Dear devotees, receive all my affection from Italy on the day of Guru Purnima.
Today is a special day to remember the light of Srila Prabhupada. That light of Srila Prabhupada is my life and soul. Guru is the one who takes care of me and guides me. The universal principle of the spiritual master is also manifested through the siksa-gurus who teach and care for me daily. We celebrate all of them today on the day of Guru Purnima.
In our lives we make a mistake that often becomes a risk: we easily appreciate the famous, the rich, the important people, those who have things that we do not. We like to take pictures with them, because if I'm with someone important, I also acquire importance. It's like saying "look, I'm in this photo with Vandana Shiva," or with Doctor Krapula. They are important people and I want to be important too. :) The problem is that the minute you start to feel important, you immediately stop being important.
Why do I say this?
Because it is not the main focus, the famous Guru who travels everywhere and has many disciples ... the guru who has many followers and since he is significant I also want to take a photo with him. No, the main principle is the focus of that Guru who guides you every day, who cares for your spiritual life, the teacher with who gives life to the spiritual life experience.
Guru Purnima is the celebration of Guru - tattva. It is the celebration of the manifestation of the original spiritual master. If I perform Guru puja and that is where my service ends then I have made a big mistake, because I should include in my worship my siksa gurus too. I must attend and serve he who is instructing me. Parents who guide their children in spiritual life are also gurus.
Guru Purnima is the celebration and worship of all Gurus, it is not just Diksa-Guru Purnima. This is the day to recognize and appreciate who is taking care of me, those who are my guardians, my well-wishers. To identify those who sacrifice for me and I do it for them. Merchants created Father's Day and Mother's Day as a way to make money, but in reality both parents should be celebrated on a daily basis not just one day in the year. Therefore, Guru is not only the initiating Guru, but all those who are guiding and protecting me.
This is a complex issue. You can not simply throw some flowers, give a cookie, and give a donation and go...We are accustomed to look for the easy way out, but it's not that simple. Proper application is the exact opposite. Put yourself in my place, for example:
-My Guru is not on this mundane plane, he left it several years ago. I have many pictures of him and I can say: Jaya Gurudeva, but the photo is not going to say anything. I have memories of Prabhupada, having experiences with him and that hits me emotionally, but what also hits me is the face of a devotee who is passing time very badly in their life or to see a child suffer. What do I mean? The principle of Guru, the principle of Guru-tattva is based on the real relationship that I have with the people around me.
Having a Spiritual Master means recognizing that I am not only a disciple and follower of my initiating spiritual master, but of the people who are caring and guiding me daily. It is in daily contact where Guru resides. One meditates that Guru is above all and it turns out that the Guru is also next to you in the form of the people crying around you but yet you will not pay attention because you're too busy looking at the sky, meditating on your diksa - Guru and offering flowers while you kick the Guru that is right in front of you.
Why do I say this? Because I want you to have a broader view. Perhaps it is not easy to digest.
For me, my Guru is sitting in front giving me a lot of instructions through the devotees. The practical application of the principle of the Guru - tattva is very demanding, because one can not be spaced out and escape Guru, you can not be lazy. Thereofore, if everyone around you is a manifestation of Guru, that means you must be alert. This is very important.
At this moment I remember Srila Bhalti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaj, who is one of my Siksa - Gurus, and he is currently with one foot in this world and one foot in the spiritual world, and he is physically surrounded by his beloved disciples in Calcutta who are constantly singing for months, knowing that Gurudeva can leave at any time and not return.
Once, Srila Tirtha Maharaj described some of the types of disciples, with some humor. Of the ones I remember, one was "always" the disciple who receives an instruction from the Guru and instantly said "why always me"? Another type of disciples is like an "arrow", who receives a service from Sri Guru and says "Yes my Gurudeva, as you order" and he shoots out like an arrow, but then he never returns. Another is the "passes on the charge", whom the Guru says, "My dear disciple, please this is urgent" and the disciple says "Yes" and then goes to another devotee and says "Gurudeva says to do this, it's very urgent "So, Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj laughed at some of the reactions of the disciples and he taught us very deeply to become good disciples.
The time of the departure of the spiritual master is very strong. Devotees know that their Guru is leaving before their eyes, it's very painful. Putting it in a mundane example today: it's like living in slow motion and being able to see the goal that defeats the other team in a football game, it is so slow that you hardly see the movement but you know how it will all end.
It is a very strong feeling. A very strong emotion. Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaja told my spiritual brothers: "Your Guru has left, now you surrender to the Truth" Sure, some resented that and felt that he was saying that they were not surrendered, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj was instructing them that now without the physical presence of the Guru they should further deepen themselves to the truth and give even more to really have love and devotion that is obtained by the grace of the Guru.
Our Gurus are calling us from everywhere, spiritual brothers, the souls looking for Krishna, all of them are our examples, they are our masters and we serve them. It is pure mercy. Additionally, these teachers complain if one is not active in spiritual life, they call for your attention to focus on their service, that is mercy. That is the service of the spiritual master, to educate the disciple. So we appreciate all those who are educating us. The worst is a teacher who does not say anything to the disciple and then the disciple can fail in their attempt and the Master says nothing.
When you are a new devotee you do everything that the Guru says. Gurudeva says "come here" and the devotee goes. Gurudeva says, 'Do this, do that "and the devotee does. Gurudeva says:" Do not do this" then the devotee does not. Thus, it is a beautiful stage, one is a neophyte, even a little silly, because you make many mistakes. But once one is practicing Krishna Consciousness for many years things change. The Guru no longer tells the devotee all he has to do at all times, giving the devotee more space to develop their own criteria, then comes the hard part, because the devotee should reflect and meditate very much at this point, "I do, as I do .. ." This is a more advanced stage. Where everything becomes more spontaneous, where it is assumed that you know everything you need to know and must apply and test your judgment. Where the surrender should be deeper. Because the World of Surrender, those only truly surrendered enter.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj used the phrase, "Die to Live." If you wish to live in the eternal platform, then you must die at the egotistical level, the whims, the love of money, laziness. To live in the world of Devotion you must be free of all selfishness, lust, indifference, and greed. Srila Sridhar Maharaj also said that in the spiritual world everything is greater than oneself. Therefore it is said that in the spiritual world one should walk with a humble head as to not offend all those entities that are serving the Supreme. We should follow the path of devotional service everyday. That is what we must learn. Therefore, Guru Purnima is not a celebration of a day in the year. It is not something so easy and so cheap.
Understanding the importance of the spiritual master in our life is to see Sri Guru and Krishna in all the people around you every day of the year and to serve them as if they were the same Sri Guru and Krishna.
Because if you do not attend the Master in practice, then it is useless. It means you are not anything. If the service is being well ran, then it becomes Guru - puja. Service that is not centered is not Guru - puja.
What you do to the Spiritual Master should be done with the best of intentions of perfection. The path of Bhakti is not mediocre. The path of Bhakti is a divine gift, which one must become responsible and dutiful in. And if one has failed to develop spontaneous devotion, then one should maintain it as their ideal and dedicate yourself to fulfilling your service in the best way, every day. At least your services should be fulfilled. Do not be a "chichipato" as they say in Colombia. There they also say, "This guy does not even fulfill his birth years", confirming that there are people who do not accomplish things at all. Rather, one must become very reliable. It is very important to comply with the 4 regulative principles. Complying with your devotional activities with the chanting of the Holy Name and preaching. It is important to comply with each other ... Comply, comply with and enforce. Only after complying, spontaneity can be developed.
This day of Guru Purnima we celebrate it as a participatory party, not a slacker party. To become an active part of the service in specific things is Guru - tattva. Specifically in daily sacrifice, such as controlling of the senses, in service, in collecting Lakshmi Krishna, in the study of the Scriptures, in the care of the Deity, in the nourishing yourself by prasadam ... only to realize that concrete Concrete sacrificing with an understanding that Sri Krishna and Guru are represented by all people.
You must remember that when you are going to do sankirtan your own spiritual master is there in the street and it is he who connects others with the temple.How is this? Because the soul in search is showing you what you have to do, that soul is giving you service. It's amazing that those who are looking for the truth also show you the truth ... and you're also searching for Truth. And it even may be that he has more of a yearning for the another truth than you and they help you remember the reason for your own forgetfulness that which is from habit.
My dear, we must work with dedication for the cause, with the realization that I'll never be a spiritual master because I am very fallen and insignificant, but still studying with the masters and learning from them. I was in the school of Srila Prabhupada and there is much expected from me, because Srila Prabhupada himself taught me that.
So, if I am invited to speak or someone asks me questions I must address them on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, if I didn't I would be a traitor. To advance spiritually one must be prepared to deliver what he received from his spiritual master, and if you're not sure what has been given to you, then read his books and associate with advanced devotees who sing his glories.
To end this Chat I want to comment on something very interesting. We are working with a few Internet groups who support certain pioneer projects financially. These projects must be submitted with all your personalized details. Name of the manager of the project, where it is, budget, materials, development time, etc., etc.. Even a farm project may present different related projects such as hosting spots for volunteers, collective kitchen, conference room, etc, etc.. You can also include projects such as editing a particular book, the production of a film or a musical recording. I urge you to seize this opportunity and to submit everything you would like to apply for the respective project.
You can do this by collecting information and documentation and sending it to the Office for review. They inform them if you need something and then present it to legally organize it. Please meet this request as soon as possible, including all the technical details: the local project bank account, etc.. Please send all requests to Pancatattwa Prabhu.
I wanted to share this so that we can improve our service offerings to the spiritual master in this day of Guru -purnima.
Thanks for reading this message
Jay Srila Prabhupada!
Your always well wisher,
B. A. Paramadvaiti Swami.