Moscow, July 30, 2000
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] If one's guru is not qualified, then, taking his permission, the disciple should at once take initiation from a higher rank of guru. This is not an offense. If that guru is not giving permission, he should at once be given up and the disciple should take proper initiation. This is because that guru is not a Vaisnava. If the guru is like a karmi, not duly chanting and remembering, he should be given up. Are there more questions?
[Devotee:] Harikesa was appointed by Shrila Prabhupada. So when did his fall-down take place? At what time did he fall down?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Prabhupada made him a representative - not guru. You should know that if someone is not qualified, if he has no qualities of guru, in some cases one acts as a representative for the time being. And he was like that. A real guru cannot fall. Never, never, and never. So he was like a representative. Prabhupada wanted to correct him, but he could not. So now this person has given up everything. Now he is a Vaisnava aparadhi and a guru aparadhi, an offender to his gurudeva. He has given up all chanting, remembering, and all other devotional activities, and he should therefore be rejected. The reason is this: If the disciple is now, even today remembering him, and thinking, "He is my gurudeva", then that so-called guru's bad activities and qualities will come in him - all of them.
You can remember this sloka:
ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
vande guroh sri caranaravindam
'Shri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kisora's amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrindavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva.'
A sad-guru is like this. Do you know the meaning of this sloka? What is the meaning of 'nikunja yuno?' Do you know?
When you will meditate on that guru, however, you will meditate that he has left the mission, that now he is mad, that now he is engaging in sense gratification; and these bad qualities will come instead of 'saksad-dharivena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih.' Also 'yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto'pi.' How can we meditate on him? If you are now meditating on a fallen guru, all his bad qualities - every sense gratificatory activity that he is doing - will come to you.
On the other hand, when you are meditating on your Prabhupada, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj, you can meditate on how beautiful and how merciful he is. He is attracting the whole world with his qualities. He always serves Krishna in the nikunja (the secluded pastime groves of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna) and he is saksat hari-tvena. (He has qualities like Krishna; qualities of eternity, bliss, and knowledge.) All these slokas apply to him. If I meditate on him, then all his good qualities will come. This is the hidden meaning. You cannot apply this to any fallen person, or to a person who has not realized all these things.
[Devotee:] Gurudeva, he says that he wants to take hari-nama initiation from you. But he says that his hair cannot be shaved because he is working in gurukula and he has to go into offices to ask for donations for gurukula.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] But he will have to shave his heart. I want to shave his heart. I have a very sharp blade.
[Devotee:] He says that he was initiated in the eighties - many years ago, but by mail. The guru sent a letter and said, "You are initiated."
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] By who?
[Devotee:] Harikesa Maharaj.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] He should be rejected.
[Devotee:] Yes. But he says that now he feels that his enthusiasm in preaching in devotional service went very much down. So he is asking you if his enthusiasm again will go up after receiving initiation from you?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] If he is following all instructions, he will be very, very inspired, and then, realizing something, he can preach. Those who have no realization cannot preach. One can preach after realization and service to Krishna with some taste; otherwise he cannot.
[Devotee:] Some people say that when a disciple gets initiation from Gurudeva, then it is not his beads that become purified and sanctified, but the process of chanting. If that is true, then what is the meaning of the ceremony when Guru gives beads and chants on the beads?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Who has made this ceremony? Who has begun it? From where is it coming? Do you know? If it is coming from Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, we should accept that process without any doubt. If is not coming from Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, you should reject it. We should try to accept all the processes they have given to us. If there is any doubt, you can ask your Gurudeva and he will clear your doubts. If your Gurudeva cannot remove your doubts, then please do pranama to him and try to accept another guru. He should be able to remove all doubts; then he is guru. In another case, we can accept any high rank of siksa-guru. He will remove all doubts and give that clear vision of bhakti. Has he taken initiation?
[Urukrama dasa:] Not yet. But he is a very old devotee; one of the original devotees.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] What is the essence of his question?
[Devotee:] Eight years ago he was in Vrindavana and he developed taste for hari-katha and Krishna-lila. Then he went back to Russia. He was preaching these things, but some of the GBC leaders didn't like it. They started suppressing him, giving him much trouble, and he lost this taste. Now he is wondering if he can get this taste back. Is it possible or not?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] You have done some good activities for bhakti, and therefore you now want to develop your Krishna consciousness. If you can attain a real process by any real guru, siksa-guru or diksa-guru, it will very soon come again - more than what you had previously. At that time you were not qualified to preach what you were preaching, because you had no realization. But now, with realization, with so much inspiration, you can preach. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj preached everywhere. How? He practiced and he totally followed Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He realized, and then he began to preach. All were bound to hear; otherwise it would have had no effect. So we should first realize, and then preach the teachings of our guru-parampara.
[Urukrama dasa:] I want to ask a question on behalf of some of the senior devotees. Today I have spoken with many of them and they have revealed their minds to me. Some are expressing that they have one fear in meeting you and hearing from you. They feel so much inspiration and they feel so much confidence that you are the real guru, and they want to accept your shelter and initiation.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] [In pure Vaisnava humility] I want to tell you all that I am not a real guru. Rather I am madhyama adhikari and I will help as much as I can. But I will give you the guarantee that I will not fall. I am not a guru like Narada who can tell you, "O, Krishna-bhakti should come", and at once it will come. I am not like him. I don't want to cheat anyone. I am a bhakti-sadhaka. I am practicing, and what I am realizing I will help you with my full faith and full energy. I like to practice bhakti-yoga so much, but I will not give the guarantee that I will surely take you to Krishna. I will not give a guarantee. However, if you follow my instructions, then I am bound to take you. It depends on the disciples to follow and practice bhakti-yoga according to the process I am explaining. There is one other thing I want to also clarify for you. A sad-guru never thinks of his disciples as his property. You are not my property. If you take initiation from me, you do not become my property; you are the property of Krishna. I may help you to clear (the land of your heart), to make a more smooth seed, and to ultimately offer you to the lotus feet of Krishna. I never think - no bona fide guru ever thinks - that his disciples are his property. He thinks that they are the property of Krishna.
Also, you should know that I don't want any position. I don't want that you should give me wealth, money, or anything. You cannot please me by giving any material things like wealth, reputation, or anything else. I do not want golden ornaments and diamonds; I know that they cannot give happiness. I only want to help you as Prabhupada requested me. That I can do.
[Urukrama dasa:] They have this fear because previously, when they had another guru, they felt distance. He was never coming and they were not feeling closeness. They are afraid that if they accept your shelter and initiation…
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] I am not requesting them to take my shelter. I can never request this of you. If you like, and if you have faith in me - only then. I am not requesting anyone. I have not come to make any disciples. I know that the acceptance of disciples is a very heavy burden. So if you like, I can help you and you can accept me. Otherwise, I don't need any disciples or anything. I never think that you are my disciples. I think that you are like my friends, and I am helping you to go to Krishna and serve Him. I never think of myself as acarya.
[Urukrama dasa:] But would they be able to feel very close and near and dear to you?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] It depends on them; not on me. They should think that their guru is always powerful enough to come in their heart - directly and indirectly - and that he can save his disciples. Then that disciple is a disciple; otherwise not. Guru is so powerful and he can come in their hearts. He can somehow, directly and indirectly, come and help them if they have so much faith in him; otherwise not. It is now time for class. Any other questions?
[Devotee:] I have one Giriraja-sila and I want to ask you for blessings to worship this Giriraja-sila.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] First be qualified and then worship. Without diksa you cannot serve. And, if you are serving without diksa, you are bound to commit so many offences. The sad-guru never allows any unqualified person to worship, because that person may keep the deity like a statue - not like Krishna Himself.
[Urukrama dasa:] Another devotee gave this to him. That is why he has it.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] If any person gives him poison, should he take it? Be very careful. Now it is time for class. Tomorrow you can come. If there are any doubts, you can tell me and I will remove them.