Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati
January 19, 2008

Our stalwart uncompromising "Simha-guru" Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur speaks out on the true qualifications of a guru. As strongly as are Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's directives regarding who is a true guru, the converse is also there: what is the result of guru-avajna, neglecting or ignoring the instructions of the guru (below).

Both are very heavy quotes, but both are sound, with foundation in the scriptures. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur's words very much mirror Rupa Goswami's Upadeshamrta (Nectar of Instruction) Texts 1 and 8. "A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world."

An Associated Counterpart of the Supreme Lord
April 2, 2008

Reading assignment

(From Sri Sajjana Toshani)

The Sanskrit word "guru" ordinarily means "heavy", as opposed to "laghu", meaning "light". In its technical and etymological sense, the meaning of the term is, "One who by his super-human (atimartya) personality, as well as by the light of the transcendent force of his devout character, dispels the dark ignorance of the human heart and instills himself into the lives of those who unconditionally and sincerely surrender themselves to his divine feet." Such is the great personality, the highest ideal that bears the appellation of guru in the sastras. Hence the sruti says:

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

July 14, 2008

The following is a quote from Sri Vedanta Deshika (1268-1387) of the Sri Sampradaya. This writing appears in the Sishyakrityadhikara section of the Srimad Rahasyatrayasara, one of his most important works. This piece is about the qualities required of the good disciple.

Reading assignment

a) Srimad Rahasyatrayasara by Sri Vedanta Deshika

Six Essential Qualifications for a Good Disciple

1. The disciple should have the highest devotion for his guru.

2. The wise disciple spreads the good name and fame of his guru to others.

3. The good disciple takes care of the guru's property and his possessions.

4. The good disciple protects his guru's teachings with a view to transferring them to a worthy disciple of his own.

Narada Muni instructs sons of Daksha

Summary: The sage Narada detected that the sons of Daksa were so spiritually qualified that he instructed them in transcendental knowledge (6-8). Although Narada's instructions to the Haryasvas were extremely terse and code-like in structure, the Haryasvas were able to discern the meaning of Narada's words (14-15; 18). The exalted qualification of the Haryasvas was shown in how they instantly applied what they understood, in a mood and a method of full detachment. Elsewhere, Narada uses the same metaphor of a king being attracted to the form of a woman, to describe a conditioned soul's relying upon his material intelligence as his agent for happiness & enjoyment (ie. King Puranjana). In this case, the material intelligence is compared to a prostitute.

Here, Bali Maharaja surrenders to the Lord despite getting cursed by his Spiritual Master
January 11, 2012

Summary: What follows is the story of Prsadhra's being cursed by his spiritual master Vasistha. In spite of having a guru who "was not free from tamo-guna" and who cursed him to take another birth (and that that birth would be as a sudra), nevertheless Prsadhra "returned home, back to Godhead," due to his proper attitude as a disciple as well as a worshiper of the Supreme Lord. Having a guru less than the ideal (and even having been cursed by guru!) did not keep him from becoming self-realized and attaining the Supreme destination. Thus, a disciple is never at a loss if he/she follows the true Vaisnava ways.

Kardama Muni remembering Kapiladev

Summary: The relationship between Lord Brahma and Kardama Muni is that of father to son. Yet the father is honoring the son, due to the son's properly honoring the father. Specifically, the fruit of the son's quality of properly respecting his father is that he has made himself eligible to receive the SPG as *his* son!