What is Guru?

Srila Prabhupada Lecture What is Guru?


What is a Guru?
Lecture: London, August 22, 1973
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Prabhupāda:

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhīṣṭaṁ
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rupaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

[When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

[I offer my obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa and all others in the line of devotion.]

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.]

Thank you very much. So, tonight’s subject matter for speaking is “What is Guru?”

Haṁsadūta: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So, guru, there are many descriptions. Subject matter is the same, but different way, guru has been described by different ācāryas. Their aim is the same, but language or presentation may be little different. So generally guru means,

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The Missing Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Krsna consciousness movement teaches a science missing from the classrooms of even the world’s best universities.

This movement is for solving the problems of life, and it can be easily done. Anyone can accept it. It doesn’t matter whether one is Indian or American or Hindu or Muslim or Christian. It doesn’t matter. Simply chant this vibration: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Lecture
By His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston—May 5, 1968

om ajnana-timirandhasya
jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.”

This Prayer Is Offering respectful obeisances to the spiritual master. Why? Because the spiritual master is the person who opens our eyes, complicated in ignorance, with the torch of transcendental knowledge. Timirandhasya. Every one of us is born ignorant, and we require specific education and training for seeing things as they are.

Today I am very glad to meet you. You are all students of technology. This Krsna consciousness movement is another technology. In the modern state of civilization there are different depart-ments of knowledge. There is a department for teaching medical science, there is a department for teaching engineering—so many other departments of knowledge. Unfortunately, there is no department for distributing knowledge of the science of the soul. But that is the most important thing, because the soul is the mainstay, the background of all our movements.

In the Bhagavad-gita [3.42] there is a nice verse:

indriyani parany ahur
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
yo buddheh paratas tu sah

The idea is that in the present consciousness I am thinking that I am the body, although actually I am not the body. This is ignorance. “Body” means the senses. When I am talking, I am using my tongue for vibration. So these bodily activities are sensual activities.

If you go deep into the matter, you’ll find that the senses can act only when the mind is sound. A crazy man, or a madman, cannot use his senses properly. Therefore the technology of the mind is a higher science. First of all there is the technology of the senses, and then a higher technology of the mind, which is known as psychology and studies thinking, feeling, willing. Psychologists are trying to understand how these are working.

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