Compiled by Yasoda nandan dasa, Los Angeles and Damaghosa Dasa, Seattle (USA)
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:"Creation" : SB 1.19: The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami : SB 1.19.36 : PURPORT :
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:"Creation" : SB 1.19: The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami : SB 1.19.36 : PURPORT :
The great sage Sukadeva Gosvamiwas certainly inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear voluntarily before
Maharaja Pariksit, the great devotee of the Lord, just to give him the teachings of Srimad-Bhagavatam. One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Srila Sukadeva Gosvamiis an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Maharaja Pariksitand instruct him in the teachings of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
One can achieve the ultimate success of going back to Godhead if he is favored by the Lord's sending His true representative. As soon as a true representative of the Lord is met by a devotee of the Lord, the devotee is assured a guarantee for going back to Godhead just after leaving the present body. This, however, depends on the sincerity of the devotee himself. The Lord is seated in the heart of all living beings, and thus he knows very well the movements of all individual persons. As soon as the Lord finds that a particular soul is very eager to go back to Godhead, the Lord at once sends His bona fide representative. The sincere devotee is thus assured by the Lord of going back to Godhead. The conclusion is that to get the assistance and help of a bona fide spiritual master means to receive the direct help of the Lord Himself.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.1: The First Step in God Realization : SB 2.1.11
He first offense is to vilify the great devotees who have preached about the glories of the Lord. The second offense is to see the holy names of the Lord in terms of worldly distinction. The Lord is the proprietor of all the universes, and therefore He may be known in different places by different names, but that does not in any way qualify the fullness of the Lord. Any nomenclature which is meant for the Supreme Lord is as holy as the others because they are all meant for the Lord. Such holy names are as powerful as the Lord, and there is no bar for anyone in any part of the creation to chant and glorify the Lord by the particular name of the Lord as it is locally understood. They are all auspicious, and one should not distinguish such names of the Lord as material commodities. The third offense is to neglect the orders of the authorized acaryas or spiritual masters. The fourth offense is to vilify scriptures or Vedic knowledge. The fifth offense is to define the holy name of the Lord in terms of one's mundane calculation. The holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord Himself, and one should understand the holy name of the Lord to be nondifferent from Him. The sixth offense is to interpret the holy name. The Lord is not imaginary, nor is His holy name. There are persons with a poor fund of knowledge who think the Lord to be an imagination of the worshiper and therefore think His holy name to be imaginary. Such a chanter of the name of the Lord cannot achieve the desired success in the matter of chanting the holy name. The seventh offense is to commit sins intentionally on the strength of the holy name. In the scriptures it is said that one can be liberated from the effects of all sinful actions simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. One who takes advantage of this transcendental method and continues to commit sins on the expectation of neutralizing the effects of sins by chanting the holy name of the Lord is the greatest offender at the feet of the holy name. Such an offender cannot purify himself by any recommended method of purification. In other words, one may be a sinful man before chanting the holy name of the Lord, but after taking shelter in the holy name of the Lord and becoming immune, one should strictly restrain oneself from committing sinful acts with a hope that his method of chanting the holy name will give him protection. The eighth offense is to consider the holy name of the Lord and His chanting method to be equal to some material auspicious activity. There are various kinds of good works for material benefits, but the holy name and His chanting are not mere auspicious holy services. Undoubtedly the holy name is holy service, but He should never be utilized for such purposes. Since the holy name and the Lord are of one and the same identity, one should not try to bring the holy name into the service of mankind. The idea is that the Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer. He is no one's servant or order supplier. Similarly, since the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord, one should not try to utilize the holy name for one's personal service.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.2: The Lord in the Heart : SB 2.2.32
The common man cannot argue about what is beyond the sky or beyond the universe; he must accept the versions of the Vedas as they are understood by the authorized disciplic succession. In the Bhagavad-Gita also the same process of understanding the Gita is stated in the Fourth Chapter. If one does not follow the authoritative version of the acaryas, he will vainly search after the truth mentioned in the Vedas.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.4: The Process of Creation : SB 2.4.18
The injunction of Vaisnava regulation in this connection runs as follows: arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusunara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih sri-visnor namni sabda-samanya-buddhih, etc. "One should not consider the Deity of the Lord as worshiped in the temple to be an idol, nor should one consider the authorized spiritual master an ordinary man. Nor should one consider a pure Vaisnava to belong to a particular caste, etc." (Padma Purana)
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.4: The Process of Creation : SB 2.4.22 :
No mundane scholar can translate or reveal the true import of the Vedic mantras (hymns). They cannot be understood unless one is inspired or initiated by the authorized spiritual master. The original spiritual master is the Lord Himself, and the succession comes down through the sources of paramparā, as clearly stated in the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita. So unless one receives the transcendental knowledge from the authorized paramparā, one should be considered useless (viphala matah), even though one may be greatly qualified in the mundane advancements of arts or science.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.8: Questions by King Pariksit : SB 2.8.7 : PURPORT :
In the process of devotional service, the first step is to take shelter of the spiritual master and then inquire from the spiritual master all about the process. This inquiry is essential for immunity to all kinds of offenses on the path of devotional service. Even if one is fixed in devotional service like Maharaja Pariksit, he must still inquire from the realized spiritual master all about this. In other words, the spiritual master must also be well versed and learned so that he may be able to answer all these inquiries from the devotees. Thus one who is not well versed in the authorized scriptures and not able to answer all such relevant inquiries should not pose as a spiritual master for the matter of material gain. It is illegal to become a spiritual master if one is unable to deliver the disciple.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.9: Answers by Citing the Lord's Version : SB 2.9.19 : PURPORT
There are many renegades from the Brahma-sampradaya whose only business is to make men more forgetful of the Lord and thus entangle them more and more in material existence. Such persons are never dear to the Lord, and the Lord sends them deeper into the darkest region of matter so that such envious demons may not be able to know the Supreme Lord.
Anyone, however, preaching the mission of the Lord in the line of the Brahma-sampradaya is always dear to the Lord, and the Lord, being satisfied with such a preacher of the authorized bhakti cult, shakes hands with him in great satisfaction.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation" : SB 2.9: Answers by Citing the Lord's Version : SB 29.43 : PURPORT :
The process of understanding spiritual or transcendental knowledge from the realized person is not exactly like asking an ordinary question from the schoolmaster. The schoolmasters in the modern days are paid agents for giving some information, but the spiritual master is not a paid agent. Nor can he impart instruction without being authorized. In the Bhagavad-Gita (4.34), the process of understanding transcendental knowledge is directed as follows.
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti te jnanam
Arjuna was advised to receive transcendental knowledge from the realized person by surrender, questions and service. Receiving transcendental knowledge is not like exchanging dollars; such knowledge has to be received by service to the spiritual master. As Brahmaji received the knowledge directly from the Lord by satisfying Him fully, similarly one has to receive the transcendental knowledge from the spiritual master by satisfying him. The spiritual master's satisfaction is the means of assimilating transcendental knowledge. One cannot understand transcendental knowledge simply by becoming a grammarian. The Vedas declare (Svetasvatara Upaniṣad 6.23):
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah [SU 6.23]
"Only unto one who has unflinching devotion to the Lord and to the spiritual master does transcendental knowledge become automatically revealed." Such relationship between the disciple and the spiritual master is eternal. One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. And one cannot be a bona fide and authorized spiritual master unless one has been strictly obedient to his spiritual master. Brahmaji, as a disciple of the Supreme Lord, received the real knowledge and imparted it to his dear disciple Narada and similarly Narada as spiritual master, handed over this knowledge to Vyasa and so on. Therefore the so-called formal spiritual master and disciple are not facsimiles of Brahma and Narada or Narada and Vyasa. The relationship between Brahma and Narada is reality, while the so-called formality is the relation between the cheater and cheated.
It is clearly mentioned herewith that Narada is not only well behaved, meek and obedient, but also self-controlled. One who is not self-controlled, specifically in sex life, can become neither a disciple nor a spiritual master.
One must have disciplinary training in controlling speaking, anger, the tongue, the mind, the belly and the genitals. One who has controlled the particular senses mentioned above is called a gosvami. Without becoming a gosvami one can become neither a disciple nor a spiritual master. The so-called spiritual master without sense control is certainly the cheater, and the disciple of such a so-called spiritual master is the cheated.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 3: "The Status Quo" : SB 3.3: The Lord's Pastimes Out of Vrndavana : SB 3.3.2 : PURPORT :
No one but the Supreme Lord can become well versed in all the branches of Vedic wisdom simply by hearing once from his teacher. Nor can anyone bring a dead body back to life after the soul has already gone to the region of Yamaraja. But Lord Kṛṣṇa ventured to the planet of Yamaloka and found the dead son of His teacher and brought him back to his father as a reward for the instructions received. The Lord is constitutionally well versed in all the Vedas, and yet to teach by example that everyone must go to learn the Vedas from an authorized teacher and must satisfy the teacher by service and reward, He Himself adopted this system. The Lord offered His services to His teacher, Sandipani Muni, and the muni, knowing the power of the Lord, asked something which was impossible to be done by anyone else. The teacher asked that his beloved son, who had died, be brought back to him, and the Lord fulfilled the request. The Lord is not, therefore, an ingrate to anyone who renders Him some sort of service. The devotees of the Lord who always engage in His loving service are never to be disappointed in the progressive march of devotional service.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 3: "The Status Quo" : SB 3.9: Brahma's Prayers for Creative Energy : SB 3.9.29 : PURPORT :
Any person authorized by either the Lord or by His bona fide representative is already blessed, as is the work entrusted to him. Of course, the person entrusted with such a responsibility should always be aware of his incapability and must always look for the mercy of the Lord for the successful execution of his duty. One should not be puffed up because he is entrusted with certain executive work. Fortunate is he who is so entrusted, and if he is always fixed in the sense of being subordinate to the will of the Supreme, he is sure to come out successful in the discharge of his work. Arjuna was entrusted with the work of fighting on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and before he was so entrusted, the Lord had already arranged for his victory. But Arjuna was always conscious of his position as subordinate to the Lord, and thus he accepted Him as the supreme guide in his responsibility. Anyone who takes pride in doing responsible work but does not give credit to the Supreme Lord is certainly falsely proud and cannot execute anything nicely. Brahmā and persons in the line of his disciplic succession who follow in his footsteps are always successful in the discharge of loving transcendental service to the Supreme Lord.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 3: "The Status Quo" : SB 3.22: The Marriage of Kardama Muni and Devahuti : SB 3.22.7 : PURPORT :
Manu said that since he was advised and instructed by Kardama Muni, he was very much favored. He considered himself lucky to receive the message by aural reception. It is especially mentioned here that one should be very inquisitive to hear with open ears from the authorized source of the bona fide spiritual master. How is one to receive? One should receive the transcendental message by aural reception. The word karṇa-randhraiḥ means “through the holes of the ears.” The favor of the spiritual master is not received through any other part of the body but the ears. This does not mean, however, that the spiritual master gives a particular type of mantra through the ears in exchange for some dollars and if the man meditates on that he achieves perfection and becomes God within six months. Such reception through the ears is bogus.
The real fact is that a bona fide spiritual master knows the nature of a particular man and what sort of duties he can perform in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and he instructs him in that way. He instructs him through the ear, not privately, but publicly. “You are fit for such and such work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You can act in this way.” One person is advised to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by working in the Deities’ room, another is advised to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by performing editorial work, another is advised to do preaching work, and another is advised to carry out Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the cooking department. There are different departments of activity in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and a spiritual master, knowing the particular ability of a particular man, trains him in such a way that by his tendency to act he becomes perfect. Bhagavad-Gita makes it clear that one can attain the highest perfection of spiritual life simply by offering service according to his ability, just as Arjuna served Kṛṣṇa by his ability in the military art. Arjuna offered his service fully as a military man, and he became perfect. Similarly, an artist can attain perfection simply by performing artistic work under the direction of the spiritual master. If one is a literary man, he can write articles and poetry for the service of the Lord under the direction of the spiritual master.One has to receive the message of the spiritual master regarding how to act in one’s capacity, for the spiritual master is expert in giving such instructions