Guru Tattva and the Real Disciple
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day Varsana - November 11, 1996[Each year during his Vraja-mandala parikrama, Srila Narayana Maharaja organizes a large festival to honor the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. In 1996 the festival was held in Varsana, Vrndavana, the birthplace of Srimati Radharani. After calling on Srila Prabhupada disciples and others to glorify him, Srila Narayana Maharaja spoke the following few words.]Those who follow strongly the life and teachings of their Gurudeva, from their heart, are really disciples. Those who have taken initiation from Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja but are not following his teachings, are not truly disciples. Those who are not following or practicing may have been outwardly initiated by him, but they are not real disciples. On the other hand, those who have not taken initiation from him but are totally following - they deserve the qualities to be true devotees.
There are two kinds of lines of disciplic gurus: bhagavata-parampara and guru-parampara. We should know what is bhagavata-parampara and what is guru-parampara. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura followed bhagavata-parampara.* [see endnote] Guru-parampara is included in bhagavata-parampara.
Those disciples who are fully following Gurudeva's mood and teachings are in the bhagavata-parampara. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was not formally initiated by Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was not initiated by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was not initiated by Sri Narottama dasa Thakura. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami was initiated by a mayavadi. Srila Haridasa Thakura was not initiated by anyone - so how didSrila Haridasa Thakura come into our line? He is in our line because he accepted Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as his Guru, and Sri Advaita Acarya as his Guru, and he followed totally. We will have to reconcile this by understanding bhagavata-parampara. All the above-mentioned associates of the Lord are in the bhagavata-parampara.
We are in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, so we should know what is bhagavata-parampara. Srinivasa Acarya had a disciple named Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was always associating with Narottama dasa Thakura. Did he ever say that he was not the disciple of Srinivasa Acarya? Was he not serving him? We cannot say this. Rather, he considered Narottama dasa Thakura to be his siksa-guru. Between Srila Srinivasa Acarya and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who was superior? Both were the same; this is bhagavata-parampara.
Try to follow the teachings and actions of Srila Svami Maharaja - not following blindly and not imitating. Simply copying will not do. We should try to deeply follow his siddhanta, behavior and moods.
A disciple cannot fall down. If one falls down, he was not a real disciple and he has not actually taken initiation. Initiation is a matter of heart and mood. It is not simply the whispering of a mantra into an ear.
I was so happy to hear the moods of his disciples in their glorifications, and I saw that even those who have not received formal initiation from him have so much honor for him. Today in Varsana, we are successful in observing the disappearance day of Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja. I pray to him to give his mercy. I pray that he will shower his mercy to all bona fide followers, so that they can serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Sri Gaura-Nityanada Prabhu.
I know I cannot be compared to Srila Svami Maharaja's lotus feet dust. My Guru Maharaja can be compared with him, but I have no qualities that can be compared with his. I honor him as my siska-guru. Diksa-guru and siksa-guru are the same. I am so fortunate that my diksa-guru and siksa-guru are bona fide, and you are also fortunate to have Srila Svami Maharaja as your guru. If you are not directly initiated by him, but you are initiated by one of his bona fide disciples, then you are in his line and are so fortunate.
[*Endnote Sri Guru-Parampara Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada]
krsna hoite catur-mukha, hoy krsna-sevonmukhaIn the beginning of creation Sri Krsna spoke the science of devotional service to four-faced Lord Brahma, who in turn passed these teachings on to Narada Muni, who accepted Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva as his disciple. Vyasa transmitted this knowledge to Madhvacarya, who is also known as Purnaprajna Tirtha and who was the sole refuge for his disciple Padmanabha Tirtha.
brahma hoite naradera mati
narada hoite vyasa, madhva kohe vyasa-dasa
purnaprajna padmanabha gati (1)
nrhari madhava-bamse, aksobhya paramahamseFollowing in the line of Madhvacarya were Nrhari Tirtha and Madhava Tirtha, whose principal disciple was the great paramahamsa sobhya Tirtha. He in turn accepted as his disciple Jayatirtha, who passed his service down to Jnanasindhu.
sisya boli angikara kore
aksobhyera sisya jaya-tirtha name paricaya
tara dasye jnanasindhu tore (2)
taha hoite dayanidhi, tara dasa vidyanidhiFrom him the line came down to Dayanidhi, then to his disciple Vidyanidhi, then in turn it was introduced to Rajendra Tirtha, whose servant was the renowned Jayadharma, also known as Vijayadhvaja Tirtha. In this way the guru parampara is properly understood.
rajendra hoilo taha ha'te
tahara kinkora jaya-dharma name paricaya
parampara jano bhalo mate (3)
jayadharma-dasye khyati, sri purusottama jatiThe great sannyasi Sri Purusottama Tirtha was a renowned disciple in the service of Jayadharma; from Sri Purusottama the line descended to the powerful Brahmanyatirtha, then to Vyasatirtha. He was succeeded by Sri Laksmipati, who passed the line down to Sri Madhavendra Puri.
ta ha'te brahmanya-tirtha suri
vyasatirtha ta'ra dasa, laksmipati vyasa-dasa
taha haite madhavendra puri (4)
madhavendra puri-bara, sisya-bara sri-isvaraSri Isvara Puri was the most prominent sannyasa disciple of the great Sri Madhavendra Puri, whose disciples also included the avataras Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Advaita Acarya. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Lord and spiritual preceptor of all the worlds, made Isvara Puri greatly fortunate by accepting him as diksa guru.[Nityananda Prabhu took diksa from Laksmipati Tirtha and was actually Madhavendra Puri's godbrother but He accepted Madhavendra as His Siksa guru. Thus, we follow Bhagavat parampara, the line of Siksa rather than diksa.]
nityananda sri-advaita vibhu
isvara-purike dhanya, korilen sri-caitanya
jagad-guru gaura mahaprabhu (5)
mahaprabhu sri-caitanya, radha-krsna nahe anyaSri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Radha and Krsna combined, is the very life of the rupanuga Vaisnavas who follow Sri Rupa Gosvami. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis were the dearmost servants of Visvambhara (Sri Caitanya).
rupanuga janera jivana
visvambhara priyankara, sri-svarupa damodara
sri-gosvami rupa-sanatana (6)
rupa-priya mahajana, jiva, raghunatha hanaDear to Sri Rupa Gosvami were the great saintly personalities, Sri Jiva Gosvami and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, whose intimate disciple was the great poet Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja. The dearmost of Krsnadasa was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who was always engaged in guru seva. His lotus feet were the only hope and aspiration of Sri ViSvanatha Cakravarti Thakkura.
tara priya kavi krsnadasa
krsnadasa-priya-bara, narottama seva-para
jara pada visvanatha-asa (7)
visvanatha-bhakta-satha, baladeva jagannathaProminent among the associates of Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana. After him the line descended to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who was the beloved Siksa guru of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhaktivinoda was the intimate friend of the great mahabhagavata Srila Gaura KiSora dasa Babaji Maharaja, whose sole delight was hari bhajana.
tara priya sri-bhaktivinoda
hari-bhajanete jara moda (8)
sri varsabhanavi-bara, sada sevya-seva-paraThe most distinguished Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, whose initiated name was Sri Varsabhanavi Dayita dasa, was always engaged in divine service to Hari, Guru, Vaisnava. An internal and intimate disciple of Prabhupada following in the line of Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvami was Sri Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami.Having full knowledge of Vedanta philosophy according to the Gaudiya sampradaya, Srila Kesava Maharaja annihilated the darkness of all mayavada arguments. He has served Navadvipa Dhama so much, and his life is an example for both practicing and preaching Mahaprabhu's message.
tahara dayita-dasa-namaprabhupada-antara"ga, sri svarupa-rupanuga
sri kesava bhakati-prajnana
tara pradhan pracarako, sri bhaktivedanta namoHis foremost disciple-preacher was Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the world and is thus a reservoir of mercy and compassion for all fallen souls.
kesava priya mahajana vamana narayana hayaMost dear to Sri KeSava Gosvami were the saintly personalities Sri Vamana Gosvami and Sri Narayana Gosvami, whose life and soul are the teachings of Mahaprabhu.or:
gaura-vani tadera prana-dhana
tara sisya aganana, tara madhye prestha hana sri bhakti-prajnana kesava tara sisya aganana, tara madhye anyatama sri bhaktivedanta narayana (9)or:
Out of Prabhupada's countless disciples, Sri Bhakti Prajana KeSava Gosvami was his dearmost. And out of the countless disciples of Sri Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami, one of the most prominent is Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja.
ei saba harijana, gaurangera nija-janaIt is my desire to honor the remnants (ucchista)-their mahaprasada and their instructions-from the lotus mouths of all these personal associates of Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.]Editorial advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
tadera ucchiste mora kama (10)
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa