The Guru Must Be A Responsible Guardian

HDG Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

A Lecture From The Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.18 Vrndavana, November 6, 1976
By Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Devotee: Translation:
“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worship able demigod.”

Prabhupada: …

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum
 [SB 5.5.18]

So in the previous verse it has been described that kas tam svayam tad-abhijno vipascid. The guardian should be abhijnah, and vipascit, very learned. The government, the father, the guru, the teacher, or even husband of… Because we are guided, everyone is guided by somebody else. That is society. Not cats and dogs. Just like the cats and dogs, they give birth to the children and then they have no responsibility. The dogs are loitering in the street; nobody takes care. But human society should not be like that. There must be responsible guardians. The some of the responsible guardians are described here. First of all, guru. Either you take ordinary teacher in the school or colleges, they are also called guru, and the sublime guru is the spiritual master. Not only the spiritual master, but anyone who has taken the post of becoming guru to teach others, he must be very learned, very responsible, vipascit, abhijnah. Abhijnatah, it is the qualification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is said in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, abhijnah. Janmady asya yatah ‘nvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah [SB 1.1.1]. The controller must be abhijnah. The same thing is here. Of course, we cannot be as abhijnah as God — that is not possible — but little quantity of that abhijnatah must be there. Otherwise what is the use of becoming…?

Lord Krishna is the Supreme Controller

First of all, it is said about guru, anyone who takes care of his subordinate, he is guru. The first charge is that you should not become a guru unless you are completely in awareness how to save your dependent from the path of birth and death. That is the first question. Not that “I am your guru. I can cure some colic pain in your belly.” They go to guru also for that purpose. People generally go to guru, rascals go to guru, to another rascal. What is that? “Sir, I have got some pain. Give me some acid bath (?) so that my pain may be cured.” “But why you have come here, rascal, here for curing your pain? In the village you can go to some doctor, or you can take some tablet. Is it the purpose of coming to visit guru?” But generally they come to guru and ask for blessing for some material benefit. They are rascals, and therefore Krsna also gives them a rascal guru. They want to be cheated. They do not know what is the purpose of going to guru. They do not know. They do not know what is the problem of my life and why shall I go to guru. They do not know. And the so-called gurus also take advantage of this ignorance of the public, and they become a guru. This is going on. The guru does not know what is his responsibility, and the rascal public, they do not know what for one should go to guru. This is the difficulty.

Sri Sri Radha and Krishna The Divine Couple

Who requires a guru? Everything is there in the sastra. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21].

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
 [MU 1.2.12]

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti tad-jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah
 [Bg. 4.34]

This is qualification of guru, tattva-darsi. What is that tattva?

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate
 [SB 1.2.11]

One who knows what is Paramatma, what is Brahman, what is Bhagavan, he is tattva-darsi. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. So these are the qualification of guru. Why one should go to a guru to see some magic? One who can make some gold, one who can make some… So many magicians who are becoming guru. This is going on. The public, they do not know what is the meaning of guru, and the cheaters, they get the opportunity of becoming false gurus. In the Western countries we are seeing so many so-called rascal gurus go there and cheat the public because the Europeans, Americans, they have got some conviction that India has got some spiritual knowledge, so anyone goes as a sannyasi, as a swami, they expect to get something from them. So they gather round them. But these rascals cheat them. Somebody says, “I am incarnation of God, and I can make my secretary, woman, pregnant, and marry and get some money.” This is going on. And somebody is Transcendental Meditation. What is the result of prana…? He’ll will get strong. He will get money. Your health will be right. These things are going on.

The Paramatma The Lord In The Heart

But sastra says that you should not…, you are rascal. You should not become a guru because you have no power to save your disciple from the clutches of imminent death. We will not cheat others. Gurur na sa syat, this is Bhagavatam. You are rascal if you are not confident that you can save him from the clutches of birth and… This is my problem. But they do not know what is the problem. They think that little pain in my belly or in the head, if the guru can give me a little dust and it is cured. You will find that there are so many cheaters. In some…, about forty years ago, I know near Lucknow, some guru came, he was curing all disease by giving little dust. All cheating. Later on it was detected. Thousands, thousands men came to him, even big, big capitalists, they also. Everyone has got some disease, and they want to see the miracle by giving little dust, and he is curing disease: “Oh! Such a guru!” These things are going on. But Bhagavata says that both the public must know what for one should go to guru. Not that it is a fashion to keep a guru, just like to keep a dog. No. He must know what is the purpose of guru.

Ajurna Surrenders To Lord Krishna And Receives The Divine Teachings Of The Holy Bhagavad Gita

The purpose of guru is described in the Bhagavatam, that tasmad gurum prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]. Guru to go, to surrender. Just like Arjuna, he surrendered, sisyas te ‘ham sadhi mam prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. Prapadye, tasmad gurum prapadye. You must find out guru where you can surrender. Not that keep your guru your order supply, “Give me some acid bath (?) and I may be benefited.” He is not guru; he is your order supplier, your servant. Guru means he must order it, “You must do this.” If we agree, then he is a guru. Not that “I shall order my guru, and he will execute my order.” No that. That will do the dog, not the guru. Then the… You have got a dog, and if you ask him, “Sit down here,” a dog will sit. That kind of guru keeping has no value. But here is the responsibility of guru, first that he must save the disciple from the cycle of birth and death. Krsna also said, “What is the problem of life?” Not that “I have got some pain here, I have some trouble or some…” These are not problems. This problem one should tolerate. Because destiny is there, one should agamapayino nitya tams titiksasva bharata. We should not be disturbed for all these things. It is material world. You will have sometimes matra sparsas tu sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah. The whole world is like that. There is sometimes distress, there is sometimes happiness. So to mitigate the worldly distress or getting some happiness, one should not go to guru. That is not the proper way.

We come from different nations, but our real identity is soul, spirtual soul. We are not our body, therefore discrimination and racism is based on ignorance.

The proper way is that you should know the problem of life, and Krsna personally says, “This is the real problem of your life.” What is that? Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. This is problems. But they do not know. All rascals. Krsna says, na jayate na mriyate va kadacit. And don’t they read? “I am reading Bhagavad-gita, I am great politician and great leader. I am reading Bhagavad-gita.” What do you understand? Do you understand that the soul is immortal and it is transmigrating, tatha dehantara-praptir? Do you know all this problem? Then why you have become national leader? Today I am a Indian; tomorrow I may become a Chinaman. Then where is my nationality? Today I am human being; tomorrow I may be a dog. Then where is my society? Where is my friendship? Where is my love? They do not disclose all these things. Cheat guru. If my soul is transmigrating, tatha dehantara praptih [Bg. 2.13], is it guarantee? Is there any guarantee that today I am Indian, and after my death I shall become Indian? No. There is no guarantee. Today I am American, and after death I shall become a…? No. That is not in your hand. After death your so-called boastfulness, pride — everything finished. Then at the clutches of in the maya’s hand, in the nature’s hand,

prakrteh kriyamanani
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
 [Bg. 3.27]

You are in the hands of the laws of prakrti, even in this life. Even in this life. If you can eat one chatta, and if you will eat little more, immediately you will become diseased. Immediately. Nature will punish you, three days’ starvation. You have taken more. So this is the law of nature. You cannot violate the… There is salt is required, little in the food. If it is a little more, you cannot take. If it is a little, you cannot take. So stricture, you cannot violate even a slightest degree the laws of nature. But these rascals are thinking that “I am independent.” Ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]. We should take guidance of the spiritual master or the guru or Krsna. Guidance of guru means guidance of Krsna, because acaryam mam vijaniyan navamanyeta karhicit [SB 11.17.27]. Acaryam mam, acarya is as good as guru, as good as Krsna. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, guru-krsna krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Not only Krsna’s mercy, but guru’s mercy, both mercy required. Guru-krsna krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu The Golden Avatar appeared in the 15th Century.

So by if you are sincere, actually, if we actually want Krsna, Krsna is within your heart, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna [Bg. 18.61]. When Krsna sees that “Here is a sincere soul, he wants Me,” tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, buddhi-yogam dadami tam [Bg. 10.10]. As soon as sees, Krsna, that “Here is a sincere person who wants Me,” He’ll give you nice guru. Guru-krsna krpa. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadat. And if you have really a bona fide guru, then by pleasing him you will get the favor of Krsna. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi **. If you have become more than your guru, then “Overcoming guru, I shall get Krsna’s prasada, Krsna’s favor, I have learnt more, guru mara vidya,” that is also not good. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasya **. This is the injunction of the acarya, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. He has described very nicely vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru nandana [Bg. 2.41]. The order of guru should be the life and soul of the disciple, without caring for his personal salvation. This is the qualification of sisya. Sisyas te ‘ham sadhi mam prapannam [Bg. 2.7], fully surrendered. And guru’s duty is to guide them, guide him how to overcome this cycle of birth of death. These are the relationship between guru and disciple or father and son, mother and son, friend and friend, devata… There are so many devatas. In the sastras there are thirty-three millions of devata. They say, “Whatever you worship,” the rascals say, not any intelligent man, that “whatever devata. You worship Kali, that’s all right. You worship Ganesa, that’s all right. You worship Surya, that’s all right. Whatever you are doing is all right. It is the same thing.” No. Krsna does not say. Krsna says mam ekam. That is wanted. Krsna never says that “You are worshiping Goddess Kali, or Durga, or this, or that, that’s all right.” But these rascals said, “Oh, this is all right.” And he has become guru. He does not know what is the path of salvation, how one can get out, can get rid of this problem of birth, death — and still they preach.

This eternal light is the combination of millions and trillions of sparks of living entities.

There are so many, you will find, rascal gurus, they are preaching like that, that “Whatever you do, it is all right.” There is a big mission, they say also that yata mat tata patha. “Whatever you have manufactured, the way of salvation, that’s all right.” But Krsna does not say, or the sastra does not say. Sastra says harim vina na mrtim taranti: unless you surrender to Krsna, Hari, there is no question of salvation. There is no question of salvation. Therefore bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. One who is bewildered, he thinks that “Whatever I do, it is all right.” That is mistake. That is mistake. The jnanis, they think that they will merge into the existence of the Supreme, that you can merge. That does not mean that you are delivered, you are liberated. Just like you will find one aeroplane is going up and up, up, up, and at a time you will find the aeroplane is no more seen (indistinct). That does not mean he has merged in the sky. He has got a separate existence, but you cannot see. Even one has got so high, it does not mean that he has merged into the sky. If he does not get another shelter, he will come back again. He will come back again. He has not merged. There is no question of merging. Brahmajyoti means the…, it is the combination of millions and trillions of sparks of living entities. That is brahmajyoti. They are not mixed up. They are just like the sunshine. The sunshine, it is not one homogeneous substance. There are millions and trillions of shining particles. Combination is called sunshine. It is not that they are merged. Similarly, every individual soul is individual. Krsna says, “Arjuna, you, Me, and all these soldiers and kings, they were existing before, they are now existing now, and they will continue to exist in the future.” So where is mixture? You, me, and all of you, we are different individuals, and Krsna says — not ordinary person — that “They were individuals in the past, they are individual now, and they will continue to become individual.” So where is this question of merging? There is no question of merging. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loka sanatanah [Bg. 15.7], eternally they are individuals, and eternally they will keep individual.#

Goloka Vrindavan

So this is knowledge. Otherwise artificially if I think the same thing, that because I have gone very high in the sky, I have become mixed up with the sky… There is no question of mixing up. Therefore because it is not the question of mixing up, amalgamation, separate identity, but it is light, that is all right. But not that they have lost their individuality. Sanatana. Krsna says, “They are individual parts sanatana, eternally.” Not that now they are separated, and after liberation they will mix up. No. This is wrong conception. Therefore mixing up means… Just like we are here, mixed together. We have got individuality, but for a certain purpose we are sitting together very peacefully, and the real purpose is to learn how to serve Krsna. So when we agree to serve Krsna, then that is mixing up of the devotees. Tandera carana-sevi-bhakta-sane vasa, that is mixing up. When you assemble together with the same purpose… That’s why we can understand nation. What is that nation? Everyone is individual, but the purpose is how to improve the condition of the politics, or the combination of men. Similarly when you agree… Here in the material world we are individual, and in spiritual world we are also individual, but what is the difference between material world and spiritual world? In the material world we are individual to serve my own senses. Therefore there is fight. Everyone is trying to satisfy his own senses. I am trying to satisfy my senses, you are trying… So there is clash. That is material world. And the spiritual world: when all of them agree to satisfy the senses of Krsna. There is like Vrndavana.

What is Vrndavana? The devotees of Vrndavana, they are all individuals. The gopis are individuals, the cowherd boys are individuals, the calves are individuals, the cows are individuals. Everyone is individual. But the purpose is how to love Krsna. There is no disagreement in that purpose. The gopis are trying to satisfy Krsna, the cowherd boys are satisfying, trying to satisfy Krsna, mother Yasoda is trying to satisfy Krsna, Nanda Maharaja is trying to satisfy Krsna. The whole center is how to satisfy Krsna. That oneness is required. Not that I become one with Krsna. That is not possible. Therefore sastra says, aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah: [SB 10.2.32] when they do not agree to serve Krsna, then they come back in this material world, again they begin to serve the society, to serve the country, to serve the daridra-narayana, to serve this, that, that, that, that. So aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah, even they go to the Brahman effulgence, because they do not agree to serve Krsna, anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah they again come back to serve the society, friendship, and daridra-narayana, so on, so on, so on.

So this is the Bhagavata’s instruction: one should not begin (to) become a guru, or to cheat the disciple, showing him wrong path. That is not good. That is instructed by Rsabhadeva.

Thank you very much. (end)

Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.18 — Vrndavana, November 6, 1976

Copyright Bhaktivedanta Booktrust


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