By:Hasti Gopala Dasa
This is a most intricate and clear presentation dealing with the subject of "accepting a physically manifest guru". Very nicely done and very informative.
Srila Prabhupada never recommended en masse that his disciples seek anyone else to link to and serve other than himself after his physical departure. He reinforces his position as the pure devotee to serve and take shelter of throughout his books. It is more than obvious that by being the commentator on the Chaitanya Charitamrita for example, the qualified person to seek out as a bona fide guru is himself. Otherwise how could he compose his commentaries? No one else in ISKCON has written independent commentaries on the Chaitanya Charitamrita, so who is the most qualified? Srila Prabhupada. And because he is the most qualified to imagine that not being physically present would have any effect on his books is illogical and ludicrous.
Therefore by reading and following the teachings throughout his books is the same as having his association, you get his association through his books and you get Srila Prabhupada. Once someone makes that preliminary contact with Srila Prabhupada and accepts him as their prime teacher progress begins, not that the acceptance is the end of the affair. One must constantly read Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow as sincerely as possible all of his instructions and that is where the fun begins because this Krishna consciousness is the most joyful of all states of being. Some of what Srila says about the necessity of accepting a bona fide spiritual master is presented below in the Adi-lila of the Chaitanya Charitamrita, courtesy: causelessmercy
Adi 8.17 TRANSLATION
“By cultivating philosophical knowledge one can understand his spiritual position and thus be liberated, and by performing sacrifices and pious activities one can achieve sense gratification in a higher planetary system, but the devotional service of the Lord is so rare that even by executing hundreds and thousands of such sacrifices one cannot obtain it.”
Prahlada Maharaja instructs:
matir na krsne paratah svato va
mitho ’bhipadyeta grha-vratanam
naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
niskincananam na vrnita yavat
These slokas are to be discussed. Their purport is that one cannot obtain Krishna-bhakti, or the devotional service of the Lord, by official execution of the Vedic rituals.
** One has to approach a pure devotee. Narottama dasa Thakura sings, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba:
“Who has been elevated without rendering service to a pure Vaishnava?” It is the statement of Prahlada Maharaja that unless one is able to accept the dust from the lotus feet of a pure Vaishnava there is no possibility of achieving the platform of devotional service. That is the secret. **
The above-mentioned tantra-vacana, quoted from the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.1.36), is our perfect guidance in this connection.
Now in the final selected section of Adi-lila for this comment, Srila Prabhupada refers to a pure devotee being necessary to take shelter of and to serve. Is he not automatically including himself in that qualified position? Yes he is, again, because if he were not then he would not have written his commentaries on the Chaitanya Charitamrita. Association of Srila Prabhupada takes place while reading his original pre 1978 books and the reader becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead. Supreme association, supreme destination. Association means destination.
Adi-lila Chapter 8 Text 20 page 174
The two brothers Jagai and Madhai epitomize the sinful population of this Age of Kali. They were most disturbing elements in society because they were meat-eaters, drunkards, woman-hunters, rogues and thieves. Yet Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu delivered them, to say nothing of others who were sober, pious, devoted and conscientious. The Bhagavad-gita confirms that to say nothing of the brahminically qualified devotees and rajarsis (kim punar brahmanah punya bhakta rajarsayas tatha),
*** anyone who by the association of a pure devotee comes to Krishna consciousness becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.***
In the Bhagavad-gita (9.32) the Lord thus declares:
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te ’pi yanti param gatim
“O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth - women, vaishyas [merchants], as well as shudras [workers] - can approach the supreme destination.”
Finally for all those reading this web site and Srila Prabhupada’s books:
Adi 8.15 TEXT 15
sri-krsna-caitanya-daya karaha vicara
vicara karite citte pabe camatkara
If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply it to the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.