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Title: Guru Tattva
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-02-17 23:54:00
I would like to know what the proper way of the worship of guru is. Some devotees tend to see the guru-tattwa as a universal principle.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: Yes in the absolute sense. Because the akhanda guru tattva or the original source and abode of Guru Tattva as well as Jiva Tattva is Lord Nityananda Balarama. And Lord Nityananda is all-pervading through His energies and His feature of Paramatma. So we can say that the Guru Tattva in the absolute sense is an universal prinicple. But the indivudal Gurus or representatives of Lord Nityananda are not universal in their cognizance like the Lord.
some others consider their guru as the only bona fide guru in the galaxy, refusing to hear or read any other Vaishnava Acharyas.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: This is bigoted and narrow-minded sectarianism in spiritual life. No bonafide non-envious Diksha Guru will stop his disciples from hearing from other non-envious, bonafide and advanced Vaishnavas. Infact the bonafide Diksha Guru is most pleased and happy to see his disciple rapidly advancing on the path of pure devotion by taking instructions and association from advanced Shiksha Gurus.
The principle of receiving Shiksha from advanced Shiksha Gurus is stated everywhere in the scriptures to help us better to serve the instructions of the Diksha Guru. As we know from the scriptures, we can have only one Diksha Guru for any one particular Mantra but we can have unlimited Shiksha Gurus to guide us in the chanting of the Mantra received from the Diksha Guru.
Both the Diksha Guru and Shiksha Gurus have to be equally repsected by the disciple as per Shri Chaitanya Chanritamrita because they are equal manifestations of Lord Gauranga-Krishna.
Should devotees be narrow-minded in a sense, reading only one Guru's books, hearing only him, etc., or should we take the valuable instructions from wherever they are available?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: The process is explained in Shri Krishna Bhajanamrita of Shrila Narahari Sarakara Thakura that a disciple of a Diksha Guru can go and take instructions and guidance from advanced Shiksha Gurus in the following manner:
(1) He or she goes to the Shiksha Guru (s) with the blessings and permission of the Diksha Guru.
(2) Whatever he or she learns and realizes from the instructions and association of the Shiksha Gurus, he or she has to come and share and confirm with the Diksha Guru before implementing it in one's spiritual practices.
Shrila Naraharipada gives the example of a son who goes with the permission and blessings of his father to do business in a big city and comes home and shares his earned wealth with his father before enjoying it himself.†
This is a very elaborate and detailed subject matter which I have discussed in the past in detail (articles are lost now) and maybe we can continue at some later stage in the Forum.