Devotee: Paramātmā is comparable to guru in some ways?
Śrīla Gour Govinda Swami: Paramātmā is the manifestation of guru and guru is the manifestation of Paramātmā. Katha Upaniṣad says:
nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labyas tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām
The Supreme Self can never be known by any amount of argument, reasoning, intelligence, or by much hearing. To those whom He chooses, however, He may reveal His personal form. (Katha Upaniṣad 1.2.23)
If someone is crying for Kṛṣṇa, Paramātmā knows. Then Paramātmā assumes a body and appears. When He appears externally He is guru. “Tanū” means body. Vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām, He assumes a body and is known as caitya-guru. Therefore I say, cry, cry, cry! Paramātmā will know, “Now he is crying for Me.” In this regard, sādhu-saṅga is most important and that means sādhu in the true sense, not a hypocrite sādhu, not a bogus sādhu—a real sādhu. “Guru ” means heavy, not laghu. These words have their meanings and you should understand them. If you really meet guru then your association with laghus will be bitter. That is a most important thing. That is the test who is guru.
“Laghu” means material things. You are associating with material poets, material politicians, materially wealthy persons, and materially learned persons. They are laghus. When you associate with a sādhu and get his kṛpā then automatically the taste will be bitter and you will no longer like to associate with laghus. You should associate with a real sādhu. Sādhu-kṛpā, the mercy of sādhu, is powerful. It is a most important thing. It is said, vaiṣṇava-kṛpāye tāre sarva-siddhi, if you can get the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava sādhu then you will achieve all perfection. However, it must be a real sādhu, a sādhu in the true sense of the term. Not a hypocrite or bogus sādhu or kali-celā! They are only posing like sādhu. If a genuine sādhu casts his merciful glance on you, then you have it! Sādhu-saṅga is most important, most important, most important. One should develop greed for such a type of sādhu-saṅga. Don’t resist such greed. You are greedy for material accumulations. That is your enemy. That will lead you to hell. Now become greedy for this, to have such sādhu-saṅga. “How can I get it, how can I get it?” Develop this greed. It should not be resisted. It is the only thing needed.
Darśana with His Divine Grace Śrīla Gour Govinda Swami the 7th November 1990 Sydney Australia. Printed in Paripraśna, The Process of Inquiry.