The Spiritual Master

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Only out of His immense compassion does the Personality of Godhead reveal Himself as the spiritual master. Therefore in the dealings of an ācārya there are no activities but those of transcendental loving service to the Lord. He is the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead. It is worthwhile to take shelter of such a steady devotee, who is called āśraya-vigraha, or the manifestation or form of the Lord of whom one must take shelter.

Ādi-līlā Chapter One Text 46

ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān
nāvamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta
sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ

SYNONYMS

ācāryam—the spiritual master; mām—Myself; vijānīyāt—one should know; na avamanyeta—one should never disrespect; karhicit—at any time; na—never; martya-buddhyā—with the idea of his being an ordinary man; asūyeta—one should be envious; sarva-deva—of all demigods; mayaḥ—representative; guruḥ—the spiritual master.

TRANSLATION

“One should know the ācārya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.”

PURPORT

This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.17.27) spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa when He was questioned by Uddhava regarding the four social and spiritual orders of society. He was specifically instructing how a brahmacārī should behave under the care of a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not an enjoyer of facilities offered by his disciples. He is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents, a child cannot grow to manhood; similarly, without the care of the spiritual master one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service.

The spiritual master is also called ācārya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science. The Manu-saṁhitā (2.140) explains the duties of an ācārya, describing that a bona fide spiritual master accepts charge of disciples, teaches them the Vedic knowledge with all its intricacies, and gives them their second birth. The ceremony performed to initiate a disciple into the study of spiritual science is called upanīti, or the function that brings one nearer to the spiritual master. One who cannot be brought nearer to a spiritual master cannot have a sacred thread, and thus he is indicated to be a śūdra. The sacred thread on the body of a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya is a symbol of initiation by the spiritual master; it is worth nothing if worn merely to boast of high parentage. The duty of the spiritual master is to initiate a disciple with the sacred thread ceremony, and after this saṁskāra, or purificatory process, the spiritual master actually begins to teach the disciple about the Vedas. A person born a śūdra is not barred from such spiritual initiation, provided he is approved by the spiritual master, who is duly authorized to award a disciple the right to be a brāhmaṇa if he finds him perfectly qualified. In the Vāyu Purāṇa an ācārya is defined as one who knows the import of all Vedic literature, explains the purpose of the Vedas, abides by their rules and regulations, and teaches his disciples to act in the same way.

More

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Click on image to go to Post

Click on image to go to Post

The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

click on image

click on image to visit site

Srimad Bhagavatam Online

click on image

Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

click on image

click on image

Blog Stats

  • 3,422,643 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,872 other subscribers

Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

click on image

click on image

Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

click on image

click on image

Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

click on image

Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

click on image

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

click on image

click on image

July 9th Letter

click on image

click on image

The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

click on image

click on image