Guru and Disciple Relation is Reciprocal

Guru and Disciple Relation is Reciprocal

Evening Darsan with Śrīla Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja the 20th November 1989, Bhubaneswar.
Sent in by Murali Kṛṣṇa Swami.

Śrīla Gour Govinda Swami: dīkṣā-guru has responsibility. It is said, if the disciple goes to hell, the guru has such responsibility that he has to go to hell to deliver his disciple. Therefore the disciple should be very cautious, “Why shall I drag my guru to hell?

He is so merciful to me. I was undergoing so many species of life, revolving in the cycle of birth and death. I was put in the dark well of material existence, which is compared to a deep dark well, gham andha-kūpam. He is so kind, so merciful, he is lifting me out of that dark well, bringing me to the light.

You are Imprisoned

Exerting, exerting, exerting, he is spending gallons, and gallons of spiritual blood. It is not an easy task to take one conditioned soul out of māyā’s fort, Durgā-devī’s fort. You see. You are imprisoned, baddha-jīva, a conditioned soul, imprisoned in jail, a prison house isn’t it? The material world is the prison house of Durgā-devī. You are imprisoned here.

He Has to Spend Gallons of Spiritual Blood

Gurudeva, the spiritual master is so kind that he is taking you out, “Let me deliver one soul from here, from this prison house.” For this act he has to exert, exert so much that he has to spend gallons and gallons of spiritual blood. You should understand this thing clearly.

It is Not One Sided

However, this is not a one sided act, this is reciprocal. Guru has come from the land of Kṛṣṇa. He is very dear to Kṛṣṇa, nikuñja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai. In Gurvaṣṭaka you chant this thing, isn’t it? He is so dear, as he has come from that land with a rope. Do you know what that rope is?

Devotee: No.

No Slackness

Śrīla Gour Govinda Swami: You don’t know? . . . (laughing) Do you know? That rope is kṛṣṇa-prema-bhakti-sūtra. Sūtra means rope. Kṛṣṇa-prema-bhakti is sūtra, the rope. One end of that rope is tied to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and the other end guru has in his hand. He comes down from that land to this material world and he puts that rope down into the deep dark well. You are there in the dark well and Gurudeva says, “You Mr X, catch hold of this rope very tightly. No slackness should be there. I’ll pull you up.” You understand? Your business is to catch hold of it very tightly, no slackness.

The Rope is

Strictly Following the Instructions of Sri Guru

This rope is strictly following the instructions of your guru. Then guru can pull you out. If there will be the slightest disobedience, slightest slackness, then you will fall down. Guru exerted so much. You made him exert so much, but you fell down. What a great shock you have given to your guru. Don’t you ever think of that? Can’t you think of it? You should be conscious of this, but you have no such consciousness. Do you understand me? Hah? So this is reciprocal, it is not one sided.

Śrīla Gurudeva Ki Jaya!


10 Responses to Guru and Disciple Relation is Reciprocal

  1. Puskaraksa das May 28, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    sravanam kirtanam visnoh
    smaranam pada-sevanam
    arcanam vandanam dasyam
    sakhyam atma-nivedanam

    iti pumsarpita visnau
    bhaktis cen nava-laksana
    kriyeta bhagavaty addha
    tan manye ‘dhitam uttamam

    Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. [SB 7.5.23-24]

    From Srila Prabhupada’s purport:
    “…/… After performing sacrifices, sometimes a person engaged in fruitive activity customarily offers the results to Viṣṇu. But here it is said, bhagavaty addhā: one must directly offer everything to Viṣṇu. This is called sannyāsa (not merely nyāsa). A tridaṇḍi-sannyāsī carries three daṇḍas, signifying kaya-mano-vākya — body, mind and words. All of these should be offered to Viṣṇu, and then one can begin devotional service. Fruitive workers first perform some pious activities and then formally or officially offer the results to Viṣṇu. The real devotee, however, first offers his surrender to Kṛṣṇa with his body, mind and words and then uses his body, mind and words for the service of Kṛṣṇa as Kṛṣṇa desires.

    Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura gives the following explanation in his Tathya. The word śravaṇa refers to giving aural reception to the holy name and descriptions of the Lord’s form, qualities, entourage and pastimes as explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and similar authorized scriptures. After aurally receiving such messages, one should memorize these vibrations and repeat them (kīrtanam). Smaraṇam means trying to understand more and more about the Supreme Lord, and pāda-sevanam means engaging oneself in serving the lotus feet of the Lord according to the time and circumstances. Arcanam means worshiping Lord Viṣṇu as one does in the temple, and vandanam means offering respectful obeisances. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Vandanam means namaskuru — offering obeisances or offering prayers. Thinking oneself to be nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa, everlastingly a servant of Kṛṣṇa, is called dāsyam, and sakhyam means being a well-wisher of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wants everyone to surrender unto Him because everyone is constitutionally His servant. Therefore, as a sincere friend of Kṛṣṇa, one should preach this philosophy, requesting everyone to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. Ātma-nivedanam means offering Kṛṣṇa everything, including one’s body, mind, intelligence and whatever one may possess.

    One’s sincere endeavor to perform these nine processes of devotional service is technically called bhakti. The word addhā means “directly” One should not be like the karmīs, who perform pious activities and then formally offer the results to Kṛṣṇa. That is karma-kāṇḍa. One should not aspire for the results of his pious activities, but should dedicate oneself fully and then act piously. In other words, one should act for the satisfaction of Lord Viṣṇu, not for the satisfaction of his own senses. That is the meaning of the word addhā, “directly.”

    ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
    śīlanaḿ bhaktir uttamā
    [Madhya 19.167]

    “One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.” One should simply satisfy Kṛṣṇa, without being influenced by fruitive knowledge or fruitive activity.

    The Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad says that the word bhakti means engagement in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not of anyone else. This Upaniṣad describes that bhakti is the offering of devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To perform devotional service, one should be relieved of the bodily conception of life and aspirations to be happy through elevation to the higher planetary systems. In other words, work performed simply for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, without any desire for material benefits, is called bhakti. Bhakti is also called niṣkarma, or freedom from the results of fruitive activity. Bhakti and niṣkarma are on the same platform, although devotional service and fruitive activity appear almost the same. …/…”

    Srila Prabhupada also gave a nice clase on these verses, which one may consult at:

    From all this, one can understand that after having chanted the maha mantra (and thereby asked for service) and heard Srimad Bhagavatam, one will engage in some other form of service during some of the remaining hours of the day.

    Hence, one will get an opportunity to prove his love by serving the mission of his Gurudeva and not just render lip service. Guru Maharaja himself did not behave just like a bhajananandi, reading and chanting all day (or ringing bells and eating rice, as Srila Prabhupada put it). He worked hard to serve and please his Guru Maharaja, translating his books into Oriya each day, building temples in Bhubaneswar and Gadai Giri, travelling to preach Mahaprabhu’s message, instructing his disciples, etc.

    So, I guess everyone of us should be eager to follow in his footsteps and render some tangible service so as to please him by assisting him in his mission, be it through printing books, preaching, collecting lakshmi for seva, acting as a pujari in the temple, etc.

    As goes the proverb: “actions speak louder than words”!

    Hare Krishna

    Jaya Srila Gurudeva – Jaya Srila Prabhupada

    Yours in service
    Puskaraksa das

  2. Puskaraksa das May 25, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Reciprocation comes through service…

    When Gurudev is pleased by our service, then he may grant us the adhikar to understand these higher topics and enter the realm of prema bhakti.

    Then only can we become eligible to reciprocate with him, gradually, on higher and higher levels…

    • Nimai Pandit dasa May 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      Listening to the Srimad Bhagavatam and chanting the prescribed number of rounds is seva.

      I remember in Brisbane Australia, the class was going too long and the TP interrupted the class and said, “the devotees have to go and do their service.” And His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami (our Gurudeva) said: “Listening to the Srimad Bhagavatam is service.” And then just kept speaking.

      Hari. Hari.


      • Murali Krsna Swami May 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

        I remember I was in class somewhere and the speaker was giving a nice class and then looking at his watch said, “I have broken the cardinal sin, please forgive me!…..I have gone over the allotted time for the class by one minute. Please excuse me!”. He then immediately stopped the class and everyone ran out of the temple room…..At the time, It didn’t seem so natural…….???

        Maybe sometimes it would be appropriate to just hear Hari katha as the main service and then with renewed purity, vigor and enthusiasm, take up our other services with “fresh eyes”.

        Your servant,
        MK Swami

        • Nimai Pandit dasa May 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

          Gurudeva was in the USA on the first tour and he gave that class:
          too busy to hear the Bhagavatam.

          Gurudeva was told by the temple authorities that he had 15 minutes for the class…! Gurudeva said my introduction to the Bhagavatam goes longet than that.

          But that is Kali-yuga Gurudeva said everything is back to front.

          See real as unreal and unreal as real, or sat as asat and asat and sat.


    • Goloka Vrndavana Das May 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      Always Cry for Krsna

      Srila Gour Govinda Swami Gurudeva:
      [If]… speaker and audience, hearer [are]…not on the same level it cannot be relished. That’s a most important thing. Yes, it cannot be relished.

      Jayantakrd Das:
      You are making us desperate because you are speaking on such a high level.

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      Very high, very high, yes. Therefore I beg excuse. I beg excuse. What to say, that’s my weakness, you see. Sometimes I am impelled, impelled,

      Jayantakrd Das:
      prompted. .

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      prompted. What to do, I cannot check it. That’s my weakness. It has to be checked but I cannot check it. Sometimes it so happens, what shall I do? Please excuse me Otherwise I must beg excuse. Anyhow I want to, I want to inspire you. I want to develop some sort of greed for you really. If someone is really fortunate he may develop greed for it because that is our goal. Therefore I first said, only this realization, svarupa-siddhi, is not the end, you see. That’s just beginning. But attainment of that paramananda-svarupa, rasa-svarupa, yasoda-nandana krsna, that is the goal. How you can attain him, get him who is the embodiment of rasa, rasa-rasaraja, rasa-svarupa .
      He’s the embodiment of rasa and the giver of rasa. To have him that is our goal.

      Jayantakrd Das:
      But you should not apologize because you are giving us inspiration, teaching us humility, teaching us surrender. Where is the question of apology?

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      Because I cannot check myself. I have some weakness. As you have weakness, material weakness (Gurudeva laughs), isn’t it? Similarly I have some weakness. What shall I do? What shall I do? What is to be checked I cannot check it. That is my weakness.

      Jayanta krt das
      : That weakness is our good fortune.

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      I don’t know if it is good or bad. I don’t know. Bhaktivinode Thakur says, “O Lord, I don’t know whether I am doing good or bad. I don’t know. Only I’m serving you. I don’t know whether I am doing good or bad. This is known to you.’ Like that, you see.

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      Hari, Hari, Hari! Anyhow you have come to me. I have gotten you. Krishna, Mahaprabhu and my guru, they have sent you to me. What shall I do? Anyhow, that happened. As my Guru Maharaja says, “My Guru Maharaja told me to go to Western land, land of mlecchas and yavanas. I went there and got all
      Mlecchas and yavanas. That’s all right. I have to embrace them, all mlecchas
      and yavanas. My Guru Maharaja ordered. I have to carry it out anyhow.” By the arrangement of guru and Gauranga, you have come to me. Anyhow I have to deal with you. What to do?

      Jayantakrd Das:
      You have kept your krpa [mercy] you give vanchana[cheating]?

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      Sometimes it is required. Otherwise how will you cry for it? How will you cry for it unless you get vanchana?
      You must cry for it. And if you’ll be satisfied with it, “Yes, I have gotten it.” Only if you’ll cry you’ll get. Otherwise how will you get? That is there. Sometimes
      Sadhu does so.
      Sadhu has two things, krpa and vanchana. Those who really deserve krpa, they get krpa, and those who don’t deserve they get vancana.

      Jayantakrd Das:
      To sharpen the desire.

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      Yes, to sharpen the desire, yes, to develop eagerness, to develop greed for it and cry for it. Mahaprabhu is teaching us to cry, you see. Mahaprabhu is always crying, practically teaching us to cry for it. Unless you cry for Krishna you cannot get Krishna. That’s a fact. Those who have gotten, they have cried and they have gotten. Dhruva cried for it, Bilvamangala cried for it and they got. Yes, you have to cry for it.

      Jayantakrd Das:
      When you have got you are still crying?

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      I have to cry always. Always cry. I have to always cry.

      Jayantakrd Das:
      Is it jiva’s business to be always crying?

      Gour Govinda Swami:
      Always cry. That Mahaprabhu has taught us. Cry always, constantly then you will get him. Unless you cry you’ll lose him, Yes. Thank you very much.

      After SB Class 1st February 1992, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India.

      • Ramachandra das May 29, 2012 at 10:28 am #

        Hare Krsna!
        All Glories to Jayanta Krd Prabhu!
        THANK YOU SO MUCH to Goloka Vrndavan Prabhu! Hari hari….such nice children of Srila Gurudev!

  3. Murali Krsna Swami May 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Srila Prabhupada Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.3 Class — Delhi, November 6, 1973

    Unless you are a devotee, unless you are constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, He will not speak to you. He speaks, but you cannot hear. You have no ears to hear Him. That is not possible.

    Krsna is speaking. Just like Krsna is speaking in the Bhagavad-gita, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. It is open speaking, but who is hearing? Nobody is hearing. Nobody is hearing. They have got their own conception of life.

  4. Goloka Vrndavana Das May 24, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Gurudeva is asking for our help – It needs reciprocation

    Srila Gurudeva’s Class CC Adi 11:14,15 25-03 93 at BBSR:

    “This is sneha, mana, praneya, raga, anura, bhava, mahabhava. Rudamahabhava, adiruda mahabhava, madanakya mahabhava. If you go up, up, up then the last is madhanakya mahabhava.

    And you should understand it. Otherwise you cannot understand this topic, this subject matter. Follow me? Try to understand. I think most of you are deaf. You cannot understand what I say. Still this class is here. We have opened this college here, Chaitanya college, and started this subject chaitanya charitamrta. Teaching C.C. is postgraduate studies. Such subject mater is there. Such topic is there.

    So I am saying. Those who are students of that class they may understand something. Those who have been chanting this Hare Krishna mahamantra under the guidance of a Goura Priya jana a dear devotee of Gouranga Mahaprabhu for many, many years (and) if their chanting is pure, offenceless they may understand something. Others may not understand.

    Please excuse me. Because this is the class. So I am saying. Don’t blame me! I am already blamed; but what shall I do? Because I have become a teacher. And I have to do it; otherwise I will become an offender at the lotus feet of my guru. Yes, please excuse me.
    So I will explain it as far as I can. But you should all help me….

    After Class:
    Alright may you have all mercy, blessings of my guru Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu Gouranga then you can understand all these things. By their mercy. Otherwise such subject matter topic is very difficult to understand. Not an easy thng. Not an easy thing. Its post graduate studies you see. Its very, very deep confidential, deep tattva. its confidential tatva. This priti tattva, prema tattva. And Mahaprabhu give such prema to devotees on that platform.

    Alright, you are very merciful to me, giving me your association. (telling a Prabhupad disciple) So I get some opportunity to speak all these things. Otherwise to whom shall I speak? To the walls? If there is no reciprocation? Isn’t it ? It needs reciprocation. Then it will come out, come out more and more.

    Devotee: Now we have become so much indebted so we are very fearful of how we will be able to repay?

    Srila Gurudeva: No reciprocation then (pointing to his throat)…it will be choked up.
    If you can understand the language then more reciprocation. Such relishment is there. Therefore it is very difficult to explain this things in english. English is not such language….”

    • Murali Krsna Swami May 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      SP Letter to: Rayarama — San Francisco 14 December, 1967

      I may inform you that you cannot be a fool as you have humbly expressed yourself (in your letter). Better to remain forever a fool before the spiritual master.

      But if a disciple is actually a fool, it reflects (badly) on the spiritual master. To think of becoming a fool is the real qualification for a bona fide disciple.

      ….We should remain everlastingly a fool before the spiritual master. Not artificially but feelingly and then we can make real progress.

Dedicated to the Life and Teachings of Srila Gour Govinda Swami