All Glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga!

Swami B.V. Narayan

Founder Acharya of Bhaktivedanta Trust International [BHAKTI] and International Gaudiya Vedanta Trust

Sri Kesavji Gaudiya Math - Mathura [UP] 281001 India - Ph.: + 91 565.2502334

President of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti Trust and Vice President of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti

Delhi, August 19, 2006

Dear Devotees,

My heartly blessings are for you. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

This is very important for all to understand.

“sanga tyagat sato vrtteh”, if we desire pure bhakti, at all cost we must avoid unfavorable association and follow the ideal example of our Gurudeva and the previous acaryas.

If anyone is not obeying his Gurudeva, not following the scriptures, especially not following Srimad Bhagavatam, you should not hear anything from this person. Cut all his arguments, especially never hear from him. This is my strict order, whoever he may be. Also sastra has said, those who are not following Gurudeva, nor the scriptures, one should never hear from them.

If someone has received sannyasa and gives up this ashram, coming in grhasta ashram, he is vantasi. Moreover, although he is vantasi but he does not regret for this, this is extremely dangerous. The example of Vallabhacarya is quite wrong, he was never sannyasi until three days before his departure from this world. Also, I know very well that the disciple of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisundar Govinda Maharaja, he was first in grhasta ashram, then he received sannyasa. His outstanding character is that he never disobeyed his Gurudeva. For this quality Param Pujyapada Sridhar Maharaja gave him sannyasa, and up to this day he is still sannyasi.

Whether a disciple is grhasta, sannyasi or brahmachari, he should follow his spiritual master and please him in all respects. If a disciple does not follow the ideal of his Gurudeva and he does not please him, he does not deserve honor from anyone.

I want to inform all of you that from ancient times we are accepting Guruparampara.

In Srimad Bhagavatam it has been said:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters.

Also it has been told in Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.38:

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."

Again in Bhagavatam:

bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad
isad apetasya viparyayo 'smrtih
tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam
bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma

Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is affected by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.

In Sri Caitanya Caritamrta:

vande ’ham sri-guroú sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca

I offer pranama unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva—which includes the diksa-guru, the bhajana-siksa-guru, the superlative succession of gurus, meaning the succession predominated by Sri Madhvacarya and Sri Madhavendra Puri, and the Vaisnavas of all four yugas—to Sri Rupa Gosvami, his elder brother Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami and their associates, to Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all of His associates, and to Sri Radha and Krsna accompanied by all of Their sakhis and manjaris headed by Sri Lalita and Visakha.

Without Guru anyone cannot attain Krsna prema. Krsna has told by His own lotus mouth:

prathamamtu gurum pujyam tatasheiba mamarchanam
kurvan siddhimavapnoti hyanyatha nisphalam bhavet

First you have to go to your Gurudeva and worship him and please him in all respects, after this you can worship Me and perform My bhajan. If anyone adopts this process, easily he or she will attain perfection in bhajan. Those who will not adopt this process, everything done by them will go in vain.One may be properly initiated by Swami Bhaktivedanta Narayana, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakur Prabhupada and others in their line, no harm. So, without the mercy of Guru and Siksa Guru, anyone cannot achieve Krsna prema.

Someone may say that there is no need of exactly following scriptures, but it is clearly stated in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.101 :

pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate

Devotional service to the Lord that ignore the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas, Narada Pancaratra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.

Pseudo-devotional activities without reference to the standard scriptures as above mentioned are simply acts of disturbances in the name of spirituality, and Krsna has said Himself in Bhagavad Gita:

yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya
vartate kama-karatah
na sa siddhim avapnoti
na sukham na param gatim

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims, attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

To follow Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, and especially Srimad Bhagavatam, this is essential. Gurudeva always follows the scriptures. Those who deny that one must follow scriptures, they are not disciples. A disciple should follow the example and ideal of his Gurudeva. This has been instructed by Srila Rupa Gosvami very clearly in Sri Upadesamrta, text 3:

utsahan niscayad dhairyat
sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh
sadbhir 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 ( sravana) and chanting ( kirtana) and giving up one's 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 behaviour and character of pure devotees.

Your ever well-wisher,

Swami B.V. Narayan