This is an intelligent question-SP

May 13, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

KB 1-29  Introduction to Rasa dance

….Mahārāja Parīkṣit heard Śukadeva Gosvāmī explain the situation of the gopīs who assembled with Kṛṣṇa in the rāsa dance. When he heard that some of the gopīs, simply by concentrating on Kṛṣṇa as their paramour, became freed from all contamination of material birth and death, he said, “The gopīs did not know that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They accepted Him as a beautiful boy and considered Him to be their paramour. So how was it possible for them to get freed from the material condition just by thinking of a paramour?” One should consider here that Kṛṣṇa and ordinary living beings are qualitatively one. The ordinary living beings, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, are also Brahman, but Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme–Parabrahman. The question is, if it is possible for the devotee to get free from the material, contaminated stage simply by thinking of Kṛṣṇa, then why not others who are also thinking of someone? If one is thinking of a husband or son, or if anyone at all is thinking of another living entity, since all living entities are also Brahman, then why are they not all freed from the contaminated stage of material nature? This is a very intelligent question, because the atheists are always imitating Kṛṣṇa. (or Srila Prabhupada) In these days of Kaliyuga, there are many rascals who think themselves to be as great as Kṛṣṇa (or Srila Prabhupada)and who cheat people into believing that thinking of them is as good as thinking of Lord Kṛṣṇa. (Or Srila Prabhupada)
Parīkṣit Mahārājaapprehending the dangerous condition of blind followers of demonic imitators, therefore asked this question, and fortunately it is recorded in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to warn innocent people that thinking of an ordinary man and thinking of Kṛṣṇa are not the same.
 
Some Conclusions–I was reading this pastime today and this part  struck me as very important for in so many places in the books we see Prabhupada warning us also  about  the many cheaters that seem to flourish in the world today.
 
 SB 2.9.8 purport…
There is no difference between the Lord and sound vibration coming from Him, even though He is not personally present. The best way of understanding is to accept such divine instruction, and Brahmā, the prime spiritual master of everyone, is the living example of this process of receiving transcendental knowledge. The potency of transcendental sound is never minimized because the vibrator is apparently absent. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhagavad-gītā or any revealed scripture in the world is never to be accepted as an ordinary mundane sound without transcendental potency.

One has to receive the transcendental sound from the right source, accept it as a reality and prosecute the direction without hesitation. The secret of success is to receive the sound from the right source of a bona fide spiritual master. Mundane manufactured sound has no potency, and as such, seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency. One should be qualified enough to discern such transcendental potency, and either by discriminating or by fortunate chance if one is able to receive the transcendental sound from the bona fide spiritual master, his path of liberation is guaranteed. The disciple, however, must be ready to execute the order of the bona fide spiritual master as Lord Brahmā executed the instruction of his spiritual master, the Lord Himself. Following the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the only duty of the disciple, and this completely faithful execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the secret of success.
May 21 1975 Melbourne
Madhudviṣa: ...cannot become a medical practitioner by simply reading the books. He must study under a medical practitioner. So in the case of your books, is it possible to become a devotee without actually having personal association with you? Just by reading your books?
Prabhupāda: No, it is not that you have to associate with the author. But one who knows, if you cannot understand you have to take lesson from himNot necessarily that you have to contact with the author always.
Devotee: Just like the textbooks are not written by the teachers; they’re written by other professors.
Devotee: Usually you don’t even meet the author.
Prabhupāda: Simply one who knows the subject matter, he can explain.
Madhudviṣa: But can your, would your purports, would that serve as explanation besides…
Prabhupāda: No, no, anyone who knows the subject matter, he will be able to explain. Not necessarily the author is required to be present there. [break] …to study from a medical man, I never said you have to study from the author. Or one who understood the author’s purpose. Just like we are explaining Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Not that one has to learn directly from Kṛṣṇa. One who has understood Kṛṣṇa, from him. That is paramparā system.
 
So for example….. we have two different devotee and both are chanting Hare Krsna mantra. One has  the recognized bona fide spiritual master ( at least by those who can see.) And the other has a “guru” who has not been properly authorized to teach others how to chant and worship the deity, etc. 
Does this mean both are deriving equal benefit by their chanting and deity worship? Lets see what Srila Prabhupada has to say….
 
Dec 23 1970 Surat conversations
Devotee (3): In regard to worshiping arcā-vigraha form, you have explained that if one receives a mantra from a spiritual master who is not bona fide, that mantra has no effect. So I would like to ask if one is worshiping a Deity and his spiritual master is not bona fide, so that Deity cannot be considered the Supreme Lord?
Prabhupāda: Well, first of all, thing is if the spiritual master is not bona fide, how his mantra can be bona fide? Your statement is contradictory. If you say the spiritual master is not bona fide, then how his mantra becomes bona fide? If he is bona fide, then his mantra is bona fide.
Devotee (3): Then why is he giving instruction to worship the Deity? If the spiritual master is not bona fide, then is the Deity also not bona fide?
Prabhupāda: I do not follow. What does he say?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: His idea is that if one receives a mantra from a spiritual master, if the spiritual master is not bona fide…
Prabhupāda: Then there is no question of mantra. There is no question of worshiping Deity. These are all bogus things. If you are not… Just like here is a young medical man. If he has not received instruction from a bona fide medical college, so what is the value of his medical, being… That is… What is called? What is the technical name?
Devotee (4): Quack.
Prabhupāda: Quack! (laughter) (pronounces like “quark”)
Devotees: Quack.
Prabhupāda: A quack is not a medical man, however he may show all red bottles, white bottles. 
The final conclusion-is if ones “guru” is not properly authorized then your chanting, your deity worship, your offering food– is all bogus and unacceptable to the Lord.. 
Hey don’t blame me I am simply the peon postal man delivering the mail- without change.
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das
(Īśopaniṣad 12)–A person in ignorance of the principles of religion who therefore does nothing in the matter of religion is far better than a person who misguides others in the name of religion without reference to the factual religious principles of devotional service. Such so-called leaders of religion are sure to be condemned by Brahmā and other great authorities.