sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 9, Special Edition
Posted: 27 January 2017
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Selected Ambrosial Quotes
Śrī Prabandhāvalī, Chapter One
on The Appearance Day of Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja
The Meaning and Purpose of Vyāsa-pūjā
Vyāsa is the personality who delineated the glories of the names, form, qualities and pastimes of Bhagavān in this world. The ceremony to honour the ācārya who, sitting on a throne in the service of Bhagavān, preaches His glories and attracts people towards Him is called vyāsa-pūjā. Another name for vyāsa-pūjā is guru-pūjā. In India, the general convention is that guru-pūjā is observed on the day of Guru-pūrṇimā. It is considered Vyāsa’s appearance day, and on that day all sampradāyas worship their respective gurus. But in accordance with the scriptures, the primary ācārya of modern times, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, established special worship of the guru on that guru’s own specific appearance day. Real guru-pūjā is when, on his appearance day, the guru worships his whole guru-paramparā and instructs his disciples on how to do the same.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.17.27) Śrī Kṛṣṇa says:
ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ
Know the ācārya, or spiritual preceptor, to be Me. One should never disrespect him under any circumstance, nor should one envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the embodiment of all the demigods.
There are numerous demigods and goddesses, and amongst them Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa are primary. The guru is the embodiment of Brahmā, the embodiment of Viṣṇu, and also the embodiment of Maheśa. He is compared to Brahmā because just as Brahmā creates this world, the guru creates bhakti by sowing the seed of devotion in our hearts. Viṣṇu is the maintainer, and gurudeva is he who maintains our bhakti. As long as we haven’t attained the stage of prema, he continues to strengthen our devotion. As conditioned souls, we cannot even imagine how much endeavour he makes for even one disciple. And as Maheśa is the destroyer, the guru destroys all of our anarthas and aparādhas. This is why the guru is said to be the embodiment of all the demigods.
There are so many jīvas in this world, and although some are inclined toward Bhagavān, most are averse to Him. Their intrinsic forms are as eternal servants of Kṛṣṇa, but forgetting this, they are wandering in material existence. Without bhakti they will never possess any auspiciousness. Therefore sometimes Kṛṣṇa Himself descends into this world, sometimes He assumes different incarnations, and sometimes He sends His śakti in the form of the guru. Otherwise it would be impossible for the jīvas to ever receive auspiciousness. Only by bhakti can they attain their ultimate good fortune; yet bhakti is not a thing of this world. Inside the eternally perfected associates of Kṛṣṇa, the essence of the saṁvit- and hlādinī-śaktis is always present in the form of prema-bhakti. Until the jīva receives that essence, he will not possess any real auspiciousness. The guru is a resident of the spiritual world, and he descends into this world. He brings the prema of Goloka Vraja to this world and bestows it upon the conditioned souls. Such a great personality, an eternally perfected rāgātmikā devotee who possesses vraja-prema and brings it to this world, is known as a śuddha-guru.
As the current of the Gaṅgā carries water from the Himālayas down to the ocean, there is a current flowing through our guru-paramparā which, beginning from Kṛṣṇa Himself, has come down to the modern ācāryas and is presently flooding the entire material world with kṛṣṇa-prema. This is the primary function of the guru. If someone is not able to give this prema, then he is not really a guru at all. Being capable of bestowing kṛṣṇa-prema is the primary attribute of a genuine Vaiṣṇava guru.
Ācārya Keśarī ... – His Life and Teachings, Third Part
Regarding the vyāsa-pūjā of Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Jīvana Janardana Gosvāmī Mahārāja
The whole world is eternally indebted to Śrī Kṛṣṇadvaipāyana Vyāsa
[the Author, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, herein reproduces the words of his śrī gurudeva – Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja:]
Not only we Indians but the whole world is eternally indebted to Śrī Kṛṣṇadvaipāyana Vyāsa. He divided the Vedas into four parts to help general people who are trying to study them. He compiled Vedānta, or Brahma-sūtra, in order to reconcile apparent contradictions between Vedānta and the Upaniṣads, the essence of the Vedas. He composed the different Purāṇas and the Mahābhārata and finally, in order to make Vedānta-sūtra easily understandable, he himself manifested the spotless mahā-purāṇa, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as the commentary on Vedānta-sūtra.
All the religious societies in India believe that somehow or other they are followers of Vyāsa (vyāsānuga). However, when we carefully study the literature composed by Śrī Vyāsadeva, we can clearly see that bhagavad-bhakti is the main subject matter. He has not mentioned the words jñāna and mukti anywhere in the 550 sūtras of his famous Brahmā-sūtra. On the contrary, he has established bhakti everywhere in the genuine commentary of his Brahma-sūtra, namely paramahaṁsī saṁhitā Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
* * *
Śrī Vyāsadeva is worshipped properly in the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. Nowadays, we see that, in the name of vyāsa-pūjā, so-called gurus everywhere accept puṣpāñjali and arcāñjali offered to their own feet, and they hear and accept praise given to them by their own disciples. However, those who only accept puṣpāñjali and arcāñjali offered to their own feet and who do not follow śrī vyāsa-pūjā-paddhati (the process of vyāsa-pūjā which was discerned by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda) are not actually performing vyāsa-pūjā. On vyāsa-pūjā day an ācārya will worship guru, guru-paramparā and upāsya. According to this pūjā-paddhati, on that day one should worship the following:
(1) guru-pañcaka (śrī guru, parama-guru, parameṣṭhī-guru, parātpar-guru, paramparātpar-guru);
(2) ācārya-pañcaka (Śrī Śukadeva, Rāmānuja, Madhva, Viṣṇusvāmī, Nimbāditya);
(3) vyāsa-pañcaka (Śrī Vedavyāsa, Pail, Vaiśampāyana, Jaiminī, Sumanta);
(4) sanakādi-pañcaka (Śrī Sanaka, Sanatkumār‚ Sanātan, Sanandan, Viṣvaksena);
(5) kṛṣṇa-pañcaka (Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna, Aniruddha);
(6) upāsya-pañcaka (Śrī Rādhā, Kṛṣṇa, Gaura, Gadādhara, śrī gurudeva) and
(7) pañca-tattva (Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Nityānanda, Advaita Ācārya, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa).
It is the supreme duty of Śrī Gauḍīya Sārasvata Vaiṣṇavas to follow the vyāsa-pūjā-paddhati used by Śrīla Prabhupāda.
of Selected Ambrosial Quotes
From Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
selections from Rays of The Harmonist, Volume 23
Vyāsapūjā Memorial Edition, 2011