Yasya deve para bhaktir

Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna

Last night I was having a discussion with a fellow vaisnava, and the following, important sloka, came up in the course of our conversation. I was reminded of a story that once Gurukrpa Swami asked Srila Prabhupada what was the most important sloka in our literature, and Srila Prabhupada responded:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

I wanted to see how many times Srila Prabhupada used this sloka in his books and lectures so I went to Vani Quotes and did a search. It appears that this verse was used in:

Bhagavad-gita; 2 times
Srimad Bhagavatam; 11 times
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta; 12 times
Lectures; 43 times
Letters; 7 times
Morning Walks and Conversations; 22 times
Other books; twice

We share with you some of the the results of the Vani Quotes Research team, and thank Visnu Murti and Mayapur prabhu’s efforts.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG 6.47, Purport:

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotuslike face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower-garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahma-jyotir. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogi.

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga, as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:
yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (ŚU 6.23)

BG 11.54, Purport:

Lord Caitanya was appreciated by Rūpa Gosvāmī as the most munificent man of charity because love of Kṛṣṇa, which is very difficult to achieve, was distributed freely by Him. So if one gives some amount of his money to persons involved in distributing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that charity, given to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the greatest charity in the world. And if one worships as prescribed in the temple (in the temples in India there is always some statue, usually of Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa), that is a chance to progress by offering worship and respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For the beginners in devotional service to the Lord, temple worship is essential, and this is confirmed in the Vedic literature (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

One who has unflinching devotion for the Supreme Lord and is directed by the spiritual master, in whom he has similar unflinching faith, can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead by revelation. One cannot understand Kṛṣṇa by mental speculation. For one who does not take personal training under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, it is impossible to even begin to understand Kṛṣṇa. The word tu is specifically used here to indicate that no other process can be used, can be recommended, or can be successful in understanding Kṛṣṇa.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB 2.4.5, Purport:

The practical experience of Mahārāja Parīkṣit is disclosed herein, revealing that transcendental topics of the Lord act like injections when received by the sincere devotee from a person who is perfectly uncontaminated by material tinges. In other words, reception of the messages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from professional men, heard by a karma-kāṇḍīya audience, never acts miraculously as stated here. Devotional hearing of the messages of the Lord is not like hearing ordinary topics; therefore the action will be felt by the sincere hearer by experience of the gradual disappearance of ignorance.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

When a hungry man is given food to eat, he feels satiation of hunger and the pleasure of dining simultaneously. Thus he does not have to ask whether he has actually been fed or not. The crucial test of hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is that one should get positive enlightenment by such an act.

SB 2.9.43, Purport:

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 Brahmājī 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 (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 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. Brahmājī, as a disciple of the Supreme Lord, received the real knowledge and imparted it to his dear disciple Nārada, and similarly Nārada, as spiritual master, handed over this knowledge to Vyāsa and so on.

SB 4.24.52, Purport:

The Lord is the supreme spiritual master, and the bona fide representative of the Supreme Lord is also a spiritual master. The Lord from within enlightens the devotees by the effulgence of the nails of His lotus feet, and His representative, the spiritual master, enlightens from without. Only by thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord and always taking the spiritual master’s advice can one advance in spiritual life and understand Vedic knowledge.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Thus the Vedas (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23) enjoin that for one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of the Lord, as well as in the spiritual master, the real import of Vedic knowledge can be revealed.

SB 4.28.65, Purport:

Madirekṣaṇā. Madirekṣaṇā refers to one whose eyes are so attractive that one who observes them becomes maddened by her. In other words, madirekṣaṇā means a very beautiful young girl. According to Jīva Gosvāmī, madirekṣaṇā means the personified deity of bhakti. If one is attracted by the bhakti cult, he becomes engaged in the service of the Lord and the spiritual master, and thus his life becomes successful. Vaidarbhī, the woman, became a follower of her husband. As she left her comfortable home for the service of her husband, a serious student of spiritual understanding must give up everything for the service of the spiritual master. As stated by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: ** if one wants actual success in life, he must strictly follow the instructions of the spiritual master. By following such instructions, one is sure to make rapid progress in spiritual life. This statement by Viśvanātha Cakravartī is in pursuance of the following injunction from the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” In the Chāndogya Upaniṣad it is said, ācāryavān puruṣo veda: “One who approaches a bona fide spiritual master can understand everything about spiritual realization.”

SB 5.1.6, Purport:

This verse states that by serving the lotus feet of his spiritual master, Prince Priyavrata very soon attained the perfectional stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the only way to advance in spiritual life. As stated in the Vedas:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“If one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is revealed to him. (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

A devotee always thinks of the Lord continuously. While chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the words Kṛṣṇa and Hare immediately remind him of all the Lord’s activities. Since his entire life is engaged in the service of the Lord, a devotee cannot forget the Lord at any time. Just as an ordinary man always engages his mind in material activities, a devotee always engages his mind in spiritual activities. This is called brahma-satra, or meditating upon the Supreme Lord always. Prince Priyavrata was perfectly initiated into this practice by Śrī Nārada.

SB 6.1.49, Purport:

It should be understood that a person who does not have Vedic knowledge always acts in ignorance of what he has done in the past, what he is doing at the present and how he will suffer in the future. He is completely in darkness. Therefore the Vedic injunction is, tamasi mā: “Don’t remain in darkness.” Jyotir gama: “Try to go to the light.” The light or illumination is Vedic knowledge, which one can understand when he is elevated to the mode of goodness or when he transcends the mode of goodness by engaging in devotional service to the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord. This is described in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed.” The Vedas enjoin, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet: (MU 1.2.12) one must approach a spiritual master who has full knowledge of the Vedas and be faithfully directed by him in order to become a devotee of the Lord. Then the knowledge of the Vedas will be revealed. When the Vedic knowledge is revealed, one need no longer remain in the darkness of material nature.

SB 7.5.32, Purport:

One cannot understand Kṛṣṇa unless one is graced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only one who has surrendered to a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa and taken the dust of his lotus feet can understand Kṛṣṇa. First one must understand how to get out of the clutches of māyā. The only means is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. And to become Kṛṣṇa conscious very easily, one must take shelter of a realized soul—a mahat, or mahātmā—whose only interest is to engage in the service of the Supreme Lord. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.13):

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtiṁ āśritāḥ bhajanty ananya-manaso jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

“O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.” Therefore, to end the unwanted miseries of life, one must become a devotee.

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ

“One who has unflinching devotional faith in Kṛṣṇa consistently manifests all the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa and the demigods.” (SB 5.18.12)

yasya deva parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām

“The Lord is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person He manifests His own form.” (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.3)

These are Vedic injunctions. One must take shelter of a self-realized spiritual master, not a materially educated scholar or politician. One must take shelter of a niṣkiñcana, a person engaged in devotional service and free from material contamination. That is the way to return home, back to Godhead.

SB 7.7.17, Translation and Purport:

Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: My dear friends, if you can place your faith in my words, simply by that faith you can also understand transcendental knowledge, just like me, although you are small children. Similarly, a woman can also understand transcendental knowledge and know what is spirit and what is matter.

These words of Prahlāda Mahārāja are very important in regard to knowledge descending by the disciplic succession. Even when Prahlāda Mahārāja was a baby within the womb of his mother, he became fully convinced of the existence of the supreme power because of hearing the powerful instructions of Nārada and understood how to attain perfection in life by bhakti-yoga. These are the most important understandings in spiritual knowledge.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

SB 7.7.29, Purport:

Among the linking processes that elevate one from bondage to material contamination, the one recommended by the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be accepted as the best. That process is clearly explained in Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” This process is the best because the Lord assures, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ: “I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” There is no need to be worried, for the Lord Himself assures that He will care for His devotee and save him from the reactions of sinful activities. Material bondage is a result of sinful activity. Therefore, since the Lord assures that He will dissipate the results of fruitive material activities, there is no need to be worried. This process of understanding one’s position as a spirit soul and then engaging oneself in devotional service is therefore the best. The entire Vedic program is based on this principle, and one can understand it as recommended in the Vedas:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23) One must accept the pure devotee, the representative of God, as one’s guru and then offer him all the respects one would offer the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the secret of success. For one who adopts this method, the perfect process is revealed.

SB 7.15.28, Purport:

As stated in the scriptures, dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ: (SB 12.13.1) a person in meditation achieves the perfection of yoga practice when he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By various practices, one may come to the point of controlling the senses, but simply controlling the senses does not bring one to a substantial conclusion. However, by staunch faith in the spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one not only controls the senses but also realizes the Supreme Lord.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of the Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23) It is further stated, tuṣyeyaṁ sarva-bhūtātmā guru-śuśrūṣayā and taranty añjo bhavārṇavam. Simply by rendering service to the spiritual master, one crosses the ocean of nescience and returns home, back to Godhead. Thus he gradually sees the Supreme Lord face to face and enjoys life in association with the Lord. The ultimate goal of yoga is to come in contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless this point is achieved, one’s so-called yoga practice is simply labor without any benefit.

SB 8.17.1, Translation and Purport:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, after Aditi was thus advised by her husband, Kaśyapa Muni, she strictly followed his instructions without laziness and in this way performed the payo-vrata ritualistic ceremony.

For advancement in anything, especially in spiritual life, one must strictly follow the bona fide instructions of the teacher. Aditi did this. She strictly followed the instructions of her husband and guru. As confirmed in the Vedic injunctions, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). One should have complete faith in the guru, who helps the disciple make progress in spiritual life. As soon as the disciple thinks independently, not caring for the instructions of the spiritual master, he is a failure (yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi). Aditi very strictly followed the instructions of her husband and spiritual master, and thus she was successful.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi 7.48, Purport:

One who is not taught by a bona fide spiritual master cannot understand the Vedic literature. To emphasize this point, Lord Kṛṣṇa, while instructing Arjuna, clearly said that it was because Arjuna was His devotee and confidential friend that he could understand the mystery of the Bhagavad-gītā. It is to be concluded, therefore, that one who wants to understand the mystery of revealed scriptures must approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him very submissively and render service to him. Then the import of the scriptures will be revealed. It is stated in the Vedas (Śvetāśvatara Up. 6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthā prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“The real import of the scriptures is revealed to one who has unflinching faith in both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the spiritual master.” Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura advises, sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, hṛdaye kariyā aikya. The meaning of this instruction is that one must consider the instructions of the sādhu, the revealed scriptures and the spiritual master in order to understand the real purpose of spiritual life. Neither a sādhu (saintly person or Vaiṣṇava) nor a bona fide spiritual master says anything that is beyond the scope of the sanction of the revealed scriptures. Thus the statements of the revealed scriptures correspond to those of the bona fide spiritual master and saintly persons. One must therefore act with reference to these three important sources of understanding.

CC Adi 7.95-96, Translation and Purport:

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically.

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. It is said in the Vedas (Śvetāśvatara Up. 6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” This Vedic injunction is very important, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu supported it by His personal behavior. Believing in the words of His spiritual master, He introduced the saṅkīrtana movement, just as the present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our spiritual master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the spiritual master and in the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success.

CC Adi 12.8, Purport:

The words daivera kāraṇa indicate that by dint of providence, or by God’s will, the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.

Therefore, we do not belong to any faction. But because the two parties, busy dividing the material assets of the Gauḍīya Maṭha institution, stopped the preaching work, we took up the mission of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu all over the world, under the protection of all the predecessor ācāryas, and we find that our humble attempt has been successful. We followed the principles especially explained by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā verse beginning vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (BG 2.41). According to this instruction of Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual master. The Vedas confirm this:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“To one who has staunch faith in the words of the spiritual master and the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the secret of success in Vedic knowledge is revealed.” The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being propagated according to this principle, and therefore our preaching work is going on successfully, in spite of the many impediments offered by antagonistic demons, because we are getting positive help from our previous ācāryas. One must judge every action by its result. The members of the self-appointed ācārya’s party who occupied the property of the Gauḍīya Maṭha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching. Therefore by the result of their actions one should know that they are asāra, or useless, whereas the success of the ISKCON party, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which strictly follows guru and Gaurāṅga, is increasing daily all over the world. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations.

CC Adi 17.257, Translation and Purport:

When all the students thus resolved, criticizing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, their intelligence was spoiled. Thus although they were learned scholars, because of this offense the essence of knowledge was not manifested in them.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, māyayāpahṛta-jñānā āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ: when one becomes inimical to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, adopting an atheistic attitude (āsuraṁ bhāvam), even if one is a learned scholar the essence of knowledge does not become manifested in him; in other words, the essence of his knowledge is stolen by the illusory energy of the Lord. In this connection Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura quotes a mantra from the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

The purport of this verse is that one who is unflinchingly devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and similarly devoted to the spiritual master, with no ulterior motive, becomes a master of all knowledge. In the heart of such a devotee, the real essence of the Vedic knowledge becomes manifested. This essence is nothing but surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15)). Only unto one who fully surrenders to the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord does the essence of Vedic knowledge become manifested, not to anyone else.

CC Madhya 6.179, Translation and Purport:

“If one tries to explain the Vedic literature in a different way, he is indulging in imagination. Any interpretation of the self-evident Vedic version is simply imaginary.

When a conditioned soul is purified, he is called a devotee. A devotee has his relationship only with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and his only occupational duty is to execute devotional service to satisfy the Lord. This service is rendered through the Lord’s representative, the spiritual master: yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). When the devotee executes devotional service properly, he attains the highest perfection of life—love of Godhead: sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). The ultimate goal of understanding the Vedas is to be elevated to the platform of rendering loving service to the Lord. The Māyāvādī philosophers, however, consider the central point of relationship to be the impersonal Brahman, the function of the living entity to be the acquisition of knowledge of Brahman, resulting in detachment from material activity, and the ultimate goal of life to be liberation, or merging into the existence of the Supreme. All of this, however, is simply due to the imagination of the conditioned soul. It simply opposes him to material activities. One should always remember that all Vedic literatures are self-evident. No one is allowed to interpret the Vedic verses. If one does so, he indulges in imagination, and that has no value.

CC Madhya 9.98, Translation and Purport:

The brāhmaṇa replied, “I am illiterate and therefore do not know the meaning of the words. Sometimes I read the Bhagavad-gītā correctly and sometimes incorrectly, but in any case I am doing this in compliance with the orders of my spiritual master.”

This is a good example of a person who had become so successful that he was able to capture the attention of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu even while reading the Bhagavad-gītā incorrectly. His spiritual activities did not depend on material things such as correct pronunciation. Rather, his success depended on strictly following the instructions of his spiritual master.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”(Śvetāśvatara Up. 6.23)

Actually the meaning of the words of the Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are revealed to one strictly following the orders of the spiritual master. They are also revealed to one who has equal faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, being faithful to both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master is the secret of success in spiritual life.

CC Madhya 9.102, Translation and Purport:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told the brāhmaṇa, “Indeed, you are an authority in the reading of the Bhagavad-gītā. Whatever you know constitutes the real purport of the Bhagavad-gītā.”

According to the śāstras: bhaktyā bhāgavataṁ grāhyaṁ na buddhyā na ca ṭīkayā. One should understand the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by hearing them from a real devotee. One cannot understand them simply by erudite scholarship or sharp intelligence. It is also said:

gītādhītā ca yenāpi bhakti-bhāvena cetasā veda-śāstra-purāṇāni tenādhītāni sarvaśaḥ

To one who reads the Bhagavad-gītā with faith and devotion, the essence of Vedic knowledge is revealed. And according to the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”

All Vedic literatures are to be understood with faith and devotion, not by mundane scholarship. We have therefore presented Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. There are many so-called scholars and philosophers who read the Bhagavad-gītā in a scholarly way. They simply waste their time and mislead those who read their commentaries.

CC Madhya 11.51, Translation and Purport:

Finally Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya said, “My dear King, do not worry. Because of your firm determination, I am sure that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy will definitely be bestowed upon you.”

Due to King Pratāparudra’s firm determination, the Bhaṭṭācārya predicted that the King would receive Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy without fail. As confirmed elsewhere in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (CC Madhya 19.151), guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja: “By the mercy of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, one gets the seed of devotional service.” The Bhaṭṭācārya was the spiritual master of King Pratāparudra, and he gave his blessings to the effect that the Lord would be merciful upon the King. The mercy of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa combine to grant success to a devotee engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is confirmed by the Vedas:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

Mahārāja Pratāparudra had firm faith in the Bhaṭṭācārya, who declared Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Having firm faith in the Bhaṭṭācārya as his spiritual master, King Pratāparudra immediately accepted Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as the Supreme Lord. Thus he began worshiping Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in his mind. This is the process of devotional service.

CC Madhya 12.38, Translation and Purport:

When the King received the old cloth, he began to worship it exactly as he would worship the Lord personally.

This is also the conclusion of the Vedic injunctions. Since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Absolute Truth, everything in relation to Him is on the same platform. The King had great affection for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and although he did not see the Lord, he had nonetheless already attained the conclusion of devotional service. Immediately upon receiving the cloth from Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, the King began to worship it, accepting it as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Lord’s clothing, bedding, slippers and everything required as an ordinary necessity are all transformations of Śeṣa, Viṣṇu, the expansion of Śrī Baladeva. Thus the cloth and other paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are but other forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everything connected to the Lord is worshipable. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructs us that just as Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, Kṛṣṇa’s place, Vṛndāvana, is also worshipable. And as Vṛndāvana is worshipable, similarly the paraphernalia in Vṛndāvana—the trees, roads, river, everything—is worshipable. A pure devotee thus sings, jaya jaya vṛndāvana-vāsī yata jana: “All glories to the residents of Vṛndāvana!” If a devotee has a staunch devotional attitude, all these conclusions will be awakened or revealed within the heart.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

Thus following in the footsteps of Mahārāja Pratāparudra and other devotees, we should learn to worship everything belonging to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

CC Madhya 22.131, Translation and Purport:

“‘One should taste the meaning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the association of pure devotees, and one should associate with the devotees who are more advanced than oneself and who are endowed with a similar type of affection for the Lord.

The words sajātīyāśaye snigdhe sādhau saṅgaḥ svato vare are very important. One should not associate with professional Bhāgavatam reciters. A professional Bhāgavatam reciter is one who is not in the disciplic succession or one who has no taste for bhakti-yoga. Simply on the strength of grammatical knowledge and word jugglery, professional reciters maintain their bodies and their desires for sense gratification by reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One should also avoid those who are averse to Lord Viṣṇu and His devotees, those who are Māyāvādīs, those who offend the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, those who simply dress as Vaiṣṇavas or so-called gosvāmīs, and those who make a business by selling Vedic mantras and reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to maintain their families. One should not try to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from such materialistic people. According to the Vedic injunctions, yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam can be recited only by one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and His devotee, the spiritual master. One should try to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the spiritual master. The Vedic injunction states, bhaktyā bhāgavataṁ grāhyaṁ na buddhyā na ca ṭīkayā. One has to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam through the process of devotional service and by hearing the recitation of a pure devotee. These are the injunctions of the Vedic literature—śruti and smṛti. Those who are not in the disciplic succession and who are not pure devotees cannot understand the real mysterious objective of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā.

CC Madhya 24.255, Translation and Purport:

“Nārada Muni assured the hunter, “If you listen to my instructions, I shall find the way you can be liberated.”

Gaurāṅgera bhakta-gaṇe jane jane śakti dhare. The purport of this song is that the devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are very powerful, and each and every one of them can deliver the whole world. What, then, to speak of Nārada Muni? If one follows the instructions of Nārada Muni, one can be delivered from any number of sinful reactions. This is the process. One must follow the instructions of a spiritual master; then one will certainly be delivered from all sinful reactions. This is the secret of success. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). If one has unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, the result is tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ: all the conclusions of the revealed scriptures will be open to such a person. A pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa can make the same demands that Nārada Muni is making. He says, “If you follow my instructions, I shall take responsibility for your liberation.” A pure devotee like Nārada can give assurance to any sinful man because by the grace of the Lord such a devotee is empowered to deliver any sinful person if that person follows the principles set forth.

CC Madhya 24.313, Translation and Purport:

“(Lord Śiva said:) “I may know; Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, may know; and Vyāsadeva may know or may not know Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. On the whole, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the spotless Purāṇa, can be learned only through devotional service, not by material intelligence, speculative methods or imaginary commentaries.””

Devotional service includes nine processes, beginning with hearing, chanting and remembering the activities of Lord Viṣṇu. Only one who has taken to devotional service can understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the spotless Purāṇa for a transcendentalist (paramahaṁsa). So-called commentaries are useless for this purpose. According to the Vedic injunction, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). All Vedic literatures maintain that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has to be learned from the person bhāgavata, and to understand it one has to engage in pure devotional service. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam cannot be understood by so-called erudite scholars or grammarians. One who has developed pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness and has served the pure devotee, the spiritual master, can understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Others cannot.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Renunciation Through Wisdom 4.2:

The Māyāvādīs are always eager to merge with the nondual Supreme Brahman and become God. But their small brains cannot understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead can become the charioteer of His devotee and carry out his orders. In truth the Supreme Lord and the jīvas are eternally related, and because of this relationship many wonderful things are possible. But the Māyāvādīs cannot understand this truth, and many who have tried to make them understand have failed miserably. In the śruti (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23) we find this statement:

yasya deve parā-bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed.

Upon seeing the devotion of the South Indian brāhmaṇa as he read the Gītā, Lord Caitanya embraced him and then told him that he had perfected the reading of the Gītā. What fool would deny that Lord Caitanya’s approval is far superior to millions of university doctorates? This accolade from the Lord proves that the Bhagavad-gītā cannot be studied with material intelligence. The knowledge of the Gītā must be received through the chain of ācāryas, or spiritual masters, coming down in disciplic succession. That is the only method; otherwise studying the Gītā is an exercise in futility. The scriptural conclusion is that since the Supreme Lord is transcendental, His words are also transcendental, and hence the esoteric subject matter of the Bhagavad-gītā can be received only through a disciplic succession that is equally transcendental.

Sri Isopanisad 18, Purport:

In this mantra of Śrī Īśopaniṣad, the devotee prays to the Lord to rectify him from within his heart. To err is human. A conditioned soul is very often apt to commit mistakes, and the only remedial measure to take against such unintentional sins is to give oneself up to the lotus feet of the Lord so that He may guide one to avoid such pitfalls. The Lord takes charge of fully surrendered souls; thus all problems are solved simply by surrendering oneself unto the Lord and acting in terms of His directions. Such directions are given to the sincere devotee in two ways: one is by way of the saints, scriptures and spiritual master, and the other is by way of the Lord Himself, who resides within the heart of everyone. Thus the devotee, fully enlightened with Vedic knowledge, is protected in all respects.

Vedic knowledge is transcendental and cannot be understood by mundane educational procedures. One can understand the Vedic mantras only by the grace of the Lord and the spiritual master (yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23)). If one takes shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, it is to be understood that he has obtained the grace of the Lord. The Lord appears as the spiritual master for the devotee. Thus the spiritual master, the Vedic injunctions and the Lord Himself from within—all guide the devotee in full strength. In this way there is no chance for a devotee to fall again into the mire of material illusion. The devotee, thus protected all around, is sure to reach the ultimate destination of perfection. The entire process is hinted at in this mantra, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.17-20) explains it further:

Hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord is itself an act of piety. The Lord wants everyone to hear and chant His glories because He is the well-wisher of all living entities. By hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, one becomes cleansed of all undesirable things, and then one’s devotion becomes fixed upon the Lord. At this stage the devotee acquires the brahminical qualifications, and the effects of the lower modes of nature (passion and ignorance) completely vanish. The devotee becomes fully enlightened by virtue of his devotional service, and thus he comes to know the path of the Lord and the way to attain Him. As all doubts diminish, he becomes a pure devotee.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 2.26 — Hyderabad, November 30, 1972:

So in this way we cannot understand which is beyond the perception of our knowledge. Acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. Things which are beyond our perception, you, we should not simply try to understand by logic and argument. It is useless waste of time, because nobody can decide theory. The modern so-called scientists, they also write like that: “Perhaps,” “It may be,” like that. “It may be millions of years. It was like this.” “It may be.” What is the value of saying “It may be.” Say definitely. That they cannot do. All the scientists” theory like “Perhaps,” “Maybe.” “Perchance, if it comes to be true…” So such kind of argument has no value. Therefore our śāstra says: acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvāḥ. Beyond your perception, beyond your sense perception, don’t try to understand it by argument and logic. Then how to know it? Know it from the person who knows it. That is knowledge. Just like we are trying to get knowledge about the soul, not by experiment, but we are trying to understand from the words of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the authority. So He says, in the beginning: dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). We can… Kṛṣṇa says, and we can think over it and ponder over it. Then we come to conclusion. And the other process, Vedic process, is:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Our process is descending process. We are not trying to understand by the ascending process. Inductive or deductive. We accept the statements of the Vedas. Therefore we haven’t got to make much effort to understand a thing. Veda-vacana, śruti, śruti-pramāṇa. There are three kinds of evidences: direct perception, and evidence from the Vedas, and evidence from history. Aitihya. Pratyakṣa, aitihya, śruti. Three kinds of evidences. So pratyakṣa and aitihya is neglected. According to our Vedic system, śruti-pramāṇa, if it is statement, the statement is there in the śruti, in the Vedas, then we accept. We have got a society in India. They call veda-pramāṇa. “We cannot accept without it is not mentioned in the Vedas.” That’s a, that’s nice. But there is another class who are described in the Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa Himself: veda-vāda-ratāḥ. They are simply unnecessarily fight on the basis of so-called Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge must be understood from the guru. That is injunction. They defy that.

Lecture on BG 4.10 — Bombay, March 30, 1974:

So everything requires sincerity. Otherwise things are not very difficult. Vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ, bahavaḥ (BG 4.10). Kṛṣṇa says, bahavaḥ. Not that one or two. Anyone… “Many who have adopted this means…” Then jñāna-tapasā pūtāḥ: “By knowledge and tapasya, they became purified, and then…” What is that? Mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ. Then come to the stage of bhāva. So to learn this art one, must be first… Just like we are hearing. If one determines, so why not adopt this means? Vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhāḥ (BG 2.56), jñāna-tapasā pūtāḥ. “Why I am suffering?” Kṛṣṇa is advising. Why not take this step? Then Kṛṣṇa will help you. As soon as you decide to accept this means, Kṛṣṇa will help you. Kṛṣṇa will help you… He’ll give you good assistance.

ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151)

Kṛṣṇa is with you. As soon as you decide, “Now Kṛṣṇa, I want You. Kindly help me,” He’s ready to help you. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). These are the definitions given in the Vedic literature.

So Rūpa Gosvāmī is giving us direction how to come to the bhāva stage. Ādau śraddhā. First of all, first thing is śraddhā. Śraddhā means faith, firm faith.

Lecture on BG 4.10 — Bombay, March 30, 1974:

So everything requires sincerity. Otherwise things are not very difficult. Vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ, bahavaḥ (BG 4.10). Kṛṣṇa says, bahavaḥ. Not that one or two. Anyone… “Many who have adopted this means…” Then jñāna-tapasā pūtāḥ: “By knowledge and tapasya, they became purified, and then…” What is that? Mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ. Then come to the stage of bhāva. So to learn this art one, must be first… Just like we are hearing. If one determines, so why not adopt this means? Vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhāḥ (BG 2.56), jñāna-tapasā pūtāḥ. “Why I am suffering?” Kṛṣṇa is advising. Why not take this step? Then Kṛṣṇa will help you. As soon as you decide to accept this means, Kṛṣṇa will help you. Kṛṣṇa will help you… He’ll give you good assistance.

ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151)

Kṛṣṇa is with you. As soon as you decide, “Now Kṛṣṇa, I want You. Kindly help me,” He’s ready to help you. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). These are the definitions given in the Vedic literature.

Lecture on BG 4.24-34 — New York, August 12, 1966:

And you will be surprised that my Guru Mahārāja’s spiritual master was Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. He was completely illiterate. He did not know how to sign, and my spiritual master was the most learned man of his age. He accepted that guru who was completely illiterate. But when he would speak, that Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he would speak with all Vedic references. And you will find in the Veda that:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

So the spiritual knowledge becomes revealed. It is not subjected to any material acquisition. It is not subjected to any material acquisition of knowledge. It becomes revealed. How? Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. One who has a staunch faith in the Supreme Lord and staunch faith in the personality of his spiritual master, bona fide, then he gets all the things revealed in himself. Spiritual things are not just like material things.

Lecture on BG 4.28 — Bombay, April 17, 1974:

So it is not that devotees are sentimental. It is not that. Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. Bhakti devotional service, after complete Vedic literature understanding… But bhakti is nice thing that if one takes to bhakti directly, he understands Vedic version automatically.

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam (SB 1.2.7)

This is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Even one is illiterate, if he sincerely takes to bhakti-yoga, so Vedic philosophical conclusion automatically awakens.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

These are the statement, and actually… Just like these boys. These boys, they were not educated in Vedic literature, never. But how they have taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness? This is the magic of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not dependant on studying of Vedas, but if you take seriously to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the Vedic knowledge is automatically awakened.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This is the secret. If one has unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and unflinching faith to his spiritual master, then automatically the Vedic knowledge becomes awakened.

This is a fact, you can see. They never knew what is Vedic life, Vedic knowledge, but how they have become so nice perfect devotee? That unflinching faith. That is required. Viśvāse milaya vastu tarke bahu-rūpa.(?) And that viśvāsa, that is explained, viśvāsa, faith, in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, viśvāsa-śabde, viśvāsa sudṛḍha niścaya, kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta. Śraddhā-śabde viśvāsa sudṛḍha niścaya. This is statement of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. He said, śraddhā. Because to become a devotee, the begin is śraddhā faith.

Lecture on BG 7.1-3 — Stockholm, September 10, 1973:

In the Fourth Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā you will find, Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). Kṛṣṇa said this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā first to the sun-god, and he spoke to his son Manu, he spoke to his son Ikṣvāku. In this way, disciplic succession, this Bhagavad-gītā has come down to this earthly planet, and if we accept that disciplic succession, do not unnecessarily interpret, then we understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. That is the process. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to understand the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, as He is, without any interpretation. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga. That can be achieved, as Kṛṣṇa says, always keeping center Kṛṣṇa.

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu (BG 7.1)

You can understand. If you practice this yoga, keeping Kṛṣṇa in the center, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, the form of the Kṛṣṇa, then it will be revealed. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). This is the yoga system of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Lecture on BG 9.2 — Calcutta, March 7, 1972:

Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, being great logician, he could not understand the bhakti philosophy, but when he became a student of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he could understand how much elevated was Rāmānanda Raya. At that time before, “I could not realize,” but when he become himself a devotee, he could understand. Therefore when Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was going to the South Indian tour he recommended, “Sir, if You can meet Rāmānanda Raya, You’ll be very much pleased. He’s a great, advanced student in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu met him on the bank of Godāvarī River. And the talk was going on, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu took the position of the student, and he was offered, Rāmānanda Raya was offered the position of the teacher, although he was gṛhastha, governor, and according to our social custom, karaṇa, śūdra. So he was hesitant.

But Caitanya Mahāprabhu said—this is the statement of Caitanya Mahāprabhu:

kibā vipra, kibā śūdra nyāsī kene naya yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei ‘guru’ haya (CC Madhya 8.128)

“Why you are hesitant? You are guru. It doesn’t matter that you are a gṛhastha, you are governor, you are dealing in politics. But I know that you are Kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā. You know the science of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, you are guru.” This is the test. To become guru it doesn’t matter that one has to become…, one has to come out from brāhmaṇa family or high family or Hindu family or this family or that family. No. Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva: never mind what is. He may be European, he may be American, he may be śūdra, he may be whatever. That is past. That is his past life. Now, when one has become kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, really Kṛṣṇa conscious, he comes to the transcendental position. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. Any devotee, any devotee, māṁ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate (BG 14.26). Any devotee who has unflinching faith on guru and Kṛṣṇa, such devotee, yasya deva parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, such person, bhakti-yogi. Bhakti-yoga, you cannot… Without accepting guru there is no possibility of understanding bhakti-yoga. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim, niṣkiñcanānāṁ pāda-rajo-‘bhiṣekam. Unless one touches the lotus feet of niṣkiñcana vaiṣṇava, there is no question of bhakti-yoga. That is not possible. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim (SB 7.5.32). Urukramāṅghrim means Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. One cannot be attached unless he takes the dust of a niṣkiñcana vaiṣṇava. This is first.

Lecture on BG 9.2 — Calcutta, March 8, 1972:

Without guru you cannot have mercy of Kṛṣṇa. You cannot jump over Kṛṣṇa like monkey. That is not possible. Kṛṣṇa will not accept. If you think that “Without guru I shall jump over Kṛṣṇa, and He’ll be merciful upon me,” that monkey’s business will not be accepted. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore says that gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ. You have to become the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of servant (CC Madhya 13.80). Then Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. If you jump over Kṛṣṇa, “Kṛṣṇa, I have come to You…” Kṛṣṇa is not so easy. Therefore guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya pāya. If you are sincere, if you’re sincere, that Kṛṣṇa will be merciful, first of all. Then Kṛṣṇa will guide you. If you’re sincere, Kṛṣṇa will direct you that “Approach such and such guru,” and if guru is pleased, then you’ll get Kṛṣṇa, that guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya, both, parallel line.

ei rūpe bhramāṇḍa bhramite kono bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151)

Guru-kṛṣṇa—both wanted.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This is Vedic injunction. If you want to be elevated to the, your real constitutional position, then you have to take these principles, guru-kṛṣṇa.

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
(ŚU 6.23)

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, yasya…, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. Guru.
yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasya aprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi dhyāyan stuvaṁs tasya (yaśas tri-sandhyaṁ) vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
So this is rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyam. This is the secret, guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya (CC Madhya 19.151). We should take advantage of this rāja-vidyā, devotional service, and take the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa and make our life successful. And it is very easy. It is very easy. Pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam (BG 9.2). Su-sukham, very easy and, I mean, very pleasing also, to execute devotional service. Very pleasing.

Lecture on BG 10.1 — New York, December 30, 1966:

If one, anyone wants to understand the spiritual science or the science of Kṛṣṇa, then he should associate himself with the satām, those who are pure devotees, those who are pure devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. When discussions take place between pure devotees, then the potency of spiritual knowledge, as they are depicted in the scriptures and sacred books, they become revealed. Simply armchair, I mean to say, mental speculators, discussing on Bhagavad-gītā, that is useless, futile. Here it is stated that satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ (SB 3.25.25). If it is discussed in the association of pure devotees, then the potency of that spiritual language will be revealed. Will be revealed.

In the Vedic literature also, in Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, it is stated,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

It is said there that one who has got firm faith in God and similar faith in God’s representative. Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. Deve means God. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. Gurau means spiritual master. Spiritual master means a perfect devotee of God. He’s spiritual master. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ. So all this, I mean to say, import of the Vedic language will be revealed to him. Will be revealed to him. We cannot understand Vedas simply by academic qualification. We have to, we must have the qualification of becoming a devotee of the Supreme Lord and His representative, the spiritual master or the saintly persons. These are recommended in all Vedic scripture.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.2.7 — New Vrindaban, September 5, 1972:

So yesterday we were discussing the, what is the first-class religious system. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). The test is people are very much enthusiastic to fight, “My religion is better.” “I am Hindu. Our religion is very good.” Somebody says, “No, we are Christian, we are…, our religion is very good.” Somebody Muhammadan, this fighting is going on. In European history there was fight, crusade between religious group. In our country, in India, there was fight between Hindus and Muslims. What is the meaning of this fight? Actually when one is God conscious, he knows God, that where is the chance of fighting? Yasya deve parā… Because one should be… If actually one is God conscious, yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā (SB 5.18.12). The Vedic literature gives us information that actually if one is a devotee of God…

Lecture on SB 1.2.11 — Vrndavana, October 22, 1972:

Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā (CC Madhya 7.128), “You become a spiritual master under My order.” So if you carry out the order of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa, then you become guru. Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā. Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the ācāryas. We manufacture our own ways. We have got practical experience how a great institution was lost by whimsical ways. Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost. Therefore Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura stresses very much on the words of the spiritual master. Vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (BG 2.41). If you stick to the order of spiritual master, then, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This is the confirmation of all authorities. We have to carry out very faithfully the order of the bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. Then our life is successful. Then we can understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam (SB 1.2.11). We have to hear from the tattva-vit, not from the so-called scholars and politicians. No. One who knows the truth, you have to hear from him. And if you stick to that principle, then you understand everything very clearly.

Lecture on SB 1.2.18 — Los Angeles, August 21, 1972:

Pradyumna: “Here is the remedy for eliminating all inauspicious things within the heart which are considered to be obstacles in the path of self-realization. The remedy is the association of the Bhāgavatas. There are two types of Bhāgavatas, namely the book Bhāgavata and the devotee Bhāgavata. Both the Bhāgavatas are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles. A devotee Bhāgavata is as good as the book Bhāgavata because the devotee Bhāgavata leads his life in terms of the book Bhāgavata and the book Bhāgavata is full of information about the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees, who are also Bhāgavatas. Bhāgavata book and person are identical. The devotee Bhāgavata is a direct representative of Bhagavān, the Personality of Godhead, so by pleasing the devotee Bhāgavata one can receive the benefit of the book Bhāgavata. Human reason fails to understand how by serving the devotee Bhāgavata or the book Bhāgavata one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion. But actually these are the facts explained by Śrīla Nāradadeva, who happened to be a maidservant’s son in his previous life. The maidservant…”

Prabhupāda: There is another Vedic evidence:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

To… Vedic literature, the meaning becomes revealed to a person who has got unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master. Just like Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he was illiterate, but he became the spiritual master of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. So the purport of the Vedic literature becomes revealed to a person who has got unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master. Go on.

Lecture on SB 1.3.26 — Los Angeles, October 1, 1972:

So to become a Vaiṣṇava is not so easy thing, because it is transcendental to the brahminical quality. But it is very easy. Lord Caitanya has made it easy, provided you stick to the principles. If you simply chant regularly Hare Kṛṣṇa… This is the special facility for the people in this age. You can remain steady in transcendental position. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12). As soon as you remain in the offenseless chanting platform, immediately you become transcendental to these material qualities. Very simple. You don’t require to study Vedānta. The Vedānta is there. It reveals,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

The Vedānta philosophy will reveal automatically. You haven’t got to study. But provided you have got unflinching faith in God and spiritual master, all this Vedānta knowledge will be revealed within you. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya (CC Madhya 19.151). Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that you can make advancement in spiritual life by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and guru. You don’t try to overlap guru and get Kṛṣṇa’s mercy immediately. That is not possible. That is not possible. You have to go through the proper channel. Anyone who is thinking that “I shall make spiritual advancement without guru,” he is wrongly thinking. It is not possible. Just like if you want to see a big man, you have to go through the servant of that man. You have to take permission. The servant may say, “Sir, such and such man wants to see you. He is very nice man, appears to be a good man.” “Oh,” the master says, “he is good man? All right, bring him.” By the recommendation of the servant.

Lecture on SB 1.5.11 — New Vrindaban, June 10, 1969:

Actually, you’ll find that our Kīrtanānanda Swami was in Vṛndāvana. There are many devotees. There are many devotees; they’re illiterate practically. They do not know what is Vedānta-sūtra. But still, by their sincere devotional service they’re very much elevated. What to speak of others, Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he was illiterate. He could not sign even his name. But he was so spiritually elevated that my spiritual master, who was the topmost scholar of his time, he accepted him as spiritual master. What is the reason? The reason is that this transcendental science does not depend on academic qualification. It is, it is not that because one is very, academically very qualified, he’ll become a devotee. No. The secret is… That is given in the Vedic literatures: (SB 5.18.12) yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā No:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

The transcendental knowledge becomes revealed. To whom it becomes revealed? It becomes revealed to such person who has got unflinching love for Kṛṣṇa and for the spiritual master. Caitanya-caritāmṛta also says: guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). One can come to the spiritual perfectional stage, or come to the spiritual platform, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. The, this is Vedic version: yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. One who has got unflinching faith… Deve. Deve means the Supreme Lord. Parā bhakti: transcendental devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Yathā deve tathā gurau. And as he has got unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa, similarly he has got unflinching faith to the spiritual master. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ: all these Vedic literatures and their purport and their meaning will be revealed to him. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante. It becomes revealed. Prakāśante mahātmanaḥ.

So that is the secret, not that erudite scholarship. One must be very much sincere. Then Kṛṣṇa will give you dictation. He is within. Guru-kṛṣṇa… First of all, if I am sincere and if I want to serve the Supreme Lord… The Supreme Lord is within you. He’ll give you direction: “All right. You do this. You do this. You just go to this man, and he’ll give you good counsel.” He’ll give you direction. Therefore first mercy is of Kṛṣṇa, and then the spiritual master is considered as the mercy-representation of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa helps us from within and without. From within He’s helping us as the Supersoul, and from without, He’s helping us as the spiritual master. So Kṛṣṇa is ready to help us in all, always, in all perfectional stage, if we are simply sincere. Parā bhakti. Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. If you have got transcendental devotional mood, then everything will come. It does not depend on this linguistic, I mean to say, advancement or academically… Simply we have to develop our transcendental love and devotional service to the Supreme Lord, and then gradually He’ll give me direction. He’ll give me right direction. Everything will be all right.

Lecture on SB 1.5.22 — Vrndavana, August 3, 1974:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore we say they are fools. Why do we say mūḍhāḥ? Because they do not know. And our business is easy. We take Vedic version, Kṛṣṇa’s version, Brahmā’s version, Vyāsadeva’s version, and accept. That’s all. Which one is easiest? Our business is very simple. You ask your father… A child asks his father, “Father, what is this?” The father says, “This is microphone, my dear child.” And he will, “Mother, this is microphone.” So when he says this “Mother, this is microphone,” is he correct or not?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, he is.

Prabhupāda: He’s correct. He may be child. But because he has accepted the words of his father, the statement is correct. So our process is that. Take the version of the authority, Kṛṣṇa, and you repeat it. Your version is perfect. This is our policy. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, “You rascal scholar, philosopher, scientist, don’t manufacture anything. Yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128). That’s all. You become master.” Yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128). You become master. You can teach others. A spiritual master. That’s all. And if, whatever little success I have got—only for this reason. I have never said anything which is not spoken by Kṛṣṇa. I never said, “In my opinion.” I never said. You are so many students. I never said that to you. What is my opinion? One should know, “What is the value of my opinion? I am imperfect being.” This is called tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā. If one thinks, “Oh, I am big scholar. I am this. I am that,” you are rascal. You have to simply carry the message of Kṛṣṇa. But for your understanding you can make research work.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That is the secret.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the secret.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)
If one has got unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and his representative, guru, then all the knowledge will be revealed to him automatically. Just like yourself. You are a big scientist. You have talked with me, you have studied with me, and you have examined me in so many ways. And I have also spoken whatever I had knowledge. Unless you are convinced, how you can say that “You are my spiritual master”? So what is the secret? I am not a scientist. I am not M.A., C.A How do you agree to accept me as spiritual master? Because I stick to this principle, Kṛṣṇa and guru, that’s all. This is the secret of guru.

Lecture on SB 1.7.23 — Vrndavana, September 20, 1976:

If you simply speak what Kṛṣṇa says, then you become His representative. Don’t manufacture. Don’t be over good at (indistinct) manufacturing. Simply to follow Kṛṣṇa and His representatives, then you become mahājana. Otherwise you are a nonsense. Mūḍha. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). That is the test. One should be very very careful to follow Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s instruction. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never said that “I am directly servant of Kṛṣṇa.” No. Gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsa-dāsa-dasānudāsaḥ: “Servant of the servant of the servant of the…” The more you become servant of the servant, you are perfect (CC Madhya 13.80). And as soon as you declare independence, you are rascal. This is the process. We should always remain most obedient servant of my master.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Then it will reveal. The whole thing is revelation. It is not by experience, by scholarship. No: revelation. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. One who has surrendered proportionately, God reveals. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11).

So there is no difficulty to understand what is God. Here is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord-directly. I do not know why people are searching after God, why they do not know what is God. Just see. That means mūḍha. Although God is here, still, he’ll not accept. That is mūḍha, narādhama. And why he’s mūḍha? Because narādhama. He does not take the process. He wants to manufacture something. Don’t do that. Here Arjuna is mahājana, he’s Kṛṣṇa’s friend, he’s always with Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa recognizes him. Not that because one is always with Kṛṣṇa, therefore he knows Kṛṣṇa. No. That is not possible. Just like I have given this example many times, that I am sitting here, and the bug is also sitting here. That does not mean we are very confidential. No. Bug is different visions (business?), and my business different. And bug’s business is biting. That kind of association will not help. Association means to develop love for the person. That is association.

Lecture on SB 1.7.44 — Vrndavana, October 4, 1976:

Ācārya should be always worshiped. Even if you, by ABCD, you have become more learned than the ācārya… That is not possible, but if you foolishly think like that, still, you should not exhibit your foolishness, that you know more than the ācārya. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s… By His life example, He has taught us that the more we remain ignorant, foolish before the ācārya, or before the guru, that is more we advance. Real success is how one is faithful to his guru. That is real success. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. It is not by education or grammatical knowledge you can learn anything. No. It is by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And that grace comes down through the grace of guru. That grace also does not come directly. We should not be neglecting this point.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Things become revealed by devotion, not by so-called education. No. Ciraṁ vicinvan. Na cānya eko ‘pi ciraṁ vicinvan, prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi (SB 10.14.29). By little prasāda, satisfaction… In many places these things are stated. Yat kāruṇya-katākṣa-vaibhavavatāṁ gauram eva stumaḥ. Kāruṇya-katākṣa. Not complete kāruṇya, but katākṣa, simply little glancing, he becomes so great, kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tridaśa-pūr ākāśa…

Lecture on SB 1.15.27 — New York, March 6, 1975:

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, “My dear brāhmaṇa, what you are reading?” So he also could understand that “Here is a person who has not come to criticize me. He is serious.” “Yes, sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gītā, but I am illiterate. I am illiterate.” “Then what you are reading?” “No, I am simply turning the pages. I cannot read anything.” “Then why you are reading if you cannot?” “No, my Guru Mahārāja ordered me. My Guru Mahārāja asked me that ‘You shall read Bhagavad-gītā daily, eighteen chapters.’ ” Guru mahārāja knew that he is illiterate, but still ordered. This is called guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya, ār nā koriho mane āśā **. This is called firm faith in guru. Guru ordered him that “You read.” Guru must know him, that he is illiterate. So what he will read? Why guru is ordering him? But because he had firm faith in guru and he was trying to read, Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to see him. Just see. How this line is important: guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya, ār nā koriho mane āśā **. Ār means anything more, you don’t try to understand. Whatever your guru says, you just try to carry it out. So what is the next line? Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete…

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Śrī-guru-caraṇe rati…

Prabhupāda: Śrī-guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttama-gati **. Don’t try to make very good advance by manufacturing your own way. Simply, śrī-guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttama-gati. That is first-class. That is Vedic instruction. Vede gāy jāṅhāra carito. The Vedas says,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

To understand Vedic literature means one must have firm faith in Kṛṣṇa and firm faith in guru, not that “My guru is not so learned, so let me capture Kṛṣṇa directly.” That is useless. That is useless. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). One can get the seed of the plant or creeper of bhakti, how? Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpā. By the mercy of guru and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, not that kṛṣṇa-kṛpā. First guru-kṛpā, then kṛṣṇa-kṛpā. So this brāhmaṇa attracted the attention of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was illiterate, and he could not read even one word. What is the truth in it? The same thing. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya **. He took guru’s order very seriously, that “My Guru Mahārāja has ordered me, and I must carry out. Never mind I cannot read. Let me open the pages and see. That’s all.” So he was doing that. So others criticized him that “This man is illiterate. What he is reading?” But Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not criticize. Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, “Oh, what you are reading, My dear brāhmaṇa?” So he explained, that “This gentleman has not come to criticize me.” So Caitanya Mahāprabhu knew that “He is a perfect knower of Bhagavad-gītā.” Still, He inquired, “Well, if you are not reading, then how you are crying? I see there are tears in your eyes. What is the meaning?” Then he admitted, “Yes, sir. Yes. That is.” “Why you are crying?” “No, as soon as I take this Bhagavad-gītā in my hand a picture comes before me that Arjuna is sitting on the chariot ordering Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is carrying out his order and driving the chariot. So that makes me amazed. Therefore I am crying, that ‘How Kṛṣṇa is merciful, that He accepted a menial service for His devotee. He is so kind.’ ” Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately embraced him: “Yes, brāhmaṇa, your reading of Bhagavad-gītā is perfect.” So it doesn’t matter whether one is illiterate or literate. Everyone has got these ears. So we should hear from the realized person, guru Vaiṣṇava, not professional, no. That will not help us.

Lecture on SB 1.15.30 — Los Angeles, December 8, 1973:

Just like the South Indian brāhmaṇa. As soon as he opened his… He was illiterate, he could not read Bhagavad-gītā. But his Guru Mahārāja said that “You shall read every day eighteen chapters of Bhagavad-gītā.” So he was puzzled, that “I’m illiterate, I cannot… All right, take me the…, the Bhagavad-gītā.” So he was in a Rāmaṇatha temple. He took the Bhagavad-gītā and went like this. He could not read. So his friends who knew him, they were joking, “Well, brāhmaṇa, how you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?” He did not answer because he knew that his friends are “Joking me because I do not know… I’m illiterate.” But when Caitanya Mahāprabhu came, he was also puzzled, “Brāhmaṇa, you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?” He said, “Sir, I am illiterate. I cannot read. It is not possible. But my Guru Mahārāja ordered me to read. What can I do? I’ve taken this book.” This is trying follow guru’s word. He’s illiterate. He cannot read. There is no possibility. But his Guru Mahārāja ordered, “You must read Bhagavad-gītā daily, eighteen chapters.” Now what is this? This is called vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ. I may be quite incomplete. It doesn’t matter. But if I try to follow the words of my Guru Mahārāja, then I become complete.

This is the secret. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). If one has strong faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as much faith in the guru, yathā deve tathā gurau, then the revealed scriptures become manifest. It is not the education. It is not the scholarship. It is faith in Kṛṣṇa and guru. Therefore Caitanya-caritāmṛta says guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Not by education, not by scholarship, never says. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya, by the mercy of guru, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. It is a question of mercy. It is not a question of scholarship or opulence or richness. No. The whole bhakti-mārga depends on the mercy of the Lord. So we have to seek the mercy. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi, jānāti tattvam… (SB 10.14.29). Prasāda-leśa, leśa means fraction. One who has received a little fraction of mercy of the Supreme, he can understand. Others, na cānya eko ‘pi ciraṁ vicinvan. Others, they may go on speculating for millions of years. It is not possible to understand. So Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Therefore we are presenting because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it was understood by Arjuna. We do not go to Dr. Radhakrishnan, this scholar, that scholar, this rascal, that ra… No. We do not go. That is not our business. That is paramparā.

Lecture on SB 1.16.26-30 — Hawaii, January 23, 1974:

Devotee (2): You said that one mistake of the neophyte devotee is to think that he is suffering under some condition, some distress, and that it is due to the circumstances under which the distress occurred. And my question is, Can the change of one’s service, can changing the type of service one’s performing, can that help him to achieve the desired perfection in relationship with the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: So what is the real proposal? I do not follow. Why don’t you say frankly? This is… Why in a (laughs) jugglery way? State what is the fact?

Devotee (2): Well, like, if one is in a big temple, he’s a cook in a big temple.

Prabhupāda: Yes. In a big temple, the cooker and the man who is worshiping the Deity, and the man who is sweeping over, they’re all one. There is no distinction. There is no such material dis… In the material world, if somebody’s doing nice job, he is greater, and if somebody’s not nice job, he’s smaller. In spiritual world, there is no such distinction.

Devotee (2): So one is like that, in a comfortable situation…

Prabhupāda: Comfortable situation is also sense gratification. Any situation, we shall have to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Not that “If it is comfortable to me, I shall do it.” That is sense gratification. That is sense gratification. That is not spiritual; that is material. “Comfortable or uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter. If Kṛṣṇa wants it, I must do it.” That is wanted. That is wanted. As soon as I discriminate “This is comfortable, this is uncomfortable,” that is material.

Devotee (3): Prabhupāda, how can we know what type of service Kṛṣṇa…

Prabhupāda: Therefore you have got spiritual master. Why he is there? Therefore you have to accept spiritual master who will give you direction. You cannot do it. If you manufacture your own…, then go to hell. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ (ŚU 6.23). Kṛṣṇa is there; guru is there. Why should you manufacture your own way? If you are sincere, Kṛṣṇa will dictate from within. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). Find out this verse. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam.

Pradyumna: 10.10

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is ready to give you instruction. The spiritual master is ready. Why should you do at your whims, and do something wrong and go to hell?

Lecture on SB 2.9.3 — Melbourne, April 5, 1972:

So sometimes we cannot understand due to our incapable(?). But things are already there. So by discussing, by repeated trying to understand and being cleansed of heart, everything will be done. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). The two things are there—seva and praṇipāt: surrender, at the same time, service. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). If one is inclined to give service, then automatically things become understood. This is science like that.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā-deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This spiritual science cannot be understood simply by academic knowledge or by challenge. The sevā-vṛtti, the service attitude, must be there. Otherwise it will never be understood. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā-deve tathā gurau. These are the Vedic injunction. So let us have…(break) Each and every śloka should be very, very scrutinizingly understood. That should be the first business in the temples. Of all these books. We have got so many books. Simply if we make arrangement for selling, not for understanding, then it will be simply materialistic. Both things must go on. Go on.

Lecture on SB 3.12.19 — Dallas, March 3, 1975:

So you have to follow the authoritative principles by the paramparā system. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). If you have got faith in God, Kṛṣṇa, and similar faith in the spiritual master and follow his instruction, then you will understand Kṛṣṇa in His different features: jyoti, bhagavān, and sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam. He is the brahma-jyotir just like the sunshine, and He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, and He is the Supersoul, Paramātmā, in everyone’s heart. The process is tapasaiva, a little tapasya. So whatever little tapasya we have prescribed, you follow. You will understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you understand Kṛṣṇa, then your life is successful.

Lecture on SB 5.5.2 — Hyderabad, April 12, 1975:

Kṛṣṇa says, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34), unless you are prepared to render service to your spiritual master… First of all you must find out the proper spiritual master. Then you must engage yourself to his service. Then you can question. Otherwise don’t waste your time and your spiritual master’s time. Tad viddhi, you must know. The first thing is praṇipātena, praṇipātena, prakṛṣṭa rūpeṇa nipāt, fully surrendered. Just like these boys, they have learned. They will see their spiritual master hundred time, and hundred time they’ll fall flat and offer respect. This is called praṇipā. Hundred times. Not that I finished my praṇipā in the morning as an etiquette now. No. These boys are so good. They have learned that they’ll meet me hundred times and they’ll fall flat hundred times. This is called praṇipā. This is the injunction. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34), that is the Vedic injunction.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This… The meaning of the Vedic literature is revealed. It is not by your mundane scholarship you can understand. That is not possible. Tasya ete kathitā arthāḥ prakāśante, it becomes revealed. To whom? Yasya deve parā bhaktir. One who has unflinching faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yathā deve tathā gurau, similar faith in guru. For them the meaning of this Vedic literature becomes revealed. It is not by mundane scholarship: “I think it is like that.” Who are you? You are thinking like that? No. That is not the process. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā, two things must be there. First of all praṇipāta, and the other side, sevā, and the middle, paripraśna.

Lecture on SB 5.5.5 — Vrndavana, October 27, 1976:

Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). But don’t make inquiries cheap: “Here is my guru, and he’s meant for answering all my questions. Let me go on questioning, questioning, questioning.” No. Sevayā. You must serve. You must be ready to serve him. Then you have got right to make question. Otherwise not. Two things. First of all, you must find out a person where you can fully surrender, praṇipātena. And then you can inquire, and the inquiry should be compensated by seva. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasāda. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). The more you are inclined to render seva, the more the truth becomes revealed.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā-deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakaśante (mahātmanaḥ) (ŚU 6.23)

It is a different science. The more you are inclined to render service, the more spiritual truth becomes revealed. And two things: if you are not inquisitive, don’t bother yourself to have a guru. Useless. There is no need. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta (SB 11.3.21). Tasmād. Therefore. What is therefore? Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. If you are inquisitive about transcendental science, śreya uttamam… Śreya and preya—two things are there. Śreya means ultimate good, and preya means immediate sense gratification, it is preya. And śreya means ultimate good. So if one is inquisitive to know what is the ultimate goal of life, for him, a guru is required. But if he wants immediate some sense gratification, he doesn’t require a guru. For sense gratification there is no need of guru. Even these birds and beasts, they know how to gratify senses. There is no need of university or teacher. Say for sex life, nobody requires to go to the university. They know. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. These four things, there is no need of university education. But at the present moment to go to university means how to gratify the senses very scientifically. Scientifically. How to steal scientifically. Does it require any scientific knowledge how to cut throat and how to steal? No. They require education for spiritual understanding, tad-vijñānārtham, not this vijñānārtham, this material knowledge. It doesn’t require. It is simply a waste of time. This modern university education is simply a waste of time.

Lecture on SB 5.5.35 — Vrndavana, November 22, 1976:

Bhakti means uttamam. Bhakti is not the activities of this material world. Uttamam. Urd-gata-tamo hy asmat. There is no material quality. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). That is uttamam. Here, so long we are in the tama, tamasi mā. “Don’t remain in tama, envious.” Tamasi mā jyotir gama. So bhakti is uttama. When you are transcendental, above this darkness of material world, then you can accept the If you are actually interested in the uttama, something beyond this darkness of ignorance, then you accept one guru. Don’t keep a guru as a fashion to satisfy your senses: “My dear guru, can you make some gold?” “Yes.” “Oh, first-class guru.” No. That is not guru. That is your flattery. You want something according to your order—”Guru, cure my disease,” “Guru, give me some gold,” “Guru, give me this. Show me some wonderful mystic power”—that is order supplier. No, guru is not order supplier. Guru can give you the way how to have mercy of Kṛṣṇa. That is guru. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. Bhagavat-prasāda. If you want mercy of Kṛṣṇa, then you have to satisfy the devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit (SB 11.17.27). “Never become envious of guru.” Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā-deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23).

Lecture on SB 5.6.6 — Vrndavana, November 28, 1976:

And pratically we see in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. All you are young Westerners. You never study Vedānta, but you can surprise many so-called Vedāntists how to understand Kṛṣṇa. How it has become possible? Simply by your firm faith in your spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). This is the Vedic process. If we have got firm faith in guru and firm faith in Kṛṣṇa—guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpayā pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151)—then you get the seedling of bhakti-latā. Some way or other, we have to come to this bhakti-latā, increasing or nourishing the bhakti creeper. That will be effective.

Lecture on SB 7.12.6 — Bombay, April 17, 1976:

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has taught very, very nicely about guru. Therefore he has written in Gurvaṣṭaka, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. He is example, practical example of guru-bhakti, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura. He accepted his guru, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. So he said that “I am not interested for my salvation or going back to Godhead. I am not interested.” Interested means it may come; it may not come. “That I don’t mind. But I am interested only with the words of my guru.” Viśvanātha Cakravartī said. “That is my life. Whether I will be successful or not successful, it doesn’t matter. I must take the words of my Guru Mahārāja as my life and soul.”

Actually, that is the secret of success. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante… (ŚU 6.23)

So that is the secret of success, śraddadhāna, to accept the words of guru very, very faithfully. Śraddha. This is brahmacārī’s… And jitendriya, self-controlled. That is the brahmacārī. He is not agitated by the senses. The whole practice is to control the senses. That is Vedic civilization. I have several times explained that senses cannot be let loose. Senses must be controlled. That is called swami or gosvāmī. Swami does not mean that “I am the swami, husband of my wife, and I can use her to my best capacity.” No. Swami means the master of the senses. That is called swami or gosvāmī.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion — Bombay, January 2, 1973:

Guru means Kṛṣṇa’s representative, Kṛṣṇa’s… Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ **. Sākṣād dharitvena. Because guru is representative of Kṛṣṇa, therefore he should be respected as good as Kṛṣṇa. Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. But because a guru is respected as Kṛṣṇa, the guru does not think that he has become Kṛṣṇa. No. That is foolishness. He’s the most confidential servant of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore… Just like most confidential secretary, he acts as the master. His signature, his settlement will be accepted by the master. Similarly yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasya prasādād na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi **. We have to select the right representative of Kṛṣṇa, and accept him as guru. And if I please him, then Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. There is no need of… Somebody, they say that “Kṛṣṇa is not present. How shall I please Him?” No. Kṛṣṇa’s representative is present. You please him. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo, yasya **. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). This is the process. Yathā deve tathā gurau. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante. This is the process. Ādau gurvāśrayam. That is Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī giving his, in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, ādau gurvāśrayam. If you are actually interested to understand Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa-bhakti, the first business is ādau gurvāśrayam: you take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master who is representative of Kṛṣṇa.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.13 — Mayapur, April 6, 1975:

So Kṛṣṇa says, the ācārya… Here it is said that advaitaṁ hariṇā advaitād. So of course Advaita Ācārya is expansion of Viṣṇu-tattva, but any ācārya, he is to be considered identical with the Lord. The Lord says that, that ācāryam māṁ vijānīyāt (SB 11.17.27): “One should understand the ācārya…” Ācārya bhakti-śaṁsanāt. Ācārya means who is spreading pure bhakti cult. “That ācārya,” Kṛṣṇa says, “you should consider such ācārya as Myself.” Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyāt nāvamanyeta karhicit, that… You cannot consider, “Yes, he’s ācārya, but not as good as Kṛṣṇa.” No. Na avamanyeta. Don’t deride in that way. Then there will be falldown. Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyāt nāvamanyeta karhicit. And in the Vedas also it is said, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau: (ŚU 6.23) “Anyone who has got unflinching faith in the Supreme Personality and the similar faith in guru…” Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ: “All the Vedic literature,” prakāśante, “becomes revealed simply by these two principle.” Guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpā pāya bhakti-latā-bīja. We should not jump over Kṛṣṇa without the help of guru. That is not possible. You must go through. Because Kṛṣṇa says, ācāryam māṁ vijānī… Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: (SB 11.3.21) “Actually one who is serious to understand higher transcendental subject matter, he must approach guru.”

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 22.21-28 — New York, January 11, 1967:

Those who are engaged in transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, for them knowledge automatically comes from within because Kṛṣṇa is within us. So a sincere soul in Kṛṣṇa consciousness will not lack in knowledge. And in the Vedic literature also it is confirmed:
yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)
The Vedic knowledge, revelation, to whom it is revealed? It is revealed to a person who has unflinching faith and love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead as well as to the spiritual master. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. As much he has got faith in the Supreme, similarly he has faith in the spiritual master. Such a person gets revelation of the Vedic knowledge from within. So those who are actually serious in engaging themselves in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service, for them knowledge is secondary. Knowledge automatically revealed to them. And those who do not take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service, simply indulge in dry speculation, for them liberation is not possible. Not possible.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture — Bombay, January 3, 1973:

There is no difference between Brahman and the literature which is describing Brahman. The same thing: just like Bhagavad-gītā and Kṛṣṇa, there is no difference. Bhagavad-gītā is also Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise why this book is worshiped since so, for so long time, since five thousand years, unless the Bhagavad-gītā is Kṛṣṇa? There are so many literatures, books, are published nowadays. After one year, two years, three years—finished. Nobody cares for it. Nobody cares for it. Nobody reads for… Any literature you take in the history of the world, no literature can exist for five thousand years, repeatedly being read by many, many scholars, religionists and philosophers, all. Why? Because it is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa… There is no difference between Bhagavad-gītā and Bhagavān. Śabda-brahman. So Bhagavad-gītā should not be taken as ordinary literature, that one can comment on it by so-called ABCD knowledge. No. That is not possible. The fools and rascals, they try to comment on the Bhagavad-gītā by their ABCD scholarship. That is not possible. It is śabda-brahman. It will be revealed to the person who has devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve… These are the Vedic instructions.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

They become revealed. Therefore Vedic literatures are called revealed. It is not that I can understand by your ABCD knowledge; I can purchase one Bhagavad-gītā, and because I have grammatical knowledge, I can understand. No. Vedeṣu durlabha. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said, vedeṣu durlabha. You go on studying all Vedic literature by your literary capacity or scholarship—durlabha. It is not possible. Vedeṣu durlabha. Therefore there are so many persons, they are trying to interpret Bhagavad-gītā by their so-called scholarship, but nobody cares for them.

Festival Lectures

Sri Vyasa-puja — Hyderabad, August 19, 1976:

Somebody may envy that this person has sophisticated some disciples and they are offering prayers and pūjā. No, it is the system. Don’t envy the… Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit (SB 11.17.27). Ācārya is the representative of God. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. If you offer prayers, honor to the ācārya, then Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased. To please Him you have to please His representative. “If you love me, love my dog.” And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said ācāryopāsanam. Ācāryopāsanam. We have to worship the ācārya.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathita hy arthaḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This is the Vedic mantra. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12).

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam śabde pāre ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam (SB 11.3.21)

Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34).

So these are the injunction. The guru must come through the paramparā system. Then he is bona fide. Otherwise he is a rascal. Must come through the paramparā system, and in order to understand tad-vijñānam, transcendental science, you have to approach guru. You cannot say that “I can understand at home.” No. That is not possible. That is the injunction of the all śāstra. Tasmād guruṁ prapad… Who requires a guru? Guru is not a fashion just like you keep a dog as a fashion, modern civilization, similarly we keep a guru. No, not like that. Who requires a guru? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21)—one who is actually serious to understand the science of spirit soul. Tad vijñānam. Oṁ tat sat. He requires a guru. Guru is not a fashion.

His Divine Grace Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Appearance Day, Lecture — London, September 3, 1971:

So our, this Vaiṣṇava philosophy, process, is to go through the ācārya. Servant of the servant of the servant. We should try to become servant of the servant. Gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80). Dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ. We should not approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. That is not good. That will not be… In the Vedic injunction also it is said, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). If one has got unflinching faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yathā deve, and similar faith in guru… Of course, we must make guru bona fide. Then it is disciplic succession. And that is also not very difficult to select, who is bona fide guru. Bona fide guru means he presents himself as servant of God. He does not pose himself falsely that “I am God.” This is bona fide. It is not difficult to find out bona fide. But this is the test. If anyone says that “I am guru,” er, “I am God,” then he cannot be guru. Because he has no knowledge. How he is God? But he can cheat some people. That is different thing. You can cheat all people for some time and some people for all time, but not all people for all time. That is not possible. So these kinds of guru, who poses themself that “I am God,” he’s a false guru. The bona fide guru will say that “I am servant of the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa,” or God. Servant of (CC Madhya 13.80). That is the business of guru. He serves Kṛṣṇa as Kṛṣṇa desires; that is his business. That is also not very difficult. Kṛṣṇa says, Kṛṣṇa desires, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), that “You give up all other engagement; just surrender unto Me, and I’ll give you protection.” Kṛṣṇa says. So guru’s business is that “You simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” What is the difficulty? Simply repeat the same thing. Not for himself, but for Kṛṣṇa. He’s bona fide guru.

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, Lecture — Atlanta, March 2, 1975:

So try to receive Kṛṣṇa’s grace through the disciplic succession, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then you will understand everything. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). This is the process, Vedic process. One should have unflinching faith in God and spiritual master. Don’t jump over God, crossing the spiritual master. Then it will be failure. You must go through. We are observing Vyāsa-pūjā ceremony, the birth anniversary of our Guru Mahārāja. Why? We cannot understand Kṛṣṇa without spiritual master. That is bogus. If anyone wants to understand Kṛṣṇa, jumping over the spiritual master, then immediately he becomes a bogus. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). That is Vedic injunction. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). Nobody can understand Kṛṣṇa without going through His most confidential servant. This is the meaning of this Vyāsa-pūjā. You cannot surpass. If you think that you have become very learned and very advanced, now you can avoid the spiritual master and you understand Kṛṣṇa, that is the bogus. That is the meaning of this Vyāsa-pūjā ceremony. We should always pray, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. Yasya prasādād, only by the grace of spiritual master we can achieve the grace or mercy of Kṛṣṇa. This is the meaning of this Vyāsa-pūjā, offering obeisances by paramparā system.

Six Gosvamis Lecture, Sri Sri Sad-govamy-astaka — Los Angeles, November 18, 1968:

Śruti means it is received through hearing. Real process is hearing. And this age, Kali-yuga, people cannot study so much. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was called by Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, He presented Himself that “What can I understand, Vedānta-sūtra? I am a fool. Therefore My spiritual master has ordered Me to simply chant.” So this chanting will help you. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau (ŚU 6.23). Simply by studying, becoming bookworm, you cannot advance. The real secret is… That is stated in the Vedas. Unflinching faith in God and spiritual master. Then things will be revealed from within. How much strength we have got to study all these books? But Vedas says, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. If one has got unflinching faith in God and similar faith in the spiritual master, tasyaite kathitā hy arthaḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ, to him only the Vedic knowledge becomes revealed. And this is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Lord Kṛṣṇa says, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajataṁ prīti-pūrvakam: (BG 10.10) “Those who are engaged in My service with love and affection, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam, I personally give him intelligence, yena mām upayanti te, by which he can come to Me.” In another place, it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, teṣām evānukampārtham: (BG 10.11) “In order to show these devotees special favor, teṣāṁ evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmy, I personally dissipate their darkness within the heart.” Everything, the mind is full of darkness; therefore we are conditioned. So Kṛṣṇa, from within He drives away the darkness of ignorance. Aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmy. Aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva, just like that.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

Arrival Address — London, July 7, 1973:

So bhakti science is very subtle science, but it is very simple thing to the bhaktas, one who knows things as it is, a very simple thing. Similarly, those who have taken to this bhakti-yoga seriously, for them it is very simple. For others it is very difficult. It is very difficult. Therefore we should go, approach to persons who are… Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). We should approach (a) person who knows the bhakti science and… Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). And by devotional service to Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, then bhakti science becomes revealed. Without revelation, nobody can understand bhakti science, and without understanding bhakti science, nobody can understand Kṛṣṇa.

Arrival Lecture — San Francisco, July 15, 1975:

…that one who has got unflinching faith in God and similar faith in guru, yasya deve… (aside:) What is that sound? It cannot be stopped? Deve means Bhagavān. Devāya tasmai namaḥ.
yam brahmā varuṇendra-rudra… stunvanti divyaiḥ stavair vedaiḥ saṅga-pada-krama upaniṣadair gāyanti yaṁ sāma-gāḥ dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ …devaya tasmai namaḥ (SB 12.13.1)
So deva means the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is praised by the Vedic mantra. Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and all the demigods, they are offering their prayers. The Sāma Veda is singing in glorification of the Supreme Lord. The yogis, they are always seeing the Supreme Lord within the heart, core of heart. So that is deva. Devāya tasmai namaḥ. So yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Anyone who has got unflinching faith in God… God means Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). So anyone who has got unflinching faith in God and similar faith in guru, then the Vedic purpose becomes revealed to him. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ. The Vedic mantras and their artha becomes revealed. This is the process.

Arrival Lecture — San Francisco, July 15, 1975:

So these students, European, American students, they are offering respect to their spiritual master. Outsiders may think that the spiritual master is very puffed up, and he is sitting and taking respect from the disciple. But the fact is that they are to be taught like that, how to offer respect to the spiritual master. This is our Vedic process. Any sect or Vedic sect, the principle is ādau gurv-āśrayam: “The first principle is to accept guru.” Unless there is guru, how it can be executed-yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23)? This is Vedic injunction. Other Vedic injunctions are like, the same. Kaṭha Upaniṣad says, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet: (MU 1.2.12) “If you want to learn that transcendental science, then your first business is to go to a guru.” Guru… As God is one, guru is also one. There cannot be different gurus. Nowadays it has become a fashion that “I have got my own guru. You have got your own guru.” No. Guru means the representative of God. As God is one, similarly, guru is also one. There cannot be different gurus. Because God is one, how there can be different gurus? The principle of guru is one. (child crying) (aside:) Stop. The original guru is Kṛṣṇa. Yaṁ brahmā varuṇendra-rudra stunvanti divyaiḥ stavaiḥ. Original guru, unto whom Brahmā, yaṁ brahmā varuṇa indra, all the demigods, offering their prayers. Within this universe Brahmā is considered to be the foremost living being, but is he also offering respect to Kṛṣṇa. Śiva-viriñci-nutam (SB 11.5.33). Lord Śiva is also offering respect to Kṛṣṇa. That is the Vedic process.

Arrival Address — New York, July 9, 1976:

So you have got this opportunity, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everything is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, what is what. Do not lose this opportunity. Do not be foolish, misled by so-called scientists or philosophers or politicians. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is possible only guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya (CC Madhya 19.151). By the mercy of guru and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa you can achieve all success. This is the secret.
yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)
So this guru-pūjā which we are doing, it is not self aggrandizement; it is real teaching. You sing daily, what is that? Guru-mukha-padma-vākya āra nā kariyā aikya **. Bas, this is translation. I tell you frankly, whatever little success is there in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, I simply believed what was spoken by my Guru Mahārāja. You also continue that. Then every success will come.

Arrival Address — Vrndavana, September 3, 1976:

So you are all fortunate that you have taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, bhakti-latā-bīja. And proceed according to the principles. And the first principle is tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). This is the first principle. Ādau gurvāśrayam. That is the first principle. And in the Vedas also it is said that,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante… (ŚU 6.23)

Vedic knowledge is revelation. Vedic knowledge is not understood by so-called mundane scholarship, by reading grammar. No. Vedic knowledge is possible to be understood by a person who has got unflinching faith in the bona fide guru. Guru means representative of Kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa and His representative. We have repeatedly discussed this fact that guru means the bona fide servant of Kṛṣṇa. Guru does not mean a magician or jugglery. That is not guru. Guru means, it is explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu very easily, how to become guru. He has asked everyone, especially those who are born in India, bhārata bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra (CC Adi 9.41). Especially. Because we Indians, bhāratīya, we have got facilities to become guru of the whole world. We have got the facility. Because here we have got the literatures, Vedic literatures, especially the Bhagavad-gītā, which is spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself. If we try to understand what is the aim of life and preach all over the world, then you become guru. And if we want to cheat others in the name of so-called yogis, swami, scholar, that will not make you guru. Guru… Caitanya Mahāprabhu says you become, all Indians, all Bhāratīyas, guru. Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra ei deśa (CC Madhya 7.128). Wherever you are. And how shall I become guru? Yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa upadeśa. That’s all.

Initiation Lectures

Gayatri Mantra Initiation — Boston, May 9, 1968:

So my Guru Mahārāja, His Holiness Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he introduced this, and we are following. So there is no question. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Follow the principles of a spiritual master who has come down in disciplic succession. That is very nice thing. If you have got a bona fide spiritual master and if you simply follow the instruction, the perfection is guaranteed. Just like a perfect engineer and a neophyte working under his instruction, however foolish he may be, all his work is perfect. Because following the instruction of the qualified man. Therefore it is said,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deva tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This is Upaniṣads’ injunction. So if anyone who has got implicit faith in the spiritual master and also in God, to him all the imports of Vedic literature becomes revealed, becomes revealed. That is spiritual way of understanding. So, if one has a bona fide spiritual master to guide, then his life is guaranteed to be perfect. This is the way. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo: ** “By the mercy of the spiritual master, one gets immediately the mercy of the Lord.” Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi: “And if one dissatisfies the spiritual master, then he has no other way of perfection.” So we have to follow. That’s all. It doesn’t matter that I’m not qualified. But if I follow the instruction of the superior, then automatically I become qualified. All right, let us go ahead.

Initiation Lecture — London, August 22, 1971:

Divorce is introduced by the modern rascals, but it is not sanctioned by any religious person. You see? So we are observing these rules: no illicit sex life, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. So all my students, they strictly follow these rules, and therefore they’re advancing so quickly. Yes. You see the advancement so quickly because they follow my instruction. They follow very obedient, and they have therefore, by grace of Kṛṣṇa… Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). It is the statement of the Upaniṣad. “Anyone who has got unflinching faith in God and spiritual master…” Yasya deve parā bhaktir. Deve means God. Parā bhaktir, unflinching faith. Tathā gurau, and similarly, in guru. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ. To him all this Vedic knowledge becomes revealed automatically. So my students, all… Not only here in England, in London, in all places, if you go, if you travel, if you go to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, and many other places—I’ve got twenty branches—in Japan, and Honolulu, so they are strictly following, and they are making wonderful stride. Now here, I came here for the first time. Before me I sent my six students, married students. They were only with me utmost for one year. I sent them, “You go to London and try.” And they tried their best. So they have created some impression amongst the Londoners, which… One of my Godbrother came forty years ago. He could not do.

General Lectures

Pandal Lecture — November 14, 1971, Delhi:

The saṅkīrtana movement must go on. Despite all obstacles put before us, it must go on. That is determination. Bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ. That is the instruction of Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. Dṛḍha-vratāḥ, unflinching faith. And the Vedas say,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Through bhakti you can understand Vedas. Yasya deve parā bhaktir, bhakti, yathā deve tathā gurau. Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu also said the same thing:

ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151)

Ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva. This bhakti cult is not for everyone. It is meant for the most fortunate person, most intelligent person, bhakti cult. Kṛṣṇa said, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). So after many, many births cultivating knowledge, when it comes to the supreme platform, then he can understand bhakti. Then he surrenders himself unto the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation — December 11, 1971, New Delhi:

Prabhupāda: Bhakti-yogena, by practice of bhakti-yoga one’s mind and intelligence become cleansed, dirtiless, dirt…, without any dirt. Just like the mirror, if it is without any dirt, it is cleansed, clear, you can see everything rightly, your face, or even in the spot in the face, everything, corner to corner, very nicely reflected. So bhakti-yogena, by practicing this bhakti-yoga, one becomes cleared in consciousness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then everything comes. Now suppose personally, myself, we are challenging, we are calling them by names, “rascal,” but I am not a scientist. I never studied astronomy, astrology, or anything. But why I am telling? What power I have got? But I am challenging on the words of a superior answer. I am confident that the words spoken by Vyāsadeva or Kṛṣṇa, that is perfect. Therefore they are rascals, because their statement do not corroborate. In other words, we can understand. That is our advantage. Bhakti-yogena. If you practice bhakti-yoga, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23), if one is, one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead and his spiritual master, yathā-deve… Deve means the Supreme Lord, and guru, and guru also, the spiritual master. A person who has got unflinching faith in these two personalities-guru and Kṛṣṇa—then the facility will be that all the revealed scriptures will be manifest automatically, even though he is not, not very learned. The purport of the whole knowledge will be revealed from within, because Kṛṣṇa is within, and the spiritual master is without, so both of them will help.

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation — April 18, 1972, Hong Kong:

Prabhupāda: And you know our Jagatāriṇī, wife of Bhūrijana, she was a theatrical girl and earning millions of dollars, but she has given up everything. You have seen his wife, you all, Bhūrijana’s wife? She is a nice girl, educated, qualified. But she is satisfied. I asked her to go and marry Bhūrijana. She never saw her (him). She never saw her (him), what kind of husband she is going to accept. But simply on my word, she came, and she came from Los Angeles to Japan and got married. Similarly I am asking one girl. She is a French girl, Mandākinī. So I am asking her to go to Russia and marry one boy. She has never seen. So they obey in such a way. The Western boys and girls, they want to see and behave before marrying. But they are so obedient that without any consideration… Because marriage or no marriage, that is not their consideration. The only consideration is how to please Kṛṣṇa and his representative. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya-pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Bhakti-latā-bīja. Bhakti is just like a creeper, and the seed of that creeper can be obtained by the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa. That is Vedic injunction.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

The Vedic knowledge, Vedic knowledge, becomes revealed to a person who has got unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and guru. This is the system. So what you have next?

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation — November 4, 1973, Delhi:

Prabhupāda: Simply because you have good brain substance, you’ll be a devotee?

Guest: No, no. Bhāvanaḥ(?).

Prabhupāda: Bhāvanaḥ(?) means it is, it is by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. If one is sincerely surrendered soul unto Kṛṣṇa, then He gives the intelligence how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. It is not a mechanical way.

Guest: No.

Prabhupāda: It is not a mechanical way. Simply one has to become very serious and sincere, then you develop. yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deva tathā gurau, prakāśaḥ (ŚU 6.23). He becomes revealed. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25). He is not revealed to everyone. It requires the qualification how to become a devotee, surrendered soul. (Hindi) Your daughter, as soon as there was kīrtana, how she was dancing?

Guest: Hm.

Prabhupāda: She is young girl.

Morning Walk — December 10, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Without surrendering, he remains a fool because he’s puffed-up with false knowledge. Just like the so-called scientists, the philosophers, they think, “Oh, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?” But they do not know that they are in the fool’s paradise. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena (BG 4.34). If you have surrendered, then you can ask some question. And sevayā. That paripraśna should not be challenge. By sevā, by service. This is our process. We must find out guru, we must satisfy him by service and surrender unto him. Then guru will explain. Upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. He knows everything. He’ll explain. This is our program.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This is the process of understanding. But sometimes we mistake. One who has not seen the truth, we approach him and accept him as guru. Then we are baffled. Jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. You must approach a guru who has seen the truth. Then surrender unto him. Then serve him. And then make question. Everything will be revealed. These are the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. They’ll not surrender. They’ll not serve. They cannot find out who has actually seen. So many difficulties. Therefore they are cheated. They go to this man, that man. Maharishi, Dr. Mishra, this, that. Therefore they are cheated. They do not know. This is the position.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk — April 2, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Ah, karyam, that one should take the order of the guru, because guru is the representative of Kṛṣṇa. So when one takes… That is explained by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in connection with the verse:

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca buddhayo ‘vyavasāyinām (BG 2.41)

So the vyavasāyīs, those who are fixed up in the words of guru, “So guru has ordered me to do it. Oh, that is my life. I do not know whether I will be promoted to heaven or hell. It doesn’t matter. I shall execute…”

Dr. Patel: Execute the order of the guru.

Prabhupāda: Guru. Yes. Very easy. That is the secret. Yasya deve parā bhaktir tathā deve yathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Then he is sure to be successful. This is the secret.

Room Conversation with Pater Emmanuel (A Benedictine Monk) — June 22, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: Yes. “The humble and meek shall go to the kingdom of God.” Is it not? It is Bible statement?

Haṁsadūta: “The humble and meek shall inherit the earth.”

Prabhupāda: So nowadays the rascal philosophy has spread that everyone is God, and therefore nobody is humble and meek. If everyone thinks that he is God, then why he should be humble and meek? So they are being educated how to become humble and meek. In the temple, to God, or to the spiritual master, the God’s representative, they offer always respect by offering obeisances. That is humble and meek. They are doing very easily progress, you see, only on account of this humbleness and meekness. Even on the road, if they see me, they immediately fall down flat. Never mind there is dust. This very qualification is pushing them towards spiritual realization. In the Vedic scripture it is said,

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Yasya… “Anyone who has got unflinching faith in God and His representative, the spiritual master, to him only, the purport of the scriptures become revealed.” (German)

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk — March 1, 1975, Atlanta:

Dhīra-Kṛṣṇa: One professor the other day was trying to convince one of our boys that you were coming in the disciplic succession and were authorized to translate all these books.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is right.

Dhīra-Kṛṣṇa: Because he was dressed and he didn’t know that he was your disciple, so he was saying, “Bhaktivedanta Swami, he is coming in a disciplic line straight from Kṛṣṇa. That’s why he can speak on all these books.”

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is a fact. That authority I have got. That’s a fact.

Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakaśānte (ŚU 6.23).

They become manifest, all the meanings of the Vedic literature. Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. (aside:) Don’t come very near. (break) …explaining last evening. Don’t speculate, hear. That is the qualification. All others, they are simply speculating. How long their energy will go on, limited energy? How speculating will help them? It is not possible. It is condemned. Athāpi te deva,

(athāpi) te deva padāmbuja- dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi jānāti tattvaṁ na cānya eko ‘pi ciraṁ vicinvan (SB 10.14.29)

Ciraṁ vicinvan, speculating for millions of years, one cannot understand.

Morning Walk — July 21, 1975, San Francisco:

Prabhupāda: Yes. That purity is said, ādau śraddhā: “Beginning is faith.” Now tato sādhu-saṅgaḥ: “You mix with faithful men.” Then it will develop. Otherwise, if you take simply initiation and then sleep, then faith will be lost. That is happening. Therefore it is said, adau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅgaḥ. You accept faith, maybe blindly. Now you make further progress by mixing with advanced devotees. Then it will remain fixed. Otherwise you will loss.

Bahulāśva: Faith is fixed by knowledge?

Prabhupāda: No, faith may be blind, but it increases. If you stick to faith and follow the principles, then it will increase. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. Just like… Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ yathā deve tathā gurau. So if you have got faith in spiritual master then you will advance. If you have no faith, then it will be lost.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk — January 12, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. (Hindi) (break) It is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena (BG 4.34). Paripraśna is required, but after praṇipāta.

Dr. Patel: Surrendering yourself. In school also they say if you develop a sort of a liking for your teacher, a sort of a reverence is developed in you, and then you get knowledge much quicker.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Patel: If you take your teacher to be a servant of yours, then you won’t…

Prabhupāda: That is Vedic principle. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Then he’ll get knowledge. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Dr. Patel: That is why guru brahma gurur viṣṇur guruḥ sākṣād maheśvaraḥ.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is fact. Sākṣād dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says, guru-kṛṣṇa-krpā: “By the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa.”

Morning Walk — March 11, 1976, Mayapur:

Prabhupāda: Yes, they did it. They did it in South India when I was there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In Nellore. That was wonderful.

Jayapatāka: We can make such arrangement?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Ācāryopāsanam. That is in the Bhagavad-gītā. Ācāryopāsanam. It is not self-aggrandizement. The ācāryopāsanā goes to Kṛṣṇa directly. Therefore it is needed. Not that it is a pompous thing. Ācāryopāsanā. Kṛṣṇa says. That is the way of knowledge. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23).

Pañcadraviḍa: How does that work, that if somebody has the association of a pure devotee for only a lava, one-eleventh of a second, that he attains all perfection?

Prabhupāda: If he is so sincere…. Just like dried wood immediately ignites. And if it is moist, it does not. It is the quality of the wood. One takes three hundred years; one in three minutes. That’s it. (break) One is dry from the material moist of contamination, he becomes immediately ignited in spiritual…

Morning Walk — April 15, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Arjuna did not feel; he took order to kill. Not that you manufacture your idea. No. That is not. You take order directly and then do it; otherwise you’ll be responsible. Therefore the guru is required to act as representative of Kṛṣṇa. If he says, “Yes, it is all right,” then it is all right. Otherwise not. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. Otherwise why guru is required? We must take every moment order from him.

Dr. Patel: Ya bhakti….

Prabhupāda: Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23).

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ.

Prabhupāda: Kathitā. You cannot manufacture some ideas that “I am feeling I am doing for Kṛṣṇa.” No. That will not be… Direct order. She is going behind?

Garden Conversation — June 8, 1976, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Who? Who delivers this message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So if from the government some very confidential secretary comes, you have to receive him just like the president, to please him. So this is the qualification of spiritual master, that he delivers things at it is. He does not make any adulteration. Then he is real representative, and he is to be accepted as God Himself. That is the process. Because here it is said na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu (BG 18.69). You have got a son, and if I love the son…. There is an English word: “If you love me, love my dog.” So the spiritual master is dog-God. He’s dog of God, therefore he’s dog-God. He’s to be worshiped. He’s the pet dog of God. Therefore if you love the dog, you love God. Spiritual master will not claim that “I am God,” but it is our duty, because the dog is pet…. Here it is said, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu (BG 18.69). You have to love that dog. Then you’ll get perfection. This is the secret.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)
So…?

Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda! (end)

Room Conversation — June 10, 1976, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: That is his blessing. He wanted; I tried. That’s all. Whatever is being done, it is by his desire. Vaiṣṇava sata saṅkalpa.(?) Whatever he desires, that is to be fulfilled. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Therefore, full faith in guru, that is the prime factor of success. Not any other things, no qualifications, no education, only strong faith in guru. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. This is the secret. So whatever little success is there, that was only this qualification, that I wanted to serve him. That’s all. Otherwise, there was no business of coming here at the age of seventy years.

Hṛdayānanda: No one could imagine that.

Prabhupāda: You have seen all my room in the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple?

Room Conversation with Ambarisa and Catholic Priest — June 14, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) These boys who are working for this movement?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: How do you like our men, the devotees?

Stansky: Oh, I’m very, very impressed. This impressed me to begin with, their enthusiasm, their joy, and their complete surrender. This is what…

Prabhupāda: This is the qualification.

Stansky: This is the qualification.

Prabhupāda: Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). That is the secret of success. If one has got unflinching faith in his spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, then he’s successful. Two things. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpā-pāya bhakti-latā-bīja. So if the guru is false, then how they can keep their faith? That will be broken. Our process is very simple. There is no difficulty. You have seen our Los Angeles temple? When we purchased, it was a church, perhaps you know. Nobody was coming, so that they were obliged to sell. They started this Sunday class, this, that, so many things. In Melbourne also we have seen a big…. What was that?

Prabhupada Visits Palace and Garden — June 22, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. As soon as the new temple is, move it; or you want to dismantle it.

Kīrtanānanda: The site is good.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, site is good.

Kīrtanānanda: It will make a nice complex in relationship with the other buildings.

Prabhupāda: That will…. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare.

Kīrtanānanda: We are about to install your mūrti in that temple.

Prabhupāda: Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). The Vedic secret(?) is that, parā bhaktir, yasya deve, unto the Lord, similarly, to the guru, they, to them, the whole thing becomes revealed automatically. Vedic knowledge is grasped not by erudite scholarship. Mundane scholarship has nothing to do. The secret is yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. My Guru Mahārāja wanted that some books should be published. So I tried my best, and he’s giving success more than expectation. In the history nobody has sold religion, philosophical books in such large quantity.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Or quality.

Prabhupāda: Yes. These are all Guru Mahārāja’s blessings.

Arrival at Farm — July 29, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Prabhupāda:

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

This desire to serve guru is the qualification. Yasya deve para bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. In the spiritual life, this is the secret of success. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā… In many places. Our Gauḍīya Matha people, those who were leaders, they wanted to supersede the order of Guru Mahārāja. Therefore it was failure. Very, very nice.

Bhagavān: They have painted that nice picture. It’s special board.

Prabhupāda: All books are here?

Bhagavān: Oh, yes. Some are missing from the Seventh Canto, but most are here. Here is Caitanya-caritāmṛta. And if you have books you need, they can go down here, your reference books. I got you this little box here if you want to keep anything special. They used to make things for the princes. This is comfortable seat?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Very good.

Room Conversation — October 31, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Charmistic? What is called? Charmistic Guru? He has said Dr. …

Hari-śauri: Charismatic.

Prabhupāda: Charismatic. (laughs) Yes, what is that charismatic?

Haṁsadūta: Charisma means a person who has a very strong attraction, he attracts.

Prabhupāda: He has said, actually our whole movement is going on on this. Everyone is carrying the charismatic, (laughs) all.

Hari-śauri: Yeah, they know there’s something different about our movement, I mean from any other. Everybody who sees the devotees for the first time, they immediately know these people are completely different from anyone else.

Prabhupāda: Yasya deve parā bhaktir, yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23), this is the Vedic principle of our movement. Yasya deve parā bhaktir, yathā deve tathā gurau.

Haṁsadūta: Have faith.

Prabhupāda: To respect and love the spiritual master as God. Therefore it is brainwash.

Haṁsadūta: This is the strength of our movement, faith in the guru and śāstra.

Prabhupāda: And everyone is writing, let them write that. So they see that, “Why this one man is so respectfully accepted, it is brainwash.”

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Roof Conversation — January 5, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Everywhere. Unless guru trains the disciple rightly, there will be difficulty.

Dr. Patel: Their chief belief is that God comes in the form of the guru, and so guru should be worshiped as God even after his death. God comes in the form of guru…

Prabhupāda: And kick out God. And kick out God.

Dr. Patel: That is the thing. “God comes in the form of guru” is all right. So yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Otherwise you cannot get…

Prabhupāda: Guru is manifestation of God, but that does not mean we kick out God.

Dr. Patel: They are kicking out. And this fellow, this Ganeshpuri, they are worshiping that statue of their guru only.

Mr. Gupta: That’s a common statement also. Guru govindam kare kake lage pau balihare guru apnau govindiya pathai.(?) I think that’s the gist of the guru and Bhagavān.

Dr. Patel: Those people who consider guru in the place of God during his, I mean, imparting of knowledge to you… Otherwise you won’t get the knowledge.

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ (ŚU 6.23)

Otherwise all those things will not, will not, will never remain. You see? Am I right or wrong, sir?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Without guru we cannot approach God. That does not mean you shall reject…

Dr. Patel: Guru’s guru.

Prabhupāda: Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2).

Trivikrama: Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. (break)

Dr. Patel: Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ. Mahātmā is the guru.

Prabhupāda: Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Caitanya Mahāprabhu. “By guru’s mercy and Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, one can enter into bhakti-mārga.” Without guru’s mercy you cannot do, and without Kṛṣṇa’s mercy also you cannot do. Kṛṣṇa is situated within your heart, and if you are sincere, Kṛṣṇa will give you the right guru. And then, by guru’s mercy, you’ll understand Kṛṣṇa. This is the process.

Room Conversation — January 21, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Rāmeśvara: It’s like you say. It’s a new culture. Our art paintings one day will be seen all over the world. Just like now they hang art paintings in all government buildings.

Prabhupāda: It was written for this purpose. People are suffering by their concocted culture, suffering. And Guru Mahārāja wanted this. Actually it is his mission, Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission. But I am… I have tried sincerely. I am not qualified, but only qualification is that I tried to do the best. That’s all, that much qualification. I had faith in their program, and I thought, “I shall try my best, whatever capacity I have got.” That’s all. Yasya deve parā bhaktir tathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Little confident that “Why? If Caitanya Mahāprabhu wants it, my Guru Mahārāja wants it, why it will not be successful? Let me try.” That’s all. Mukhaṁ karoti vācālaṁ panguṁ laṅghayate girim: “A dumb man can become orator.” (laughs) It is like that. I never thought that they will praise so much. What it is possible? Mukhaṁ karoti vācālam. (laughs) “A dumb man can become orator, and a lame man can cross over the mountain.” Yat kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande śrī-guruṁ dīna-tāraṇam. By the mercy of guru it is possible. So these are not stories. They are fact. That is spiritual life. All right.

Room Conversation — January 28, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Prabhupāda: This is the instruction. And the child decides it that “Whatever my parent says, that’s all I shall do. I shall do nothing,” then he’s safe.

Satsvarūpa: “My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth.”

Prabhupāda: Then he’s safe. And as soon as he manufactures—finished. So don’t do this. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā… (ŚU 6.23). This is the secret of spiritual success. Vṛndāvana, there are so many dangerous. All these bābājīs, they are… “Oh, I am not going out of Vṛndāvana.” But he has got connection with so many women. So what is the use? Have you experience of this? He’s attached to women and doing all sinful activities in Vṛndāvana, and he’s a devotee. “He cannot go out of Vṛndāvana.” This is going on, manufacturing biḍi, smoking biḍi, in the dress of Rūpa Gosvāmī, loincloth, big tilaka, kaṇṭhi, and what he’s doing? Biḍi-making. Have you seen?

Evening Darsana — February 25, 1977, Mayapura:

Hari-śauri: Jñāsyasi. “Now hear, O son of Pṛthā, Arjuna, how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.”

Bali-mardana: Hm. One must become free from all doubt.

Prabhupāda: And then?

Bali-mardana: You always said because you had faith in the words of your Guru Mahārāja, therefore…

Prabhupāda: Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). Similar surrender to guru. Yathā deve, as you surrender to Kṛṣṇa—similar to guru—then your life is perfect. Yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante. Then this meaning of the scripture will be revealed automatically. And you are singing daily, guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete kariyā aikya, āra nā kariha mane āśā **. Nothing more. Then your life is perfect. This is secret. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete kariyā aikya, āra nā kariha mane āśā **. Don’t manufacture ideas, rascal. Then it is finished. In material world everyone is a demon-crazy. Everyone is manufacturing ideas. And they are suffering. All rascals, are manufacturing ideas. Kartāham iti manyate. Ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate (BG 3.27). He’s fully under control of the laws of nature and he’s thinking, “I am independent. I can manufacture ideas.” Āḍhyo ‘bhijanavān… That is… Find out this. Āḍhyo ‘bhijanavān asmi ko ‘nyo ‘sti, some like that, in the Sixteenth Chapter. “Demon-crazy.” Crazy demons are thinking like that. (chuckles) “I can manufacture something. I am very intelligent.

Discussion about Bhu-mandala — July 5, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: This is their… Apauruṣeyam. Actually India’s culture is going on that way. Mass of people, they are going to Prayāga for taking bath. What do they know? They have received it from authorities that if you take bath in such and such place… Ah, lakhs of people will go. That is India’s culture. Without any advertisement, without any means, walking hundreds of miles they are coming, yes, that is their culture. And the government is perturbed that people are so prejudiced. So how to make them forget? This is going on. But they don’t listen. They just, “If I take bath I’ll…” That is the difference between Western and Eastern. And as soon as there is interpretation, it is Māyāvāda. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu has rejected-māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa (CC Madhya 6.169). You see in the Kumbhamela how peacefully they are sitting. They are accepting Vedic culture. So nice atmosphere. Simply by going there you’ll be satisfied. That is the difference between East and West.

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti… (BG 7.3)

Therefore tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). There is no other. Submissive. (break) Guru. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante. The author is revealed to him. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve (ŚU 6.23). Otherwise not. So do it as far as possible to your capacity. But things are inconceivable. You cannot adjust within the limitation of your understanding. That is not…

Correspondence

1967 Correspondence

Letter to Subala — Delhi 29 September, 1967:

The article in the paper New Mexican is very nicely written and I offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Peter Nabokov, who begins the article with chanting of the Mahamantra. Please offer my thanks to all who joined you in this endeavor. I’m glad to know that Haridasa is there also. Each and every picture published in the paper looks very nice and the devotional postures of you all has very much pleased me. The secret of success in the matter of Krishna Consciousness is devotion to the Lord and the Spiritual Master. In the Vedas, the secret of success is described as follows:

Yasya deve para bhakti yatha deve tatha gurau Yasya ete kathotha hi artha prakasyanta mahatmanah

“Anyone who has developed unflinching faith in the Lord and the Spiritual Master can understand the revealed scripture unfold before him.” So continue your present aptitude and you will be successful in your spiritual progress. I am sure that even if I am not physically present before you. Still you will be able to execute all spiritual duties in the matter of Krishna Consciousness; if you follow the above principles. I thank you once more for your service.

1970 Correspondence

Letter to Acyutananda — Los Angeles 14 June, 1970:

I am glad to learn that the land negotiation is complete and the registration might have already taken place by this time. I am so much thankful to Colonel R. K. Dutta that he has taken care for drafting the deed of conveyance. I am also glad to learn that your preaching work under the guidance of Mr. Ghosh also is going nicely. By these activities you are rendering the best service to my Spiritual Master and certainly He will be very much pleased to bestow upon you all blessings.

Perhaps you know the vedic verse:

yasya deve para bhakti yatha deve tatha gurau tasta ete kathita hi artha prakasante mahatmanah

“Anyone who has got full faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead and similar faith in the Spiritual Master, to him the secret of Vedic knowledge becomes revealed.” The Supreme Spiritual Master is Krsna Himself, and the chain of disciplic succession is the dearmost confidential servant of Krsna. So whatever you are doing under my direction, it is going to my Spiritual Master and thus up to the Gosvamis and then to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya or Krsna. I have marked very minutely that you have a tendency to push rightly the words of Lord Caitanya and that will make your life successful.

Letter to Tamala Krsna — Los Angeles 21 June, 1970:

Krsna philosophy is understood as it is stated in the Vedas:

Yasya deve para bhakti yatha deve tatha gurau tasya ete kathitha hi artha prakasante mahatmanah

“One who has got unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and similar faith in his Spiritual Master to him only the imports of Vedic knowledge become revealed.”

A Spiritual Master is always liberated. In any condition of His life He should not be mistaken as ordinary human being. This position of a Spiritual Master is achieved by three processes. One is called sadhana siddha. That means one who is liberated by executing the regulative principle of devotional service. Another is krpa siddha, one who is liberated by the mercy of Krsna or His devotee. And another is nitya siddha who is never forgetful of Krsna throughout his whole life. These are the three features of the perfection of life.

1973 Correspondence

Letter to Karandhara — Bhaktivedanta Manor 19 July, 1973:

Regarding incorporation of our ISKCON centers, we want to run all our centers as nonprofit religious organizations; that is the main point. Keeping this point in view too much official control is not good in spiritual life. The centers should remain spiritually fit and independent. Some control must be there as is now. Too much control means so many vouchers. Gradually it will become a mundane institution. All our managers should be spiritually advanced simple and honest in carrying out the orders of the spiritual master and Krsna. That will be a nice standard. Democracy in spiritual affairs is not at all good but breeds power politics. We should be careful about power politics. Our only aim should be that each and every devotee is full dedicated to Krsna, then things will go on nicely. As it states in the Vedas:

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathita hy artha prakasante maha twanah (ŚU 6.23)

I am afraid of taxing my brain about this Corporation of ISKCON so you and Bali Mardan Maharaja do the needful that will be a relief to me.

1974 Correspondence

Letter to Atreya Rsi — Bombay 15 November, 1974:

Now you are a practical business manager, so we are expanding by Krishna’s grace; so try to make some formula so our institution may go on without any difficulty. In your letter to Ramesvara you call for a meeting of GBC to develop a system of management and communications which will eliminate chances of recurrences. This is a good suggestion you have made, so when we next meet together, you must give it some practical shape.

You have also mentioned to repeatedly offer obeisances to your spiritual master. This is very important. A disciple should offer dandabats, not namaskara. The more one becomes fixed up in guru obeisances, the more he advances in spiritual progress.

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau (ŚU 6.23).

1975 Correspondence

Letter to Hayagriva — Bombay 9 November, 1975:

Our process is different. We admit that we are in the conditional stage and our source of knowledge is not the senses because they are imperfect. We cannot find the right knowledge from the imperfect senses. We therefore take knowledge from the most perfect personality, Krsna, and His faithful servants and the result is that despite all of our imperfect senses, we have perfect knowledge. You have to keep this point of view in your front and pray to Krsna for enlightenment and then we shall be able to understand what is written in the Vedic literature. This is confirmed in the Vedic literatures:

yasya deve para bhaktir, yasya deva yatha guru (ŚU 6.23).

1976 Correspondence

Letter to Jagannatha-suta — New Delhi 28 August, 1976:

Actually I am dependent on your mercy. If you kindly follow my instructions and continue to push on Krsna consciousness, that will make me very happy. You must very strictly observe the regulative principles and chant sixteen rounds a day and Krsna will give you guidance. This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, tesam satata yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te (BG 10.10), to those who worship Him with love, Krsna gives the guidance so that they can come back to Him. The more you give service to Krsna, the more you become advanced. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathita hyarthah prakasante mahatmanah (ŚU 6.23), “Only unto those great souls who simultaneously have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of the Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” This is the secret of success.

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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