The Vision We Should Develop When Guru Leaves
Darshana, France 18 July 1986
Devotee: What happens when. . . .
Gour Govinda Swami: His instructions are there, vapu rūpa, vāṇī rūpa. Guru means pure devotee, Vaiṣṇava. Guru means very, very intimate associate of Lord Krishna. He is guru, spiritual master. When he is physically present, that is his presence is here, but in aprakata līlā when he disappears, at that time one should not think that guru is not there. He is always there. Krishna is always there. If you have eye you can see Krishna,premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-
I have already spoken. If you have that bhakti-cakṣu, eye of devotion, and you have developed kṛṣṇa-prema, then you can see Krishna everywhere, yāṅhā yāṅhā netra pade tāṅhā kṛṣṇa sphure. You look and see Krishna. How could Prahlad Maharaja see Krishna in a stone pillar whereas his father couldn’t?tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi sa ca me na praṇayśati
Krishna says. “He always sees Me. I always see him. Spiritual master is always there. Don’t think that he is not physically present, that he is not there. He is there. He is always there. If you have developed love for the spiritual master, if you have developed that eye, you can see him, you can talk to him and he is also present in this form (banging the book), vāṇī–rūpa, his instructions are there. Don’t think so, when he is away.
Krishna Speaks Through Śāstra
Another thing is there: Krishna is always there, Krishna is always speaking, Krishna is always teaching. But how is He there, how is He speaking, and how is He teaching? One may put this question forward.‘śāstra-guru-ātma’-rūpe āpanāre jānāna ‘kṛṣṇa mora prabhu, trātā’——jīvera haya jñāna
Cc. madhya 20.123
How does Krishna speak? ‘Śāstra-guru-ātma’, He speaks through śāstra, Veda, Vedic scripture, because the Vedas come from Krishna. He is the source of Veda. What He says in Veda is very difficult to understand. Especially it should be understood through tattva–vicāra, not aparā-vicāra, apparent consideration. It is absolute consideration. Māyāvādīs do apparent consideration, quoting śāstra as Vedic truth.
Paramātmā Assumes the Body of Guru
Then comes the question of guru. Guru comes, the spiritual master comes who is the representative of Krishna, very dear devotee of Krishna, who is as caitya-guru, who is seated in the heart of his body as Supersoul. He is known as caitya-guru. He comes.nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahudhā śrutena yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanuṁ svām
(Katha Upaniṣad 1.2.23)
You cannot know that paramātmā-tattva, īśa-tattva, through your own mundane scholarship, own mundane intelligence, medhayā, or listening to many pravacanas of karmis, jñānīs and yogis. Those who never come under a bona fide disciplic succession are not devotees. You cannot know it. Katha Upaniṣad says, nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahudhā śrutena. Then how can you know? Yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanuṁ svām, ātmā here means Paramātmā, Supersoul, who is seated in everyone’s heart. Assuming a body He comes as spiritual master, Himself, because He is caitya-guru, to teach paramātmā-tattva. Unless He says you cannot understand. Where does he appear? Who meets him? That’s another question.
Ātmā here means Paramātmā, Supersoul. So Krishna teaches like that. The soul or individual person who is very, very inquisitive to know all these things, who is very eager to know, Paramātmā knows this, “Oh, now he is very eager to know Me so I must help him.” So he comes assuming the body of guru.brahmāṇda bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
(Cc. Madhya 19.151)
He is most fortunate, bhāgyavān. By wandering through so many planetary systems, undergoing so many species of life, one who is fortunate enough meets a bona fide spiritual master. It is Krishna’s mercy, kṛṣṇa kṛpāte guru mile guru kṛpāte kṛṣṇa mile it is by Krishna’s mercy that you will get the bona fide spiritual master and by the mercy of the spiritual master you will get Krishna. So Paramātmā arranges the meeting.
So this is Krishna’s mercy that you will meet the spiritual master, and by getting the mercy of the spiritual master you will get Krishna. So we must be very eager to know, and we must be very inquisitive like Dhruva Mahārāja was. He was very eager how to get the Lord. So Nārada Muni appeared before him. Paramātmā arranged it, “All right, he is very eager now. You go and show him the path, help him.”
Sādhu Krpa & Śāstra Krpa
Similarly, “Oh my spiritual master has disappeared. How can I be helped? Who will teach me? When you’ll be very, very inquisitive, how can I know? His vāṇī is there, instructions are there, books are there, but I cannot understand the purport. It is very difficult on my part to understand it, though vāṇī is there. Śāstra has its krpa,sādhu śāstra kṛpāya jadi kṛṣṇonmukha haya sei jīva nistare māyā tāhāre chāḍaya
(Cc. madhya 20.120)
Kavirāj Goswami has said this. Sādhu krpa, śāstra krpa, krpa means mercy. The śāstra is also one of the incarnations of the Lord. Kṛṣṇa-tulya bhāgavata—vibhu, sarvāśraya, Caitanya-bhāgavata states this. Bhāgavata-grantha, the scripture is like Krishna. He is vibhu. Krishna is vibhu, Supreme Lord. Bhāgavata is also vibhu. We take shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna. We must take shelter of bhāgavata, and grantha also. Krishna showers His mercy, grantha also showers his mercy. Sādhu showers his mercy. So sādhu-śāstra-kṛpā, sādhu’s krpa, śāstra’s krpa. Then we’ll be attracted towards Krishna, sādhu śāstra kṛpāya jadi kṛṣṇonmukha haya, sei jīva nistare māyā tāhāre chādaya then you are free from the clutches of māyā. So grantha has its krpa, scripture has its krpa. This is one of the forms of the lord. And the instructions of guru is also guru. You’ll get guru krpa through his instructions, vāṇī.
It Is All Optimism
One who is very, very eager, and very, very inquisitive, prays to the spiritual master, and prays to Krishna, “O my spiritual master, you have departed. You are not physically present. I cannot understand it. I am such an ignorant fool. I have no qualification. Though your instructions are there I cannot understand what you have said. Please help me.”
So guru he’ll also come. Not in that form. He should come in the form of a sādhu, a very dear devotee, who is also very dear to your spiritual master. He is very intimate with your spiritual master. He may come in that form. Through him this will be revealed. Doubts will be cleared. You can understand the tattva, purport. And one should think, Yes, yes, my guru is teaching, he is saying in this form, sadhu thereby you will be helped. Don’t think that, “guru is not there. He has departed. What shall I do?” Pray fervently to your spiritual master. He must help you. In this way we have been helped. This is my personal experience. And this is also the opinion of other great mahājanas, ācāryas, they have also said this. This is the eternal process. Krishna is eternal, nitya śāstratā, sanātana puruṣa, His teachings are eternal. The process is also eternal. It is always going on. But we should be very, very inquisitive. Inquisitiveness must be there, that we must get. Everything is there. One should not feel desperate. There is no pessimism in this process. It is all optimism.