktas or sisyas, who have developed taste for this transcendental mellow, jata-rati, the guru-pada-padma will never disappear. Such a dedicated disciple is always with the Guru and the Guru is always with him. In all conditions, he is engaged in the loving service of guru-pada-padma.
A nisthapara-bhakta, one who has achieved at least the minimum stage of nistha, for that bhakta, for that sadhaka, Guru is always with him, Guru will never disappear from him. But for one who has not achieved nistha stage, a stage of complete faith, the apprehension is there that if he is not careful than Guru may disappear. If he commits aparadha and violates Guru’s instructions and order, then Guru may disappear. That means the sun will set and the petals of the lotus will be closed and the disciple will not be able to relish the nectar emanating from the lotus feet of Sri Guru.
Another point is that Guru may be present here on this planet physically or Guru may have disappeared, left this planet and is not present physically, still thatbhakta, the advanced devotee, who has already developed taste and has at least reached the minimum stage of nistha and beyond that to the next stages of ruci, asakti and bhava, for him there is no question of disappearance of the Guru. He is always with his Guru, he sees the Guru and the Guru never disappears from him.
He always sees the presence of his Guru and always realizes that thing. That bhakta always gets his mercy and that is a fact. Minimum stage is nistha.One should achieve minimum stage of nistha; otherwise, that apprehension is there, that guru-pada-padma may disappear. That means the sun will set and the petals of the lotus will close.
Crying is Required
So this is guru-krpa, causeless mercy of Guru. And the bhakta, sisya, sadhakashould cry for it, cry for it. Unless you cry, how can you get? Without crying, nobody can get. For example, when a child cries, mother runs, “Oh my child is crying.” Yes. He cannot be pacified with anything else without mother’s presence.
Mother may be giving him a toy or a doll and say, “Alright, play with it, play with it.” The child is playing with the doll or toy given by mother and mother is engaged in some household work but throwing out that toy or doll, the child cries, cries, cries! Child cries, mother runs. So unless you cry, how can you get it? This crying is required. Koruna na hoile, kandiya kandiya, prana na rakhibo ara. You must cry for the mercy! You must cry. Unless you cry, how can you get the real darsana of Sri Guru? This crying is required. Those who have cried they have gotten the real mercy of Sri Guru.
krpa-bindu diya, koro’ ei dase,
trnapekha ati hina
sakala-sahane, bala diya koro’,
sakale sammana, korite Sakati,
deho’ natha! jathajatha,
tabe to’ gaibo, hari-nama-sukhe,
aparadha ha’be hata
kabe heno krpa, labhiya e jana,
krtartha hoibe natha!
sakti-buddhi-hina, ami ati dina,
koro’ more atma-satha
jogyata-vicare, kichu nahi pai,
tomara karuna sara
karuna na hoile, kandiya kandiya,
prana na rakhibo ara
This weeping or crying is required. Unless the child cries, the mother will not run. The child cannot get mother’s breast unless he cries. Similarly, unless you cry, how can you get? How can you have the darsanaof Sri Guru? You have to cry. Understand? You have to cry! This crying is required. When the child cries, then mother runs, similarly the Guru runs, he is very merciful, causelessly merciful.
Out of causeless mercy he comes, gives darsana, whether manifested or not manifested. He comes in a dream also and gives darsana. This is guru-tattva,nitya-tattva, eternal tattva, transcendental tattva. He is prakata [manifested], not aprakata [unmanifested]. He is eternally prakata. There is no question of unmanifestion. Sri Guru is eternally manifested, this is guru-tattva. Understand? So you cannot think of the inconceivable mercy of the lotus feet of Sri Guru, sri-guru-carana-padma. Through your material knowledge, intelligence and merit you cannot comprehend the extreme mercy of the lotus feet of sri-guru-carana-padma, the lotus feet of Sri Guru.
Guru is parikara, associate, nitya-parikara, eternal associate of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. This is guru-tattva. Akhila-rasamrta-murtih. He is an associate of both Gaura and Krsna. Especially the last limit, abhadi, of guru-tattvais Nityananda-tattva, Nityananda-svarupa. And Nityananda is Gaura-parikara,eternal associate of Gaura. Similarly, Guru is eternal associate of both Gaura and Krsna. In tattva, guru-tattva and Krsna-tattva are non-different. Therefore, saksad-dharitvena. He is saksad-hari as good as Lord Hari.
Lord Hari is visaya-tattva, whereas Guru is asraya-tattva. Guru is sevaka-bhagavan servitor Bhagavan and Krsna or Hari is sevya-bhagavan, served Bhagavan, understand? Both are Bhagavans. Sevya-bhagavan is Hari or Krsna, and Guru is sevaka-bhagavan, servitor Bhagavan; visaya and asraya, otherwise, tattva is one. Guru-rupe-krsna krpa korena bhakta jane. Krsna showers His mercy in the form of Guru. So one should understand this bhajan-rahasya.Without this understanding, one cannot understand Krsna, one cannot approach Krsna.
One cannot go back home, back to Godhead, definitely. Krsna appears before us in the form of Guru, and as Guru He comes here, appears here in this material world. He comes to us, helps us and He also acts as our friend, so merciful. He showers his causeless mercy and delivers us from this unlimited suffering from time immemorial.
Krsna in the form of Paramatma is there in the heart, known as caittya-guru.So from inside, also, He prompts us and give us intelligence, thereby we will act in a meticulous way and avoid committing any error or mistake. So this is the glory of the lotus feet of Sri Guru. This glory is incomparable. One cannot compare or describe it. It is unparalleled and matchless.
Krsna Krpa Sri Murti
Both siksa-guru and diksa-guru are the representative of Krsna and their krpa,mercy is unlimited mercy. There is no difference between siksa-guruand diksa-guru.
yadyapi amara guru—caitanyera dasa
tathapi janiye ami tanhara prakasa
Although my Guru is dasa, servant of Caitanya, still I know he is His manifestation, tanhara prakasa. This istattva. Therefore, we say Gurudeva, Sri Gurudeva, iskrsna-krpa-sri-murti. He is the embodiment of Krsna-krpa, the mercy of Krsna. When Krsna-krpa assumes a body and appears before us, that is Sri Guru. That Sri Guru is known as Krsna-krpa-sri-murti, the embodiment of the mercy of Krsna. So, if someone develops guru-bhakti, only then will he have the chance to get Krsna.
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
Svetasvatara Upanisad says, “One who develops the same type of bhakti for Guru as he develops towards Krsna, he is a very fortunate jiva soul. Unto him, all transcendental knowledge will manifest. Otherwise it will never manifest.”
Sri Guru is Krsna-priya-jana; he is very dear to Krsna. He is an eternal associate of Krsna, Radha-priya-dasi,a dear girl companion of Radharani. He is Radha-priya-sakhi, dear girl companion of Radharani, Radha-dasi, maidservant of Radharani, like Rupa Manjari, that is Sri Guru. The mula-guru-tattva,original guru-tattva is Nityananda-tattva. So by gradual descending Sri Guru has come to us which is the mercy manifestation of Nityananda Prabhu, that is Nityananda-tattva; He has come to us. So Nitaicand is both diksa-guruand siksa-guru. Also caittya-guru is the manifestation of Nitaicand. He is guru-tattva. Only difference is the activities, lilas, nothing else. Therefore, we sing this song, sri-guru-carana-padma. This is the significance as to why the feet of Sri Guru are compared to the lotus flower.
Offer Worship with Utmost Care
Vando mui savadhana mate. You should do vandana, offer prayer or worship with utmost care, savadhana mate. Three types of vandana are there: kayika, vacika, manasika, through your body, through your words and through your mind you should offer obeisances, offer prayer, and offer worship to the lotus feet of Sri Guru. So through your body you do dandavat pranam, falling flat on the ground. Dandavat pranam iskayika-vandana.
Vacika-vandana, through your words, you offer prayers, glorify Guru. Through your mind, manasika, always think of the lotus feet of Guru, such nice, beautiful, peaceful, transcendental, blissful lotus feet of Guru. Always meditating and thinking through your mind.
Kayika, through your body, also means through what you have gotten. You’ve gotten some money, material opulence, so you offer; render service through that money, that is kayika, physical. You also have some followers, dependents, jana. With all your subordinates, you should serve Guru. That is kayika. Offering everything, one should render loving service to the lotus feet of Guru. ‘Followers’ means you are a family man. You have wife, you have son, you have daughter, you have friends, servants, whatever. So you serve with all the members of your family. That is kayaka. Through all your capacity, you should serve. This is why it is said, vando mui savadhana mate, with utmost care one should do vandana, offering prayers we should worship Guru - with utmost care, savadhana mate.
Vacika, through your words, you also offer prayers, glorifications to Guru. Also, hear from Guru, sravana guru vakya guru katha sravana. What you have heard, tell that thing to others, also. Allow other persons to hear through you, that is using your words, vacika.You also have some doubts, humbly ask questions and clarify your doubts, that is pariprasna. This is all service, seva.
Manisika, mind, you should put firm faith, unflinching faith, in the words of Guru, firm faith, unflinching faith. And you should understand that in various forms, my Guru has manifested before me and is helping me and showering mercy onto me. This is the thinking of the mind. That is how you should serve through your mind. This is kayika, vacika, maniska.
All vaisnava-sadhus in the world are all manifestations of Gurudeva. Guru-krpa, the mercy of Guru, is my only asset. Nothing else. Therefore, we say, vando mui savadhana mate, do Guru vandana with utmost care. Understand? Be careful! Don’t be careless.
Only Sri Guru Can Bring the Disciple
into Krsna Samsara
Sri Guru says that you are an eternal servant of Krsna. So you should be engaged in the service of Krsna. But where is Krsna and where am I? How can I serve? Is Krsna in the material world? No. Krsna is in the spiritual world, Vaikuntha! Krsna’s world is Vaikuntha samsara, bhagavan-kasya-samsara. I am in the material world. Krsna is the only enjoyer, jiva is not the enjoyer and jivacannot be the enjoyer.
Gurudeva says, whatever you see and find, this is all paraphernalia for Krsna’s enjoyment; it is not for your enjoyment. In Krsna’s world in Vaikuntha, enough abundance of Krsna’s enjoyment is there. As you want to become free from clutches of maya, similarly, Bhagavan, Supreme Lord Krsna wants to take you out of maya’s clutches, maya’s fort and engage you in His service, that is Krsna’s desire.
Krsna is the only enjoyer and His desire for enjoyment is unlimited, ananta. Therefore, He wants to enjoy taking everybody into His embrace. That He wants. You are a tiny jiva; have you any capacity to enjoy? You have no capacity to enjoy at all! You are not enjoyer what capacity do you have? You have only developed some abhimana that ‘I will enjoy, Oh I will enjoy.’ It is all abhimana, pride, but you have no capacity to enjoy. But Krsna has unlimited capacity. He is the only enjoyer. He enjoys in unlimited ways. Jiva is to be enjoyed, upabhogya. Jiva is not bhokta, jiva is not enjoyer, jiva is to be enjoyed, upabhogya, do you understand what Krsna wants? But Krsna is there in His abode, in vaikuntha-rajya, in the spiritual world. You are here in, sakuntha-jagat, the material world. So how can you serve? But he has made a trick for you. Krsna has made a trick for you. What is that trick? That trick is Gurudeva. Sri Gurudeva is that trick. He has sent Gurudeva here to this material world and Gurudeva has prayed for Krsna’s samsara here. That is Krsna’s desire, “Let My samsara manifest.” Pure Vaisnavas, sadhus-mahajanas, they are Gurus. So, by sending them here, Krsna wants His samsara to manifest here. And Gurudeva has opened that samsara here. The Supreme Lord has not said to Gurudeva, “You go and do your samsara.” He has not said like that. The Supreme Lord said, “You go there and do My samsara.” So, by the desire of Krsna, Gurudeva has come here and he has opened Krsna’s samsara. Krsna is his eternal master, nitya-swami, and Gurudeva has dedicated his life, complete dedication, complete surrender, kaya, mana, vakya, his body, mind and speech, everything, he has dedicated and surrendered to Krsna.
So, those who come to him, those who take shelter at the lotus feet of such a Sri Guru, he takes them and makes them enter into Krsna’s samsara. Gurudeva says, “I am opening Krsna’s samsara, I am doing everything for the pleasure and enjoyment of Krsna, so, you come and enter into Krsna’s samsaraand render unalloyed loving service to Krsna and thus you’ll be free from the clutches of maya and free from material suffering.”
How to Approach Sri Guru
Gurudeva may sit in any solitary place, secluded place, and may engage himself in his bhajan. He may sit there by the side of Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, making a cottage there, doing his bhajan. He can do so. But why he has come here, especially to the western world where maya is very strong, gross materialists are there. His heart bleeds, seeing the suffering of the jivas. He has come here, giving up all these things, to give you opportunity how to do Hari-bhajan, Krsna-bhajan, service to Krsna. He has come to teach you that thing and to give you opportunity how to serve Krsna. You have forgotten Krsna, so just to revive your remembrance, smarana, and to give you opportunity to serve Krsna, he has come here. So he has opened this samsara, opened a factory. So you become an employee in that factory. Then, thereby you’ll enter into Krsna’s samsara.
Now some may say, ‘I am doing harinama and chanting, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.’ You may be chanting, you may be doing Hari-bhajan, but unless you enter into Krsna’s samsara, what value is there? So in order to enter into Krsna’s samsara you have to approach a bona fide Guru, Sri Guru. So that Gurudeva is calling you, “Come, come! Enter into the samsara I have opened here.” Unless you enter into Sri Guru’s samsara, you cannot enter into Krsna’s samsara and chant offenselessly.
You maybe chanting lakhs and lakhs of Names of Krsna, but if it’s all offensive then your anarthas can never be destroyed. Even if you chant lakhs of offensive Names, still you cannot make any advancement at all! Many are chanting, but what are they getting? Only by chanting the Holy Name, can one go to Vaikuntha? No! No! No! You can never make any advancement if you are chanting with offenses. Gurudeva has come here to teach you that you should enter into the guru-samsara, that is Krsna’s samsara. You are a servant of Guru and Krsna, you have to render service, you should render service by entering into the guru-grha, the house of Guru, then you will get perfection, otherwise you cannot achieve perfection.
So entering into the samsara of Guru, what do you want? Do you want to take everything and not to give anything? You have gotten a lot from Guru! Have you not gotten? You have gotten a lot, a lot from Guru. But unless you are a servant, and unless you serve in the house of Guru, what is the benefit? No benefit will be there. Therefore, Gurudeva says, “Come and join, enter into my samsara, that is Krsna’s samsara, yes. Join here, join here, then all your anarthas will be destroyed.” Dedicate your body, mind and speech, soul everything for the service of Guru. You have come to the house of Guru. So he has opened a factory, so you should be an employee in that factory. You should be an employee; the Guru will give you employment in the factory, Gurudeva has opened. That is the service of Krsna, Krsna-seva-yajna. This isyajna, sacrifice, to offer service to Krsna. That is seva-yajna. Unless you join in that seva-yajna, unless you render service in guru-grha, you cannot get real benefit at all.
Perfection is Guaranteed
And Gaurasundara, Mahaprabhu, speaks and teaches through Sri Guru. So, giving everything that is: kaya, mana, vakya, body, mind and speech, you have to serve Sri Guru and then perfection is guaranteed. Perfection is guaranteed, definitely.
So many impediments, obstacles, are there. Material world means every step there is danger, every step there are so many stumbling blocks. But if you completely surrender through your body, mind, and speech then all your impediments, stumbling blocks, obstacles will be destroyed within a moment. In this very life, in this very life you’ll achieve perfection. There is no doubt about it. Without the mercy of Guru, without service to Guru, nobody can understand Krsna, nobody can approach Krsna, nobody can get Krsna, which is the ultimate goal of human life. Therefore, we offer this prayer everyday and offer worship to Sri Guru.
vando mui savadhana mate