Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Shrila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj goes on[1]: “Many people have doubt in guru-pad-padma. If you have doubt, then you cannot make advancement. In the Gita Krishna says: “A doubtful person perishes.” Criticism and doubt are not bhakti. In bhakti there is only sevya and sevak – the relationship of servant and master. One who is real guru never says: “I am guru.” He sees everyone according to jivera svarupa haya krishnera nitya-dasa – he sees their svarupa, original form, that everybody is a servant of Krishna. The guru has such vision. His vision is not material vision, therefore he is guru. Through him we get Bhagavan Krishna. Guru says: trinad api sunichena – I am lower than a straw on the street. He is so humble. He has no pride of being a guru. “Don’t you know who am I? I am a great guru, great acharya” – this is pride. It’s a demoniac characteristic, not a divine character. It is not a characteristic of a vaishnava, sadhu, guru. A real guru has such humility. If one thinks: “I am a guru,” then he is not a guru, he is a goru (a cow or a bull).”

Then he continues: “Great danger. I have no qualification to become guru. I have no desire to become guru. That was not the purpose for which I left my home. My guru said: “Accept disciples, give them training, otherwise how can you do this project? You should have your own men, otherwise how can you manage it?” He told me again and again. He also wrote me a letter: “Under your leadership this project will be done.” At that time I said: “My dear Shrila Prabhupad, I don’t want to be the head. I want to be the tail.” But he said: “But I want.” That means that my Gurudeva wants that I become guru and accept disciples. To accept disciples means to welcome very great danger. You should understand that I am in a very, very dangerous situation. I cannot eat, I cannot sleep at night. You will never find a more distressed person than myself, a person who is in a more dangerous situation than I am. So with folded hands I request you: “Please, protect me!” This is my request at your feet today. This is the desire of my guru that I remain in such a dangerous situation. By this he will be happy and pleased. Therefore for his pleasure I have accepted this dangerous situation to become guru and accept disciples. I think my guru has sent all of you to me just to give me protection, not to put me in a more dangerous situation. Therefore my request to you is to please protect me. To accept disciples means to keep up the missionary activities that guru has started. We are goshtyanandis, preachers. So we have to keep up the missionary activities that our Gurumaharaj has started. Not that we occupy the asan, the seat of guru. No.

“The topmost guru. Who is the topmost guru? Krishna is gopi-guru, guru-vallabha and gurunath. If you go up and up in the guru-parampara, where you will reach? You will reach Krishna. The guru-parampara begins from Krishna. But Krishna says: radhikara prema-guru ami shishyanath – “Radharani is My guru, I am Her disciple.” That means that in the guru-parampara the topmost position is occupied by Shrimati Radharani. She is gopi-shrestha, the topmost gopi. Therefore in guru-tattva you will find gopi-guru, guru-vallabha and gurunath. The master or husband of the gopis is Krishna. Bhaktivinod Thakur, the famous guru-acharya in the vaishnava line, says: “Gopinath! Kemone shodibe more? – Ah Gopinath! How can You purify me?”


(to be continued) 

[1] From the book The worship of Shri Guru

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