The Guru's Guru

Germany - December 13, 2001 (eve)

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

I offer my heartfelt obeisances, millions of millions of times, unto the

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

Srivasadi Gaura-bhakta-vrnda."

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.

Madhya 8.128)

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

lotus feet."

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