Shri Gaudiya Kanthahara

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati | 83,221 words

Shri Gaudiya Kantahara (English translation) was published by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati to train devotees in the philosophy of Krishna-consciousness and to be able to quote the authoritative parts of the Vedas. A collection of over a thousand verses, sorted by tattva, includes general index, alphabetical index of verses. Verses in in Roman tr...

Chapter 1 - Guru-tattva

The Guru Principle

One Must Accept a Guru in Disciplic Succession.

1.1

tad vijñānārthaṃ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit paniḥ śrotriyaṃ brahma-niṣṭham

One who wants to know the Absolute Truth scientifically must approach a bona fide spiritual master and offer him everything required for sacrifice. Such a spiritual master must be fixed in the truth, having heard it in disciplic succession. (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12)

1.2

ācāryavān puruṣo veda

Only one who has a guru can know the truth. (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.14.2)

1.3

uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata
kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā
durgaṃ pathas tat kavayo vadanti

Wake up and take advantage of the human form of life. Learned transcendentalists say that the path of spiritual life is difficult; it is sharp like a razor's edge. (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14)

1.4

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

Only unto those great souls who serve guru and Kṛṣṇa with implicit faith is the import of the Vedas fully revealed. (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

1.5

nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṃ svām

The Supreme Self can never be known by any amount of argument, reasoning, intelligence, or by much hearing. To those whom He chooses, however, He may reveal His personal form. (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23)

1.6

janana-maraṇādi-saṃsāranala-santapto dīpta-śirā
jala-rāśim iva upahāra-pāniḥ śrotriyaṃ
brahma-niṣṭhaṃ gurum upasṛtya tam anusarati

Just as a person whose head is afire runs towards water, one burning from the fire of material existence birth, death, old age, and disease must run to a guru for relief. Such a guru must be fixed in the Absolute Truth and well-versed in the scriptures. One should approach him with all that is needed for sacrifice, submit to him, and be ready to carry out his every instruction. (Vedānta-sāra 11)

1.7

'kṛṣṇa-nitya-dāsa', jīva tāhā bhuli' gela
ei doṣe māyā tāra galāya bāndhila

Because the soul has forgotten that he is the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, Māyā has chained him by the neck. (Cc. Madhya 22.24)

1.8

kṛṣṇa bhuli' sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṃsārādi-duḥkha

Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the soul is attracted by the illusory energy since time immemorial, which gives him innumerable miseries in the material world. (Cc. Madhya 20.117)

1.9

kṛṣṇa-bahir-mukha haiyā bhoga vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
piśācī pāile yena mati-chhanna haya
māyā-grasta jīvera haya se bhāva udaya
"āmi nitya kṛṣṇa-dāsa" ei kathā bhule
māyāra naphara haiyā cira-dina bule
kabhu rājā, kabhu prajā, kabhu vipra, śudra
kabhu sukhī, kabhu duḥkhī, kabhu kīṭa, kṣudra
kabhu svarge, kabhu martye, narake vā kabhu
kabhu deva, kabhu daitya kabhu dāsa prabhu

Being averse to the service of the Supreme Lord, the living entity tries to satisfy his lusty desires for sense gratification, and thus the illusory energy keeps him tightly within her embrace. The living entity, captured by the illusory energy, becomes just like a madman under a witch's spell.

"I am the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa" forgetting this, he becomes the slave of māyā and forever wanders through a succession of lives. Sometimes he is a king, sometimes a subject. Now a brāhmaṇa, now a śudra. Now an insignificant ant. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad. Now he goes to heaven, now to hell. Sometimes he is a god, sometimes a devil, now a servant, now a lord. (Prema-vivarta)

1.10

brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
tāte kṛṣṇa bhaje, kare gurura sevana
māyā-jala chuṭe, pāya kṛṣṇera caraṇa

Wandering throughout the universe, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, the living entity who is fortunate meets a bona fide spiritual master. By the mercy of the spiritual master, he gets the seed of the bhakti-latā. By worshiping Kṛṣṇa and rendering service to the spiritual master, one is liberated from the illusory world of māyā, and attains the lotus feet of the Lord. (Cc. Madhya 19.151, 22.25)

1.11

mūkaṃ karoti vācālaṃ paṅgum laṅghayate girim
yāt kṛpā tām ahaṃ vande paramānanda mādhavam

I offer my respectful obeisances unto transcendental bliss personified, Lord Mādhava, by whose mercy a dumb man can speak eloquently, a blind man can see the stars, and a lame man can cross mountains. (Bhavārtha Dipikā, Maṅgala Stotram 1)

1.12

caitanya līlā-amṛta-pūra, kṛṣṇa-līlā-sukarpūra,
duhe mili' haya sumādhurya
sādhu-guru-prasāde, tāhā yei āsvāde,
sei jāne mādhurya prācurya

The pastimes of Śrī Caitanya are the abode of nectarean love of Godhead. They are like thick condensed milk. The pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are like camphor. When these are combined they are very sweet. By the mercy of the guru one can taste that sweetness un-limitedly. (Cc. Madhya 25.277)

A Qualified Guru and Disciple are Hard to Find

1.13

śravaṇāyāpi bahubhir yo na labhyaḥ
śṛnvanto 'pi bahavo na vidyuḥ
āścaryo 'sya vaktā kuś lo 'sya labhdā
āścaryo jñātā kuśalānuśiṣṭaḥ

Many cannot hear about the soul, and even after hearing about it many cannot understand it, because it is hard to find a guru who is a genuine seer of the truth. Such a qualified guru is a great soul and is very rare. Only those who follow his teachings can realize the truth and become expert in the science of God. Such disciples are also very rare. (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.7)

A Genuine Guru Knows the Truth About Kṛṣṇa, is Surrendered to Him, and is Well-Versed in the Vedic Literature

1.14

tasmād guruṃ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṃ
brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam

One who is searching for the Ultimate Truth must surrender to a guru who knows the inner meaning of the Vedas, is fixed in the Absolute Truth and is expert in the śāstra. (Bhāg. 11.3.21)

1.15

kṛpā-sindhuḥ su-saṃpūrnaḥ
sarva-sattvopakārakaḥ
nispṛhaḥ sarvataḥ siddhaḥ
sarva-vidyā-viśāradaḥ
sarva-saṃśaya-saṃchettā
'nalaso gurur āḥṛtah

One who is an ocean of mercy, who is fulfilled in all respects, who has all good qualities, who works for the benefit of all souls, who is free from lust, who is perfect in all respects, who is well-versed in the scriptures, who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, who can remove all the doubts of his disciples, and who is always alert in the service of Kṛṣṇa is known as a genuine guru. (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 1.45,46 quoted from Viṣṇu-śmṛti Vacana)

A Guru is a Master of his Senses

1.16

vāco vegaṃ manasaḥ krodha vegaṃ
jihvā vegam udaropastha vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṃ pṛthivīṃ sa śiṣyāt

A sober person who can control the urge to speak, the mind, the urges of anger, the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world. (Upadeśāmṛta 1)

1.17

ṣaṭ-karma nipuṇo vipro mantra-tantra-viśāradaḥ
avaiṣṇavo guru na syād vaiṣṇavaḥ śvapaco guruḥ

A brāhmaṇa may be expert in mantra, ritual, and the six kinds of brahminical work performing and teaching sacrifice, studying and teaching scripture, giving and receiving charity but if he is not a Vaiṣṇava he cannot be a guru. On the other hand, a Vaiṣṇava, even if born in a family of untouchables, may be a guru. (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, quoting Pādma Purāṇa Vacana)

A Pure Devotee is the Guru of all Varṇas and Aśramas

1.18

vipra kṣatriya vaiśyās ca guravaḥ śūdra janmanām
śūdrāś ca guravas teṣāṃ trayāṇāṃ bhagavat-priyāḥ

A brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya can be guru for the śūdra class, but a Vaiṣṇava, even if born a śūdra, because he is dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can be the guru of these higher orders. (Pādma Purāṇa)

1.19

kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī , śūdra kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei 'guru' haya

Whether a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī, or a śūdra, one who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa is to be accepted as guru. (Cc. Madhya 8.128)

1.20

kibā varṇī, kibā śramī, kibā varṇāśrama hīna
kṛṣṇa tattva yei, sei ācārya pravīṇa
āsala kathā chādi' bhāi varṇe ye kare ādara
asad-guru kari' tā 'ra vinaṣṭa pūrvāpara

One who is expert in the science of Kṛṣṇa, whatever social order he may belong to including śūdra and outcaste is to be accepted as an ācārya. Who ignores this principle and accepts a guru solely on the basis of social position will be ruined. (Prema-vivarta)

A Guru is an Ācārya of Sambandha-jñāna

1.21

vairāgya-yug bhakti-rasaṃ prayatnair
apāyayan mām anabhipsum andham
kṛpāmbudhir yaḥ para-duḥkha-dukhī
sanātanaṃ taṃ prabhum āśrayāmi

I surrender to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, the ācārya of sambandha jñāna. He is an ocean of mercy and always unhappy to see the suffering of others. Although I was blind and in the darkest ignorance he gave me the light of transcendental knowledge. He taught me the real meaning of detachment and made me drink the highest nectarean rasa that of divine love. (Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, 6)

Who is an ācārya?

1.22

upanīya tu yaḥ śisyaṃ veda-madhyāpayed dvijaḥ
saokalpaṃ sa-rahasyaṃ ca tam ācāryaṃ pracakṣate

An ācārya is not one who only confers the sacred thread. He trains his disciples in sacrifice and teaches them the confidential meaning of the Vedas. Such a spiritual master is an ācārya, according to saintly authorities. (Manu-saṃhitā 2.140)

1.23

ācinoti yaḥ śāstrārtham ācāre sthāpayaty api
svayam ācarate yasmād ācāryas tena kīrttitaḥ

An ācārya is one who fully understands the conclusions of the revealed scriptures and whose behavior reflects his deep realization. He is a living example for he teaches the meaning of the scriptures both by word and deed. (Vāyu Purāṇa)

Example Is Better Than Precept

1.24

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṃ kurute lokas tad anuvartate

Whatever a great man does, common men follow. Whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. (Bhagavad-gītā 3.21)

1.25

āpane ācare keha, nā kare pracāra
pracāra karena keha, nā karena ācāra
'ācāra' 'pracāra' nāmera karaha 'dui' kārya
tumi sarva-guru, tumi jagatera ārya

Some practice but do not preach, others preach but do not practice, but one who is perfect in both preaching and practice is the guru of the entire universe. You are a real jagad-guru, for you practice what you preach. (Cc. Antya 4.102,103)

1.26

āpane karimu bhakta-bhāva aṅgīkāre
āpani ācari' bhakti śikhāmu sabāre

I shall accept the role of a devotee, and I shall teach bhakti to everyone by practicing it Myself. (Cc. Ādi 3.20)

1.27

āpani nā kaile dharma śikhāna nā yāya

If I do not do this Myself, then the principles of religion will not be taught. (Cc. Ādi 3.21)

Inconceivable Oneness and Difference of Guru, Vaiṣṇava, and Kṛṣṇa

1.28

ācāryaṃ māṃ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta sarva-devamayo guruḥ

Know the ācārya to be as good as Myself. Never disrespect him. Never envy him or consider him an ordinary man for He is the sum total of all the demigods. (Bhāg. 11.17.27)

1.29

vande gurūn īśa-bhaktān īśam īśāvatārakān
tat-prakāśāṃś ca tac chaktīḥ kṛṣṇa caitanya saṃjñakam

I worship the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya, who appears in six features as: instructing and initiating gurus; the Lord's devotees, beginning with Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura; His avatāras such as Advaita Ācārya; His prakāśa, or full expansion, (Nityānanda Prabhu); and His śakti, (Gadādhara Paṇḍita). (Cc. Ādi 1.1 )

1.30

kṛṣṇa, guru, bhakta, śakti, avatāra, prakāśa
kṛṣṇa śakti ei chaya-rūpe karena vilāsa

The Supreme Lord appears in six features. As Śrī Kṛṣṇa; the two kinds of gurus; devotees; incarnations of Godhead; complete expansions of His own Self (puruṣas); and His divine energy. In these six features the Lord enjoys His transcendental pastimes. (Cc. Ādi 1.32)

1.31

yadyapi āmāra guru caitanyera dāsa
tathāpi jāniye āmi tāohāra prakāśa

Although I know my guru is a servitor of Śrī Caitanya, I know that He is a full manifestation (prakāśa) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. (Cc. Ādi 1.44)

Śikṣā-guru; Caitya-guru and Mahānta (personal)-guru.

1.32

guru-kṛṣṇa-rūpa hana śāstrera pramāṇe
guru-rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpā karena bhakta-gaṇe

According to śāstra the guru is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa, because it is through the guru that Kṛṣṇa bestows mercy on His devotees. (Cc. Ādi 1.45)

1.33

śikṣā-guruke ta' jāni kṛṣṇera svarūpa
antaryāmī, bhakta-śreṣṭha, ei dui rūpa

One should know the śikṣā guru to be Kṛṣṇa Himself. As guru, Kṛṣṇa has two forms as the Supersoul and as the best of devotees. (Cc. Ādi 1.47)

1.34

jīve sākṣāt nāhi, tāte guru caittya-rūpe
śikṣā-guru haya kṛṣṇa mahānta-svārūpe

Since one cannot see the Supersoul directly, Kṛṣṇa appears as a liberated devotee. Such a śikṣā guru is none other than Kṛṣṇa Himself. (Cc. Ādi 1.58)

1.35

naivopayanty apacitiṃ kavayas taveśa
brahmāyuṣāpi kṛtam ṛddha-mudaḥ smarantaḥ
yo 'ntar bahis tanu-bhṛtām aśubhaṃ vidhunvann
ācārya-caittya-vapuṣā sva-gatiṃ vyanakti

O my Lord! Transcendental poets and experts in spiritual science cannot fully express their indebtedness to You, even if they had the lifetime of Brahmā, for You appear in two features externally as the ācārya and internally as the Supersoul to deliver the conditioned souls by revealing to them Your devotional service and teaching them how to approach You on the path of pure love. (Bhāg. 11.29.6)

By the Mercy of Kṛṣṇa, one Gets the Mercy of Guru

1.36

kṛṣṇa yadi kṛpā kare kona bhāgyavāne
guru-antaryāmi-rūpe śikhāya āpane

By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa a fortunate soul is guided by the Supersoul from within and from the guru without. (Cc. Madhya 22.47)

Guru Gives Scientific Knowledge About the Highest Spiritual Reality

1.37

ajñāna timirāndhasya jñānāñjana śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṃ yena tasmai śrī guruve namaḥ

I was born in the darkest ignorance, but my spiritual master opened my eyes with the salve of transcendental knowledge. I offer my humble obeisance's unto him. (Prema-bhakti-candrikā, Narottama dāsa)

1.38

śrī-caitanya-mano-'bhīṣṭaṃ sthāpitaṃ yena bhūtale
svayaṃ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṃ dadāti sva-padāntikam

When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya give me shelter at his lotus feet? (Prema-bhakti-candrikā, Narottama dāsa)

1.39

śrī-guru-caraṇa padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando muñi sāvadhāna mate
yāhāra prasāde bhāi, e bhava toriyā jāi,
kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha'te
guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya,
ār nā koriho mane āśā
śrī-guru caraṇe rati, ei se uttama gati,
je prasāde pūre sarva āśā
cakhu-dān dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya-jñān hṛde prokāśito
prema-bhakti jāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa jāte,
vede gāy yāhāra carito

The lotus feet of the spiritual master are the only way we can attain pure devotional service. I bow down to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his mercy, one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.

My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfill all desires.

He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my lord, birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him, ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful to me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds. (Prema-bhakti-candrikā, Narottama dāsa)

The Spiritual Master is the Energy of Kṛṣṇa

1.40

na dharmaṃ nādharmaṃ śruti-gaṇa niruktaṃ kila kuru
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pracura-paricaryām iha tanu
śacī-sūnuṃ nandīśvara-pati-sutatve guru-varaṃ
mukunda-preṣṭatve smara param ajasraṃ nanu manaḥ

O mind! Give up all connection with Vedic piety and impiety and simply serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana with all your heart. Know that Lord Caitanya, the son Śacī, is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda and always remember that Śrī Guru is mukunda-preṣṭha, the dearmost servant of Kṛṣṇa. (Manaḥ-Śikṣā 2, Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī)

Note: In the purport to Cc. Ādi 1.46, Śrīla Prabhupāda refers to Śrīla Bhaktivinoda's commentary called Anubhāṣya:

As mentioned previously, a disciple should always respect the spiritual master as a manifestation of Kṛṣṇa, but at the same time one should always remember that a spiritual master is never authorized to imitate the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. False spiritual masters pose themselves as identical with Śrī Kṛṣṇa in every respect to exploit the sentiments of their followers, but such impersonalists can only mislead their disciples, for their ultimate aim is to become one with the Lord. This is against the principles of the devotional cult.

The real Vedic philosophy is acintya-bhedābheda-tattva, which establishes everything as one with and different from the Personality of Godhead. Śrīla Raghunātha Gosvāmī confirms that this is the real position of a bona tide spiritual master and says one should always think of the spiritual master in terms of his intimate relationship with Mukunda.

The Guru is Gaura-śakti and Gaura-priyattama

1.41

sākṣād hadritvena samasta śāstrair
uktas tathā bhāvyata eva ṣaḍbhiḥ
kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam

According to the verdict of the revealed scriptures and saintly persons, the guru is honored as much as Kṛṣṇa Himself, because he is the dearmost servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I offer my respectful obeisance's unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master. (Gurvāṣṭakam 7)

l. 42

śuddha-bhaktāḥ śrī-guro śrī śivasya ca bhagavatā saha
abheda-dṛṣtiṃ-tat-priyatamatvenaiva manyante

Whenever the scriptures describe the spiritual master and Lord Śiva as nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa, pure devotees understand this is because of their being the most beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (Bhakti-Sandarbha, Annucheda 216)

NOTE: Quoting the Anubhāṣya, Cc. Ādi 1.46: "Jīva Gosvāmī clearly defined that a pure devotee's observation of the spiritual master and Lord Śiva as one with the Personality of Godhead exists in their being very dear to the Lord, not identical with Him in all respects."

A Guru in Name Only Commits a Great Offense

1.43

gurur na sa syāt sva-jano na sa syāt
pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt
daivaṃ na tat syān na patiś ca sa syān
na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum

One who cannot deliver his dependents from repeated birth and death should never become a guru, a relative, a father, mother, demigod, or husband. (Bhāg. 5.5.18)

1.44

sei se parama bandhu, sei pitā-mātā
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caraṇe yei prema-bhakti-dātā
sakala janme pitā-mātā sabe pāya
kṛṣṇa guru nāhi mile, bhajaha hiyāya

Under ordinary circumstances one's own father and mother are worshipable, but in every species one gets a father and mother. Far rarer is to get guru and Kṛṣṇa. The spiritual master can bestow prema-bhakti to the those who have attained his mercy, therefore he is the topmost father, mother, and friend of everyone. (Caitanya Maṅgala, Madhya-khaṇḍa)

Scholarship is no Qualification for Becoming a Guru

1.45

śabda-brahmaṇi niṣṇāto na niṣṇāyāt pare yadi
śramas tasya śrama-phalo hy adhenum iva rakṣataḥ

One may be expert in Vedic scholarship, but if he fails to understand the position of the Absolute Truth and doesn't recognize Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead all his study is a waste of time. His hard work will be his only reward, and his efforts will be like the labor of one who struggles to maintain a cow that has no calf and cannot produce milk. (Bhāg. 11.11.18)

A Non-Vaiṣṇava Cannot be a Guru

l.46

mahā-kula-prasūto 'pi sarva-yajñeṣu dīkṣitaḥ
sahasra-śākhādhyāyī ca na guruḥ syād avaiṣṇavaḥ

Even if born in an aristocratic brāhmaṇa family, initiated with all the appropriate Vedic sacrifices, and has studied a thousand branches of Vedic knowledge one who is not a Vaiṣṇava can never be a guru. (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 1.45)

Bogus Gurus

1.47

paricaryā-yaśo-lipsuḥ śiṣyād gurur na hi

One who accepts disciples for personal service and fame is unfit to be a guru. (Viṣṇu Smṛti)

1.48

guravo bahavaḥ santi śiṣya-vittāpahārakāḥ
durlabhaḥ sad-gurur devi śiṣya-santāpahārakaḥ

Many gurus take advantage of their disciples and plunder them. They exploit their disciples for sex, and use them to amass wealth, but a guru who can remove the miseries of his disciples is very rare. (Purāṇa-vākya)

The Injunction to Abandon a Bogus Guru

1.49

guror apy avaliptasya kāryākāryam ajānataḥ
utpatha-pratipannasya parityāgo vidhīyate

A guru addicted to sensual pleasure and polluted by vice, who is ignorant and has no power to discriminate between right and wrong, or who is not on the path of śuddha-bhakti must be abandoned. (Mahābhārāta, Udyoga-parva, 179.25)

1.50

snehād vā lobhato vāpi yo gṛhnīyād dīkṣayā
tasmin gurau sa-śiṣye tat devatā śāpa āpatet

If a guru, disregarding the standard for giving dikṣā, gives the mantra to his disciple out of greed or mundane affection, he is cursed by the gods along with that disciple. (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.7)

1.51

yo vyakti nyāya rahitam anyāyena śṛṇoti yaḥ
tāv ubhau narakaṃ ghoraṃ vrajataḥ kālam akṣayam

One who assumes the dress and position of an ācārya, who speaks against the conclusions of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and other scriptures, or performs kīrtana opposed to the proper glorification of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, certainly goes to hell for countless lifetimes along with his disciples and whoever else hears such non-devotional talks and kīrtanas. (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 1.101)

1.52

vaiṣṇava-vidveṣī cet parityājya eva. "guror api avaliptasye" ti smaraṇāt, tasya vaiṣṇava-bhāva-rāhityena avaiṣṇavatayā avaiṣṇavopadiṣṭeneti vacana-viṣaya tvācca. Yathokta-lakṣaṇasya śrī-guror-avidyamānatāyastu tasyaiva mahā-bhāgavatasyaikasya nitya-sevanaṃ paramaṃ śreyaḥ.

A guru who is envious of pure devotees, who blasphemes them, or behaves maliciously towards them should certainly be abandoned, remembering the verse "guror api avaliptasya" (See 1.49). Such an envious guru lacks the mood and character of a Vaiṣṇava. The śāstras enjoin that one should not accept initiation from a non-devotee (avaiṣṇavopadiṣṭena... See 1.54). Knowing these injunctions of the scriptures, a sincere devotee abandons a false guru who is envious of devotees. After leaving one who lacks the true qualities of a guru, if a devotee is without a spiritual guide, his only hope is to seek out a mahābhāgavata vaiṣṇava and serve him. By constantly rendering service to such a pure devotee, one will certainly attain the highest goal of life. (Bhakti-sandarbha, Annucheda 238)

A Materialistic, Professional, Family or

Vyavahārika-guru Must be Given up

1.53

paramārtha-gurvāśrayo vyavahārika-gurvādi parityāgenāpi kartavyaḥ

One should not accept a spiritual master based on hereditary, social or ecclesiastical convention. Such a professional guru should be rejected. One must accept a qualified spiritual master, who can help one advance towards the ultimate goal of life, kṛṣṇa-prema. (Bhakti-sandarbha, annucheda 210)

Who Rejects a False Guru Must Accept a Real Guru

1.54

avaiṣṇavopadiṣṭena mantreṇa nirayaṃ vrajet
punaś ca vidhinā samyag grāhayed vaiṣṇavād guroḥ

One who gets his mantra from a guru who is a non-devotee or who is addicted to sensual pleasure is doomed to a life in hell. Such a person must immediately approach a genuineVaiṣṇava guru and again accept the mantra from him. (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 4.366)

Why Become a Disciple

1.55

nṛ-deham ādyaṃ su-labhaṃ su-durlabhaṃ
plavaṃ su-kalpaṃ guru-karṇadhāram
mayānukūlena nabhasvateritaṃ
pumān bhavābdhiṃ na taret sa ātma-hā

This human form of life is rare and it can award all the benefit of life. It is superior to all other forms of life, for having attained it, one may easily cross over the ocean of material existence. The human form of life is like a ship for crossing the material ocean. The guru is the captain and the mercy of Kṛṣṇa is the favorable wind that carries the ship safely across. One who fails to make use of the human form of life for crossing the ocean of birth and death is the killer of the self. (Bhāg. 11.20.17)

Who Thinks the Spiritual Master an Ordinary man Goes to Hell

1.56

guruṣū nara-matir yasya vā nārakī saḥ

One who thinks that the spiritual master is an ordinary man is said to live in hell. (Pādma Purāṇa)

Who Thinks the Guru an Ordinary man Finds his

Attempts at Spiritual Progress as Useless as an Elephant's Bath

1.57

yasya sākṣād bhagavati jñāna-dīpa prade gurau
martyāsad-dhīḥ śrutaṃ tasya sarvaṃ kuñjara-śaucavat

The guru is considered as the Supreme Lord Himself, because he gives the light of transcendental knowledge to his disciples. Consequently, for one who maintains the material conception that the guru is an ordinary human being, everything is frustrated. His attempts to progress in spiritual life, his Vedic studies and scriptural knowledge, his penance's and austerities, and his worship of the Deity are all as useless as the bathing of an elephant. (Bhāg. 7.15.26)

For Transcendental Knowledge one Must Approach a Guru

1.58

tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṃ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Surrender to him and inquire from him and render service at his lotus feet. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you, for he has seen the truth. (Bhagavad-gītā 4.34)

The Guru Takes one Beyond Jñāna to Pure Devotion

1.59

evaṃ gurūpāsanayaika-bhaktyā
vidyā-kuṭhāreṇa śitena dhīraḥ
vivṛścya jīvāśayam apramattaḥ
sampadya cātmānam atha tyajāstram

With steady intelligence you should develop unalloyed devotional service by careful worship of the spiritual master, and with the sharp ax of transcendental knowledge you should cut off the subtle material covering of the soul. Upon realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you should then give up the ax of analytic knowledge. (Bhāg. 11.12.24)

Guru and Lord Nityānanda are Nondifferent

1.60

saṃsārera pāra haiyā bhaktira sāgare
ye ḍūbibe se bhajuka nitāi cāndere
āmāra prabhura prabhu śrī gaurasundara
e baḍa bharasā citte dhari nirantara

Beyond the ocean of birth and death is the bhakti ocean. Let those who would go there worship Lord Nityānanda (the original guru ). I will hold this faith within my heart forever: My master is Nityānanda; His Lord is Gaurasundara. (By the mercy of Lord Nityānanda one gets the mercy of Gaurasundara. Nityānanda is therefore the original guru. As such the guru is the representative of Lord Nityānanda. These two are nondifferent.)(Cb. 1.17.152-153)

1.61

nitāi-pada-kamala, koṭi-candra-suśītala,
ye chāyāy jagata jurāy
heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi,
dṛḍha kori' dharo nitāir pāy
se sambandha nāhi jā'r, bṛthā janma gelo tā'r,
sei paśu boro durācār,
nitāi nā bolilo mukhe, majilo saṃsāra-sukhe,
vidyā-kule ki koribe tār
ahaokāre matta hoiyā, nitāi-pada pāsariyā,
asatyere satya kori māni
nitāiyer karuṇā ha'be, vraje-rādhā-kṛṣṇa pābe,
dhara nitāi-caraṇa du 'khāni.
nitāiyer caraṇa satya, tāhāra sevaka nitya,
nitāi-pada sadā koro āśa
narottama boro dukhi, nitāi more koro sukhī,
rākho rāṅgā-caraṇera pāśa

The lotus feet of Lord Nityānanda are more soothing than millions of moons. This world is ablaze with the fire of birth and death, but the cool shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityānanda can give relief to the entire universe. No one can approach Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa without Lord Nityānanda. If one wants to enter into the service of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, he must take shelter at the lotus feet of Nityānanda. He has not established a relationship with Lord Nityānanda has wasted his life. His birth in the human form of life is useless. He is no better than an animal being absorbed in eating, sleeping, mating, and fighting. Such a two-legged animal, whose mouth has never uttered the name "Nitāi," wallows in the pleasures of family life, and enjoys the happiness offered by birth, death, old age, and disease in the forest fire of material existence.

If one has no connection with Nityānanda, his so-called academic education and birth in a high family or great nation will not protect him. At the time of death nature's law will act, his work will be finished. He will get another body according to his karma.

Why are these human animals acting in this way? They are maddened by a false conception of life. They have identified the self with the body, and thus they have forgotten their eternal relationship with Nityānanda. Such forgetful persons accept the illusory energy as factual. They consider truth to be unreal and mistake illusion for reality. By the mercy of Nityānanda prabhu, however, one can attain the service of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. Therefore, take shelter of the holy feet of Lord Nityānanda. (Prārthanā, Narottama Dāsa)

The Authorized Sacred Tradition

1.62

āmnāyaḥ śrutayaḥ sākṣād brahma-vidyeti viśrutāḥ
guru-paramparā-prāptāh viśva-kartur hi brahmaṇaḥ

Transcendental knowledge, which is received through the system of paramparā, beginning with Brahmā, the creator, and which is embodied in the Śruti is known as āmnāyaḥ, or the authorized sacred tradition. (Mahājana-kārikā)

Lord Brahmā, the Original Teacher

1.63

brahmā devānāṃ prathamaḥ sambabhūva
viśvasya kartā bhuvanasya goptā
sa brahma-vidyāṃ sarva-vidyā-pratiṣtam
atharvāya jyeṣṭa-putrāya prāha

Lord Brahmā is the foremost of the demigods. He is the creator of the universe, and its guardian. He instructed his eldest son, Atharva in the science of transcendental knowledge (brahma-vidyā), and thus became the first teacher within the universe. All other knowledge is based on this knowledge. (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.1.1)

Śrī Madhva the Sampradāya Ācārya

1.64

ānanda-tīrtha-nāma sukha-maya-dhāma yatir jīyāt
saṃsārārṇava-taraṇīm yam iha janāḥ kīrtyanti budhāḥ

All glories to Śrī Madhvācārya Prabhu, who is known as Ananda-tīrtha, the holy abode of transcendental bliss. The wise know him as the boat for crossing over the ocean of material existence, and so they always chant his glories. (Prameya-ratnāvalī)

The Brahmā-Madhva Gauḍīya Sampradāya

1.65

śrī-kṛṣṇa-brahma-devaṛṣi-bādarāyaṇa-saojñakān
śrī-madhva-śrī-padmanābha-śrīman-nṛhari-mādhavān
akṣobhya-jayatīrtha-śrī-jñānasindhu-dayānidhīn
śrī-vidyānidhi-rājendra-jayadharmān-kramādvayam
puruṣottama-brahmaṇya-vyāsatīrthaṃś ca saṃstumaḥ
tato lakṣmīpatiṃ śrīman-mādhavendrañ ca bhaktitaḥ
tac chiṣyān śrīśvarādvaita-nityānandān-jagat-gurūn
devam-īśvara-śiṣyaṃ-śrī-caitanyān ca bhajāmahe
śrī-kṛṣṇa-prema-dānena yena nistāritaṃ jagat
kali-kaluṣa-santaptaṃ karuṇā-sindhunā svayam
mahāprabhu-svarūpa-śrī-dāmodaraḥ-priyaokaraḥ
rūpa-sanātanau dvau ca gosvāmī-pravarau prabhu
śrī-jīvo-raghunāthaś ca rūpa priyo mahā-matiḥ
tat-priyaḥ kavirāja-śrī-kṛṣṇa-dāsa-prabhur mataḥ
tasya priyottamaḥ śrīlaḥ sevāparo narottamaḥ
tad-anugata-bhaktaḥ śrī-viśvanāthaḥ sad-uttamaḥ
tad āsaktaś ca gauḍīya-vedāntācārya-bhuṣaṇam
vidyābhūṣaṇa-pāda śrī-baladeva-sad-āśrayaḥ
vaiṣṇava-sarvabhauma-śrī-jagannātha-prabhus tathā
śrī-māyāpura-dhāmnas tu nirdeṣṭā-sajjana-priyaḥ
śuddha-bhakti-pracārasya mūli-bhūta ihottamaḥ
śrī-bhaktivinodo devas tat-priyatvena viśrutaḥ
tad-abhinna-suhṛd-varyo mahā-bhāgavatottamaḥ
śrī-gaura-kiśoraḥ sākṣād-vairāgyaṃ vigrahāśritam
(māyāvādi-ku-siddhanta-dhvānta-rāśi-nirāsakaḥ
viśuddha-bhakti-siddhāntaiḥ svānta-padma-vikāśakaḥ
devo 'sau paramo haṃso mattaḥ-śrī-gaura-kīrtane
pracārācāra-kāryeṣu nirantaraṃ-mahotsukaḥ
hari-priya-janair-gamya oṃ viṣṇu-pāda-pūrvakaḥ
śrī-pādo bhakti-siddhānta-sarasvatī-mahodayaḥ
sarve te gaura-vaṃśyaś ca parama-haṃsa-vigrahāḥ
vayaṃ ca praṇatā dāsās tad ucchiṣṭa-grahāgrahāḥ)

The above Sanskṛt verse describing the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava guru-paramparā was composed by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura (with the exception of the part in parenthesis, which was later added by his disciples). He translated it in the form of a Bengali poem, which follows:

1.66

kṛṣṇa haite catur-mukha, haya kṛṣṇa sevonmukha,
brahmā haite nāradera mati
nārada haite vyāsa, madhva kahe vyāsa-dāsa,
pūrṇa-prajña padmanābha-gati
nṛhari mādhava vaṃśe, akṣobhya-paramahaṃse,
śiṣya bali' aṅgīkāra kare
akṣobhyera śiṣya jaya-tīrtha nāme paricaya,
tāora dāsye jñānasindhu tare
tāhā haite dayānidhi, tāora dāsa vidyānidhi,
rājendra haila tāohā ha'te
tāohāra kiokara jaya-dharma nāme paricaya,
paramparā jāna bhāla mate
jayadharma-dāsye khyāti, śrī puruṣottama yati,
tā'hā ha'te brahmaṇya-tīrtha sūri
vyāsa-tīrtha tāora dāsa, lakṣmī-pati vyāsa-dāsa,
tāhā ha'te mādhavendra purī
māhavendra purī-vara, śiṣya-vara śrī īśvara,
nityānanda śrī-advaita-vibhu
īśara-purīke dhanya, karilena śrī caitanya,
jagad-guru-gaura-mahāprabhu
mahāprabhu śrī-caitanya, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya,
rūpānuga-janera-jīvana
viśvambhara priyaokara, śrī svarūpa dāmodara,
śrī gosvāmī rūpa-sanātana
rūpa-priya mahājana, jīva raghunātha hana,
tāora priya kavi kṛṣṇa dāsa
kṛṣṇa dāsa priya-vara, narottama sevāpara,
yāora pada viśvanātha āśa
viśvanātha bhakta-sātha, baladeva jagannātha,
tāora priya śrī bhaktivinoda
mahābhāgavata-vara, śrī-gaura-kiśora-vara,
hari-bhajanete yāora moda
śrī varṣabhānavī-bara, sadā sevya-sevāparā,
tāohāra dayitadāsa nāma
ei saba hari-jana, gaurāṅgera nija-jana,
taodera ucchiṣṭe mora kāma

The teachings of pure devotional service to Kṛṣṇa begins with Kṛṣṇa Himself. He revealed this divine knowledge to the four-headed Brahmā, who taught it to Nārada. Nārada taught it to Vyāsa, who taught it to his servant, Madhvācārya. From Madhvācārya it passed to Padmanābha, Narahari, and Mādhava. Mādhava's disciple was Akṣobhya. Akṣobhya's disciple was Jayatīrtha, whose foremost disciple was Jñānasindhu. After Jñānasindhu was Dayānidhi, whose disciple was Vidyānidhi, also known as Vidyādhiraja Tīrtha. His disciple was Rājendra Tīrtha, whose principle disciple was Jayadharma, also known as Vijayadhvaja Tīrtha, the famous Bhāgavatam commentator. His disciple was Puruṣottama Tīrtha, whose foremost disciple was Brahmanya Tīrtha. His disciple was Vyāsatīrtha, whose disciple was Lakṣmīpatī Tīrtha. In this way one should understand the guru-paramparā.

Lakṣmīpatī Tīrtha initiated Śrī Mādhavendra Pūrī, the best of sannyāsīs, whose favorite disciple was Iśvara Pūrī. Two of his foremost disciples were the two great incarnations of Godhead, Lord Nityānanda and Advaita Prabhu. Lord Caitanya made Iśvara Pūrī greatly fortunate by accepting him as guru. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is none other than Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa combined. He is the life and soul of the Rūpānuga Vaiṣṇavas. The most dear follower of Śrī Caitanya, who was also known as Viśvambhara, was Svarūpa Dāmodara, whose principle followers were Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī. The beloved followers of Rūpa and Sanātana were Śrī Jīva and Raghunātha dāsa, whose dearmost servant was Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. The dearmost follower of Kṛṣṇadāsa was Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Narottama's follower, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, had no desire other than the service of Narottama's lotus feet. The foremost devotee of Viśvanātha was Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, and then Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī. The dear servant of Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī was Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was followed by Śrī Gaura Kiṣora dāsa Bābājī, a great devotee, whose only pleasure was the service of Śrī Hari.

All these pure devotees of the Lord represent the dynasty of Śrī Gaurāṅga, the Gaura-vaṃśa. Their holy feet are my only refuge. I am devoid of any real service to them, but hope that one day their service may be mine. I am only a fallen tridaṇḍī-sannyāsī by the name of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī."

Thus ends the First Jewel of the Gauḍīya Kaṇṭhahāra, entitled Guru-tattva.

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