Sri Guru Is Present In All Things

Sri Guru Is Present In All Things

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada

Question 1: Are genuine saints (sadhus) respected in this world?

Answer: In a world full of duplicity, only duplicitous persons are honoured. Genuine saints, who do not lead the masses along the wrong path, are not respected in this world. In modern times, simply getting cheated by those who mislead the masses through a pretentious form of spiritual discourse has somehow emerged as the religion of the age (yuga-dharma). And because the true saints wish to expose wicked and unholy persons (asadhus), those same unholy cheaters bewilder the masses by condemning the true saints as unholy, duplicitous and thieves themselves in a ploy to secure their escape. The illusory potency of the Lord, maya, never allows the jivas to be sincere (niskapata) and to that end she has even devised various expert strategies for depriving the jivas of the association of genuine sadhus.

 Question 2: Is it possible to have darsana of the Supreme Lord without first having darsana of sri guru?

Answer: Definitely not. Sri guru is the fully transcendent (aprakrta) temple of Sri Bhagavan, and Bhagavan always resides within that temple. Bhagavan Sri Krsna, who is controlled by love, manifests Himself within sadhu-guru and remains there always. It is written in the scriptures: srutim apare smrtim itare bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitah aham iha nandam vande yasyalinde param brahma Padyavali (126) Others may serve the Srutis, Smrtis, the Mahabharata and other scriptures, fearing material existence, but I shall worship Nanda Maharaja, who is so great that the Supreme Brahman, the Absolute Truth Himself, plays in his courtyard. Many people present themselves as being highly eager to have darsana of Bhagavan, but they do not understand that darsana of Bhagavan is only possible through darsana of guru. Without having darsana of sri guru, having darsana of Bhagavan is not even imaginable. Even bhakti herself does not begin to manifest if the entity known as sri guru is not present. Sri guru is the sole medium by which we are connected to Sri Krsna and given direct audience of His lotus feet. And the way Sri Krsna demonstrates His infinite mercy is by sending the greatest Vaisnavas, His dear-most servants, to this world. Indeed, sri guru is the personification of Krnsa’s infinite mercy. Only he who teaches us about serving the Deity and the Holy Name is sri gurudeva. It is not sufficient to serve sri guru only with awe and reverence from a distance. We must serve sri guru with intimacy, that is, with deep love and faith (visrambha guru-seva), just as Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami intimately served Sri Svarupa Damodara Prabhu.

Question 3: What will happen to me if I forget sri guru?

Answer: The moment I deviate from sri guru, the moment I become forgetful of he who keeps me attracted to his lotus feet at every single moment, I will, without a doubt, diverge from the Truth. And when I am thus separated from sri guru, countless misgivings and deficiencies will engulf me. I shall simply spend my time bathing when I’m hot and bundling up when I’m cold. In other words, I will become more anxious to arrange for my own comfort than to serve sri gurudeva. If at the beginning of every year, every month, every day and every moment, I do not remember my gurudeva, who saves me from absorption in that which has no connection to my constitutional nature or are separate from krsna-bhakti, then I will definitely fall into greater and greater difficulty. I will try to present myself as guru and will be swallowed up by the ill-mentality of believing that others should worship me as such. This alone is dvitiya abhinivesa – infatuation with the worthless purposes of our unnatural state. To come and offer guru-puja just for one day is insufficient. It is our duty to serve gurudeva at every moment.

 Question 4: Who sees shortcomings in the Vaisnavas?

 Answer: Only those who are averse to hari-bhajana, and who are purely dependent on their material senses – their eyes, ears, nose and so on – which are doomed to perceive only the external aspect of things, look for faults in the Vaisnavas. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krsna has declared that a devotee of the Lord is never touched by inauspiciousness; he never perishes – na me bhaktah pranasyati (Srimad Bhagavad-gita 9.31). How can those who are engaged in exclusive bhajana of the Lord ever become degraded? Verily they attain only the greatest welfare. Because my vision is imperfect, I see faults in others. Thus I am unable to attain my own welfare. If I become completely dependent on the observations and perceptions of my senses, then I will be deprived of service to Adhoksaja – the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the reach of the senses – and I will be deprived of service to sri gurudeva. It is because of my own dismal state that I allow my mind to happily dwell on the misfortune of others. I am only so attracted to finding faults in others because I myself am full of faults. If I am able to achieve my own welfare, then no time will remain for seeing faults in others.

Question 5: Is sri guru present in everything?

 Answer: Yes. The acaryas who comprise our asraya-jatiya guru-varga* are present in various forms in order to bestow mercy upon us. All these forms are manifestations of sri gurudeva himself – he who imparts transcendental knowledge (divya-jnana). The image of the jagad-guru is reflected in various idealistic entities. My sri gurudeva is being reflected in every entity. The visaya-jatiya aspect of Krsna (Krsna as the object of love) is one half of the Absolute Reality. The other half is the asraya-jatiya aspect (wherein love of God takes shelter). The completeness of the Absolute Reality exists in the variegatedness of the transcendental pastimes of these two aspects. The complete perception of the visaya-jatiya aspect is Sri Krsna, and the complete perception of the asraya-jatiya aspect is my sri gurudeva. The transcendental reflection of the asraya-jatiya aspect in all the conscious cosmic manifestation is the manifestation of my gurudeva alone, in diverse forms. He who teaches us at every moment that we should engage in serving Bhagavan for our entire life is certainly sri gurudeva. This very same gurudeva is reflected in the heart of every living being. He is present in every single entity in his asraya-jatiya aspect.

 * The line of pure gurus in whose hearts Sri Bhagavan resides

 Question 6: When does someone attain a sphurti (momentary vision) of Bhagavan in his heart?

Answer: By good fortune, someone may perceive sri gurudeva wandering in his heart – that is to say, he may have darsana of sri gurudeva in his heart. Only in such a pure heart does the momentary vision (sphurti) of Bhagavan take place. There is no other means to attain service to the Supreme Lord than serving and pleasing sri guru, he who inspires us to engage in serving Sri Bhagavan by all means and in every activity.

 Question 7: If I do not completely surrender to the lotus feet of sri guru, am I simply deceiving myself?

Answer: Definitely. I may consider that I have received mantra from guru, but in real terms, if I am not prepared to accept full shelter at the lotus feet of sri gurudeva, then to whatever extent I act with duplicity, I will be cheated. Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation

Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta
Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation

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