The Guru's Guru
Germany - December 13, 2001 (eve)
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
lotus feet of my spiritual guru, nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad
Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer the same to my siksa-guru,
nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
I have been explaining the deep feelings discussed by Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura in Jaiva Dharma. There, Thakura Bhaktivinoda mentions the name of
Pradyumna Brahmacari, the siksa-guru of Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji. There
is no mention of Premadasa Babaji's diksa-guru, but the siksa-guru is not
inferior to the diksa-guru. In some cases, if he is more qualified, the
siksa-guru may be in the bhagavat-parampara (the guru-parampara composed
soley of self-realized souls, acting both as siksa-gurus and diksa-gurus)
whereas the diksa-guru may not be. One may take help in Krsna consciousness,
for raganuga-bhakti, from anyone who is most qualified. Sometimes a
siksa-guru may come and help, but if the diksa-guru can give raga-marga (the
path of raganuga-bhakti), then he is also in the bhagavat-parampara and he
is certainly bona-fide.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes that there was a mayavada sannyasi, named
Sannyasi Thakura, who lived in Varanasi. He was extremely learned in all
sastras, like the Vedas, Upanisads, and Vedanta. He was also learned in the
six symptoms of philosophy, namely sankhya, patanjala, nyaya, vaisesika,
purva-mimamsa, and uttara-mimamsa. Although he was learned in this way, he
did not relish even a fraction of transcendental ananda (pleasure). Then,
one day he heard a pure Vaisnava singing, with his heart melted and tears in
his eyes, "Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita Gadadhara
Sannyasi Thakura understood that such symptoms could not come by any
material means. He thus realized something about true ananda, and he left
Kasi, Varanasi. He left his sannyasa and everything he had previously
learned, and he came to Vrndavana. From Vrndavana he came to Navadvipa, and
there he met his Gurudeva, Sri Premadasa Prabhu. Sannyasi Thakura totally
surrendered, not even keeping one farthing with him, and told Premadasa
Babaji, "I am yours now, and you are my Guru. I have taken full shelter of
you." He thus became one-pointed in full surrender. A sisya (disciple)
should be like him.
Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji began to weep and said, "Sannyasi Thakura, I
have taken shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Sacinandana Gaura-hari and His
Dhama, Navadvipa Dhama, but I am insignificant. I am nothing. I am zero. I
have not relished or realized krsna-prema. I think you are more fortunate
than I am. By hearing 'Sri Krsna Caitanya' from a Vaisnava, for just a
moment, you have realized something and become so fortunate. If anyone
somehow relishes krsna-prema, he is most fortunate. You are more fortunate
than I am, because I have never tasted this. When you are doing bhajana,
please remember me from time to time."
Premadasa Babaji, the guru, was speaking with so much humility. Just see how
humble he was, and try to be humble like him. We can try, but we cannot be
humble unless there is prema. Humility and prema are the same thing; they
are non-different. Although this kind of humility will not come simply by
our trying (because it comes by mercy), we must try nevertheless, (to show
the bestowers of mercy that we want their mercy). If a fraction of prema
comes, then a fraction of humility will come. Otherwise, without real
humility, we will be only speaking words: "Oh, I am very insignificant."
Saying this and weeping, Premadasa Prabhu embraced Sannyasi Thakura, who
then realized ananda and also began to weep. Sannyasi Thakura now realized
more than what he had previously realized in Kasi. By hearing something so
sweet, and by touching a pure Vaisnava, he began to weep continually. Both
wept, just as when Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu first met in
Navadvipa at Nandanacarya's house, and both of Them wept bitterly and rolled
on the earth. Sannyasi Thakura said, "I've surrendered my life, body, soul,
and everything I possess to you. I want to stay here for the rest of my life
and serve you." A disciple should be like this. He should surrender
everything. He should not hold onto anything, including his independence. He
should totally give up his independence.
This type of disciple is very rare, however. We say that we are giving up
everything, but still we keep the lock and key to our treasury with us.
Sometimes we think, "Oh, I know more than my Gurudeva. I know that he does
not understand what I'm understanding." Sometimes we think like this, but
this is an offense, and this is why we don't realize anything. This is why
transcendental realization never comes to us.
Sannyasi Thakura said, "I want to totally give up my independence at your
lotus feet, forever." Try to do this. If the guru is bona fide, then do
this. If the guru is not bona fide, then give up such a guru. Don't have any
doubt in your bona fide Gurudeva; otherwise you'll be ruined. All your
transcendental faith will be ruined forever. I see doubts in some persons,
and become very worried for them.
Some time ago I joined the Matha and met my Gurudeva, and after hearing his
hari-katha for a period of time I told him, "I have given up all the love
and affection I had for my wife, for my father and mother, and for my body.
I forever offer everything unto your lotus feet." Hearing this, my Gurudeva
began to weep. Although I rendered very little service, by my Gurudeva's
special mercy, he thought, "He is rendering me so much service." Although I
am a dry straw, by his causeless mercy I am preaching everywhere and so many
are hearing from me.
Try to have strong faith like Sannyasi Thakura. One day, Paramahamsa
Premadasa proposed to him, "I want to go and meet my Gurudeva. You shall
accompany me. We will go together to Nrsimha Pali." Although Paramahamsa
Babaji was siddha, perfect in self-realization, when he saw his Gurudeva
from a distance, he fell down like a stick. Pradyumna Brahmacari also came
running from the temple and embraced him.
After some time there was a discourse between them, and that discourse did
not consist simply of, "How are you?" Rather, they discussed hari-katha.
When Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami used to meet, they did
not discuss mundane topics like, "Are you okay? I am okay. Is this body
okay?" Rather, they inquired, "Oh, how is your krsna-bhajana? Are there any
problems?" "How is your bhajana developing?" They discussed the books they
were writing, like Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala
Nilamani, Padyavali, and especially the two books, Lalita-Madhava and
Vidagdha-Madhava. In this way they passed their time, for hours and hours,
throughout the day and night.
Premadasa Babaji said, "Just see how fortunate this fellow is! He is very
learned in the six systems of philosophy, as well as in sastras like the
Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas. However, although he was so qualified, he was
not satisfied there. He left Mayavada and Advaitavada, and has now come to
me in Navadvipa. He has taken shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Sacinandana
Gaura-hari and Navadvipa Dhama."
Referring to his siksa-disciple Premadasa Babaji, Pradyumna Brahmacari told
Sannyasi Thakura, "You are very fortunate that you have received a very high
class of siddha-guru." A guru never sees anyone as his disciple, and he
never considers that he makes disciples. Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakura has said that he only makes real gurus. A real guru makes
real gurus. He does not think, "You will always be the disciple," whereas
the disciple always thinks, "I am your disciple."
Pradyumna Brahmacari continued, "You should hear Prema-vivarta from him."
Why did he not ask Sannyasi Thakura to hear Srimad Bhagavatam or Vedanta?
Why not Caitanya-caritamrta? This is because Sannyasi Thakura's Gurudeva,
Premadasa Babaji, was greatly learned in Prema-vivarta. Pradyumna Brahmacari
knew that Premadasa studied, followed, and gave classes on Prema-vivarta. Do
you know the meaning of Prema-vivarta? Prema-vivarta is the elevated stage
of love that is so high that it looks like there is no love. For example,
Jagadananda Pandita used to quarrel with Nimai Pandita. They used to
quarrel, as colleagues and friends, and that quarrelling was made of love
and affection. We can quarrel with our god-brothers, and there is no harm in
that, but it must be with love and affection. We should quarrel for the
purpose of serving each other. One god-brother will say to the other, "I
will carry this big bundle," and the other will say, "No, I will take it."
Pradyumna Brahmacari then quoted a verse from Caitanya Caritamrta: kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene nay yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya "Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra - regardless of what he is
- he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna." (Cc.
It is stated in Hari Bhakti Vilasa, "A guru should be of a superior caste.
He should be very beautiful, young, and highly qualified. If such a guru is
not found, you may then accept a guru from any caste." But this statement is
not very authentic. It has only been made to attract those with less
qualification for bhakti. The authentic version is, "Kiba vipra, kiba nyasi,
sudra kene nay..." The bona fide guru may be of any caste.
Some persons are saying, "A sannyasi wearing saffron cloth cannot be a
follower of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He cannot be in Mahaprabhu's disciplic
line." I have very strongly opposed this wrong idea in the book, Five
Essential Essays. I have given so much evidence in that book. The babajis
who speak like this are sahajiya.
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene nay
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya
Why did Caitanya Mahaprabhu accept Srila Haridasa Thakura in His sampradaya?
Why did He make him Namacarya? Haridasa Thakura was a Muslim. From whom did
he take initiation? Is there any historic reference? Is it mentioned In
Caitanya-caritamrta or Caitanya Bhagavata or anywhere else? Sri Svarupa
Damodara was a classmate of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, but he went to
Kasi, and there he lived as a brahmacari and accepted the Advaitavada
saffron cloth. He came to Puri at the same time that Caitanya Mahaprabhu
came. From whom did he receive initiation? [In Cc. Adi 4.105 (purport) it is
stated: "Prior to the Lord's acceptance of the renounced order, Purusottama
Bhattacarya, a resident of Navadvipa, desired to enter the renounced order
of life. Therefore he left home and went to Benares, where he accepted the
position of brahmacarya from a Mayavadi sannyasi. When he became a
brahmacari, he was given the name Sri Damodara Svarupa."] Caitanya
Mahaprabhu made him His intimate associate. Why? From whom was he initiated?
[In Cc. Mad.10 it is stated, "Purusottama Bhattacarya, a resident of
Navadvipa, was educated at Varanasi. He accepted the renounced order from
Caitanyananda, and there he took the name Svarupa."] Was Svarupa Damodara a
Mayavadi? Although he took saffron cloth from a Mayavadi, he was not so. He
was only playing that role.
Why is Srila Raya Ramananda accepted as being in Mahaprabhu's sampradaya?
Who gave him initiation? Whose disciple was he? Srivasa Pandita was a
worshipper of Laxmi-Narayana, and Murari Gupta was a worshipper of Rama, but
Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted them as His bosom associates. Kiba vipra, kiba
nyasi. (Nyasi means sannyasi.) Those who say that saffron clothed sannyasis
are not in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu have no argument and no evidence.
Their statements are bogus.
Svajatiya-snigdha-asraya. In raganuga-marga a siksa-guru should be
'like-minded' to his disciple. If one wants to love Krsna in mood of a
mother or father, his guru should be an ocean of that mood. If one is in the
mood of Sri Rupa Manjari and thinks, "I want my siddha (perfected spiritual
form) to be that of the manjari followers of Rupa Manjari," then the guru
should be already perfect in that. He must already have that siddha-deha,
and he should be very favorable and causelessly merciful to the disciple.
Only that person can be one's siksa-guru; not others. One should think, "A
person may be very learned, but if he is not especially affection towards
me, and if he does not possess the mood that I want, the mood that is in my
svarupa, then he cannot be my siksa-guru."
After the disappearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya
Ramananda and Gadadhara Pandita, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami became restless.
Quickly running and weeping, he came to Vraja to give up his life, either by
jumping from Govardhana or jumping in the Yamuna River. The causelessly
merciful Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Gosvami saved him, however, and
especially Sanatana Gosvami saved him. Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Oh, you
should be in Radha-kunda under the guidance of Rupa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami
thus took shelter of Rupa Gosvami, and always followed him in all ways.
If you want a result like his, then follow this system. Bhakti is a
continually flowing current, and this current will not remain for a moment
anywhere. It will gradually progress from sraddha to anartha nivrtti to
nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, and prema. Some say, "My Gurudeva has told me
that I should only distribute books, and by that, prema-bhakti or
vraja-bhakti will at once come. So I will only distribute books for my whole
life. No reading. Doing only this." What will happen? The current will
Only sukrti (pious credits that gradually accumulate to allow one to meet
and/or follow a pure devotee.) can come from such activity. Their Gurudeva
has spoken rightly, for by doing so, they will meet so many good associates,
they will hear hari-katha, they will get a real siksa-guru, their anarthas
will disappear, and thus nistha will come. After nistha, ruci will come,
then asakti, and then rati (bhava) will manifest. After that, prema will
manifest, and as a result, sthayi-bhava, vibhava, sattvika, vyabacari (the
transcendental sentiments of the soul) will manifest. You cannot imagine
what this stage will be like. It will come, after a very long time. That is
the general process. However, by the mercy of Gurudeva, it can come very
Sannyasi Thakura said to his Gurudeva, "You are Caitanya parisad (an
associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu). Really you are." He did not say this
blindly, because he had some realization. He had read all the scriptures,
and he saw all the symptoms in his Gurudeva. He continued, "By your glance,
millions of sannyasis can become purified, and thus I am surrendered to your
Soon they both returned to Surabhi Kunja, and from that very day Sannyasi
Thakura gave up his material conception of himself as a sannyasi. He began
to serve his Gurudeva, just as Premadasa served Pradyumna Brahmacari. His
Gurudeva did not have to tell him, "You should do all things like this." He
saw them, and he accepted at first glance.
Transcriber: Sripad Raghunatha Bhatta dasa Adhikari
Editor: Sripad Rsabhadeva dasa Adhikari
Ass't editor: Srimati Syamarani devi dasi
Typist: Srimati Radhika devi dasi