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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Any sincere sadhaka can always be in association with one’s merciful Gurudeva, even if the Guru is far away or has entered Radha-Govinda’s nitya-vrndavana lila.

Simply by meditating on your divine master, you immediately establish a connection with him. In response to your thoughts and prayers, Sri Guru will send you his full blessings, guidance, power and love.

A sweet stream of spiritual energy will flow from Sri Guru to you, just as honey pours from one vessel to another. You will feel his mercy mellowing your mind, and taste the sweet bliss of his charming presence in your heart.

In the Yoga-sutras, Rishi Patanjali says you can control your vrittis (thought waves) by fixing your mind on one who has transcended human passions and attachments (vita-raga-visayam ca cittam).

So by thinking of your Guru or some liberated soul, or by looking at his picture, you will pacify your mind, purify your heart and empower your Harinama japa with increased concentration.

The Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda ch. 112 v. 9-29) says that the mind becomes pure by Sri Guru smarana: “Just by thinking of your Guru, you will obtain 1/100th portion of the priceless treasure of his Krishna bhakti.”

However, the ability to draw blessings from your beloved spiritual master depends on the degree of your faith, surrender and dedication to Sri Guru. When sincere sisyas meditate on Sri Guru, they will definitely feel the benign and blissful presence of Sri Guru in their hearts.

Once Srila Prabhupada said, “Even if I am in the spiritual world with Radha and Krishna, whenever you chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, you will immediately experience my presence right before you!”

Surrendered sisyas ki jai! Krpa-sakti murti Sri Guru ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This article will give the basic guidelines for choosing your Guru; some are external practical points and others are internal—the feelings of your heart and the full acceptance within the inner reaches of your mind.

Before choosing your Guru, please deeply reflect upon all these points.Then sincerely cry while praying to the most merciful saviour, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, to give you clear, firm and perfect directions regarding choosing just the right diksa Guru to bring you to Goloka Vrndavana, and the eternal, sweet seva of Syama’s lotus feet.

Determining Identity of Guru:

It is completely impossible for any conditioned soul to judge or determine the degree of bhakti within a Guru’s heart. No one can honestly say, “O, my Guru is a bhava bhakta!” “My Guru is a premi bhakta!” Or my Guru is a rasika Vaisnava!” To say so is merely speculation, sentiment and wish projection; a completely subjective statement.

When defining the qualifies of a Guru no sastra says the Guru must be on the level of prema, bhava, asakti etc. But they do say the Guru must have ANUBHAVA or experience of Krishna. This can mean a variety of anubhavas of which the topmost one would be saksad darsana, direct eye-to eye seeing of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Indeed, this is a very, very rare occurrence attained by some special siddha purusha; possibly even one in a million!

But again how can anyone know or judge, because the true Guru is sober and self-controlled. He or she does not go around everywhere crying and rolling on the floor while proclaiming, “I have seen Krishna! “I have seen Krishna!”

In our present 45 years of practicing Krishna bhakti bhajan, we have had the good fortune of associating with many greatly exalted and perfected GaudiyaVaisnava Babajis, sannyasis, Gosvamis and Vamsa acaryas. But, other than an occasional and involuntary display of crying while chanting the glories of Radha and Krishna, we never once saw any of these wonderful saints publically exhibit any sattvika bhavas or external signs or symptoms of Krishna bhava and prema.

The following scriptural references (sastra praman) clearly define the qualities and characteristics of the genuine spiritual master—the Guru. By following these guidelines one can faithfully select the proper spiritual mentor, and surrender their lives at his/her compassionate lotus feet. Jai Sri Radhe!

The following verse is the main and primary one used by all acaryas to define the qualities of the real, true Guru.

*** tasmad gurum prapadyeta, jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam, brahman yupasam asrayam

“If you want to know and attain the highest state of bliss eternal, then you must take shelter at the feet of a sad-guru. The sad-guru is thoroughly competent in the Bhagavad-Gita, Bhagavata and other sastras propounding the essence of Veda i.e. Radha-Krishna prema seva. Guru has direct experience of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, and is devoid of base material attachments i.e.lust, greed etc.”(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21)

Comments Sri Swamicarana:

A disciple’s doubts cannot be removed if the Guru is not learned in scriptures. And if Guru is not deeply devoted to Krishna, the Guru will not be able to infuse the disciple with a genuine taste and experience of Krishna bhakti bhajan.”

Comments Sri Sanatana Goswami:

“The phrase UPASAMA ASRAYAM in the verse above means one who is asrayam, or has exclusively taken shelter of Bhakti-yoga, and is entirely absorbed in sravana, Krishna kirtana and other forms of bhakti bhajan. Such a Vaisnava is a sad-guru to whom one can take shelter.”

Comments Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada:

“If Guru has no direct experience of the Absolute Truth Bhagavan Sri Krishna, his krpa or mercy will not bear real fruits.”

One must also consider these points when selecting a transcendental wisdom teacher:

  1. Guru exhibits warmth, care and feelings of parental affection toward disciples.
  2. Guru is very peaceful, content within himself, and radiates an inner joy that indicates the happiness of Krishna within the heart. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.5)
  3. The Guru must be (sammatam satsu) which means approved by his/her own diksa Guru, and respected by other saintly persons. (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 1.34)
  4. If one lacks the above-mentioned characteristics, one cannot be accepted as Guru even if they come from a pious family and possess many virtuous attributes.

Thus the fortunate and faithful person, who desires unlimited bliss in the eternal the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, should take Gopala/Krishna mantra diksa from a great devotee endowed with these qualities, and learn the art of Krishna bhakti bhajan.

In his usual sweet and elegant style, the great rasika Gaudiya Vaisnava Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja presents the essence of this subject in the following quotation:

“When the spiritual potency that distinguishes one as a competent teacher appears within a virtuous person, one should be regarded as a sad-guru. This occurs by the mercy of one’s Guru, and one’s sadhana bhajan which cleanses impurities from the mind and heart, and infuses one with devotion adorned with kindness and generosity.

“Seeing the jivas suffering in maya, the Guru’s heart melts with compassion. Thus the Guru teaches the art of Krishna bhakti bhajan to remove the disciple’s misery, and bless them with the sweet taste of bhakti-rasa.”

“The ability to serve as Guru comes from Bhagavan Sri Krishna within the hearts of those great souls blessed with the grace of bhakti. If a seeker of love divine is fortunate, one will attain the shelter of such a competent Guru.” (Guru Tattva Vijnana)

To conclude, we recommend that one searching for a spiritual master should find a guru who has transcendental wisdom, purity of behavior, magnetic devotion and experience of Krishna. Such a guru should inspire one’s intellect and fill one’s heart with unbreakable conviction that speaks loud and clear:

“Yes! I really love this teacher! I have full faith, and I have a strong, completely positive feeling in the core of my heart. I have no doubts whatsoever about this Guru. And I am fully convinced that I can completely surrender, give my full heart, and serve this Guru life after life!” Jai Gurudeva!

However, if any of these qualities are lacking, then one needs to keep searching, crying and praying to Krishna to bestow just the right guru. Guru diksa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Firstly, if one has the shelter of Sri Guru, one is indeed very, very fortunate and truly blessed by Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Unfortunately, however, right now on this planet billions of people either have no spiritual teacher or don’t care to have one.

Sometimes it happens that one must leave the Guru to progress in spiritual life. The sastras and Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas like Sri Jiva Goswamipada give specific guidelines regarding leaving the Guru.

Presented here are all our posts on this subject which will greatly help anyone thinking about this. First, we cite various scriptures stating that one should never reject the diksa guru. But as everyone knows, there are always exceptions to any rule. Thus, the second half of the post cites various sastras to show the legitimate reasons for rejecting or leaving the Guru.

Everyone must clearly understand that rejecting the diksa Guru is a very, very rare and serious action. It should never be done whimsically or fancifully just because you don’t like him or he’s not a “Big Devotee”.

Rejecting a diksa Guru is a most delicate decision, only to be taken after deep sastric understanding of when and why a Guru should be rejected; discussing with sadhus, and if possible, speaking directly to one’s diksa Guru about the proposed rejection, and why you feel so. One should also chant lots of nama japa, and utter sincere prayers to Bhagavan Sri Krishna begging for guidance and strength.

I repeat: “This is a most serious decision!” If such a decision i.e. to reject one’s Guru is taken prematurely or without sufficient knowledge or understanding of the Guru disciple relationship, the disciple may destroy his/her spiritual life!

DIRE RESULT OF REJECTING GURU

Sri Sanatana Goswami says in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (4.363-365 Bhumipati trans.)

“Those who reject an authorized spiritual master who comes in disciplic succession are so condemned that even carnivorous animals [i.e. eagles, vultures, dogs, fox, wolves, etc.] will not eat their flesh. If Guru rejects a disciple, Sri Hari automatically rejects him too.

“The disciple’s intelligence then becomes polluted and he/she starts showing great arrogance. Such disciples are the lowest among mankind, if after formally accepting a Guru they reject him out of illusion. Such disciples will rot in hell for millions of kalpas!”

Please deeply consider that if the Guru is well-behaved, following all religious principles; initiated by a proper Guru; and teaching the correct Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta—THEN ONE SHOULD NEVER LEAVE THAT DIKSA GURU. Diksa Guru means the Guru who gives Gopal mantra or Kama gayatri to a disciple, which are the diksa mantras for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

It may be that one’s diksa Guru APPEARS LIKE a very simple person, even though he is a true Krishna devotee, and a pure, serious and dedicated disciple of his Guru and personal lineage. Sri Guru may not be a big scholar, a charismatic personality, a great kirtana leader, speaker, or sastra nipuna—who knows all the minute details of each tattva or spiritual truth.

But nevertheless, Guru is Guru and thus even the “simple” Guru is a real Guru. Therefore, all the sweet mercy and blessings of the samasti guru, Adi Guru Sri Krishna will flow through him FULLY AND COMPLETELY to the surrendered disciple who is loyal, faithful and sincerely dedicated to serving Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the beautiful Vaisnavas.

VIEW OF SRI GURU

Sri Sanatana Goswami says, (Hari Bhakti Vilasa (4.369-371 mmgd trans.):

“If, due to illusion about one’s Guru (gurum moha), a disciple considers that the Guru is an ordinary human being and thus chastises him, then such a disciple must take the body of a pig for one hundred births, shukara -bhavatyeva tesham- janma –shatesh-vapi).

“Without a doubt, a foolish disciple, who rejects his/her diksa Guru (guru- drohino -mudhah), will constantly perform sinful activities (satatam- papa- karinah), and all their accumulated piety will transform into sin (teshanca- yavat- sukrtam- dushkrttam- syanna -samshayah).”

“Therefore, an intelligent disciple, considering that his/her Guru is non-different from Bhagavan Sri Krishna, (Krishna- abhavena -buddhiman), should worship Sri Guru at least three times a day and offer dandavat- pranams.”

Now for the exceptions to the rule. Sometimes a disciple may have to reject the Guru, move on and take another Guru.

Regarding this principle, we have counselled many sincere, pure-hearted Krishna bhaktas who feel unhappy, frustrated, dissatisfied, and spiritually suffocated in their Guru-Sisya relationships. They are confused and stuck; not knowing how to get out or improve their spiritual lives.

Hopefully, the light of the sastric knowledge provided herein will help such surrendered souls find their true mentor—the sad guru—and again smile with the satisfaction produced from serving and loving a real spiritual teacher.

ELEVEN REASONS FOR REJECTING GURU

Citing various Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures, we will give eleven reasons for rejecting a Guru and taking another.

BHAKTI SANDARBHA (anu. 238)

The conditions for rejecting the Guru are described in the Narada Pancharatra (1.10.20)

and Mahabharata (5.178.24):

guror -apy avaliptasya –kāryākāryam- ajānataḥ
utpatha-pratipannasya- parityāgo- vidhīyate

“One should completely reject a Guru (parityago- vidhiyate) who:

  1. Is arrogant and proud
  2. Does not know what to do or not do, or gives improper guidance.
  3. Teachings are inconsistent, against the conclusions of Srimad Bhagavatam and Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures.
  4. Has deviated from the path laid out in the bhakti-sastras (utpatha-pratipannasya), or preaches bogus ideas or apasiddhanta i.e. against the teachings of the six Gosvamis.

Sri Bhakti Sandarbha (238) elaborates on this reason:

“The Guru who speaks incorrectly or illogically, and the disciple who hears this will both go to a horrible hell for unlimited time, yo- vakti –nyaya- rahitam -srnoti -ubhau –narakam- ghoram- vrajatah –kalam- aksayam.” (Narada Pancaratra)

  1. Is envious or antagonistic toward other Vaisnavas (vaishnava-vidveshi cet parityajya. (Bhakti Sandarbha anu. 238)

Commenting on Bhakti Sandarbha (238), Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja says, “If due to envy, a Guru forbids his disciple to associate with or serve an advanced devotee, the disciple should humbly bow and ask the Guru to retract that prohibition.

“But if the Guru still forbids him, the disciple should just take shelter of Krishna and continue serving his Guru from a distance without abandoning him or behaving inimically toward him.

“If some instruction of Sri Guru is inconsistent with sastra, the disciple should leave his Guru’s association [and take association of a sastric Guru], and serve his diksa Guru only from a distance.

“But if the Guru is openly malicious, offensive or antagonistic toward other Vaisnavas, one should conclude that the Guru is not a Vaisnava and abandon him immediately because he has no Vaisnava bhava or attitude [humility and respecting all]. One should then take shelter of a proper Guru and perform bhajana.” (Guru Tattva)

UNIQUE REASON FOR REJECTING GURU:

  1. Not satisfied with Guru.

This most amazing point is discussed in Bhakti Sandarbha (anu. 207.1-4).

First Sri Jiva Goswamipada condemns the practice of rejecting the Guru (guru-tyaga) by quoting Brahma Vaivarta Purana:

bodhaḥ- kaluṣitas- tena -daurātmyaṁ -prakaṭī-kṛtam
gurur- yena –parityaktas- tena -tyaktaḥ- purā- hariḥ

“One who abandons his/her Guru has already rejected Sri Hari. One’s intelligence is polluted and one has acted duplicitously.”

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: Yes! You Can Reject Guru

Then Sri Jiva says, “However, there is another spiritual rule or exception (apavada -vacana) to this rejection rule (tyāga-niṣedhāt) of Brahma Vaivarta Purana, which is this:

tad-aparitoṣeṇāpy- anyo- guruḥ -kriyate
tato- aneka-guru-karaṇe- pūrva-tyāga eva siddhaḥ
cāpavāda-vacana

Sri Jiva Goswami says, “However, if one is dissatisfied (aparitoṣeṇā) with the diksa Guru, one may take diksa from another Guru (anyo -guruh -kriyate). In taking other Gurus (aneka- guru -karane), the rejection of the former Guru is completed (purva- tyaga- eva -siddha).”

Here the implied meaning is that upon taking a new diksa, then the prior diksa and relationship with a particular Guru are automatically cancelled. Because one is following the orders of sastra, one will not incur any aparadha, offense or negative reaction.

The key word Sri Jiva uses here is aparitosena which means “dissatisfied or displeased with” one’s Guru. However, one must understand that rejecting a Guru is a serious matter. It should only be done after deep deliberation and personal realization, discussion with learned devotees, and meeting with one’s Guru if possible.

Here Sri Jiva Goswami gives what seems like a simple, innocent reason for leaving one’s Guru; just plain dissatisfaction. For many different reasons, excluding the serious one’s mentioned above, a disciple may just not feel happy about one’s Guru, spiritual progress, future prospects, and life in general in relation with a particular Guru.

If that’s so, then it’s time to move on and accept another Guru. In this regard, one Guru commented after giving diksa to two unsatisfied disciples of another Guru, “If it’s not working out—it is not working out. You just have to move on to make spiritual progress.”

Here is additional scriptural evidence for renouncing the Guru.

HARI BHAKTI VILASA

In Hari Bhakti Vilasa, Sri Sanatana Goswami says a disciple may reject a Guru who:

  1. Is unqualified due to poor sastric knowledge, and thus incapable of answering a disciple’s questions on sastra which leaves the disciple doubtful and unsatisfied.

KRISHNA BHAJANAMRITA

In Krishna Bhajanamrita (v. 17-18), Sri Narahari Sarakara Thakura (an eternal associate of Gaura-Govinda), says a disciple may reject a Guru who:

  1. Is ignorant about the position of Krishna and has misconceptions about the truth.
  2. Does not accept Krishna’s pastimes, imitates Krishna or calls himself God.

JAIVA DHARMA

In Hari-nama Cintamani (chapter 6), and Jaiva Dharma (chapter 20), Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura says a disciple can reject a Guru who:

  1. Opposes Vaiṣṇava philosophy and practice.
  2. Was prematurely accepted without careful examination. And as a result, the disciple sees that all his sadhana efforts are not producing the desired result.

According to sastra, a disciple may reject a Guru who meets the above criterion without seeking his permission or agreement. Or the Guru and disciple may also part company by mutual consent and thus dissolve their relationship.

A genuine Guru always desires the best for his disciple, and thus he will not block or prevent the disciple’s spiritual progress. But rather Sri Guru will compassionately bless the disciple in his/her forward march to the lotus feet of Radha Govinda Yugala.

Conclusion: The Vedas describe that for various good reasons, including personal dissatisfaction, disciples have been rejecting their Gurus for millions of years! The Puranas, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sandarbhas and Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas discuss the unfortunate condition wherein a disciple must abandon, leave or reject a Guru.

The Bhagavatam Eight Canto describes how Bali Maharaja rejected his Guru, Shukracarya, because Guruji preached against Sri Vishnu in the form of Vamanadeva. Thus rejecting the Guru is not a new practice. Sometimes it must be done in order to save one’s spiritual life. Again, I repeat this is a grave matter not to be taken lightly.

Deep thought, sastric study, counsel of the wise, personal realization, and intense prayers to Sri Krishna will give the guidance and direction a sincere devotee needs to carry on in progressive, happy, and successful Krishna consciousness.

Sad Guru ki jai! Happy, fulfilled and enlivened disciples ki jai! Guru bhakti ki jai! Sastra praman ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Unfortunately, many disciples take their Gurus for granted and minimize their position or importance. Occasionally, disciples even fall prey to the saying “familiarity breeds contempt” which means by being too close to one, another may become casual, hateful or offensive.

Because forgetfulness is all pervasive in this age of Kali, everyone is subject to periods of laxity, complacency and forgetfulness in his/her relationship with their beloved, all-merciful Sri Guru.

By studying and praying to realize the teachings below, disciples will clarify, refine and renew their perception of their Gurus. Assimilating this shastric knowledge will help a disciple to always remember who the Guru is, what he/she represents, what Guru has given and is continuing to give, and what beautiful destination and human perfection Guruji is taking me to.

In Bhakti Sandarbha (anu.237) Sri Jiva Goswamipada quotes many shastras to describe the identity and position of the spiritual master, Sri Guru.

  1. Sri Narada Muni said, “By various different means and practices one can conquer lust, anger, greed, fear, pride, attachment to sense gratification, anxiety, physical weakness and suffering, sleep, and the samsara bondage of three modes. However, ALL THESE CAN BE EASLIY AND QUICKLY CONQURED BY GURU BHAKTI. (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.25)
  2. In Vamana Kalpa, Sri Brahmaji said,

yo mantraù sa Guruù sakshad, yo Guruù sa hariù svayam
Gurur yasya bhavet tushtas, tasya tuñöo hariù svayam

“The diksha mantra is identical to the Guru and the Guru is identical to Sri Hari Himself. There is no difference whatsoever between mantra, Guru and Hari. If Guru is satisfied then Sri Hari is automatically satisfied.”

  1. “If Bhagavan Sri Krishna is angry, the Guru can save one. If Guru is angry, no one can save one. Therefore with all effort one should please the Guru.” (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 4.36)
  2. Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “First one should worship Guru and then worship Me. Doing this brings all results and neglecting this brings failure.” (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 4.344)
  3. Narada Pancharatra: “A Vaisnava is one who worships Sri Guru with body, mind and words.”
  4. Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “O Vipra Sudama! I, who am the Soul of all beings, am not as satisfied by puja and ritual worship, brahminical initiation, penances or self-discipline as I am by faithful service rendered to one’s Guru.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.80.34)

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

“Here Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, ‘Without service to Sri Guru, all other actions are useless. Sri Guru is directly My form because I have entered into him and he is My best devotee.’”

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika:

Krishna said, “Therefore the Guru who teaches about Me is most worthy of being faithfully served.”

  1. In Padma Purana, Sri Devahuti said:

bhaktir yatha harau me’sti tad variñtha gurau yadi
mamasti tena satyena sandarshayatu me harih

“If I have more devotion to Guru than Hari, then Sri Hari will give me His darshana through this truth.” [“tad variñtha” means Guru bhakti is more glorious than Hari bhakti.]

  1. A very popular chant in India from Garga Samhita (4.1.13):

gurur brahma gurur visnur, guru devo maheshvarah
guruh sakshat param brahma, tasmai sri guruave namah

GURU IS DIRECTLY: Brahma, Visnu, Shiva, and Parambrahman. I offer respects to Guru.

THE GURU GITA:

The Guru Gita from Skanda Purana contains Shankara Mahadeva Shivaji’s perfect and uplifting lessons on the truth of Guru. Here is a sampling of some of the wonderfully inspiring and illuminating verses:

Sri Shivaji said, “O Parvati! One should meditate on his/her Guru at all times, just as a devoted wife thinks only of her husband. (30) “Gu” means darkness and “Ru” means the remover of the darkness i.e. ignorance. Thus the teacher who removes the darkness of ignorance is Guru. (34)

Those who are never serve Sri Guru will never be freed from the samsara chakra. (53) Without Guru’s infinite grace, one will not attain peace of mind even after studying millions of scriptures. (56) Whoever vilifies the Guru goes to hell and stays there as long as the sun and moon shine. (58)

One who speaks to the Guru in rude or insulting manner is born as a demon in a jungle or in a waterless region. (61) There is no happiness in Vedas and Shastras, not even in mantras and tantras. In this world, there is no happiness except in the Guru’s Grace. (89)

By the glory of Guru Diksha, all your actions bear fruit. By the attainment of a Guru one attains everything. One without a Guru is mere fool. (102)

To the person who has the Guru Mantra on his tongue, all acts become fruitful but not for others. By the power of initiation disciples attains success in all actions. (133)

Wherever the Guru lives all the devatas live too, and move about the Guru’s residence [kutir or ashram]. (135) O Devi, by the mere satisfaction of the Guru, all sacrifices, austerities, penances, and rites practiced in crores of births, in crores of Kalpas (world cycles), become fruitful. (149)

O Parvati, learning, wealth, strength, good fortune, all of these are of no use if one does not have the grace of the Guru. One falls down. (151)

One who has Guru bhakti, blessed is his father, mother, family and dynasty. (152) I repeat this thrice with force that there is nothing greater than the Guru. (154) O Parvati, one becomes free from the cycle of birth and death by pleasing the Guru. (157)

Guru bhakti is the greatest kind of pilgrimage, whereas all other yatras are worthless. All places of pilgrimage are present, O Devi, at the sacred holy feet of the Guru. (159)

Because they give different benefits, there are many types of Gurus, such as the Suchaka, Vachaka, Bodhaka, Vihita, and Karanakhya Gurus. The supreme Guru however is the PARAMA GURU—the expert in removing all types of doubts and the fear of birth and death. One gets a PARAMA GURU after acquiring heaps of punya over many births. If one has such a Guru, one will never be bound in Samsara and become liberated forever. By all means and efforts, one should serve the Parama Guru. (165-174)

By the devotion practiced towards the Guru, one attains liberation even without knowledge. For those who practice unflinching devotion to the Guru, no other sadhana is required. (212) Thus ends the Guru Gita spoken by Sri Shivaji to Srimati Parvati Devi.

Mahadeva Sri Shivaji ki jai!

Srila Prabhupada:

“Our life will be successful when we strictly follow Guru and Krishna. Guru means Krishna—Krishna means Guru. Not Mäyäväda [that Guru IS Krishna], but Guru means one who follows Krishna. So Guru is directly God, säkñäd-hari. Every shastra says the Guru is God, Krishna. Guru is servant-God and Krishna is master-God. When a person is accepted by both the Gods, then his life is success.” (folio 760731R1.NMR)

Nitya Guru smarana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

This article is a response to a devotee wanting to make a Russian translation of my original January 2017 MSO post titled “Reject Guru? My original post follows this article.

First of all, everyone must clearly understand that rejecting the DIKSHA Guru is a very, very rare and serious action. It should never be done whimsically or fancifully just because you don’t like him or he’s not a “Big Devotee”.

Rejecting a diksha Guru is a very serious decision, only to be taken after deep shastric understanding of what type of Guru should be rejected; discussing with sadhus, and speaking directly to one’s diksha Guru about the proposed rejection, and why you feel so.

I repeat: “This is a most serious decision!”

If such a decision i.e. to reject one’s Guru is taken prematurely or without sufficent knowledge or understanding of one’s guru disciple relationship, the disciple may destroy his/her spiritual life!

DIRE RESULT OF REJECTING GURU

Sri Sanatana Goswami says in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (4.363-365 Bhumipati trans.)

“Those who reject an authorized spiritual master who comes in disciplic succession are so condemned that even carnivorous animals [i.e. eagles, vultures, dogs, fox, wolves, etc.] will not eat their flesh. If Guru rejects a disciple, Sri Hari automatically rejects him too.

“The disciple’s intelligence then becomes polluted and he/she starts showing great arrogance. Such disciples are the lowest among mankind, if after formally accepting a Guru they reject him out of illusion. Such disciples will rot in hell for millions of kalpas!”

Please deeply consider that if the Guru is well behaved, following all religious principles; inititated by a proper Guru; and teaching the correct Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta—THEN ONE SHOULD NEVER LEAVE THAT DIKSHA GURU. Diksa Guru means the Guru who gives gopal mantra or kama gayatri to a disciple, which are the diksha mantras for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

It may be that one’s diksha Guru APPEARS LIKE a very simple person, even though he is a true Krishna devotee, and a pure, serious and dedicated disciple of his Guru and personal lineage. Sri Guru may not be a big scholar, a charismatic personality, a great kirtana leader or lecturer, or a shastra nipuna, who knows all the minute details of each tattva or spiritual truth.

But nevertheless, Guru is Guru and thus even the “simple” Guru is a real Guru. Therefore, all the sweet mercy and blessings of the samasti guru, Adi Guru Sri Krishna will flow through him FULLY AND COMPLETELY to the surrendered disciple who is loyal, faithful and sincerely dedicated to serving Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the beautiful Vaisnavas.

VIEW OF SRI GURU

Sri Sanatana Goswami says, (Hari Bhakti Vilasa (4.369-371 mmgd trans.):

“If, due to illusion about one’s Guru (gurum moha), a disciple considers that the Guru is an ordinary human being and thus chastises him, then such a disciple must take the body of a pig for one hundred births, shukara bhavatyeva tesham janma shateshvapi).

“Without a doubt, a foolish disciple, who rejects his/her diksha Guru (guru drohino mudhah), will constantly perform sinful activities (satatam papa karinah), and all their accumulated piety will transform into sin (teshanca yavat sukrtam dushkrttam syanna samshayah).”

“Therefore, an intelligent disciple, considering that his/her Guru is nondifferent from Bhagavan Sri Krishna, (krishna abhavena buddhiman), should worship Sri Guru at least three times a day and offer dandavat pranams.”

Now we present our previous post from March 2017 on the subject of rejecting one’s Guru:

Find Reject Guru article below:

 

 

Reject Guru?

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

#Guru #SpiritualMaster #Bhakti #Disciple #RejectingGuru

Sometimes a disciple may have to reject his/her Guru, move on and take another Guru.

Regarding this principle, I have counseled many sincere, pure-hearted Krishna bhaktas who feel unhappy, frustrated, dissatisfied, and spiritually suffocated in their Guru-Shishya relationships.

They are confused and stuck; not knowing how to get out or improve their spiritual lives. Hopefully, the light of the sastric knowledge provided herein will help such surrendered souls find their true mentor—the sad guru—and again smile with the satisfaction produced from serving and loving a real spiritual teacher.

Citing various Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures, this article will give eleven reasons for rejecting a Guru and taking another.

BHAKTI SANDARBHA

Quoting from Mahabharata (5.178.24) and Narada Pancharatra (1.10.20) in Bhakti Sandarbha (anu. 238), Sri Jiva Goswami says a disciple can reject a Guru (parityago vidhiyate) who:

  1. Gives irrational guidance ie. speaks against the conclusions of Srimad Bhagavatam and other Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures.
  2. Is proud
  3. Cannot explain the difference between right and wrong i.e. gives improper guidance.
  4. Starts following a wrong path (utpatha-pratipannasya) due to bad association or the Guru becomes addicted to sinful life.
  5. Is envious or antagonistic toward other Vaisnavas (vaishnava-vidveshi cet parityajya, BS anu. 238)

Tika Bhakti Sandarbha 238:

“If due to envy, a Guru forbids his disciple to associate with or serve an advanced devotee, the disciple should humbly bow and ask the Guru to retract that prohibition.

“But if the Guru still forbids him, the disciple should just take shelter of Krishna and continue serving his Guru from a distance without abandoning him or behaving inimically toward him.

“If some instruction of Sri Guru is inconsistent with sastra, the disciple should leave his Guru’s association [and take association of a sastric Guru], and serve his diksha Guru only from a distance.

“If the Guru slanders or becomes hostile toward Vaisnavas, he is not qualified to be a Guru and should be abandoned immediately.

“A Guru attached to sense enjoyment, ignorant of right and wrong and deviated from the bhakti marga should be abandoned because he is not a Vaisnava.” (Guru Tattva Vijnana, Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)

UNIQUE REASON FOR REJECTING GURU:

Introduction: Please note****

We are fully aware that different Sanskrit translators and wisdom teachers give different translations and explanations of the following verse from Bhakti Sandarbha. The following translation and explanation is based on Shri Kushakratah Dasji’s translation of Bhakti Sandarbha published by the Krishna Institute.

My personal teachers also agree with this translation, so we offer it for your understanding. Jai Jai Sri Sri Radha Govindaji!

  1. Not satisfied with Guru.

This most amazing point is discussed by Sri Jiva Goswami in Bhakti Sandarbha (anu. 207.1-4). First Sri Jiva says one cannot reject his diksha Guru. And then he says, ‘Well, Yes you can reject your Guru in this particular circumstance’:

Sri Jiva Goswami said, “One may accept only one diksha Guru as described in (SB 11.3.48). The disciple is not allowed to reject his diksha Guru. However, IF ONE’S GURU IS NOT SATISFACTORY, ONE SHOULD REJECT HIM AND ACCEPT ANOTHER GURU, tad-aparitoshenapy anyo guruh kriyate tat aneka guru karane purva-tyaga eva siddhah. In this way one may reject many (aneka) unsatisfactory spiritual masters.”

The key word here is apari toshen which means “dissatisfied or displeased with one’s Guru.” However, one must understand that rejecting a Guru is an ultra serious matter. It should only be done after deep deliberation and personal realization, discussion with learned devotees, and meeting with one’s Guru if possible.

Here Sri Jiva Goswami gives what seems like a simple, innocent reason for leaving one’s Guru; just plain dissatisfaction. For many different reasons, excluding the serious one’s mentioned above, a disciple may just not feel happy about his Guru, his spiritual progress, future prospects, and his life in general in relation with a particular Guru.

If that’s so, then it’s time to move on and accept another Guru. Acharyas say that when one receives a new diksha from another Guru, then the prior Guru’s diksha and relationship are automatically cancelled without incurring any aparadha, offense or negative reaction.

In this regard, one Guru commented after giving diksa to two unsatisfied disciples of a another Guru, “If it’s not working out—it is not working out. You just have to move on to make spiritual progress.”

More Pramana on Rejecting Guru

HARI BHAKTI VILASA (anu. 238),

Here Sri Sanatana Goswamipada says a disciple may reject a diksha Guru who:

  1. “Is envious of real Vaisnavas, and thus prevents the disciple from honoring advanced Krishna bhaktas. Is unqualified due to poor shastric knowledge, and thus speaks wrongly not in accordance with Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta.” [mgd: This means the Guru can’t answer the spiritual queries of a disciple, and thus the disciple remains doubtful and unsatisfied.

KRISHNA BHAJANAMRITA

In Krishna Bhajanamrita (v. 17-18), Sri Narahari Sarakara Thakura (an eternal associate of Gaura-Govinda), says a disciple may reject a Guru who:

  1. Is ignorant about the position of Krishna and has misconceptions about the truth.
  2. Does not accept Krishna’s pastimes, imitates Krishna or calls himself God.

JAIVA DHARMA

In Jaiva Dharma (chapter 20), Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura says a disciple can reject a Guru who:

  1. Opposes Vaiṣṇava philosophy and practice.
  2. Was prematurely accepted without careful examination. And as a result, the disciple sees that all his sadhana efforts are not producing the desired result.

According to sastra, a disciple may reject a Guru who meets the above criterion without seeking his permission or agreement. The Guru and disciple may also part company by mutual consent and thus dissolve their relationship.

A genuine Guru always desires the best for his disciple, and thus he will not block or prevent the disciple’s spiritual progress. But rather Sri Guru will compassionately bless the disciple in his/her forward march to the lotus feet of Radha Govinda Yugala.

CONCLUSION

The Vedas describe that for various good reasons, including personal dissatisfaction, disciples have been rejecting their Gurus for millions of years! The Puranas, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sandarbhas and Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas discuss the unfortunate condition wherein a disciple must abandon, leave or reject a Guru.

The Bhagavatam Eight Canto describes how Bali Maharaja rejected his Guru, Shukracarya, because Guruji preached against Sri Vishnu in the form of Vamanadeva.  Thus rejecting the Guru is not a new practice. Sometimes it must be done in order to save one’s spiritual life. Again, I repeat this is a grave matter not to be taken lightly.

It is rightly said that, “Fools Rush In Where Angels Dare Not”.

Thus, any disciple contemplating rejecting his/her  diksha Guru, must only do so after deep thought, sastric study, counsel of the wise and personal realization.

Finally, one must offer intense prayers to his beloved Thakurajis. Surely, the all merciful Radha Govinda ji will give the strength, crystal-clear guidance and direction a sincere devotee needs to carry on in progressive, happy, and successful Krishna consciousness.

Sad Guru ki jai! Happy, fulfilled and enlivened disciples ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!