Question: During association with devotees, I heard some saying “I call guru my dear father, my close friend…”
I am thinking over the sentence from Nectar of Devotion Chapter 7 “The spiritual master must be accepted as My representative, but as My very self. He must never be considered on the same level with an ordinary human being. …”
Although I am attracted by Krishna as a lovely friend and a sincere protector, I should treat the gurus like servant and master? If somebody is attracted Krishna as lover, father or son, she still should treat the gurus as servant and master?
Answer by Romapada Swami: There are many things to say in response to your question above. Here are just a few.
1. Our “gold standard” for understanding points of philosophy is through the medium of scripture, especially the presentation of the scriptures through the great acaryas like Rupa Goswami. “Feelings” or “stirrings within our heart” should be guided by and subordinated to Rupa Goswami’s teachings.[From Nectar of Devotion – Introduction]
Later, Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada elaborated the teachings of the Lord with profound knowledge of revealed scriptures and authoritative references from various Vedic literatures. Srila Srinivasa Acarya describes in his prayers to the Six Gosvamis that they were all highly learned scholars, not only in Sanskrit but also in foreign languages such as Persian and Arabic. They very scrutinizingly studied all the Vedic scriptures in order to establish the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the authorized principles of Vedic knowledge. The present Krsna consciousness movement is also based on the authority of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. We are therefore generally known as rupanugas, or followers in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. It is only for our guidance that Srila Rupa Gosvami prepared his book Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which is now presented in the form of The Nectar of Devotion. Persons engaged in the Krsna consciousness movement may take advantage of this great literature and be very solidly situated in Krsna consciousness.
~~~~[Citing a passage from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu — BG 7.3]
aikantiki harer bhaktir
“Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas and Narada Pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.”
2. One’s rasa with Krishna becomes revealed at a mature stage of bhakti. Thinking Krishna as one’s son or lover etc is something that we can anticipate to awaken -ONLY- when bhakti becomes mature.
In the early stages of devotional service, we should regard Krishna with reverence — like a servant regards their Master, This is Rupa Goswami’s teaching.
3. Even in the mature stages of bhakti, guru is to be contemplated with utmost respect and reverence. At the same time, a benevolent and loving master is CERTAINLY one’s very best friend! He is one’s affectionate spiritual father! These are not contradictory emotions.
Please devote time on a regular basis to become well acquainted with the teachings of bhakti found in Srila Prabhupada’s books.