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By Mahanidhi Swami

The word namaḥ is uttered by all disciples whenever they offer respects unto the lotus feet of their respective spiritual masters: om ajnana timirandhasya, jnan anjana shalakaya, chakshur unmilitam yena, tasmai sri guruve NAMAH.

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 up my worldly vanity and false ego. I renounce the false sense of being the supreme controller and enjoyer.”

The word namah means NA or saying no to MAH which means false ego. In other words, NAMAH means to annihilate the false identity, and fully surrender to the servitorship and control of God standing before you as Sri Guru.

Renouncing one’s pride or vanity is actually the primary and most important 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 the pride 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 starts engaging in the true worship and eternal service of his spiritual master.

To conclude, I invite every disciple to join me in the following prayer: “I pray that someday I can fall at Sri Guru’s lotus feet, and with the full backing of my dedicated heart, utter this phrase, ‘Dearest Gurudeva, please accept my most respectful and genuinely humble obeisances.’’’

(Excerpt from Tribute of Love by mahanidhi swami)

Srila Vyasadeva ki jai! Sri Gurudeva ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By Mahanidhi Swami

Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura describes how Caitanya Mahaprabhu instituted the first Vyasa-puga ceremony in 1509 a.d. through Sri Nityānanda Prabhu in Srivāsa Angana, Mayapura, West Bengal:

“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 Vyasadeva. By this Nityananda Prabhu established the real meaning of Vyasa-puja by worshiping the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Gauranga is the guru of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Therefore, the worship of Vyasadeva is actually the worship of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and Lord Gauranga in the form of the present acarya.

In the scriptures, Sri Krishna tells Uddhava that the acarya is the manifestation of Himself: “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 following edict from the Shruti: “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 Up. 6.23)

(Excerpt from Tribute of Love by mahanidhi swami)

Jagat Guru Bhagavan Sri Krishna ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By Mahanidhi Swami

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 and misery.

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).” Ahh…… 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 Vyasadeva, the compiler of all Vedic thought? And lastly why and how is Sri Guru worshiped in a ceremony commonly known as Vyasa-puja?

Since the Vedas contain all the knowledge and mantras one needs to achieve both material happiness and spiritual perfection, 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 a 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 books cannot speak personally to us.

God is transcendental sound and He must be heard. Therefore, the Vedic literature is called Shruti, which means 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 the disciple 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 mundane senses of the conditioned soul attached to material sense enjoyment. Personal submission to the living pure devotee is the key to spiritual perfection. The spiritual preceptor is the empowered representative of Srila Vyasadeva, 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? Why does one need a spiritual master?” Such statements 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.

(Excerpt from Tribute of Love by mahanidhi swami)

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By Mahanidhi Swami

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 and misery.

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).” Ahh…… 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 Vyasadeva, the compiler of all Vedic thought? And lastly why and how is Sri Guru worshiped in a ceremony commonly known as Vyasa-puja?

Since the Vedas contain all the knowledge and mantras one needs to achieve both material happiness and spiritual perfection, 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 a 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 books cannot speak personally to us.

God is transcendental sound and He must be heard. Therefore, the Vedic literature is called Shruti, which means 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 the disciple 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 mundane senses of the conditioned soul attached to material sense enjoyment. Personal submission to the living pure devotee is the key to spiritual perfection. The spiritual preceptor is the empowered representative of Srila Vyasadeva, 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? Why does one need a spiritual master?” Such statements 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.

(Excerpt from Tribute of Love by mahanidhi swami)

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!