Guru Tattva and the Real Disciple ; Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day


A Lecture for Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day
Varsana – November 11, 1996
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja


[Each year during his Vraja-mandala parikrama, Srila Narayana Maharaja organizes a large festival to honor the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. In 1996 the festival was held in Varsana, Vrndavana, the birthplace of Srimati Radharani. After calling on Srila Prabhupada's disciples and others to glorify him, Srila Narayana Maharaja spoke the following few words. (Although this was spoken several years ago, it has never been published before now.):]
 
Those who follow strongly the life and teachings of their Gurudeva, from their heart, are really disciples. Those who have taken initiation from Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja but are not following his teachings, are not truly disciples. Those who are not following or practicing may have been outwardly initiated by him, but they are not real disciples. On the other hand, those who have not taken  initiation from him but are totally following – they deserve the qualities to be true devotees.
 
There are two kinds of lines of disciplic gurus: bhagavata-parampara and guru-parampara. We should know what is bhagavata-parampara and what is guru-parampara. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura followed bhagavata-parampara.* [see endnote] Guru-parampara is included in bhagavata-parampara.
 
Those disciples who are fully following Gurudeva’s mood and teachings are in the bhagavata-parampara. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was not formally initiated by Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was not initiated by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was not initiated by Sri Narottama dasa Thakura. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami was initiated by a mayavadi. Srila Haridasa Thakura was not initiated by anyone – so how did Srila Haridasa Thakura come into our line? He is in our line because he accepted Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as his Guru, and Sri Advaita Acarya as his Guru, and he followed totally. We will have to reconcile this by understanding bhagavata-parampara. All the above-mentioned associates of the Lord are in the bhagavata-parampara.
 
We are in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, so we should know what is bhagavata-parampara. Srinivasa Acarya had a disciple named Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was always associating with Narottama dasa Thakura. Did he ever say that he was not the disciple of Srinivasa Acarya? Was he not serving him? We cannot say this. Rather, he considered Narottama dasa Thakura to be his siksa-guru. Between Srila Srinivasa Acarya and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who was superior? Both were the same; this is bhagavata-parampara.
 
Try to follow the teachings and actions of Srila Svami Maharaja – not following blindly and not imitating. Simply copying will not do. We should try to deeply follow his siddhanta, behavior and moods. 
 
A disciple cannot fall down. If one falls down, he was not a real disciple and he has not actually taken initiation. Initiation is a matter of heart and mood. It is not simply the whispering of a mantra into an ear.
 
I was so happy to hear the moods of his disciples in their glorifications, and I saw that even those who have not received formal initiation from him have so much honor for him.
Today in Varsana, we are successful in observing the disappearance day of Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja. I pray to him to give his mercy. I pray that he will shower his mercy to all bona fide followers, so that they can serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Sri Gaura-Nityanada Prabhu.
 
I know I cannot be compared to Srila Svami Maharaja’s lotus feet dust. My Guru Maharaja can be compared with him, but I have no qualities that can be compared with his. I honor him as my siska-guru. Diksa-guru and siksa-guru are the same. I am so fortunate that my diksa-guru and siksa-guru are bona fide, and you are also fortunate to have Srila Svami Maharaja as your guru. If you are not directly initiated by him, but you are initiated by one of his bona fide disciples, then you are in his line and are so fortunate.
 
[*Endnote
Sri Guru-Parampara
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada
 
krsna hoite catur-mukha, hoy krsna-sevonmukha,
brahma hoite naradera mati
narada hoite vyasa, madhva kohe vyasa-dasa,
purnaprajna padmanabha gati  (1)
In the beginning of creation Sri Krsna spoke the science of devotional service to four-faced Lord Brahma, who in turn passed these teachings on to Narada Muni, who accepted Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva as his disciple. Vyasa transmitted this knowledge to Madhvacarya, who is also known as Purnaprajïa Tirtha and who was the sole refuge for his disciple Padmanabha Tirtha.
 
nrhari madhava-bamse, aksobhya paramahamse,
sisya boli angikara kore
aksobhyera sisya jaya-tirtha name paricaya,
tara dasye jnanasindhu tore  (2)
Following in the line of Madhvacarya were Nrhari Tirtha and Madhava Tirtha, whose principal disciple was the great paramahaàsa Aksobhya Tirtha. He in turn accepted as his disciple Jayatirtha, who passed his service down to Jnanasindhu.
 
taha hoite dayanidhi, tara dasa vidyanidhi,
rajendra hoilo taha ha’te
tahara kinkora jaya-dharma name paricaya,
parampara jano bhalo mate  (3)
From him the line came down to Dayanidhi, then to his disciple Vidyanidhi, then in turn it was introduced to Rajendra Tirtha, whose servant was the renowned Jayadharma, also known as Vijayadhvaja Tirtha. In this way the guru parampara is properly understood.
 
jayadharma-dasye khyati, sri purusottama jati,
ta ha’te brahmanya-tirtha suri
vyasatirtha ta'ra dasa, laksmipati vyasa-dasa
taha haite madhavendra puri  (4)
The great sannyasi Sri Purusottama Tirtha was a renowned disciple in the service of Jayadharma; from Sri Purusottama the line descended to the powerful Brahmanyatirtha, then to Vyasatirtha. He was succeeded by Sri Laksmipati, who passed the line down to Sri Madhavendra Puri.
 
madhavendra puri-bara, sisya-bara sri-isvara,
nityananda sri-advaita vibhu
isvara-purike dhanya, korilen sri-caitanya,
jagad-guru gaura mahaprabhu  (5)
Sri Isvara Puri was the most prominent sannyasa disciple of the great Sri Madhavendra Puri, whose disciples also included the avataras Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Advaita Acarya. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Lord and spiritual preceptor of all the worlds, made Isvara Puri greatly fortunate by accepting him as diksa guru.
[Nityananda Prabhu took diksa from Laksmipati Tirtha and was actually Madhavendra Puri’s godbrother but He accepted Madhavendra as His Siksa guru. Thus, we follow Bhagavat parampara, the line of Siksa rather than diksa.]
 
mahaprabhu sri-caitanya, radha-krsna nahe anya,
rupanuga janera jivana
visvambhara priyankara, sri-svarupa damodara,
sri-gosvami rupa-sanatana  (6)
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Radha and Krsna combined, is the very life of the rupanuga Vaisnavas who follow Sri Rupa Gosvami. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis were the dearmost servants of Visvambhara (Sri Caitanya).
 
rupa-priya mahajana, jiva, raghunatha hana,
tara priya kavi krsnadasa
krsnadasa-priya-bara, narottama seva-para,
jara pada visvanatha-asa  (7)
Dear to Sri Rupa Gosvami were the great saintly personalities, Sri Jiva Gosvami and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, whose intimate disciple was the great poet Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja. The dearmost of Krsnadasa was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who was always engaged in guru seva. His lotus feet were the only hope and aspiration of Sri ViSvanatha Cakravarti Öhakura.
 
visvanatha-bhakta-satha, baladeva jagannatha,
tara priya sri-bhaktivinoda
maha-bhagavata-bara, sri-gaurakisora-bara
hari-bhajanete jara moda  (8)
Prominent among the associates of Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana. After him the line descended to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who was the beloved Siksa guru of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhaktivinoda was the intimate friend of the great mahabhagavata Srila Gaura KiSora dasa Babaji Maharaja, whose sole delight was hari bhajana.
 
sri varsabhanavi-bara, sada sevya-seva-para
tahara dayita-dasa-nama
 
 
 prabhupada-antaranga, sri svarupa-rupanuga,
sri kesava bhakati-prajnana
 gaudiya-vedanta-vetta, mayavada-tamohanta,
gaura-vani-pracaracara-dhama  (9)
The most distinguished Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, whose initiated name was Sri Varsabhanavi Dayita dasa, was always engaged in divine service to Hari, Guru, Vaisnava.  An internal and intimate disciple of Prabhupada following in the line of Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvami was Sri Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami.
Having full knowledge of Vedanta philosophy according to the Gaudiya sampradaya, Srila Kesava Maharaja annihilated the darkness of all mayavada arguments. He has served Navadvipa Dhama so much, and his life is an example for both practicing and preaching Mahaprabhu’s message.
 
tara pradhan pracarako, sri bhaktivedanta namo
patita-janete doya-dhama

His foremost disciple-preacher was Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the world and is thus a reservoir of mercy and compassion for all fallen souls.
 
kesava priya mahajana vamana narayana hana
gaura-vani tadera prana-dhana
Most dear to Sri Kesava Gosvami were the saintly personalities Sri Vamana Gosvami and Sri Narayana Gosvami, whose life and soul are the teachings of Mahaprabhu.
 
or:  tara sisya aganana, tara madhye prestha hana
sri bhakti-prajnana kesava
tara sisya aganana, tara madhye anyatama
sri bhaktivedanta narayana  (9)
or: Out of Prabhupada’s countless disciples, Sri Bhakti Prajïana Kesava Gosvami was his dearmost. And out of the countless disciples of Sri Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami, one of the most prominent is Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja.
 
ei saba harijana, gaurangera nija-jana
tadera ucchiste mora kama  (10)
It is my desire to honor the remnants (ucchista)—their mahaprasada and their instructions—from the lotus mouths of all these personal associates of Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.]
 
 
Editorial advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
 

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