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Guru And Sisya
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Guru And Sisya

By Tridandi Swami Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaj
(Rendered into English by Sri Gaurgopal Sarkar, retired Headmaster of Mayapur Thakur Bhaktivinode Institute)

Srila B.B.Bodhayan MaharajThe meaning of the word, Guru (Spiritual master), is very grave. If the word is analyzed it's only two parts ‘Gu’ and ‘ru’ are obtained. Here ‘Gu’ signifies ‘Darkness’ and ‘ru’ means ‘Light’.  It simply indicates that he who is able to save forever illusioned persons from the clutches of darkened maya (illusion) and is able to make them reach the sun or light-like God will be considered to be described as a ‘Guru’. Similarly the meaning of the word, ‘Sisya’ (Disciple), has its own speciality. A disciple promptly places on his head every order of all known as spiritual masters. He carries out the order in question with responsibility, regularity and pleasure and adds to the happiness of Krishna, the original Guru of all, and his Diksha Guru and Siksa Guru and all other Vaisnavas. The inherent meaning of the word Sisya, is associated with a person who always joyfully follows without any question the rules of all sorts of preceptors. In this age the difference between a preceptor and a disciple  is going to be abolished forever. This article is presented in this context.

In the Gita Krishna, the Supreme Godhead, taught lessons to all living in the world by addressing Arjuna. In the very way, the saviour from Kali and the apostle of love, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, addressed Sri Rupa Goswami and his brother, Anupam, when He was seated with them at Dasaswamedh Ghat in Prayag, and taught us that innumerable bounded up jiva souls wonder through 8 400 000 species in the fourteen worlds. There are two classes of jiva: mobile and immobile. Mobile creatures are of three types: aquatic, terrestrial and flying creatures. Among them terrestrial class is the best. Man is the best in this class. Among them the human beings are very small in number. There are many persons who are devoid of civilization and virtue and are atheists. One-half of those who are called virtuous, have reverence for the Vedas and accepts them verbally. Most of these religious persons who have attachment to the Vedas are workers. On analysis one wise person is found among many thousands of workers. In the same way one liberated persons will be detected among thousands of wise men. Similarly, one devotee of Sri Krishna is very scarce among one crore liberated persons.

According to Sriman Mahaprabhu, the apostle of love, devotee of Sri Krishna is very rare. But, in recent days so many rare devotees of Krishna are found all around. Is the utterance of the Lord a false one then? No, it can never be so. His words will never be false. Devotees of Krishna are truly very rare.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Nityananda Prabhu and Namacharya Haridas Thakur after observing the troubles of jivas struck by Kali:

suna suna nityananda suna haridas
sarbatra amara ajna karaha prachar
prati ghare ghare giya kara ei bhiksha
bala krishna bhaja krishna kara krishna siksa

[My dear Nityananda and Haridas, please, give ample publicity of my order to all places. Go to every house and beg  for uttering Krishna, worshiping Krishna and learning Krishna.]

In order to follow the instruction and  to place on high positions the flag signifying the conquest over all views in the foreign countries my Param Gurudev Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, at first sent there his three competent disciples: Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaj, Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj and Srimad Bhakti Hriday Bon Maharaj, for propagating in every house the  way to make lives significant by pronouncing the Name of Krishna, taking part in the service of Krishna and  going through the books having bearings on Krishna. He also wanted to overflow the world by the Holy love of Lord Krishna through the above requests. After that Srila Prabhupada disappeared. In his absence nobody came actively to the foreign countries for a long time for preaching the lessons of Sriman Mahaprabhu. In 1965 Srila Bhakti Vedanta Swami Maharaj, my siksha Guru blessed by Srila Prabhupada and the Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, preached with the vigour given by Srila Prabhupada almost everywhere in the world  as per the following desire of Srila Prabhupada and  instruction of Sriman Mahaprabhu ‘Harer-nama harer-nama harer-namaiva kevalam’ (The Name  of Hari, The Name of Hari, only the Name of Hari). He did so with the desire and grace of Sriman Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada to make the following saying of Sriman Mahaprabhu a true one:

prithivite ache yata nagaradi gram
sarvatra prachar haive mor nam

[My name will be preached to all towns and villages in the world.]

He made it known to  all that Hari-nam only is the natural faculty of the people struck by Kali. It is the only means to get peace by giving up quarrel and enviousness. As a result, at least a number of people having devotion to Mahaprabhu can be found out.

During the time of the prakasa-lila (life-time) of Srila Bhakti Vedanta Swami Maharaja, the founder of  ISKCON, many enthusiastic foreign devotees of Sriman Mahaprabhu were available. In course of time with the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and his class-fellows all Vaisnavas belonging to Sri Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Saraswat Sampradaya (community) and all other so called Vaisnava sects were griped by the awful seizure of Kali.

Men living in this material world lost their awareness about their abode and became devoid of religion. They believe in the so called worldly affairs, disregard the rules of religion and  almost all of them are entangled in transgression. Now in the name of religion we, the devotees in the eyes of the worldly people have made the very flow of the preaching of the message of Sriman Mahaprabhu the way to earn our livelihood. Each jiva is after  enjoying sensual  pleasures. He never  gave us the chance of such an enjoyment. The  entrance of the British in India about 254 years ago with measuring instrument of  a businessman can be taken up as an instance. They found that the hearts of the Indians are soft like flowers. Their measuring instrument gradually broke the said hearts by a magic power and they took over the ruling power in their hands with the aid of their enjoyment tendency.

In this way the religious arena is actually devoid of a true Guru today. We neglected the rules of the scriptures in the name of religion and like the British we made our religion a way to  earn our livelihood. As a result, people living in this country and the foreign lands United themselves in the foreign lands and in this country respectively in the beguile of accepting Guru and preaching religion. By  the attraction of Mahamaya we are detached from our religion and Varnasrama and gave religion an ugly form in connection with the relation of Guru and his disciples. Guru is the container and conveyer of religion. It makes us describe our Guru as the identical revelation of God. Previously we were proud of the judgment and characteristic of the practice of pure devotion by my Param Gurudev Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur. Afterwards my Gurudev, Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj and his godbrothers showed the same ideal of Srila Prabhupada and taught us that the real home of every jiva is Bhagavatdham, Golok, where the Supreme Godhead Himself is engaged in lila (Pastimes) in company with His associates. Jiva is forever related with Him as His servant. They taught us  this matter and showed us the way to return to our real home, Bhagavatdham.

‘Asakti rahita, sambandha sahita kara ucchaisvare Harinam.’ — ‘Pronounce loudely the Name of Hari by discarding attachment  and embracing relation with Him.’  It is a matter of  great regret that we have down-trodden those ideals of the mahajanas (Great saints) as very insignificant ones and have used their great names. On the other hand we bade good bye from the core of our hearts to the land of religion, India and came to the foreign countries to earn money by hook or by crook in the name of the service of God and Guru-Vaisnava. By getting money in this way we saved it giving birth to attachment and leaving our ideal of detachment. Finally we are very much engaged in fulfilling our greed for the enjoyment of our senses.

Some persons disclose, ‘after earning money in the foreign countries we shall go back to our Dham and accept strict Bhajan like Rupa and Sanatana.’ In the words of Srila Viswanath Thakur this type of alternative thinking is called byudhavikalpa. It means a plea to enjoy worldly possessions in the name of service to God by forgetting Saranagati. In fact, only Saranagati (complete surrender) and nothing else is the stair to reach to the door of the knowledge of Bhagavata. At the time  of composing the kirtan ‘Vaisnava ke’ — ‘Who is the Vaisnava?’, Srila Prabhupada said ‘Kanaka, Kamini Pratistha baghini chariache yare, sei to vaisnava’ — ‘He who has discarded gold, female sex and the tigress, reputation is the Vaisnava’. Yet we being his prasisya (followers of the next generation) are  worshiping the three hindrances to Hari Bhajan: gold, female sex and reputation. In fact, most of us made Srila Prabhupada and His initiated personalities the capital of our business, entrapped ourselves in the guise of Vaisnavas and after accepting materialistic views we  are in the look out for making the number of Apasampradaya so many in place of only thirteen.

Srila Prabhupada always said ‘The condition of so called Guru and Sisya is very miserable. The condition of all Gurus is more regrettable than Sisyas’. In the words of Srila Prabhupada both Guru and Sisya of this type are blind while they follow the path to devotion. Gurudev is the pathfinder to the Bhagavat-dham. A blind can not show the way to another blind. If a person plays the role of a guru without practicing pure devotion and shows negligence to the scriptures he will receive two pushes at the time of trying to show the way to his sisya and his sisya will get one. His venture of this type will bring to him the first push. He will fall down in a ditch. His second push will come when his sisya will fall flat on him from behind having the first push.

In recent days another problem appeared very prominently. On getting in touch with different posts in religious organizations Guru and sisya both are now busy with these positions. Whenever they are asked of pure devotion, they being burdened with the posts say with wonder ‘What is that?! Now we are very busy.’ Srila Sukadeva Goswami told us to chant the Name of Hari for sixteen rounds on the beads and look after the property as the one belonging to Krishna. The exact time for taking Hari Nama sixteen times on the beads is not found out in view of the malice of property. Practically when a property is taken as one belonging to me instead  of Krishna, jiva by unbiased strength of Krishna goes far away from Him and gets a burning sensation as a separate entity.

Now gold, female sex and reputation are our necessity in place of love to Krishna. What will be the consequence? Will our taking shelter of the lotus feet of Guru and endeavour or service be proved futile? Our taking shelter of the lotus feet of Guru will then be meaningful when we shall be able to follow with pleasure all the principles laid down by him instead of imitating them and chant the Name of Hari whole-heartedly. In this way, our venture to be united with the soul of our Guru chanting of Harinam everyday and measures to serve the Vaisnavas and the Lord will make us follow Bhakti-anga instead of playing the role of accepting pure devotion. If a Guru is engaged in the robbing of the wealth of his sisya instead of removing his miseries and a sisya is entangled in enjoying his Guru instead of rendering devotional service to him (that was described previously at the time of showing the attempt of Guru to earn his livelihood by making the Name as the capital and his  engagement in enjoying the senses) then Yamaraj will construct a special naraka (hell) for both the Guru and his said sisya.

This dasadhama prays with a piece of cloth fastened around his neck to Srila Guru Padapadma, Srila Prabhupada and the  Acharyas following the footsteps of Rupa ‘Please, wake every one living in the  world, making  them detached  from Anyabhilasa (other aspirations) by defeating the two hindrances to pure devotion — knowledge and work, and give them that is conducive to the nourishment of pure devotion and allow them to be the eternal devotees of the Lord Krishna Chandra.’ They are also requested by him to allow the boat of his human body to serve the lotus feet of the  pilot who takes us to the opposite bank of the ocean in the form of this world, to rescue us by creating the chance for establishing an eternal relation with the Lord and to make us liberated from our condition of confinement in Maya.

This Dasadhama politely submit to the readers to kindly forgive the Aparadha (offences) for his faults.

Bhaktibibudha Bodhayan


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