By: Mahanidhi Swami

In the form of the Vyasa-deva, Bhagavan Çré Krishna has revealed the hidden meaning of the Vedas to the ignorant conditioned souls of Kali-yuga by compiling the Srimad Bhagavatam, the sun-like spotless Purana.

While in a state of samadhi Vyäsa-deva realized the esoteric teachings of the Bhagavata Purana by the mercy of his spiritual master, Sri Narada Muni, who learned the spiritual science from Lord Brahma.

Vyasa-deva is the greatest acarya because he was

directly empowered by the Supreme Lord to make the Vedic wisdom available in the present age. Without Vyasa-deva we would be nowhere, wallowing in the mud of ignorance; trapped in the darkness and illusion of material sense gratification.

Srila Vyasa-deva is the divine propagator, a shaktyavesh avatara, in whom the divine power of transcendental knowledge has been infused. Vyasa-deva has been directly empowered and directed by the Absolute Truth to preach the word of God.

Sri Guru, the spiritual master is the living spokesman, the contemporary representative of Vyasa-deva. The enlightened spiritual discourses given by the bona fide guru are based on his constant and uninterrupted realizations of the activities of the Supreme Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna, as described by Srila

Vyasa-deva in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

The true guru is the enlightened guide, the merciful master, the messiah of harmony. He not only teaches the science of God, but he demonstrates practically by his pure actions that he is the dearest servitor of the Supreme Lord.

Sri Guru thinks, speaks and acts only in terms of his eternal relationship with the Absolute Truth. The sad-guru has perfect knowledge of the personal Godhead, and he constantly associates with the Lord in a most direct and intimate bond of divine love.

The divine guide is fully competent to dispel the darkness of ignorance and remove all doubts from his disciple. He is capable of delivering his disciple to the beautiful lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna in the spiritual sky. Sri Guru has the power, granted by

God, to establish the bewildered conditioned soul in his eternal position as a loving servitor of the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Sri Guru manifests in two forms: the quiet director or

Paramatma within the heart, and the external preceptor who teaches us by realized knowledge and spotless behavior. Both gurus help bewildered souls reach spiritual perfection. However, in the conditioned state one cannot hear the wise counsel of the inner guide. Therefore, the external manifestation of the

Paramatma as Sri Guru is my only hope.

Srila B.R. Sridhara Swami once said, “Sri Guru is the divine messenger of immortal hope and joy in this mortal and miserable world.” Acaryas say the spiritual master is Sri Krishna’s krpa-shakti murti, the very form of Lord Krishna’s mercy and love freely accessible to the suffering souls.

Sri Guru is the spiritual counterpart of the famous ATM machines which leading banks scatter around major cities to offer “Any Time Money” to eager customers thirsty for cash. So just how is Sri Guru an ATM? To anyone, at any time and any place the spiritual master gives the true wealth of Sr Krishna’s

eternal loving service. Therefore, Sri Guru is a Krishna conscious, walking ATM machine giving “Any Time Mercy.”

The mercy of Sri Guru is freely available to all who are willing to accept it. Being completely surrendered to the Supreme Lord, Sri Guru is always engaged in Krishna’s service, and helps others to do the same.

Sri Guru ki jai!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura describes how Caitanya Mahaprabhu instituted the first Vyasa-puja ceremony in 1509 a.d. through Sri Nityananda Prabhu in Shrivasa Angana, Mayapura:

“Srivasa Pandita, the head priest for the function, gave Lord Nityananda a flower garland to offer to a painting of Vyasadeva. Holding the garland in His beautiful lotus hand, Nityananda Prabhu hesitated and began glancing here and there as if He was looking for someone. Then to everyone’s surprise,

Nityananda offered the garland to Sri Caitanyadeva instead. At that moment, Lord Caitanya immediately manifested His six-armed form, sad-bhuja).” (Caitanya Bhagavata (Madhya khanda chp. 5)

Thus, Sri Nityananda Prabhu completed the Vyasa-puja ceremony by offering a garland to that personality from whom everything emanates and whose empowered incarnation is Sri Vyasa-deva. By this Nityananda Prabhu established the real

meaning of Vyasa-puja by worshiping the Supreme Lord Himself in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Lord Gauranga is the guru of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. This is the basis of the worship performed by Lord Nityananda. Therefore, the worship of Vyasa-deva, therefore, is actually the worship of Lord Gauranga in the form of the present acarya.

Although Sri Krishna and Sri Baladeva Prabhu are identical withSri Caitanyadeva and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Their activities are different. Nitai and Gaura are the supreme masters, the Supreme Lords, yet they play the role of devotees. The dual Lords act as devotees in order to teach Their servants the art of

devotional service. Thus, in this pastime from Caitanya

Bhagavata, one Lord, Nityananda, is teaching us that the ultimate recipient of the worship of Vyasa-deva or the spiritual master is the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva. Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Balarama, is the ultimate source of the spiritual function of the acarya.

In the scriptures, Sri Krishna tells Uddhava that the acarya is the manifestation of Himself:

acaryam mam vijaniyan, navamanyeta karhicit

na martya-buddhyasuyeta, sarva-deva-mayo guruh

“One should know the acarya 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.”

(SB 11.17.27)

If Sri Guru is not regarded as identical with the Supreme Lord, the worship of the acarya is not properly performed, and the said worshiper will not realize the true purport of the Vedas.

yasya deve para bhaktir, yatha deve tatha gurau

tasyaite kathita hy arthah, prakashshante mahatmana

For one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of the Lord, as well as in the spiritual master, the real import of Vedic knowledge can be revealed. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.23)

Lord Balarama is non-different from Sri Nityananda Prabhu. However, Lord Nityananda plays a unique role in that He is the connecting link between all conditioned souls and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is non-different from Radha-Govinda. The conditioned souls have no access to Lord Balarama in the spiritual world, but here in the material world everyone can access the mercy of Lord Nityananda.

Sri Guru is empowered by Sri Nityananda Prabhu to save the fallen souls from the clutches of Maya. As Nityananda Prabhu’s delegated authority, the spiritual master liberates the conditioned souls from material world by engaging them in the direct service of

Lord Nityananda.

The story of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami’s

approaching Sri Caitanya shows the necessity of first receiving the mercy of Sri Guru and Lord Nityananda before one can attain the service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva.

Sri Guru ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: mahanidhi swami

In Bhajan Rahasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura mentions a pancaartrika-mantra, aim gurudevaya namah, as the seed mantra for worshiping the spiritual master. The word namah is also uttered by all disciples whenever they offer respects unto the lotus feet of their respective spiritual masters.

But exactly what does the word namah mean? In general, namah means, “I am offering obeisance unto the lotus feet of my beloved Gurudeva.” On a deeper level, namah means to submit one’s self with the meditation, “I am giving uphmy worldly vanity and false ego. I renounce the false sense ofhbeing the supreme controller and enjoyer.”

The word namah means saying no to false ego, killing the false identity, and fully surrendering to the mastership and control of God standing before you as Sri Guru.

Renouncing one’s pride or vanity is actually the first object to be offered in one’s worship of Sri Guru. Therefore, the act of offering obeisances to the spiritual master means to give up thepride of thinking one’s self the doer, possessor and enjoyer of anything in this world.

The real Vyasa-puja begins here. The moment the disciple realizes this and acts solely for the pleasure of Sri Guru, he engages in the true worship and eternal service of his spiritual master.

I pray that someday I can fall at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet, and with the full backing of my dedicated heart, utter this phrase, “Dearest Gurudeva, please accept my most respectful and humble obeisances.”

Om Tat Sat!

Sri Gurudeva ki ja!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

The Vedas contain all the knowledge and mantras oneneeds to achieve both material happiness and spiritualperfection. So why can’t one just study the Vedas by himself, without a spiritual master, and attain all material and spiritual perfection? Besides, it is said that the Supreme Lord is within everyone, so why does one need an external spiritual guide to realize God?

The sacred books alone are not the revelation. The acaryas, spiritual teachers, are a necessary part of revelation. The Vedic texts preserve the spoken words of the Supreme Lord and various liberated saints known as rishis. But alone, the bookscannot speak personally to us. God is sound and He must be heard.Therefore, the Vedic literature is called Shruti, whichmeans that which is heard or communicated orally from the beginning; sacred knowledge orally transmitted by the spiritual teachers from generation to generation. The word shruti also means the ear organ or the power of hearing.

The transcendental sound spoken by a God realized soul, the spiritual master, to the surrendered disciple disposed to rendering unconditional service to Sri Guru, is not the same as the transcendental sound written in or read in the sacred scriptures, the Vedas.

The personal factor, Sri Guru, provides the essential link connecting the covered consciousness of thedisciple and the Absolute Truth.

The Supreme Lord engages select persons to act as His delegated, empowered representatives, the spiritual masters, who act in this world to dispel the ignorance eclipsing the original, pure and brilliant consciousness of the conditioned souls.

By His own will the Absolute Truth appears on the lips of a surrendered devotee. But the Absolute Truth, which is fully experienced as Sri Krishna the transcendental autocrat, forever reserves the right of not revealing Himself to the mundanesenses of the conditioned soul attached to material sense enjoyment. Personal submission to the living pure devotee isthe key to spiritual perfection. The spiritual preceptor is the empowered representative of Srila Vyasa-deva, who is none other than Lord Narayana Himself.

Mundane scientists research the phenomenal world to make discoveries to improve the quality of human life. Similarly, one may argue that, “Since God is within everyone, why can’t a spiritual seeker independently research within himself, and thereby gain transcendental knowledge and realization of God?

Such statements as why does one need a guru simply reveal one’s ignorance about the essential nature of the Absolute Truth and transcendental knowledge of Him.

In summary, the Absolute Truth is the fully conscious, supreme Absolute Person. In other words, God is the supremely conscious individual. Connection with the Absolute Truth depends solely on His sweet will, which God expresses by sending his agent, the spiritual master, when I am qualified with transcendental faith and surrender.

Sri Gurudeva ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Vyasa-puja is that one day in a year wherein a sadhaka compresses a lifetime of thoughts, feelings and acts of dedication into a few words of praise of his eternal spiritual guide, friend, master and mentor; a few drops of water humbly offered back to the ocean.

To serve and not to be served is the constitutional position of the jiva, the living entity. Forgetting his real eternal nature, the conditioned soul becomes the false master of the material world. He plays the role of God and tries to enjoy his senses in every way imaginable and unimaginable.

Though he tries very hard to be the supreme enjoyer, in reality the conditioned soul becomes a completely bound slave of Maya. Ironically, the more one strives for lordship, freedom and pleasure, the more he increases his bondage of servitude.

For a fortunate soul, the spiritual master, Sri Guru, appears in his life to remove the darkness of misconception and establish him in the light of eternal truth.

Sri Guru proclaims, “O lost soul! Verily, my dear friend, you are actually the eternal servant of the Supreme Lord Krishna (jivera svarupa haya nitya Krishna dasa).” A new life begins. Joy awakens and the highest divine prospect descends to lighten the burden of a million previous births.

But who is the spiritual master? What is his relationship with Sri Krishna and Srila Vyasa-deva, the compiler of all Vedic thought? And lastly why and how is Sri Guru worshiped in a ceremony commonly known as Vyasa-puja?

Sri Guru ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!