Genuine Sadhu-Sanga

Genuine Sādhu-saṅga


Devotee: Paramātmā is comparable to guru in some ways?

Śla Gour Govinda Swami: Paramātmā is the manifestation of guru and guru is the manifestation of Paramātmā. Katha Upaniad says:


yam ātmā pravacanena labhyo
na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
yam evaia vṛṇute tena labyas
tasyaia ātmā vivṛṇute tanū 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 Upaniad 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 tanū 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-saga 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 k 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-k, the mercy of sādhu, is powerful. It is a most important thing. It is said, vaiṣṇava-kye 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-saga is most important, most important, most important. One should develop greed for such a type of sādhu-saga. 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-saga. “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. 

18 Responses to Genuine Sadhu-Sanga

  1. Goloka Vrndavana Dasa May 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    100% Sadhu Means He Who Sees Krishna 100%

    October 30, 2010 in Sadhu-sanga, Srila Gour Govinda Swami | Tags: Gour Govinda Swami, Krishna, religion, Religion and Spirituality, Sadhu

    By His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami Gurudeva:

    If you remain in sadhu-sanga – sadhu means, sadhu in the true sense. Yadi haya sadhu janara sanga. Sadhu means he who sees Krishna everywhere and he who has Krishna and who has bound up Krishna in his heart with the rope of love, he is a sadhu. His heart bleeds seeing the suffering of the jivas and he goes out because he has life – prana ache tanra se-hetu pracara. Krishna is life, the sadhu has life because he has bound up Krishna in his heart. And the sadhu thinks; the jiva is suffering, he is dying every moment because he has no prana – no life. Let me give prana to him, that is Krishna consciousness, then the jiva will become a real survivor. Then that sadhu goes out and preaches and gives Krishna consciousness to the jivas. He is a preacher, who sees Krishna and sees Krishna’s relationship with Krishna’s jiva.

    One should develop greed for this sadhu-jana, this association of sat-sadhu, premi-bhakta. The sadhu should be a real sadhu, a complete sadhu, a cent percent sadhu, not a partial sadhu, a cent percent sadhu.

    hari he!

    tomara ye suddha-bhakta tomate se anurakta

    bhukti mukti tuccha kari’ jane

    bareka dekhite tava cid-akara-sri-vaibhava

    trna bali’ anya sukha mane

    se saba bhaktera sange lila kara nana-range

    viraha sahite nahi para

    krpa kari’ akincane dekhao’ mahatma-gane

    sadhu vina gati nahi ara

    se bhakta-carana-dhana kabe pa’ba darsana

    sodhiba amara dusta mana

    e bhaktivinoda bhane krpa ha’be yata-ksane

    mahatmara ha’be darsana

    The sat-sadhu, the mahatma always sees the all beautiful form of Syamasundara, who is the transcendental cupid in Vrndavana; who has such transcendental beauty and opulence. Therefore bhukti-sukha – happiness derived from material enjoyment; mukti-sukha – happiness derived from liberation – brahmananda; is insignificant for him, he thinks that it is more insignificant than the blade of grass lying in the street.

    O Lord Hari, You are always surrounded with suddha-bhaktas, premi-bhaktas. You always manifest Your lilas with these bhaktas and You cannot tolerante the separation from them because they are so dear to You.

    Please, shower Your mercy on me, so that I may be able to see these mahatmas, I am a pauper in this material world, otherwise without sadhu-sanga, without the darsana of sat-sadhus, I have no destination at all.

    When will that day come to me? When will good fortune come to me and I will have the darsana of the lotus feet of a premi-bhakta. Then and only then will my stupid, rascal, mad mind be controlled and it will be purified. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said, «When I have attained this mercy, then I will be able to see a sadhu and mahatma, otherwise I cannot».

    kiba se karite pare kama-krodha sadhakere

    yadi haya sadhu-janera-sanga

    If someone has the association of a sat-sadhu, what will his enemies do? They will have no power, they cannot act inimically, they will turn into his friends.

    krodhe va na kare kiba krodha-tyaga sada diba

    lobha moha ei ta kathana

    chaya ripu sada hina kariba manera adhina

    krsnacandra kariya smarana

    I shall not become angry, I shall renounce anger, I shall become free from my six enemies, such as greed and bewilderment. I shall control my mind, and always remember Lord Krsnacandra.

    All your enemies will leave you. If you always keep Krishna in your mind, completely absorbed in the thought of Krishna, and not forgetting Krishna even for a moment, then all of these enemies are subdued. Otherwise your enemies can never be subdued.

    Apani palabe saba suniya govinda rava

    simha-rava yena kari-gana

    sakala vipatti yabe mahananda sukha pabe

    yara haya ekanta bhajana

    When lust and his friends hear the word ‘Govinda’ they immediately begin to flee, as a herd of elephants flees when it hears a lion’s roar. If one engages in single pointed devotional service to Lord Krishna, then the worshipper attains transcendental bliss, and all kinds of calamities flee from him.

    This is Narottama-dasa Thakura‘s song; one who is completely absorbed in thought of Krishna, such a premi-bhakta – krsna-premi-bhakta, with no other thought in his mind, he has all the six enemies, kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya, very easily subdued. They all turn into his friens. He knows how to utilise these enemies. Consequently such a bhakta, a pure devotee, never becomes angry.

    Extract from the book: Sri Guru Pada Padma, The Lotus Feet of The Spiritual Master.

    by His Divine Grace Srila Acarya Thakura Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja Gurudeva!

  2. Goloka Vrndavana Dasa May 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    In Nectar of Devotion Srila Prabhupada explains:

    Hear SB From the Mouth of Person Bhagavatam

    Nectar of Devotion P105 ‘Recitation of Srimad Bhagavatam Among Devotees’

    “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu reccomended that one learn Srimad Bhagavatam from
    the mouth of the self realised person called bhagavatam. Bhagavata means ‘in
    relationship with the Personality of Godhead [Bhagavan].’ So the devotee is
    sometimes called bhagavatam, and the book which is in relationship with
    devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also called
    Bhagavatam. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu reccomended that, in order to relish the
    real taste of Srimad Bhagavatam, one should take instruction from the person

  3. Nimai Pandit dasa May 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    It is a fact that Gurudeva said read books etc. etc. etc. However the main point of Gurudeva’s preaching on the topic of sadhu-sangha is a living sadhu.
    Meet a living sadhu.
    That was the main point of Gurudeva’s teaching on this matter.
    What about this quote from Srila Prabhupada:

    “…The two bhagavatas. You study SrImad-Bhagavatam from living bhagavata. So if one does not take or does not surrender unto the living bhagavata, he cannot understand Srimad-Bhagavatam…”

    Srila Prabhupada Lecture Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23 in L.A. June 20th 1972

    Please see new article about to be posted on our website


  4. Pradyumna Das May 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    This is most wonderful to see that, the true followers of a most exalted mahabhagavata Acarya, Gourapriaya-jana; discussing about his most divine and wonderful teachings. We are blessed by that. Thank you all so much. Please continue. Hare Krishna.

    • Raghava Pandit das May 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      I agree with you Pradyumna prabhu ji,

      ys Raghava

  5. Goloka Vrndavana Dasa May 8, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    The Greed(Lobha)for More Sadhu Sanga

    From Srila Gurudeva’s Embankment of Separation, The Greed of the Lord:

    “Here this word lobha, greed, is very, very significant. The Lord has greed. It is quite natural that we have greed. We are greedy persons, materially greedy. This greed of the material world is condemned, it is considered as one of the enemies. In the 16th chapter, 21st verse of Sri Bhagavad-gita you’ll find Lord Krsna has said:

    tir-vidham narakasyedam
    dvaram nasanam atmanah
    kamah krodhas tatha lobhas
    tasmad etat trayam tyajey

    Lord Krsna says, give up these three, kama, krodha, lobha – lust, anger and greed. If you become influenced or affected by these three then you will open your door towards hell, so give up these things. This lobha (greed) is very bad. Those persons who are materially greedy, definitely they suffer. For example, one very small story is there. A greedy boy was in his house when his mother put some nice berries into an earthen pot, like a water pot that has a very narrow opening. The boy developed greed to get some of those berries so he put his hand into the pot and grasped a handful of those berries. When he tried to get his hand out of the pot, it got caught because the opening was so narrow and caused some pain as he pulled but it wouldn’t come out so he was crying. This is suffering out of greed. Though he’s suffering, he’s not allowing any berries to get out. A simple story showing the consequence of greed is suffering. Therefore Bhagavan Sri Krsna in Sri Bhagavad Gita says to give up this greed.

    But this greed can be utilised in Sri Krsna’s service. This word lobha (greed) is a very ancient word, it is not a modern word. The seed of this greed is also there in Bhagavan and in Bhakta also. So in respect of Bhagavat bhakta, the devotee of the Lord will say, lobha sadhu sange hari katha. How can you utilise this greed? Develop this greed to have more and more sadhu sanga, association of sadhus and hear more and more Sri Krsna katha. Develop this greed, This is very nice greed, this is spiritual greed, transcendental greed. One should not give up this greed. One should develop this greed more and more. The more you develop this greed the more you get spiritual relishment and spiritual advancement. One who is not greedy he cannot make advancement in the spiritual path in this respect. But material greed should be given up, whereas spiritual greed should be developed. Again it is said:

    krsna bhakti rasa bhabita matih
    kriyanam jadi kutopi labhyate
    tatra laulyam api mulyame-kalam

    Laulya means ‘lobha’ (greed). That means from this verse you can understand how the seed of greed is there. The purport is that if you have such spiritual greed you can achieve sri krsna-bhakti-rasa, mellow of sri krsna-bhakti, otherwise if you are devoid of this greed you cannot have it, cannot achieve it. Sadhu sange hari katha. One should develop this greed of having more and more sadhu-sanga and hearing more and more hari-kirtan, hari-katha, than you will make advancement in bhajan-sadhan. Materialistic people don’t know the use of this greed, they abuse it, utilising it for material enjoyment, material possessions, they suffer.”

  6. Murali Krsna Swami May 8, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Don’t worry my brother Jagadisha. We love you and that is why we are trying to help you.

    • Murali Krsna Swami May 8, 2012 at 6:18 am #

      Seriously……I have also heard Srila Gurudeva say many times that, “Association with a sadhu means to hear from him”.

      Of course we have to constantly pray to Sri Guru and Gauranga for the, “right of proper hearing”. Mercy is definitely required to properly hear and we have to depend on that mercy and cry for it.

      SB 3.22.7 Purport: Manu said that since he was advised and instructed by Kardama Muni, he was very much favored. He considered himself lucky to receive the message by aural reception. It is especially mentioned here that one should be very inquisitive to hear with open ears from the authorized source of the bona fide spiritual master. How is one to receive? One should receive the transcendental message by aural reception. The word karna-randhraih means “through the holes of the ears.” The favor of the spiritual master is not received through any other part of the body but the ears.

  7. JAGADISH PANDIT DAS May 8, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Hare krsna yes our gurudeva is an expansion of paramatma and a living, walking sukadeva goswami but when the question of sadhu- sanga arises . I have heard many times .what is sadhu – sanga ?????? The answer i have herad from our most glorious sril gurudeva is ” when the qualities of the sadhu come to our heart ,that is sadhu-sanga” . Gurudeva told ” the sadhu loves one and all ” gurudeva would sometime tell ” who has really come for sadhu-saga ”
    gurudeva told ” in kali yuga to find a sad- guru is very rare, but more rare is to find a sad- sisya ” so it seems very few have done sadhu-sanga ,. In the true sense because those that did true sadhu-sanga . Would have become true sadhu,s
    Brother jagadish pandit das

  8. Murali Krsna Swami May 8, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    We served and tried to please Srila Prabhupada and by the mercy of Krsna and His dear devotee, we were sent a pure devotee spiritual master in the form of Srila Gurudeva Gour Govinda Swami.

    And with Srila Gurudeva’s mercy, we could then begin to really understand what Srila Prabhupada has said, in tattva.

    My honest realization is that for years I was reading and hearing Srila Prabhupada’s books and tapes (before hearing directly from the lotus mouth of Srila Gurudeva) and what I thought I understood, was for the most part, very theoretical and greatly misunderstood. (apara vicara)

    Here are some nice additional quotes from Srila Prabhupada on this discussion;

    Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.24 — Chicago, July 8, 1975
    “Just hear the message of God.” “From whom?” San-mukharitam: “through the mouth of the devotees.” Not professional, not gramophone (Tape Record Machine) — through the mouth of, through the lips of real devotee… “You remain in your position. Simply you have to hear the message of Godhead, Krsna, through the realized saintly person.”

    Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.30 — Los Angeles, December 8, 1973
    So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita, then we must understand in the same way as the person who directly heard from. This is called parampara system. Suppose I have heard something from my spiritual master, so I speak to you the same thing. So this is parampara system. You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me. This is called parampara system. You cannot jump over to the superior guru, neglecting the next acarya, immediate next acarya.

    • Murali Krsna Swami May 8, 2012 at 5:43 am #

      Also I forgot this from Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura;

      “There have, however, already arisen serious misunderstandings regarding the proper interpretation of the life and teachings of Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda.

      Those who suppose they understand the meaning of his message without securing the guiding grace of the Acarya are disposed to unduly favour the methods of empiric study of his writings. There are persons who have got by heart almost everything that he wrote without being able to catch the least particle of his meaning. Such study cannot benefit those who are not prepared to act up to the
      instructions lucidly conveyed by his words.

      There is no honest chance of missing the warnings of Thakura Bhaktivinoda. Those, therefore, who are misled by the perusal of his writings are led astray by their own obstinate perversity in sticking to the empiric course which they prefer to cherish against his explicit warnings. Let these unfortunate persons look more carefully into their own hearts for the cause of their misfortunes.

      The personal service of the pure devotee is essential for understanding the spiritual meaning of the words of Thakura Bhaktivinoda….The present Editor has all along felt it his paramount duty to try to clear up the meaning of the life and teachings of Thakura Bhaktivinoda by the method of submissive listening to the Transcendental Sound from the lips of the pure devotee.

    • Nimai Pandit dasa May 8, 2012 at 7:35 am #


      I have to agree, in regards to prior to meeting our most illustrious Gurudeva, His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle did not fall into place. I had read the SB ten times the lilamrta 10 times I read so many books. Heard so many give class [what to do]. However the pieces of the puzzle did not come together until we went to Bhubaneswar met Gurudeva and heard him speak then bang!!! It all began to fit by the speaking of a real bona fide sad-sadhu.
      I do not know if I did any real sadhu-sangha [as our godbrother Jagadish prabhu has quoted] however listening to and associating to our Gurudeva was the most amazing thing I had ever come across. It was totally amazing. Nothing can compare to it.
      Especially being in Gurudeva’s hut with him in private, what he said then was something else. Some amazing topics of discussion came up.
      Anyway, whether I did sadhu-sangha or not I heard from a bona-fide sadhu and that is the beginning, everything comes from that, first hear, and then see by hearing.
      If we could get those days back…!


    • Murali Krsna Swami May 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Also, Srila Gurudeva said to hear the recordings will remind us of what we directly heard from our Gurudeva.

  9. Madhavananda Das May 8, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Although Guru Maharaja is famous for emphasizing that we have to hear from a living person. Many times he also said that we should hear tapes and read the words of our gurudeva and ācāryas. A couple of examples:


    Devotee: But say somebody like me who is not very elevated, I am reading it in my home.

    Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, read.

    Devotee: So [by doing that] I’m hearing from Prabhupada. Is that correct?

    Gour Govinda Swami: Yes.

    Devotee: So I am getting that benefit?

    Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, definitely. Śāstra says. Anyhow hear, somehow hear. Prabhupada’s purports are here, Prabhupada’s tapes are here, all right hear. And if you are really crying in your heart nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible. They will make such arrangement. (Lecture in New Vrindavan 31 May 1993)

    Have full faith in sādhu, śāstra and guru and we must do our service. Some disturbance may come and it will come, this material plane at the same time Kali Yuga, it is very very horrible but once you have this firm determination, patience and should not deviate in any circumstance. Always pray to Lord Chaitanya and Guru, they’ll help you. We are very weak, yes, [but] caitya-guru is in our heart. He’ll give you inspiration and Krishna as Paramatma arranges that thing. One who is a sincere soul, one who is very eager to have it, He makes arrangements, He knows, ‘this soul wants this thing’, so He makes arrangements. Is there anything impossible for Krishna? It is impossible for us but nothing is impossible for Krishna. Our business is to always pray to Krishna ‘Just help me, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Guru Maharaja and you’ll get help. Have full faith in it, don’t be desperate. We should be very eager to get it and have association of such pure devotees, more advance than ourselves then you’ll benefit. Sādhu- saṅga means you’ll associate with such a person who is more advance than yourself then you’ll benefit otherwise no benefit will come. It may look impossible still nothing is impossible for Krishna, Krishna will make arrangement. Vāṇī, instructions are there. When nothing is available we should associate with it, instructions and books and with our sincere prayers we’ll reach Krishna the day will come when you meet such a person, it’s not impossible for Krishna, it is impossible for us. But we should be always praying, ‘Krishna please help me’ chanting this Hare Krishna that means the soul is crying Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Krishna’s śakti Radharani, Krishna, please engage me in Your service, I am fallen:

    ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
    kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya

    “OK, I’m your kiṅkara, your servant, but anyhow I’ve fallen into the depth of this ocean of nescience, please shower your mercy, take me as a particle of dust at your lotus feet’, crying, crying, soul’s crying by uttering this hari-nāma, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, soul is crying, chant in this way that the soul is crying and you’ll get it, miraculously, unexpectedly, but nothing is impossible for Krishna, it is impossible for us. Krishna wants that thing. Thank you very much. The only lacking is with us. (From a home program in Paris 1987)

  10. Murali Krsna Swami May 8, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    Yes, Srila Gurudeva is very wonderful and we should try our best to wonderfully follow his instructions and by serving in his mission. Then we deserve his wonderful mercy.

  11. Murali Krsna Swami May 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Srila Gurudeva stresses three times…..”Sādhu-saṅga is most important, most important, most important.” and that we should develop THIS greed for such association with sadhus, four times for emphasis;

    ” One should develop greed…..Don’t resist such greed….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.”

    Thank you for reminding us and emphasizing what to be greedy for and, that we should NOT resist this greed. And, that THIS greed is our ONLY need!…. Now we have to realize it by Sri Guru and Gauranga’s mercy and learn how to cry for it.

    Hare Krsna!

    • Nimai Pandit dasa May 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      How right you are Swami-ji.


      • Nimai Pandit dasa May 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

        I remember that Nruhari prabhu would always say that ‘Guru Maharaja is amazing prabhu, Guru Maharaja is amazing’.
        Well he was 100% correct and Guru Maharaja is still amazing.

        Everything Guru Maharaja did, said, whatever, was and still is amazing.

Dedicated to the Life and Teachings of Srila Gour Govinda Swami