Spiritual Master / Guru

Published on January 26th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Importance of Receiving the Guru (MP3 Audio)

Spiritual master is the official collector. This is the Vedic system, to receive knowledge through the transparent medium, guru, and to receive Guru means the honor goes to Krishna. So this is necessary. This is not an artificial thing, but spiritually it is necessary.

Prabhupada: So I thank you very much for your kind reception. It is necessary.

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

This is the process, Vedic process, to receive the transcendental knowledge through the parampara system, and the reception or honor given to the spiritual master, it goes to Krishna. Spiritual master is the official collector. Just like in government there is collector. He receives the money, taxes, from the citizens, not for his personal use but for the government. Similarly, this is the Vedic system, to receive knowledge through the transparent medium, guru, and to receive… Guru means the honor goes to Krsna. So this is necessary. This is not an artificial thing, but spiritually it is necessary. Therefore we hold Vyasa-puja day.

So I am very glad to see that you are maintaining the temple standard as good as I saw when I left. That is my satisfaction. And keep this, I mean to say, situation, atmosphere, always, and follow the regulative principles, chant sixteen rounds. You’ll remain always happy, because although we are in Los Angeles, we have nothing to do with the material atmosphere of Los Angeles. Therefore a devotee who lives with Krsna or in Krsna consciousness, he does not live in the material world. He always live in the spiritual world. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita. Mam cavyabhicarini-bhakti-yogena yah sevate: “Anyone who is engaged in bhakti-yoga with Krsna,” sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate, “such person is always above these material modes of nature.” Our difficulty or miserable condition of life is due to being under the material laws of nature. So it is very simple method, and you are all intelligent boys and girls in the Western country, and I am very, happy that you have taken it seriously. And continue this. You’ll never be unhappy. And not only here but also, as Krsna said, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru, if you simply practice these four principle–always think of Krsna, man-mana, or become Krsna’s devotees and offer Krsna obeisances and worship Krsna–these four… We are teaching these four principle in the temple, how to worship Krsna how to serve Krsna, how to become Krsna’s devotee, and how to think of Krsna twenty-four hours. And if we do this, there is guarantee. Krsna says, mam eva esyasi asamsaya: “Without any doubt, you will come to Me. You will go back to home, back to Godhead.”

So do not be slackened. And it is not difficult. Su-sukham kartum avyayam. This devotional service is so nice. It is… To execute the devotional is also very pleasing. Su-sukham kartum avyayam. And whatever you do, that is your permanent asset. It will never be lost. In the material world, suppose you have got some money. So that is not permanent. But anything, material possession, that is not permanent. Especially after death, everything is finished–another new chapter.

That we do not know. But devotional service, it is guaranteed. It is permanent asset, even you cannot finish in this life. But that does not mean you should be neglectful.

Try to finish the completely to become Krsna conscious in this life. Do not keep in abeyance. That is not intelligence. But even if it is not finished, then the next life a human life is guaranteed, and you begin where you ended. These are the sastric… So execute this devotional service very sincerely, seriously. Even there is little inconvenience, tolerate it. There is no inconvenience. But if you think it is inconvenience–that is our mental concoction–still, you should not be neglectful in the discharging your duties in devotional service.

So those who are engaged in Deity worship, those who are engaged in sankirtana party, those who are engaged in distributing books, those who are engaged in the office for keeping accounts–and all of them in devotional service–not a single moment waste. Kirtaniyah sada harih. And whenever you have got time, read books. Now we have got volumes of books. Again we have got another five volumes of books. All are now immediately published. So you have got enough to study. And those who are grhasthas, children, we have got our Dallas. As soon as the children is fit, three to four years, you can send to Dallas. They are taking very much care.

And if your children are educated Sanskrit and English, and reads all our books, he is more than any university M.A., Ph.D., more than. The M.A., Ph.D. of the ordinary university will not be able to be compared with that. So rest assured that education, culture, happiness, satisfaction, and next, go to home, back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much. (end)

His Divine Grace 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.

17 Responses to The Importance of Receiving the Guru (MP3 Audio)

  1. Anthony says:

    I just want God and his peace! Nothing else! I dont want to be great or rite, only settled in Gods heart and mind. Nothing else.

  2. Anthony says:

    So I theorise that only by love of God in simple truth, devotion and the controll of sences in God conciousness to be the prime tool in anything. In these thingd I believe that focus on religion derails the path to God. So even though I greatly desire a temple, I also fear its fall political sway of the religion. For istance. I may find a temple, but then I would be subject to political buracracy, suddenly I cannot freely of my will read the bible, go off and silently meditate to myself, or practice at desire and knowladge of God. I gues it can be said I desire the solitude of a temple, the wisdome or accessibulity to the wisdome of a spiritual master and the company of devout believers where I can dwell, grow and seek God uninterupted around those that do the same where I would not suffer the ignorance and frustrations of non believers or persons that clame knowladge but have no practice or disiplin.

  3. Anthony says:

    Why is it that whenever someone sinceraly seeks God and to seperate from the ways of the world that people imedeatly think crazy and deranged and then begine insulting, arguing, critisizing, and mocking? Just annother reason I want to find a temple. Im constantly surrounded by so called scholars that talk all day about what they think they know, but practice nothing. Just simpl indulge in there sences, live the ways of the world then say oh, I believe in Christ, so I have no worries. But this makes no sence. I want to dwel in the place of God. But constantly I am bombarded by the ignorant words of people all arround me and afflicted by there mindlesd conversations. I am not strong, and tryi.g

    • There is an English saying “Folly to be wise in a fools paradise.” So it is like that now, it is wise to be seeking out God and serving him, but the world is now a fools paradise so when you do that the people will think you are crazy, etc… But do not be concerned about what the people think. You are not crazy for searching out God and serving him. That is actually the purpose of life… But the fools will think you are crazy. Don’t care for them. There is another English saying: “The dogs may bark but the caravan will pass.”

  4. Anthony says:

    Okay. Here is that testimoney. I coppied then pasted it. The person I beguin asking about is AC Bhaktivedanta Swami. I am sinceraly greatful for your helping me. I may after these things are resolved have questions on how to join a temple. Not as an outside visiter, but as a live in devotee.

    Who is this that you write about? Is he a man? I do not understand. It seems that you are calling a man lord. This confuses me. well. My name is anthony. Im 31 and completely lost in life. I have believed in Christ since I was 17 but in it I still lived a sinful life full of lust, illicit sex, getting high, selfishly pleasing myself and hurting those arround me. I tried countless times to controll myself but always chosedo do that wich would bring my boy and heart more pleasure even at the expence of others. I searched the christian churches and neveound resolve. Even worse, the more I read tje bible was the more I found that suposid christians are not even practicing christianity. All of them indulged in the world, there sences and pleasing there selfish desires, the more I saw this the angryer I became. More so all my lifely efforts to acheave love and success would fail time and time again no matter how hard I tried. I eventualy, having no were else to direct it, I began blaming and hating God. How could He do this to me I thought to myself. Ive even prayed to satan in my efforts to acheave success and happyness. None of my efforts were successful. I became suicidal, pleagued with mental illness with a broken heart that stoped feeling or wanting anything. Everything is lost, including my soul. But then just a few days to a week ago something miraculouse happened. In my deep depression and darkness, seeking only a way to end this life I googled ”what really happens when we die?” and upcame the vadic teachings and hindue beiefe. When I was reading I did not realize this untill afterwards. someone was wanting to commit suicide and annother wasgiving vadic and hindu advice on what the spirit is, what happens when we die and othet things of. In it.he wrote the hare krishna mantra and advised him to recite it. Well, everything he was writing was making sence, giving me peace and hope within, the things he wrote even made some Christian sence, so needless to say.i recited it to myself and then it happemed , I.became filled with peace and joy, this world melted away, my mental ilness gone, my self controll boosted and I felt alive, the explination of karma made me accept my life as it was, the peace wore off, but when I would chant the.mantra, the peace would returne. Ever since I have been googlimg and researching the vedas.and the hindu faith. But now again I am in.conflict. I want to become a devotee, but I fear that I could be wrong and that Christ would dam me. More so I want to stop eating meat, put away my sexual desires and physical intoxications, but I am poor, I cannot buy new groceries till next month and all I have is meat. More so, I heavily smoke and find comfort in pleasing my sences with sweet drinks and am often afflicted with heart breaking memories of past loves that earge me to find a new love. And rite now I dont know what to do about all of this. Can you help me? I will check back on here daily. e

    Anthony Posted November 21, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    I posted a comment but it never apeared. And I never

    • Anthony says:

      Ferther more, it had been told to me that Krishna says to defend. In the sence of self controll to further enlightenment and spiritual liberation I have been contenplating practicing martial arts again to aid in further self control. Bur I am confused. What would be best for me? To renounce works, give only devotional service, read, pray and meditate? Only work mind? Or would practicing martial arts further spiritual liberation? What is it I should do? I only want to liberate the soul, understand the self. What is it I can do to rise above karma, rebirth and liberate the soul? I lack the wisdome. Further more. I get together with friends anf run a game simular in mechanics to dungeons and dragons. It is played on paper back charicter sheets, dice and imaginary game play. I am thinking this to gambling. Should this be stopped? Or is this okay. You can clearly I would think from your standpoinr understand my entanglement and problomes, but from where I stand I see nothing but confution and bewilderment. With all these things I am not only lost, but lost as to what to do and how to achieve it. And no, my search for God does not set its roots in fantasy gaming, nither do I relate the two. Its only that often in trying to liberate myself from material contact that I do not know what to do with myself as I can only imagine it is because I am still in ignorance relating to the body as self. I apreceate yout patience in all this mindless bable and queshtioning and hope you will with dilligence explain to me the error of my ways.

      • Anthony says:

        Now one of my biggest probloms is this: lets say I complete the work and bring these 4 things under co.troll, do meditation apropriate for this time and read. Then what do I do with myself? I can only read and meditate soo much in one day, especialy at just begini.g, so how and what do I do to keep from distraction and and idle thought then? Further more, unless a proper temple opens and I devote myself utterly, I still must eat and survive, and have to partake of the world and its destracions to do so, how then should I survive without destraction?

        • Hare Krishna Anthony

          Of course you need to work to maintain the body and eat and survive. But you can work with the idea of using the money you make to serve Krishna and that will purify the work. And as well as following the principles and chanting Hare Krishna there are unlimited engagements in Krishna consciousness. You need to seriously read Prabhupada’s books, you can watch the Prabhupada DVDs, listen to the Prabhupada MP3s and by hearing Prabhupada in this way you will get so many practical instructions from him and will understand how you can utilize your time 24 hours a day in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

      • Yes. Of course you are not going to find Krishna in Dungeons and Dragons or in martial arts. These things are a waste of time. To liberate the soul you have to hear from, surrender to and serve a liberated soul. So spend your time reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna and putting the instructions you read in Prabhupada’s books into practice in your life. That will be the best use of your time and energy…

  5. Anthony says:

    Ive tried posting a comment one one of these sites before. I spilled my heart, told my testimoney and all. It didnt post and I have many questions to be answered. Can you help?

    • Hare Krishna Anthony

      If you ask genuine, sincere questions and really want to know and follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada I will do my best to answer. I get many, many more questions than I can answer. But you know you can read Prabhupada’s books also and he will give you much better answers than I can ever give you. Basically my answers are always the same. Chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly follow the four regulative principles: No illicit sex life, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. This is the answer to all questions… It will solve all your problems…

      But if you have specific questions and you are sincerely asking and really going to accept and follow the answer I will give then feel free to ask your questions and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Anthony says:

        Okay. and yes I am sinceraly seeking answers to fallow. I am not aposed to reading these books but for some reason, maybe just how I am designed, I always seek well founded intelligent advice that can answer specifics so I have a foundation to build off of wich can only be done threw human contact. I will paste here that testimoney that was never responded to. Perhaps threw you God would be kind enough to grant me wisdome, understanding and peace. But a couple current questions before I paste this (letting you know outrite I eat no more meat, as of today I take no ferther part in illicit sex, I still do smoke ciggarets and badly want to quit them but dont know how to Draw on Gods strienths and I no longer gamble to the best of my knowladge and abulitu) 1) why has the peace of God left me? How can I get it back? Why is a man called lord? And what do the vedas teach about confusion? And, is it still possible to worshop Christ in hinduism? The last question I believe is yes as my studies show Christs teachings and vedic knowladge to be of the same accord. What is your opinion?

        • Hare Krishna Anthony

          Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is the Father in Heaven that Jesus talks about in the Bible. So Jesus will be very happy with you if you surrender to Krishna.

          I was in a very similar position to you. I was brought up as a Catholic and also could not follow many of the good instructions that Jesus gives in the Bible and as you did I also noticed the other members of the church were also practically not following any of the actual Christian principles that Jesus taught.

          So it is like that generally, the Christians may have some idea of the things they should be doing to serve God and live a saintly life, but they can not follow because they have no higher spiritual taste. If you want to give up something you are attached to that is not possible unless you can get something better. And that better thing is Krishna consciousness. But you can only get Krishna consciousness by surrendering to and serving a pure devotee of Krishna like Srila Prabhupada. We surrender to and serve Srila Prabhupada and worship him as being non-different to Krishna because he is Krishna’s representative in the material world. Whatever he is speaking actually it is coming from Krishna. That is how the disciple relates to his spiritual master.

          So the best thing for you is to start reading Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna and following the regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] because without following the regulative principles and chanting Hare Krishna you will not be able to understand Krishna consciousness. Anyhow at least start reading Prabhupada’s books.

          You can get them at http://www.KrishnaStore.com or read them online at http://www.PrabhupadaBooks.com

          The solution for everyone is the same, chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and read Srila Prabhupada’s books and put the things you learn from Srila Prabhupada into practice in your life. It is very simple. But not many people are prepared to actually surrender to these simple things and follow them seriously, therefore it is very rare to find an actual devotee. But you can become a pure devotee of Krishna very easily if you are prepared to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve him. Otherwise Krishna consciousness is not possible.

          At the moment I do not thing there are any temples which can offer the proper training that you need. It is a difficult time where Prabhupada’s temples have been taken over by people with a completely different mood and purpose to Srila Prabhupada. So there is not much point living in them. That will not help you at this time. You need to discover Krishna yourself from Srila Prabhupada by reading his books. And at least, even if in the beginning you can not chant the 16 rounds daily or strictly follow all the regulative principles then you must read Srila Prabhupada’s books and chant Hare Krishna as much as you possibly can and this will save you.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Anthony says:

            Okay. I will start on this imedeatly. I will quit smoking. Continue to not eat meat, not take part in illicit sex, and not gamble. I will start by tonight by reading his books and again beguin to work my way to 16 rounds of Hare Krishna. And I see you are also correct. I dont know if I am ready as I am still attatched to people and smoking. I would imagine weeks of insanity and heard break detatching from these things. Honestly speaking that is. I am building a meditation block in the back yard as well and trying to learn to bring myself under controll for meditation. I see this is not one of the key things you have mentioned so I will put this practice second to the three you advise me on. But perhaps you will have some knowladge you can share with me on meditation and detatching myself from people and smoking. More so, I would very much enjoy and would be honored if we can remain in contact untill maybe a rite temple would be opened near me and I become ready for true devotion. I can give you my phone number or email some how if this would be acceptable, or even off of here if this constant comunication would be possible. I could use someone to help me navigate untill I develope a clear understanding if you would honor me

          • Hare Krishna Anthony

            Chanting Hare Krishna is meditation, mantra meditation. That is the most powerful and recommended form of meditation for this age. Although this sitting in the lotus position and practicing breathing excessive is also a type of meditation, it has many names like astanga-yoga and hatha-yoga, it is not practical for this age. If you read the Sixth Chapter of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is you will find in there Krishna suggests the meditational yoga to Arjuna and He mentions the prerequisites need to successful practice this type of yoga. And there are many. Firstly it has to be performed in a secluded place. Traditionally the yogis would go to some remote cave in the Himalayas or sit on some deserted bank of a holy river and in that secluded place they would practice meditation for a very long time. This type of meditation takes a very long time. In previous ages men could live much longer. Now we can only live for about 100 years. This is Kali-yuga, the final age of the four ages. In the first age, the golden age, Satya-yuga, people could live for up to 100000 years. Then the meditaional yoga system was very practical. Everything was very spiritually surcharged then and there was no problem to find a secluded holy place for meditation. But even then to become perfect through this meditional yoga took a long time. There are cases where yogis became perfect after meditating for 60,000 years for example. But now our whole life is only 100 years or less. And even then most practitioners of meditation spend only about 15 minutes a day meditating. So this modern so-called meditation and yoga is useless for actually achieving any tangible spiritual advancement.

            The practical yoga for this age is Bhakti yoga, Krishna consciousness, devotional service. And the main practice in this bhakti yoga, the thing that makes everything possible is the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra:

            Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
            Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

            The person who can give you a very clear understanding of everything and help you navigate this path is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and I very seriously suggest you carefully read his books. You can find them at http://www.KrishnaStore.com or read them online at http://www.PrabhupadaBooks.com

            You will find all the answers you are looking for and much more in Srila Prabhupada’s books…

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  6. Oneness says:

    How do i humbly submit to His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada? Simply follow all His teachings & pray to him, this is what i am now doing, i would have loved to be Initiated by him, but for this time it seems all i may do is submit to Him through His teachings.
    Your Servant,

    • Hare Krishna.

      Start by chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and listen to his lectures and put what you hear into practice in your life.

      That is the way.

      “Oneness” is not a very good name. We are all individuals.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

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