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Shri Gurvashtakam // Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Swami

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Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Meditation Center, Germany
December 2, 2000 (am)

Symptoms of Shri Guru

First of all, I offer my heartly dandavat pranamas unto the lotus feet of my Guru Maharaja, nitya-lilapravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja and also my dandavat pranamas unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. I know that I'm neither qualified nor intelligent, but by the causeless mercy of my siksa and diksa gurus, you have all come from around the world to be with me here. I'm especially very happy that many of you from the various parts of the European countries have assembled here to hear harikatha in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, our guru-parampara, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, my Guru Maharaja and also nitya-lilapravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, my siksa-guru, had especially inspired me to come, and he engaged me in his service so that I can preach. Otherwise I could not have done so. If anyone is coming to me, it means that he has inspired you and you are coming, by reading his books, by hearing his glories and by his preaching here and there. I have come only to remind you of his glories, and that we should know that he is eternal. His presence is everywhere.

Today I want to give an explanation of Shri Guru – what are the symptoms of a bona fide guru – and to show you examples that have been given in the epics [Vedic scriptures]. You can apply this to your own guru. Our Shri Guru is akanda-guru-tattva, Shri Baladeva Prabhu or Shri Nityananda Prabhu, so all teachings should be applied to him and to others who are following this:

samsara-davanala-lidha-loka
tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam
praptasya kalyana gunarnavasya
vande guroh Shri caranaravindam
(Shri Guruvastakam 1)

["Just as a raincloud extinguishes a blazing forest fire by showering its rain upon it, Shri Guru, by his rain of divine mercy, delivers the people burning in the fire of material existence, suffering the three fold miseries—adhyatmika, adhibautika, adhidaivika. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Shri Guru who manifests when Krishna's mercy becomes very thick and who is an ocean of auspicious qualities."]

Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written this Shri Gurvastakam. He has taken the view of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, and he has explained all these things. He has written these verses for his gurudeva, but these are actually meant for akanda-guru-tattva, the principle of undivided guru. Shrila Narattoma dasa Thakura came from the disciplic succession of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the line of Gadadhara Pandita. First came Shrila Svarupa Damodara, then Shrila Raya Ramananda, then came Shrila Rupa-Sanatana Gosvamis; and from Shrila Rupa-Sanatana Gosvamis, came Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. After that, in this line, came Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura.

There was one disciple of Shrila Narottma dasa Thakura named Shri Ganga-Narayana Cakravati Mahasaya. He lived in Balucara Gambhila within the district of Mursidabada. He had no sons and only one daughter, whose name was Visnupriya. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura had another disciple named RamaKrishna Bhattacarya from the brahmana community of Varendra, a rural community of West Bengal. The youngest son of RamaKrishna Bhattacarya was named Krishna-carana. Shri Ganga-Narayana Cakravati accepted Krishna-carana as an adopted son. The disciple of Shri Krishna-carana was Shri Radha-ramana Cakravarti, who was the spiritual master of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was so humble that he never allowed anyone to call him 'Gosvami' – Cakravati Thakura was like a family name.

"Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam." We have forgotten Krishna. First of all, we must understand that we are parts and parcels of Krishna. We are eternal servants of Krishna. But somehow, by chance, we have exercised our independence and intelligence or free will in such a way that we are now in jail.

We have forgotten that we are eternal servants of Krishna, and who is Krishna. Now you are recognizing that, "She's my sister, she's my daughter, and he's my husband, my wife, and all this." But everything transcendental we have forgotten. We are so much attached to this world. Maya, illusion, is pulling us very far away from Krishna to this world, into a burning fire. This world is a burning fire from which we cannot escape. She has bound us with iron chains, and what are these chains? They are attachments to this world, to this body, to our relatives and others. We cannot move here and there. We have been thrown into the fire, a hot blazing fire.

"Samsara davanala." What is samsara? It is like a forest fire. We once saw in America, in Alachua, a very big fire. It could not be controlled. Even the government could not control it. The fire in the ocean of material existence is worse than a forest fire. We are burning in that, and now we are senseless [unconscious]. If a man is senseless and doctors are cutting here and there, he cannot realize that the doctors are operating. If you are senseless in a fire, you cannot realize that you are in a fire. And that is the pitiful condition, very pitiful.

All in this world, except transcendental persons such as guru, are burning in this fire. That is why Krishna sent His associates, very high class of associates. Who are these associates?

Gurudeva krpa 300Shri Krishna's causeless mercy has taken the shape of guru, real guru. And this guru, by coming into this world, showers his mercy. In this way, Krishna's mercy is showered everywhere so that the forest fire or ocean fire is subdued; otherwise it will not be subdued. Thereafter, some sense may come to that person who has received the guru's mercy. And the guru, out of pity, will go everywhere to shower his mercy, just like Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. He went everywhere, out of his own accord – even though nobody called him.

As for me, devotees are calling me and giving me so many invitations, so much money also – air fare, air tickets and everything, and managing everything for me, but who managed for Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja? Who invited him and who gave him money? He wanted money, but who gave him? Perhaps he got some by begging. And still he came. Why did he come?

'Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka tranaya karunya.' It is only out of karunya, causeless mercy. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja went everywhere, all around the world. He knew that he might die at anytime or anywhere, especially during his journey to America in a cargo ship where he suffered two heart attacks, but he never cared about himself, and he came out of India. This is guru-tattva.

If a guru is not like this, very merciful to us who are burning in the ocean fire or this forest fire, he cannot be a real guru. He may be kanistha [a neophyte devotee] or madhyama [and intermediate devotee], a somewhat low guru who cannot realize all these things.

Our guru-parampara, disciplic succession of gurus, all the acaryas, spiritual masters, have realized this. Shri Vyasadeva wrote all the epics, he divided the Vedas into four, and then he wrote Vedanta-sutra. He was not satisfied, and then he wrote all the Puranas, but still he was not satisfied. Ordinary women, so-called brahmanas, and those who had no qualification to enter into Vedic literature could not understand the very deep meaning of all the truths in scripture. Therefore he wrote Mahabharata, so that anyone can read and be very enthused. They can [mentally] take up swords and fight like Bhima, Arjuna, Duryodhana and all others like them. And in that Mahabharata he gave a jewel. What was that jewel? The Bhagavad-gita, where Krishna states:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami masucah
(Bhagavat Gita 18.66)

["Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."]

Vyasadeva wrote this to show that we are not the doer, and that only Krishna will protect and save us from our past sinful reactions. Still, he was not satisfied, and he was trying to figure out the reason why he felt this way. And at once, Krishna's mercy in the shape of Narada Muni came. This is 'karunya-ghanaghanatvam.' Narada Muni came, and what did he do?

He asked Shri Vyasadeva, "Why are you not satisfied? I thought you were satisfied, but I can see that you are not. What have you done? Can you tell me?"

Shri Vyasadeva replied, "O Gurudeva I don't know. I have written so many things, and I am practicing all these things, but still I'm not satisfied. I'm taking your shelter. You are an ocean of causeless mercy, so please shower your mercy. I don't understand anything. Why am I unsatisfied?"

Narada Muni smiled and said, "Oh, you have given everything, but you are not satisfied. I know why. You have not told what is the reality. You have not written anywhere that 'Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam – Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.' The gopis, mother Yasoda and others control Krishna. And most of all, He is controlled especially by Shrimati Radhika. Have you written this?"

"Oh, I don't know all these things."

"You know that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You have written it, but not directly. You must write down all these things, and you should realize all these things.

"Have you written that mother Yasoda runs faster than Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?"

"Oh, I don't know all these things."

"Then what have you written, and how can you be satisfied? Have you written that mother Yasoda twisted Krishna's ears? Has anyone twisted the Supreme Personality of Godhead's ears before? Has Kausalya, Aditi or anyone else done this?"

"Never."

"Have you written that mother Yasoda bound Krishna with a rope and it could not be untied by any of His sakhis and friends? Even Shridama, Subala, Madhumangala and others could not untie the rope. Then Nanda Baba came, and with vatsalya-rasa, parental love, the knot was opened by him. Have you written this?"

"No."

"Then what you have written? Have you written that Krishna performed the rasa dance with the gopis? Have you written this? And in that rasa dance, the gopis became tired and Krishna asked, 'Oh, are you tired?' Then He took His pitambara, yellow shawl, and wiped their faces [of the perspiration]. And He tightened their ankle bell that had fallen down. He was ready to massage their feet also. Then Krishna said:

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
yamabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.32.22)

["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."]

"So have you written all these things?"

"Never."

Then Narada Muni said, "You should realize all these things."

Shri Vyasadeva said, "How I can realize all of it?"

"Oh, by the mercy of Krishna."

And then he gave his mercy.

bhakti-yogena manasi
samyak pranihite 'male
apasyat purusam purnam
mayam ca tad-apasrayam
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4)

["Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control."]

Taking Shelter of Bhakti-devi

"You should take shelter of Bhakti-devi. Who is Bhakti-devi? She is Shrimati Radhika. Shrimati Radhika is the incarnation of bhakti to the highest degree. Her mood is called bhakti. Her behavior, Her activities and everything is bhakti, mahabhava, mohana and madana. Understand? We know only sadhana-bhakti, devotional practice, but there is sadhya-bhakti, the goal. We have no idea what the goal is. Shrimati Radhika is the embodiment of that sadhya-bhakti."

"Have you seen this?"

"Never."

"Then you should take shelter of bhakti-yoga."

Then Narada Muni gave some outlines on how to do bhakti, which Shri Vyasadeva did. By doing so, what did he see? He saw Krishna with His power, all the sakhis, girlfriends, all the pastimes, and how Krishna came out of the womb of mother Yasoda. He saw all His sakhis – Lalita, Visakha and others with Shrimati Radhika. He saw all of Krishna's sweet pastimes.

Finally, Shri Vyasadeva became very happy and manifested Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is eternal, and yet it manifested here from his pen.
So, this is 'samsara-davanala-lidha-loka tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam.'

And then Shri Vyasadeva became perfect. He saw that his son, Sukadeva Gosvami, was a nirvisesa-vadi, an impersonalist, and he wanted to always be in samadhi, trance of brahma – "Aham brahmasmi, aham brahmasmi, I am spirit." He became very worried, and he wanted to save him.

He sent so many messages to catch the 'parrot' who was actually Sukadeva Gosvami, and somehow he came, automatically, by hearing these two slokas of Shrimad-Bhagavatam:

barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantam ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayaparayan gopa vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.21.5)

["Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krishna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrndavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories."]

And the other sloka was:

aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam
jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi
lebhe gatim dhatry-ucitam tato 'nyam
kam vadayalum saranam vrajema
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.2.23)

["Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to a she-demon (Putana) although she was unfaithful and she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast?"]

These slokas attracted Sukadeva Gosvami At once, he came to Shri Vyasadeva and fell flat at his lotus feet. For whom Shri Vyasadeva had been calling, "O putra, putra, putra – Oh, my dear son, me dear son, my dear son," now he is coming automatically. Shri Vyasadeva was not calling directly, rather he was calling by the slokas (verses). And he told him, "You should read Shrimad-Bhagavatam with me here."

In this way, Vyasadeva taught his son Sukadeva Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami became perfect by hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam from Shri Vyasadeva. Then, out of pity, to save Pariksit Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami went to him, even though no one had invited him. This is guru-tattva.

Kali-yuga gurus are not like that. They can repent, but after some time they will fall down. First they will wear wooden sandals and be very renounced, not wearing any clothes, going about in their naked bodies. But after some time, they will fall down with their so many seva-dasis, lady servants, and all others. So these are not gurus. They will fall down.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja did not come to make disciples like these. We should understand that his mercy distributed itself throughout the world. Although he was old, he was still going everywhere.

You can see the mercy of Shri Vyasadeva, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami, and you can see the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – how He traveled throughout India here and there. You can also see how merciful Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was. There are so many stories. You know Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura; how merciful they were. This is 'samsara-davanala-lidha-loka tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam.' Only to save these burning persons are they traveling here and there.

'Kalyana-gunarnavi.' Karunya-ghanaghanatvam praptasya kalyana gunarnavasya.' If one is really guru, he will have all the qualities that Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Baladeva Prabhu have. There is no chance, not even in his dreams, that he will fall down. Never. He will have all these qualities – very merciful, very humble, very sweet behavior, having all kinds of knowledge. The abode of all transcendental qualities will be there.

Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is offering his obeisances to that very guru, and to Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, and to the entire guru-parampara. He has told that we should take this as a symptom of a bona fide guru.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja used to play on mrdanga, drums, and he used to weep when he was singing "Shri Sad-Gosvami Astakam," "Gauranga-bolite habe pulaka sarira", and so many other songs. "Gaura pahun na bahjiya." He has all the qualities that have been mentioned here. We should try to accept such a bona fide guru like this; otherwise we will be cheated and we will repent again and again.

Those who have taken initiation from Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja are lucky. We, the disciples of Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, are very lucky, very lucky. What are the qualities that a guru needs?

mahaprabhoh kirtana-nitya-gita
vaditra-madyan-manaso rasena
romanca-kampasru-taranga-bhajo
vande guroh Shri-caranaravindam
(Shri Gurvashtakam 2)

["Shri Guru is inspired by Mahaprabhu's sankirtana and is always dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments. Because he is tasting Mahaprabhu's prema rasa in his heart, like a madman, he sometimes he exhibits ecstatic symptoms—his hairs stand on end, he shivers, and waves of tears flow from his eyes. I offer prayers unto Shri Guru's lotus feet."]

Very Expert in Everything

gdtaste1A guru must have all these qualities. "Mahaprabhu kirtana nitya-gita." You know that he used to sing very sweet and very powerful kirtanas, playing on mrdanga. Have you seen him dancing? I have seen him, so much. I am lucky to have seen him.

I have never seen a dancer like my Guru Maharaja. I have heard that Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also used to dance so much. I have heard and I have read in sastra but I have never seen. But I have seen my Guru Maharaja, holding his danda [staff of the renounced order], at the age of 50, and dancing. And Mohini-mohana prabhu, and Satyavigraha prabhu were very good mrdanga players. In the whole of Bengal, they were the most qualified for playing mrdanga. On the sound of 'tik tik dan,' they used to jump here and there. My Guru Maharaja was also a very good singer. He used to play on the mrdanga also. "Kirtana nitya gita" – he was very expert not only in doing kirtana, but he was also expert in composing and writing. Did you know that Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was expert in all arts? He discovered new tunes on the mrdanga and kirtana.

Shrinivasa Arcarya has done mano-harasayi. Shrila Syamananda Prabhu gave tunes such as raneti; so many different tunes, raga and raginis. All gurus should be like this. If your guru is not like this, then he is not complete guru; something is lacking. And unmada, mad with ecstasy, when dancing during kirtana – they used to be absorbed in doing all these things. Then romanca, hairs standing on end; kampa, trembling; asru, melting heart; and then tears flowing from their eyes. If you are not seeing all these things in your guru, then either you are wrong or he is wrong. If we can have a guru like this, we are very fortunate.

I have seen my Guru Maharaja when he was remembering his Guru Maharaja, he could not even utter 'Prabhupada.' There would be tears in his eyes, his heart melting and voice choking. Then he used to tell me, "Oh, you should speak something."

I have seen all these things. I am so lucky to see the symptoms in so many of Prabhupada's disciples. Perhaps you have not seen the tears and all these other symptoms in the eyes of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. I am lucky to have seen his dancing also. I'm doing pranama [offering obeisances] unto the lotus feet of our guru-parampara, my Guru Maharaja and siksa-guru.

A so-called guru cannot do all this. If a guru somewhat tries to copy or imitate, but his heart is not melting, then he is not a real guru. If even for one day, for one moment, his heart has melted, then he can never fall. In his whole life, he can never fall down.

sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana
srngara-tan-mandira-marjanadau
yuktasya bhaktamsca niyunjato 'pi
vande guroh Shri-caranaravindam
(Shri Guruvashtakam 3)

["Always worshiping Shri Vigraha and absorbed in srngara rasa, Shri Guru daily dresses Them with beautiful clothes and ornaments designed to enhance Their meetings. He cleans the temple and performs other services for Them. He also engages his disciples in these services. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Shri Guru."]

Shri Guru is Always Absorbed

'arati11Shri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana.' He is doing aradhana, devotional service, of Shri vigraha. There are two types of vigraha. Krishna is Himself vigraha, transcendental vigraha. And His vigraha, the Deity, in this world which has been manifested as Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Madana-mohana, Radha-Syamasundara, Radha-ramana and Radha-Damodara – these are vigraha.

Nitya vigraha is Krishna Himself. When guru is in an internal mood, he's serving Radha and Krishna, doing aradhana – but in what way? 'Shri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana, srngara tan mandira-marjanadau.' He is doing kirtana; this is also aradhana. There are so many various types of worshiping, aradhana. He is doing all these things. If anyone is doing arati and worship of the Deities, it is not sufficient. It should be with romanca (hairs standing on end), kampa (trembling), and asru (tears). He is doing this always.

Srngara – there are so many kinds of ornaments and clothes of Shri Radha-Krishna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Don't apply the same thing that has been given to Shri Radha-Krishna Conjugal to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Don't decorate Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with peacock feathers and flute. Don't give Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the ornaments and the cloth of Shrimati Radhika just because Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taken the beauty and the shape of Shrimati Radhika, the mood of Shrimati Radhika. We should not give Him Her clothes. Don't do all these things. Try to remember this. So what our guru-parampara acaryas have given; we should try to do that; not anything else. Don't do concoctions.

'Yuktasya bhaktams.' They engage their disciples, all the bhaktas – in what? They will say, "Oh, you should dance, you should do this, you should write these things, you should sing all the songs, write and speak bhakti-grantha (Vedic scritures], worship Shri vigraha, the Deities, and other services."

'Niyunjato 'pi vande.' Shri Guru is not only doing this himself, but engaging thousands and thousands of devotees in these things. Yet, they are actually doing it.

But when a guru falls down, you can know the heart of that disciple. You can also know that his guru has left his guru and he has also left bhakti, his chanting and everything. Then what will be the disciple's condition? He will weep and weep. I think that if you are sincere, then Krishna will be also sincere by giving you a sincere guru. But if you are not sincere, then you may be cheated.

catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasada-
svadv-anna-trptan hari-bhakta-sanghan
krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam (3)

["Shri Guru is always satisfied to see Shri Krishna's devotees relishing four kinds of foodstuffs that have been offered, namely, those which are chewed, sucked, licked, and drunk. Thus the devotees become satisfied by tasting mahaprasada. (That is, by accepting prasada in the mood of service, material life is destroyed and the bliss of divine love is awakened in the heart.) I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Shri Guru."]

Shri Guru Serving Others First
Who takes and tastes the four kinds of mahaprasadam? Shri Guru is first giving to all others, and then taking the remnants. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu distributed mahaprasadam to all associates with His own hands. He Himself did not take mahaprasadam first. Shrila Svarupa Damodara said to Him, "O Prabhu, if You are not sitting and taking mahaprasadam, then nobody can take." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 11.202-208). Then He became bound, and thus, the others distributed the mahaprasadam.

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda Prabhu always wanted others to have very sweet and delicious preparations. For themselves, they only wanted laphra (boiled mixed vegetables); not very tasty preparations. They used to take like Shrila Rupa-Sanatana Gosvamis. They never even took salt, what to tell of other things. A guru should be like this.

Sometimes Shrimati Radhika Herself would come to cook for Rupa and Sanatana. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami was repenting, but Shrila Rupa Gosvami was not repenting. So many mysterious things are there. How?

maha-prasade govinde
nama-brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punya-vatam rajan
visvaso naiva jayate
(Mahabharata)

["O King, despite a little amount of pious activities, one's faith in Lord Govinda will never be born unless one takes shelter of foodstuffs offered to Him, the Holy Name and the Vaisnavas"]

I am reminding all of you that you should not take prasadam; don't eat, instead you should serve. You should not chant nama, you should serve nama. You should not hear harikatha, you should serve harikatha. A bona fide guru will be like this.

First he will satisfy all the Vaisnavas, and by their remnants, somehow he will maintain his life – just like Shrila Rupa-Sanatana Gosvamis and others like them. I am doing vandana, prayers, to a guru like this.

sri-radhika-madhavayor apara-
madhurya-lila-guna-rupa-namnam
prati-ksanasvadana-lolupasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam (5)

["At every moment Shri Guru is experiencing intense greed in his heart to taste the unlimited sweetness of the holy names, forms, qualities, and pastimes of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava in Vrndavana. I offer my prayers unto the lotus feet of Shri Guru."]

Shri Guru Always Relishing Shri Radha-Krishna's Sweet Pastimes

''Shri-radhika-madhavayor-apara-madhurya-lila-guna-rupa-namnam,' Shrimati Radhika and Madhava have so many very sweet, tasteful pastimes. Their names have so much madhurya. For example 'Hare' comes from 'Hara.' What is 'Hara'? Shrimati Radhika's beautiful qualities are serving Krishna by Her prema-mayi-seva, Her loving service.

She can take the heart of Krishna and control Him. All these are sweet pastimes of Krishna. Apara means unlimited. Unlimited names such as Radha-Damodara, Radha-Madhava, Radha-Syamasundara, Radha-Ramana, Radha-Giridhari. Shri Guru is always tasting, always relishing all these things. We are not relishing. Why? We have no realization of all these things.

You are not qualified, but Shri Guru has come to make you qualified like him. What is Shri Guru doing? Internally, he is always relishing all the pastimes of Krishna, and that is why for this world he has become senseless. When you see anyone like Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the stage of being senseless, what is He is doing? Or Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami – what are they doing? They have realized their constitutional forms as Rupa-manjari, or other manjari forms, and what are they doing? They are relishing so many sweet pastimes of Krishna internally.

'Lolupasya.' What is the meaning of 'lolup'? A bona fide Shri Guru is always lolup. Lolup is bad for worldly things, but for transcendental things, it is the opposite – it is a very, very attractive thing, and it is a very, very sweet thing. We worldly persons are so much lubdhah, greedy in sense gratification especially in the three W's: wine, women and wealth. But a qualified guru will always have lolya (greed) for the pastimes of Krishna; dancing and relishing all these things. A bona fide guru should be so much qualified in these things, otherwise he is not actually guru. Rather, he may be an abhasa, a shadow or semblance, of guru-tattva.

You should try to go very deep. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura has taken the unlimited ocean of bhakti-rasa, and he has given it in a nutshell. When we realize this, then an ocean of rasa may come [into our hearts]. Try to read like this, on a much bigger scale. If you are humble and sincere, then all the rasa can come. When you read, offer pranama to whoever has written the book, think that he's there, and then pray that you may understand. In this way, very shortly it will come, and then you can realize all the truths within.

My heartly blessings to all. I'm praying to Krishna that your coming here will be successful. I want to speak to each and every one of you. I want to speak with all those who have come. I know that you have come with very great hope. I want to speak personally with you. Gradually I will speak with all of you, so that you can try to realize my classes.

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