Chanting with and w/o offense-and who finds a bonafide guru and who does not–SP

November 5, 2020 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Adi 8.22--Whether he is offensive or inoffensive, anyone who even now chants śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda is immediately overwhelmed with ecstasy, and tears fill his eyes.

Adi 8.24-–There are offenses to be considered while chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa one does not become ecstatic.

PURPORT…..If one has heard the glories of the transcendental holy name of the Lord but nevertheless continues in a materialistic concept of life, thinking “I am this body and everything belonging to this body is mine [ahaṁ mameti],” and does not show respect and love for the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, that is an offense.

Adi 8.25–“If one’s heart does not change, tears do not flow from his eyes, his body does not shiver, and his bodily hairs do not stand on end as he chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, it should be understood that his heart is as hard as iron. This is due to his offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord’s holy name.”

PURPORT—Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, commenting on this verse, which is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.3.24), remarks that sometimes a mahā-bhāgavata, or very advanced devotee, does not manifest such transcendental symptoms as tears in the eyes, and sometimes a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, a neophyte devotee, displays them artificially. This does not mean, however, that the neophyte is more advanced than the mahā-bhāgavata devotee. The test of the real change of heart that takes place when one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is that one becomes detached from material enjoyment. This is the real change. Bhaktir pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (Bhāg. 11.2.42). If one is actually advancing in spiritual life, he must become very much detached from material enjoyment. If it is sometimes found that a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī (neophyte devotee) shows artificial tears in his eyes while chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra but is still completely attached to material things, his heart has not really changed. The change must be manifested in terms of one’s real activities.

Adi 8.26–Simply chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra without offenses vanquishes all sinful activities. Thus pure devotional service, which is the cause of love of Godhead, becomes manifest.

PURPORT-One cannot be situated in the devotional service of the Lord unless one is free from sinful life. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.28): yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmanām te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the duality of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.” A person who is already cleansed of all tinges of sinful life engages without deviation or duality of purpose in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this age, although people are greatly sinful, simply chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra can relieve them from the reactions of their sins. Eka kṛṣṇa-nāme: only by chanting Kṛṣṇa’s name is this possible. This is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya). Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also taught us this. While passing on the road, He used to chant: kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa he. If one always chants the holy name Kṛṣṇa, gradually one is freed from all reactions of sinful life, provided he chants offenselessly and does not commit more sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. In this way one is purified, and his devotional service causes the arousal of his dormant love of God. Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and not committing sinful activities and offenses, one’s life is purified, and thus one comes to the fifth stage of perfection, or engagement in the loving service of the Lord (premā pum-artho mahān).

Adi 7.143–“If one develops his love of Godhead and becomes attached to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, gradually he loses his attachment to everything else.PURPORT-This is a test of advancement in devotional service. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.42), bhaktir pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca: in bhakti, a devotee’s only attachment is Kṛṣṇa; he no longer wants to maintain his attachments to many other things.

SB 1.2.7–By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.

PURPORT—Those who consider devotional service to the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa to be something like material emotional affairs may argue that in the revealed scriptures, sacrifice, charity, austerity, knowledge, mystic powers and similar other processes of transcendental realization are recommended. According to them, bhakti, or the devotional service of the Lord, is meant for those who cannot perform the high-grade activities. Generally it is said that the bhakti cult is meant for the śūdras, vaiśyas and the less intelligent woman class. But that is not the actual fact. The bhakti cult is the topmost of all transcendental activities, and therefore it is simultaneously sublime and easy. It is sublime for the pure devotees who are serious about getting in contact with the Supreme Lord, and it is easy for the neophytes who are just on the threshold of the house of bhakti. To achieve the contact of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is a great science, and it is open for all living beings, including the śūdras, vaiśyas, women and even those lower than the lowborn śūdras, so what to speak of the high-class men like the qualified brāhmaṇas and the great self-realized kings. The other high-grade activities designated as sacrifice, charity, austerity, etc., are all corollary factors following the pure and scientific bhakti cult.The principles of knowledge and detachment are two important factors on the path of transcendental realization.The whole spiritual process leads to perfect knowledge of everything material and spiritual, and the results of such perfect knowledge are that one becomes detached from material affection and becomes attached to spiritual activities. Becoming detached from material things does not mean becoming inert altogether, as men with a poor fund of knowledge think. Naiṣkarma means not undertaking activities that will produce good or bad effects. Negation does not mean negation of the positive. Negation of the nonessentials does not mean negation of the essential. Similarly, detachment from material forms does not mean nullifying the positive form. The bhakti cult is meant for realization of the positive form. When the positive form is realized, the negative forms are automatically eliminated. Therefore, with the development of the bhakti cult, with the application of positive service to the positive form, one naturally becomes detached from inferior things, and he becomes attached to superior things. Similarly, the bhakti cult, being the supermost occupation of the living being, leads him out of material sense enjoyment. That is the sign of a pure devotee. He is not a fool, nor is he engaged in the inferior energies, nor does he have material values. This is not possible by dry reasoning. It actually happens by the grace of the Almighty. In conclusion, one who is a pure devotee has all other good qualities, namely knowledge, detachment, etc., but one who has only knowledge or detachment is not necessarily well acquainted with the principles of the bhakti cult. Bhakti is the supermost occupation of the human being.

Madhya 6.254– vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yoga-śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-śarīra-dhārī kṛpāmbudhir yas tam ahaṁ prapadye
TRANSLATION–“Let me take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who has descended in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to teach us real knowledge, His devotional service and detachment from whatever does not foster Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He has descended because He is an ocean of transcendental mercy. Let me surrender unto His lotus feet.

PURPORT–This verse and the following verse are included in the Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka (6.74), by Śrī Kavi-karṇapura.

Nov 28 1976…So anyone who has accepted this material world as very comfortable… It is not comfortable; it is simply suffering. Kṛṣṇa says, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. And still, if we want to be happy in this material world, bahir-artha-māninaḥ. These fools, they are trying to be happy within this material world. …So unless there is vairāgya, there is no question of happiness. But we cannot attain vairāgya immediately;therefore the vidhi-mārga, vidhi-mārga-bhakti, to rise early in the morning, to attend maṅgala ārati, to offer Deity flowers, fruits, and in this way we shall be engaged twenty-four hours. Then vairāgya-vidyā will gradually develop. Anarthopaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje [SB 1.7.6]. Then the anartha… This material life is simply anartha, has no meaning, because we are creating another life. Without any spiritual knowledge, if we simply give ourself to the action and reaction of material nature, then we are making progress on the path of mṛtyu-saṁsāra vartmani [Bg. 9.3]. And if we attain Kṛṣṇa, then mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti [Bg. 8.15]. The two ways.So our request is that you have taken to this vairāgya-vidyā. So vairāgya-vidyā, we do not say that you starve, don’t eat anything, don’t sleep at all. No. It should be regulated. Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārtham upayuñjataḥ. Don’t be attached to eating, sleeping. That is not good. But you must eat, you must sleep as little as possible, and try to conquer over it. My mind dictating, “Sleep seventeen hours.” No. That is tapasya. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa [SB 6.1.13]. Why shall you sleep more than four hours or five hours, or utmost six hours? That’s all, not more than that. That is vairāgya-vidyā. We have to learn it.That is devotional service. Vairāgya-vidyā nija-bhakti-yogam [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. He’s teaching. Kṛṣṇa Himself is teaching. Here you see. Ṛṣabhadeva is Kṛṣṇa. Vairāgyā-vidyā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He taught vairāgya-vidyā….This śloka can be applicable to Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s life. He also became a sannyāsī, ārya-vacasā. One brāhmaṇa cursed him. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, to receive some blessings from the brāhmaṇas, when He was boy He was voluntarily trying to give some service to the brāhmaṇas who were engaged in bathing in the Ganges. He’ll clear the place because the brāhmaṇa, after taking bath in the Ganges, would sit down, would chant mantra. So He’ll cleanse and He’ll wash the cloth, and in… Voluntarily He was doing that, service. So one brāhmaṇa blessed Him, “My dear boy, You’ll be very happy in your family life. You’ll have good wife, very opulent position.” And Caitanya Mahāprabhu was blocking the ears. The brāhmaṇa said, “What is this?” “No, this is not blessing, sir.” “Oh, it is not blessing? Then You’ll never be happy in Your family life.” “Yes, this is the…” (laughter) “This is all right.” So therefore He took sannyāsa. Arya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam. Similarly, Lord Rāmacandra, ārya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam. These are the characteristic of the Personality of Godhead. Try to follow Them, not imitate, but follow them.Thank you. (end)

Some Conclusions–Srila Prabhupada writes…The test of the real change of heart that takes place when one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is that one becomes detached from material enjoyment. So tears in eyes, shivering of body these will all come as long as we develop real detachment for material life. That detachment is possible only thru  bona fide,  or authorized,Bhakti yoga. If one begins by accepting someone who is not authorized as guru by Krsna, then even if you do everything perfectly from that point on -it all is a wrong conclusion.

If you add 2+2 and get 5, even if everything after that is done perfectly, then since the very foundation of your equation is wrong, we will not get the desired results.

This entire compilation was about how to arrive at the stage of Prema Bhakti -pure ecstatic chanting–but those nasty 10 offenses for many of us  reamain an obstacle., So for all of us the very beginning of pure bhakti is to accept a pure devotee of the Lord as our spiritual master. Who is a pure devotee? That answer must come from the Supersoul due to a sincere desire from the neophyte devotee. If one is serious and sincere then Supersoul Krsna will guide us to that pure devotee of the Lord. If we want many other things instead, that same Supersoul will also guide us to a person who says 2+2=5. And that 5 may look like a 4, but it is not and never will be.

Therefore Srila Prabhupada tells us…SB 8.24.53 purport-Sometimes it is argued that people do not know who is a spiritual master and that finding a spiritual master from whom to get enlightenment in regard to the destination of life is very difficult. …It is difficult, however, to understand Bhagavad-gītā without the help of the guru. Therefore the guru appears in the paramparā system. In Bhagavad-gītā (4.34) the Supreme Personality of Godhead recommends: tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” … Where, then, is the difficulty in finding a guru? If one is sincere he can find the guru and learn everything. ———————————-

What follows are many quotes by Srila Prabhupda as to why some people simply do not get a pure devotee of the Lord as their spiritual master. Those of us who have accepted Srila Prabhupada as our guru look at all the others who have been cheated by imposter gurus in this age and we feel sorry for them. We pray and hope that someday Krsna as supersoul will guide them to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and accept him only as their one and only spiritual guide, master and friend.

Hare Krsna

damaghosa das———————————

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada
 Only that person whom Lord Krishna sends us as spiritual master will manifest before us as our guru. By the Lord’s mercy we attain a spiritual master, and by the spiritual master’s mercy we attain Krishna. We are given a spiritual master according to our fortune.Different people have different mentalities, and the omniscient Lord sends each an appropriate spiritual master. There are those who desire the Lord’s nonduplicitous mercy and who completely depend on him for their success. These souls please the Lord with their simple sincerity. To bestow his mercy upon them, he appears before them personally. To those who want something else from the Lord, who are not actually aspiring for his complete mercy, the Lord sends through his illusory energy a spiritual master appropriate to their mentality.A sincere person never faces difficulty but quickly finds a bona fide guru. — From Amrta Vani, collected teachings of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Compiled in Bengali by Sri Bhakti Bhagavat Mayukha Maharaja. Adapted and translated into English by Bhumipati Das and Isvara Das. Touchstone Media. Mumbai. 2004. Page 28.———————————————————————

Morning Walk—December 7, 1973, Los Angeles:
Bali Mardana: If someone is actually sincere, can he be cheated or will he always get a bona fide guru?

Prabhupāda: No, if he is sincere he’ll get. Yes. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Guru and Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is within you. As soon as He sees that you are sincere, He’ll give you the right person.

Bali Mardana: So if you are not completely sincere, you might get a Guru Maharaji.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Bali Mardana: If you’re not completely sincere, you might get someone else.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because you want to be cheated, you go to the cheater. That’s all. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg. 4.11]. Kṛṣṇa is intelligent, superintelligent. If you are a cheater, He’ll cheat you. He’ll cheat you. First-class cheat, Kṛṣṇa. But if you’re actually sincere, then He’ll give you the right thing. That is stated in the Bhag…, mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: [Bg. 15.15] “Everything is coming from Me: smṛtiḥ, remembrance, and forgetfulness.” If you are a cheater, Kṛṣṇa will give you such intelligence, you’ll forget Kṛṣṇa forever.

Dr. Wolfe: Śrīla Prabhupāda, so it is so, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The cheaters flock together.

Prabhupāda: Yes. “Birds of the same feather flock together.”

TLC 18–Unless one is under the shelter of a realized spiritual master, his understanding of the Supreme is simply foolishness.

Yaśomatīnandana: Sometimes they even say that “You have your guru and I have my guru. It’s all the same thing.”

Prabhupāda: Yes, and a thief has also a guru. Then that guru is also the same thing. (Hindi) Here guru means tasmād gurum prapadyeta jijñāsur śreya uttaman [SB 11.3.21]. (Hindi) Nāpnuvanti mahātmānam saṁsiddhiṁ paramaṁ gataḥ. SP conv Nov 14, 1975

TEXT 13–TRANSLATION–Sometimes, to mitigate distresses in this forest of the material world, the conditioned soul receives cheap blessings from atheists. He then loses all intelligence in their association. This is exactly like jumping in a shallow river. As a result one simply breaks his head. He is not able to mitigate his sufferings from the heat, and in both ways he suffers. The misguided conditioned soul also approaches so-called sādhus and svāmīs who preach against the principles of the Vedas. He does not receive benefit from them, either in the present or in the future.

PURPORT-Cheaters are always there to manufacture their own way of spiritual realization. To get some material benefit, the conditioned soul approaches these pseudo sannyāsīs and yogīs for cheap blessings, but he does not receive any benefit from them, either spiritual or material. In this age there are many cheaters who show some jugglery and magic. They even create gold to amaze their followers, and their followers accept them as God. This type of cheating is very prominent in Kali-yuga. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura describes the real guru in this way.saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvamprāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindamOne should approach a guru who can extinguish the blazing fire of this material world, the struggle for existence.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.21) gives similar advice:
tasmād guruṁ prapadyetajijñāsuḥ śreya uttamamśābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁbrahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
Any person who seriously desires to achieve real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of his spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.”…”Now, to take such guidance means the spiritual master should also be a very perfect man. Otherwise, how can he guide? .. Therefore one has to select a spiritual master whose order, carrying, you’ll not commit a mistake. You see? Now, suppose if you accept a wrong person as spiritual master, and if you, if he guides you wrongly, then your whole life is spoiled. So one has to accept a spiritual master whose guidance will make his life perfect. That is the relation between spiritual master and disciple. It is not a formality. It is a great responsibility both for the disciple and for the spiritual master.” Lectures : Bhagavad-gita 2.7-11 — New York, March 2, 1966

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, why has it taken so long for a pure devotee to come to the West? Has the West been so sinful that no pure devotee has come before Your Divine Grace?

Prabhupada: Don’t be sorry. At that time, you were so sinful that you could not receive a pure devotee.

Devotee: Yes. Once in a lecture a lady asked you why hadn’t you come sooner, and you just said, “Well, you weren’t ready for me.”

Prabhupada: Yes, “Because you were not ready.” Yes, I told. Yes. Now the Western boys, the descendant of the Western people, they are fortunate; therefore they receive Kṛṣṇa. Kona bhāgyavān jīva (CC Madhya 19.151). It is Kṛṣṇa’s desire that “These people are suffering so much; let some devotees come here.” So you are all devotees. You have come to join together.(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, December 7, 1973)

“You have asked ‘How serious would it be for me if I should miss the golden opportunity to become your initiated disciple?’ You should know that the value of accepting a bonafide spiritual master is more than we can calculate. It is not a mere formality. Of course everyone is encouraged to chant Hare Krishna, but until one gives up sinful activities and becomes determined to serve Krishna through His representative then the firm fixing up of devotional service will not take hold, and there is every chance that one will fall prey to all sorts of material desires and have to come back again in the next life—and one cannot guarantee that he will be born in the form of life he may desire.”(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Ravendra Gupta, February 12, 1974)

SSR 2Reporter: Don’t you feel that people are suspicious because of their experience with fake gurus? If you went to a quack dentist and he broke your tooth, you might be suspicious about going to another dentist.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Naturally, if you are cheated, you become suspicious. But this does not mean that if you are cheated once, you will always be cheated. You should find someone genuine. But to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you must be either very fortunate or well aware of this science.
Reporter: I wondered how many people you think might have been taken in by fake gurus.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Practically everyone. [Laughter.] There is no question of counting. Everyone.

Reporter: This would mean thousands of people, wouldn’t it?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Millions. Millions have been cheated, because they want to be cheated. God is omniscient. He can understand your desires. He is within your heart, and if you want to be cheated, God sends you a cheater.

June 30 1974 letterAs far as my blessing is concerned it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.