Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana MaharajaA Vyasa-puja lectureMurwillumbah, Australia: (morning)
[This year, 2012, the appearance day of our most worshipful Srila Gurudeva Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja will be celebrated on January 23rd. Because his words are ever-fresh and ever-increasingly applicable in our lives, we believe you will find his Vyasa-puja lecture of Feb.12, 2002 in Australia most spiritually nourishing.]
I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer the same unto my siksa-gurus, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and prapujyacarana nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktiraksaka Sridhara Maharaja, and unto the lotus feet of our whole guru-parampara. I offer my puspanjali unto their lotus feet.
It is stated in verse six of Sri Gurvastakam by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura:
nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyaiya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniyatratrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasyavande guroh sri caranaravindam
["Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kisora's amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Sri Radha and Krsna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva."]
What is the meaning of nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai? What is that guru doing?
Devotee: He's rendering intimate service to the Divine Couple.
Srila Gurudeva: What services is he rendering? The answer is very secret.
Devotee: He performs pleasing services.
Srila Gurudeva: He not only does this. Sometimes he rebukes Krsna in many ways, and sometimes he also cheats Him. [An example of cheating Krsna is as follows: Krsna may ask that guru (in his form as a maidservant of Srimati Radhika) if Radhika has come to the Vrndavana forest to meet Him. That maidservant may reply, "No, Her mother-in-law would not allow Her to leave the house." Although Srimati Radhika is actually hiding in a nearby grove, Krsna believes the maidservant. His anxiety to meet Radhika thus increases, and when they meet shortly after this, that meeting is more meaningful. -ed]
Guru must be like this: nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai. He must be serving the Divine Couple Radha and Krsna, and especially Radhika. The gopis make so many arrangements for Their meeting. Ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya. They engage in all the methods of cheating Their fathers and mothers and husbands for the purpose of the successful meeting of Radha and Krsna, and for the purpose of serving Them. A guru is very expert in all these activities.
We see in our guru-gayatri, krsnanandaya dhimahi. This refers to both Krsna and Krsnaa. [Spelled in Sanskrit, k-r-s-n-a with a long 'a' at the end.] A male can serve Krsna, but no male can serve Krsnaa. Krsnaa is Radhika. Therefore, in his service to Radhika, for rati-keli-siddhyai, the perfection of Radha-Krsna conjugal love, a guru cannot serve in his male form. Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and my Gurudeva are both serving there in their female forms as gopis. In that realm my Gurudeva is Vinoda Manjari, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura is Nayana Manjari, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Kamala Manjari, Srila Jiva Gosvami is Vilasa Manjari, Srila Rupa Gosvami is Rupa Manjari, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Rati Manjari. These manjaris can serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
Dhrstadyumna dasa: And our Srila Prabhupada?
Srila Gurudeva: If you fully surrender, by body, mind, words and ego, then I may tell you. Otherwise, I will not. I know who he is, but you do not know. None of the ISKCON leaders know. Your Prabhupada has cheated them all, in the sense that he has not revealed himself to them at all. He is rati-keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya.
So, I offer pranama to my Gurudeva in that very form. He is cheating others, and he is even cheating Krsna. By such 'cheating,' he brings Krsna to serve His most beloved Radhika. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it has been very openly told that Srimati Radhika is the guru of Krsna. Why not take shelter in the lotus feet of She who is the guru of Krsna? Our guru is there, in Goloka Vrndavana, serving Radhika.
This verse does not apply to ordinary, bogus gurus who fall down twenty times or thirty times. It also doesn't apply to gurus who can fall down. I do not accept them as gurus. Actually, guru is one who can serve Radhika. If a guru has fully controlled his senses, but he is not directly serving Radhika, he is only partially guru.
It is stated in verse one of Sri Upadesamrta by Srila Rupa Gosvami:
vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegamjihva-vegam udaropastha-vegametan vegan yo visaheta dhirahsarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat
["A wise and self-composed person who can subdue the impetus to speak, the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals can instruct the entire world. In other words, all persons may become disciples of such a self-controlled person."]
Such gurus totally follow the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
atyaharah prayasas caprajalp niyamagrahahjana-sangas ca laulyam casadbhir bhaktir vinasyati
["Bhakti is destroyed by the following six kinds of faults: (1) eating too much or collecting more than necessary, (2) endeavors which are opposed to bhakti, (3) useless mundane talks, (4) failure to adopt essential regulations or fanatical adherence to regulations, (5) association with persons who are opposed to bhakti, and (6) greed or the restlessness of the mind to adopt worthless opinions." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 2)]
utshan niscayad dhairyattat-tat-karma-pravartanatsanga-tyagat sato vrttehsadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati
["Progress in bhakti may be obtained by the following six practices: (1) enthusiasm to carry out the rules which enhance bhakti, (2) firm faith in the statements of the sastra and the guru whose words are fully in line with the sastra, (3) fortitude in the practice of bhakti, even in the midst of obstacles, or patience during the practice stage of bhakti, even when there is delay in attaining one's desired goal, (4) following the limbs of bhakti such as hearing and chanting and giving up ones material sense enjoyment for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, (5) giving up illicit connection with women, the association of those who are overly attached to women, and the association of mayavadis, atheists and pseudo-religionists, and (6) adopting the good behavior and character of pure devotees." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 3)]
dadati pratigrhnatiguhyam akhyati prcchatibhunkte bhojayate caivasad-vidham priti-laksanam
["Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements, accepting prasadi or remnant items given by pure devotees, revealing to devotees one's confidential realisations concerning bhajana, inquiring from them about their confidential realizations, eating with great love the prasada remnants given by devotees, and lovingly feeding them prasada – these are the six symptoms of loving association with devotees." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 4)]
A partial guru may even follow this verse:
tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu-smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojyatisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugamikalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
["While living in Vraja as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja who possess inherent spontaneous love for Sri Krsna, one should utilize all his time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulous chanting and remembrance of Vrajendranandana Sri Krsna's names, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all instruction. (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 8)]
Still, if he is not like Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari, and if he is not serving them, he may be a guru in part, but not in full. The highest quality of the guru is service to Radhika, as I have just explained. In this way, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is writing, vande guroh sri caranaravindam. I bow down to my Gurudeva, and all gurus in the line of Sri Rupa Gosvami. Such a guru is not only the prakasa (manifestation) of Nityananda Prabhu or Baladeva Prabhu, but he is also the prakasa of Radhika. Such a guru is the most exalted. As Ananga Manjari, even Baladeva Prabhu takes shelter of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. How beautiful and glorious She is.
In this evenings class we will discuss guru-tattva, from beginning to end. Whether you are lady devotees or male, you should be ready to speak.
Prema-prayjona dasa: Gurudeva, you said that a partial guru has controlled the six urges like vaco-vegam, manasa, krodha-vegam, etc. Such gurus, even with that partial quality, will not fall?
Srila Gurudeva: They will not fall down, but they are not perfect gurus. Those who are serving Srimati Radhika personally are gurus of the highest caliber.
Prema-prayjona dasa: Regarding the ones who have fallen down, they're not even partial gurus?
Srila Gurudeva: No. They are not even devotees, what to speak of being gurus. They are not only cheating others, but they are cheating themselves.