Relationship with Spiritual Master

Prabhupada_Classic

This morning I was inspired by a post I happened upon on Prabhupada Connect. I expanded on the post with a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

“So far as I am concerned, I have accepted you as my disciple and you have accepted me as your spiritual father. This relationship cannot be ended anymore. It is eternal.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, July 9, 1969)

…The relationship of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord. A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead, but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead. (purport to Adi-lila 1.45)

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 25, Text 8

TEXT 8
tasya tvaṁ tamaso ’ndhasya
duṣpārasyādya pāragam
sac-cakṣur janmanām ante
labdhaṁ me tvad-anugrahāt

tasya—that; tvam—You; tamasaḥ—ignorance; andhasya—darkness; duṣpārasya—difficult to cross; adya—now; pāra-gam—crossing over; sat—transcendental; cakṣuḥ—eye; janmanām—of births; ante—at the end; labdham—attained; me—my; tvat-anugrahāt—by Your mercy.

TRANSLATION

Your Lordship is my only means of getting out of this darkest region of ignorance because You are my transcendental eye, which, by Your mercy only, I have attained after many, many births.

PURPORT

This verse is very instructive, since it indicates the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple. The disciple or conditioned soul is put into this darkest region of ignorance and therefore is entangled in the material existence of sense gratification. It is very difficult to get out of this entanglement and attain freedom, but if one is fortunate enough to get the association of a spiritual master like Kapila Muni or His representative, then by his grace one can be delivered from the mire of ignorance. The spiritual master is therefore worshiped as one who delivers the disciple from the mire of ignorance with the light of the torch of knowledge. The word pāragam is very significant. pāragam refers to one who can take the disciple to the other side. This side is conditioned life; the other side is the life of freedom. The spiritual master takes the disciple to the other side by opening his eyes with knowledge. We are suffering simply because of ignorance. By the instruction of the spiritual master, the darkness of ignorance is removed, and thus the disciple is enabled to go to the side of freedom. It is stated in Bhagavad-gītā that after many, many births one surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, if, after many, many births, one is able to find a bona fide spiritual master and surrender to such a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, one can be taken to the side of light.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Ādi-līlā chapter 1, Text 45

guru kṛṣṇa-rūpa hana śāstrera pramāṇe
guru-rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpā karena bhakta-gaṇe

guru—the spiritual master; kṛṣṇa-rūpa—as good as Kṛṣṇa; hana—is; śāstrera—of revealed scriptures; pramāṇe—by the evidence; guru-rūpe—in the form of the spiritual master; kṛṣṇa—Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; kṛpā—mercy; karena—distributes; bhakta-gaṇe—unto His devotees.

TRANSLATION

According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.

PURPORT

The relationship of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord. A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead, but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead.

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