May 19, 2021 in Articles by Laksman dasa


Compiled by Isana dasa

There are two aspects of the mercy of the pure devotee:

1)One aspect concerns the ability to become detached from material gratifications.

2)The other aspect is the ability to have devotional feelings. 

BG 4.34 purport excerpt

………….One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. One should not only hear submissively from the spiritual master; but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore, when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect.

NOTE: It is by the kindness that the bona fide spiritual master reciprocates with the disciple by blessing the disciple with knowledge.  In other words, it is not simply a question of following instructions, like how to cook a dish of food, or operate a vehicle.  Rather, the reciprocation of service and reception of knowledge is a personal moment to moment exchange.  When we are “fixed up” we are protected; and the moment we let go we are under maya’s dictation, control.  In this sense, the bona fide spiritual master is like a parole officer.  As soon as we break parole, we are back in the prison house of material existence.


By His (Sri Nityananda) alone, one may develop the mood of loving devotion to the Supreme Lord.

CC Madhya lila 22.51 TRANSLATION:  Unless one is favored by a pure devotee, he cannot attain the platform of devotional service. To say nothing of kṛṣṇa-bhakti, one cannot even be relieved from the bondage of material existence.

PURPORT EXCERPT:  ”……… Pious activities bring about material opulence, but one cannot acquire devotional service by any amount of material pious activity, not by giving charity, opening big hospitals and schools or working philanthropically. Devotional service can be attained only by the mercy of a pure devotee. Without a pure devotee’s mercy, one cannot even escape the bondage of material existence…………..Whatever one may be, one must take shelter at the lotus feet of a devotee mahātmā and treat him as the most exalted well-wisher of all human society. We should take shelter of such a mahātmā and ask for his causeless mercy. Only by his benediction can one be relieved from attachment to a materialistic way of life. When one is thus relieved, he can engage in the Lord’s transcendental loving service through the mercy of the mahatma.”

CC Madhya lila 22.52 TRANSLATION:  ” ‘O King Rahūgaṇa, without taking upon one’s head the dust from the lotus feet of a pure devotee [a mahājana or mahātmā], one cannot attain devotional service. Devotional service is not possible to attain simply by undergoing severe austerities and penances, by gorgeously worshiping the Deity, or by strictly following the rules and regulations of the sannyāsa or gṛhastha order, nor by studying the Vedas, submerging oneself in water, or exposing oneself to fire or scorching sunlight.’

SB 6.5.41  Purport excerpt”……….According to Dakṣa’s philosophy. one should become implicated in material enjoyment so that after experiencing the distress of such enjoyment one will automatically renounce. Material nature, however. is so strong that although a man suffers at every step, he will not cease his attempts to enjoy (tṛpyanti neha kṛpaṇa-bahu-duḥkha-bhājaḥ). Under the circumstances, unless one gets the association of a devotee like Nārada Muni or his servant in the disciplic succession, one’s dormant spirit of renunciation cannot be awakened. It is not a fact that because material enjoyment involves so many painful conditions one will automatically become detached. One needs the blessings of a devotee like Nārada Muni. Then one can renounce his attachment for the material world. The young boys and girls of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement have given up the spirit of material enjoyment not because of practice but by the mercy of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His servants.

“Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung, kṛṣṇa se tomāra, kṛṣṇa dite pāra, tomāra śakati āche. In this song, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura describes that a pure Vaiṣṇava, as the proprietor of Kṛṣṇa and love of Kṛṣṇa, can deliver both to anyone and everyone he likes. Therefore, to get Kṛṣṇa and love of Kṛṣṇa one must seek the mercy of pure devotees. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura also says, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi: ‘By the mercy of the spiritual master one is blessed by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master one cannot make any advancement.’ By the grace of a Vaiṣṇava or bona fide spiritual master one can get both love of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa Himself.”  (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 11.59, Purport)

SB 7.9.42 purport… Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura also sings, tumi ta’ ṭhākura, tomāra kukura, baliyā jānaha more: “O my Lord, O Vaiṣṇava, please consider me your dog.” One must become the dog of a Vaiṣṇava, a pure devotee, for a pure devotee can deliver Kṛṣṇa without difficulty. Kṛṣṇa se tomāra, kṛṣṇa dite pāra. Kṛṣṇa is the property of His pure devotee, and if we take shelter of a pure devotee, he can deliver Kṛṣṇa very easily. Prahlāda wants to engage in the service of a devotee, and therefore he prays to Kṛṣṇa, “My dear Lord, kindly give me the shelter of Your very dear devotee so that I may engage in his service and You may then be pleased.” Mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (Bhāg. 11.19.21). The Lord says, “Engaging in the service of My devotee is better than trying to engage in My devotional service.”

SB 10.10.25 Purport excerpt:

………..If one seeks the favor of a devotee instead of directly asking favors from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is very easily successful. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has therefore recommended: vaiṣṇava ṭhākura tomāra kukkura bhuliyā jānaha more, kṛṣṇa se tomāra kṛṣṇa dite pāra. One should desire to become like a dog in strictly following a devotee. Kṛṣṇa is in the hand of a devotee. Adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. Thus, without the favor of a devotee, one cannot directly approach Kṛṣṇa, what to speak of engaging in His service. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore sings, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: unless one becomes a servant of a pure devotee, one cannot be delivered from the material condition of life. In our Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava society, following in the footsteps of Rūpa Gosvāmī, our first business is to seek shelter of a bona fide spiritual master (ādau gurv-āśrayaḥ).

SB 10.10.37 Purport

Unless delivered or blessed by a devotee, one cannot realize that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye. According to this verse of Bhagavad-gītā (7.3), there are so many siddhas or yogīs who cannot understand Kṛṣṇa; instead, they misunderstand Him. But if one takes shelter of a devotee descending from the paramparā system of Nārada (svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ [SB 6.3.20]), one can then understand who is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this age, many pseudo incarnations are advertised simply for having exhibited some magical performances, but except for persons who are servants of Nārada and other servants of Kṛṣṇa, no one can understand who is God and who is not. This is confirmed by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: no one is delivered from the material conception of life unless favored by a Vaiṣṇava. Others can never understand, neither by speculation nor by any other bodily or mental gymnastics.



The Lord also declared to Yogamāyā that His plenary expansion, Ananta Śeṣa, was within the womb of Devakī. On account of being forcibly attracted to the womb of Rohiṇī, He will be known as Saṅkarṣaṇa and would be the source of all spiritual power or bala, by which one could be able to attain the highest bliss of life which is called ramaṇa. Therefore, the plenary portion Ananta would be known after His appearance either as Saṅkarṣaṇa or Balarāma.

In the Upaniṣads it is stated, Nāyam ātmā bala hīnena labhya. The purport is that one cannot attain the Supreme or any form of self-realization without being sufficiently favored by Balarāma. Bala does not mean physical strength. No one can attain spiritual perfection by physical strength. One must have the spiritual strength which is infused by Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa. Ananta or Śeṣa is the power which sustains all the planets in their different positions. Materially this sustaining power is known as the law of gravitation, but actually it is the display of the potency of Saṅkarṣaṇa. Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa is spiritual power, or the original spiritual master. Therefore, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, who is also the incarnation of Balarāma, is the original spiritual master. And the spiritual master is the representative of Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who supplies spiritual strength. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is confirmed that the spiritual master is the manifestation of the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.


·         All of our spiritual strength and spiritual bliss is infused only by the mercy of Lord Balaram.

·         Lord Nityananda is incarnation of Balaram, the original spiritual master, and spiritual master is the representative of Balaram, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who supplies spiritual strength.


Jan 29 1973 letter…This attitude of serving first the spiritual master is the correct one, for only by the mercy of the spiritual master can one obtain the mercy of Krsna. Just as we sing every morning yasya prasadad bhagavad-prasado yasya prasada na gatih kuto ‘pi, in this way the disciple advances more and more in understanding God.