Published on November 11th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Please do not Kill Your Guru

There is one Bengali proverb, guru-mara-vidya, Guru, you learn from him first of all, then kill him. Don’t care for guru. This is demonic. By the grace of guru you learn something. Then when you learn something, then you become greater than him, don’t care for guru. This is demonic. Even if you have learned something, you must feel always obliged. Don’t learn guru-mara-vidya.

Pradyumna: “It was by Dronacarya’s mercy that you learned the military art of throwing arrows and the confidential art of controlling weapons.”


sarahasyo dhanur-vedah
astra-gramas ca bhavata
siksito yad-anugrahat

This is also another Vedic civilization, that if you are benefited by somebody, you should always remain obliged to him. Siksito yad-anugrahat. There is one Bengali proverb, guru-mara-vidya. “Guru, you learn from him first of all, then kill him. Don’t care for guru.” This is demonic. By the grace of guru you learn something. Then when you learn something, then you become greater than him, don’t care for guru. This is demonic. Even if you have learned something, you must feel always obliged, atah padarsayat(?).

So this is Vedic civilization. Draupadi advising Arjuna that “You have learned. Feel always obliged,” atah padarsayat. So this is Vedic… “This military art, by his grace, by guru’s grace, now you are expert in the science of military art. And suppose his son has committed some sinful activity. You cannot punish him, retaliate, so that guru’s family will be aggrieved.” This is Vedic culture. Not only he is personally, but in his absence, his wife, his family, you should consider them. So there is nothing about… What is the purport? Read.

Pradyumna:Dhanur-veda or military science, was taught by Dronacarya with all its confidential secrets of throwing and controlling by Vedic hymns. Gross military science is dependent on material weapons, but finer than that is the art of throwing arrows saturated with Vedic hymns, which act more effectively than gross material weapons like machine guns or atomic bombs. The control is by Vedic mantras, or the transcendental science of sound. It is said in the Ramayana that Maharaja Dasaratha, the father of Lord Sri Rama, used to control arrows by sound only. He could pierce his target with his arrow by hearing the sound only, without seeing the object. So this is a finer military science than that of the gross material military weapons…”

Prabhupada: It is called sabda-vedi. He who… Just like I cannot see where is the bird. He’s chirping. But sabda-vedi, I can throw wherever the bird is, it will go and kill. That is called sabda-vedi. Maharaja Dasaratha used it. Therefore he was cursed that he would die being aggrieved when Ramacandra will be banished. Go on.

Pradyumna: “So this is a finer military science than that of the gross military military weapons used nowadays. Arjuna was taught all this, and therefore Draupadi wished that Arjuna feel obliged to Acarya Drona for all these benefits. And in the absence of Dronacarya, his son was the representative. That was the opinion of the good lady Draupadi. It may be argued why Dronacarya, a rigid brahmana, should be a teacher in military science. But the reply is that a brahmana should become a teacher, regardless of what his department of knowledge is. A learned brahmana should become a teacher, a priest and a recipient of charity. A bona fide brahmana is authorized to accept such professions.”

Prabhupada: So there is nothing especial to be explained. The only important part of this verse is, that don’t learn guru-mara-vidya. Even if you become more learned that your guru, you should not exhibit it before your guru. You should always remain a fool number one. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed Himself by His example. Guru more murkha dekhi ‘karila sasana. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not murkha, but He has taught us that before guru, we shall always remain a murkha. That is advancement. Not that “I know more than guru. I don’t care for guru. Now give me blessing that I can find out some better guru.” This nonsense, if you don’t find… If your guru is not perfect, then why you are asking blessing to find out another?

So anyway, this guru-mara-vidya should be avoided. That is the instruction in this verse we can get, and that is the Vedic way. It is not that Draupadi is speaking, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also speaking… Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very strict on this point. As soon Vallabhacarya spoke that “I have written a better comment than Sridhara Svami,” immediately Caitanya Mahaprabhu become offended. He said, “Oh, you have become more than Sridhara Svami? You don’t care for Svami?” So he remarked immediately, svami yei jana na mane vesyara bhitare. That is the system. You cannot overrule acarya. Acarya… Acaryopasanam. Acarya should be always worshiped. Even if you, by ABCD, you have become more learned than the acarya… That is not possible, but if you foolishly think like that, still, you should not exhibit your foolishness, that you know more than the acarya. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s… By His life example, He has taught us that the more we remain ignorant, foolish before the acarya, or before the guru, that is more we advance. Real success is how one is faithful to his guru. That is real success. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau. It is not by education or grammatical knowledge you can learn anything. No. It is by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And that grace comes down through the grace of guru. That grace also does not come directly. We should not be neglecting this point.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

Things become revealed by devotion, not by so-called education. No. Ciram vicinvan. Na canya eko ‘pi ciram vicinvan, prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi. By little prasada, satisfaction… In many places these things are stated.

Yat karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam gauram eva stumah. Karunya-kataksa. Not complete karunya, but kataksa, simply little glancing, he becomes so great, kaivalyam narakayate tridasa-pur akasa…

Therefore Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. Not that bhagavat-prasada is achieved by education and grammar. No. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. By the mercy of guru one can achieve. That is just like a common word, “If you love me, love my dog.” So you cannot approach Krsna without loving His dog, His servant. Satam prasangat. A person who is trying to distribute the message of Krsna, he is very, very dear dog of Krsna. Na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah. He is very… It doesn’t matter how far he is advanced in education, how far he has learned grammar. These are not the things. The things is how far he is working to carry out the mission of Krsna. Then one has to receive Krsna’s mercy through the bona fide servant. Krsna cannot be bluffed by so-called education and grammar. Krsna is not so… Bhaktya mam abhijanati. He never says “By grammar or by education one can understand.” Never says. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah. We should be educated, we should be very careful, but real thing is bhakti. Anyabhi… Bhajate mam ananya-bhak, sadhur eva sa mantavyah.

Api cet su-duracarah.
Many places it is said. Tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api. Even a bhakta writes something which is not very grammatically, rhetorically correct… Tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavah, namany anantasya yaso ‘nkitani yat. But because he has tried to broadcast the glories of the Lord, even not in perfect language, that is his qualification.

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso ‘nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

The sadhus, they are not interested about rhetorical or grammatical adjustment. The sadhu wants to see who has spoken. If he’s a Vaisnava, then his word will be accepted. Caitanya Mahaprabhu strictly prohibits that is one is not a Vaisnava, don’t hear from him. Avaisnava-mukhodgirnam putam hari-kathamrtam, sravanam naiva kartavyam. “But he’s such a learned man,” or “He’s writes so nicely, correctly.” But because he’s not Vaisnava, one should not hear from him. “Why? It is so nicely written.” No. Sarpocchistam yatha payah. Milk is very good food, everyone knows. But as soon as it is touched by the lips of a serpent, it is poison immediately. Therefore it is forbidden. And one who has no knowledge how to respect guru, how he can become Vaisnava? Chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba, Narottama dasa Thakura says. If you don’t become a faithful servant of Vaisnava, there is no possibility of your liberation. Chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payecha keba. Tandera carana-sevi-bhakta-sane vasa, janame janame haya ei abhilasa. This is Narottama dasa Thakura’s… Our determination should be to serve the previous guru and acarya. Evam parampara-praptam. That is our determination. Tandera carana-sevi. Our service… Not directly Krsna. Because to serve Vaisnava is more than serving Krsna directly.

Mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika. Krsna likes that. He doesn’t accept anyone’s service directly. That is a gross mistake. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura is teaching us… (break) …trying to become one with Krsna or one with the gopis. These are all Mayavada philosophy. Tandera carana-sevi. You have to serve the servant of Krsna, tad bhrtya dasa-dasa-dasanudasah. That is the way. Not directly.

So here Draupadi is reminding that, yad-anugrahat siksito bhavata: “You are neglecting his, satisfying him. Do you think if you kill his son he’ll be satisfied? Maybe his son is a criminal from all points of view; still, ultimately, if you kill his son he’ll be aggrieved. That is natural. That is natural.” There was… In Allahabad, it is our practical experience. Two brothers, all of a sudden, they became angry. They fought one another. One brother was killed. The anger is so dangerous. So naturally, in the court he was ordered to be hanged. Then the father appealed to the court that “My one son is already killed, and the other remaining son, if he is also killed, then what will be my condition?” So court considered this proposal, and the boy was ordered to be killed, he was saved. Yes. So this consideration is there even in ordinary way. And actually, these sons were rogues. They fought, one is killed, another is going to be killed. But this old man will be finished. The court considered it, and he was saved. He was not hanged. He was given some long duration of imprisonment. That we have seen. The same thing, the affection is everywhere. So Draupadi is giving the best instruction, that “By the mercy of Dronacarya you have learned this art, and now this art you are going to use for killing his son? What is this logic?” Very good argument.

A similar argument was given by Duryodhana to Dronacarya. Dronacarya and this Draupadi’s father, they became inimical. So he got a son, Uttara. No? Anyway, that son was meant for killing Dronacarya. And at the same time, that son was a student of Dronacarya in the art of military science. So Duryodhana reminded Dronacarya that “This son, Virata, Virata Maharaja’s son, He is meant for killing you, and you have foolishly taught him the military science. Now he’s using the military science to kill you.” So there are so many instances like that. Sometimes this art, guru-mara-vidya, is done by rascals and fools. That should not be done. That is instruction from every practical point of view.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)

761004SB.VRN–Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.44 Vrndavana, October 4, 1976

HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

2 Responses to Please do not Kill Your Guru

  1. Sampradaya dasa says:

    Really i will be very happy when I receive the newsletter from you because that will be very important for me thank you hare krishna…

  2. Manash De says:

    Really, a very necessary instruction, so that the disciples may not feel infalted with pride and honour and forget the source of such credit…

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