bona fide versus bogus

November 28, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

SB 8.16.24–Śrī Kaśyapa Muni said: When I desired offspring, I placed inquiries before Lord Brahmā, who is born from a lotus flower. Now I shall explain to you the same process Lord Brahmā instructed me, by which Keśava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is satisfied.

PURPORT-
Here the process of devotional service is further explained. Kaśyapa Muni wanted to instruct Aditi in the same process recommended to him by Brahmā for satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is valuable. The guru does not manufacture a new process to instruct the disciple. The disciple receives from the guru an authorized process received by the guru from his guru. This is called the system of disciplic succession (evaṁ paramparā-prāptaṁ imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]). This is the bona fide Vedic system of receiving the process of devotional service, by which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased. Therefore, to approach a bona fide guru, or spiritual master, is essential. The bona fide spiritual master is he who has received the mercy of his guru, who in turn is bona fide because he has received the mercy of his guru. This is called the paramparā system. Unless one follows this paramparā system, the mantra one receives will be chanted for no purpose. Nowadays there are so many rascal gurus who manufacture their mantras as a process for material advancement, not spiritual advancement. Still, the mantra cannot be successful if it is manufactured. Mantras and the process of devotional service have special power, provided they are received from the authorized person.
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Oct 27 1972 Vrndavana
Brahmā is the greatest personality within this universe, and he has got his sampradāya which is known as Brahmasampradāya. Similarly Lord Śiva has also a sampradāya which is called Rudrasampradāya. Similarly, Nārada-Pa�carātra, Kumārasampradāya. So follow the sampradāyaSampradāya vihīnā te mantrās te viphalaṁ matāḥ. If you do not follow any bona fide sampradāya, then your path of spiritual advancement will be baffled. You will simply waste your time. Viphalaṁ matāḥ. So we should follow the footsteps of great ācāryas. Then our progress is positive. There is no fear.
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                                 Deity worship-bona fide and bogus

                                   Dec 23 1970 Surat conversations-
So what happens if   the guru gives you a bona fide mantra but– he is not bona fide?
Devotee (3): In regard to worshiping arcāvigraha form, you have explained that if one receives a mantra from a spiritual master who is not bona fidethat 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.
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April 23 1972…..
One has to receive the transcendental sound from the right source and accept it as a reality and prosecute the direction without any hesitation, and 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 a 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.
SB 4.7.46 purport-A significant word used in this verse is trayīgātra, which means that the transcendental form of the Lord is the Vedas. Anyone who engages in the worship of the Deity, or the form of the Lord in the temple, is understood to be studying all the Vedas twenty-four hours a day. Simply by decorating the Deities of the Lord, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, in the temple, one very minutely studies the injunctions of the Vedas.Even a neophyte devotee who simply engages in the worship of the Deity is understood to be in direct touch with the purport of Vedic knowledge. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita 15.15vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ: the purport of the Vedas is to understand Him, Kṛṣṇa. One who worships and serves Kṛṣṇa directly has understood the truths of the Vedas. 
Some Conclusions--So it all depends upon one’s accepting Lord Krsna’s approved and authorized representative, otherwise as Srila Prabhupada mentions above-he is a quack  or a fraud despite how many “colorful bottles” he may show.
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das–comments welcome (dasdasdas@aol.com)