Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi

Chapter Six – Guror avajñā
(Neglecting the Guru)

(1)
pañca-tattva jaya jaya śrī-rādhā-mādhava
jaya navadvīpa vraja yamunā vaiṣṇava

Glories to Pañca Tattva, glories to Rādhā-Mādhava. Glories to Navadvīpa, Vraja, the Yamunā and the Vaiṣṇavas.

(2)
hari-dāsa bale prabhu kari nivedana
tṛtīyāparādha nāme ye rūpe ghaṭana

Hari Dāsa said, Oh Lord, on Your request, I will now speak about the third aparādha and what occurs when it is appears.”

(3)
vistāri baliba āmi tomāri ājñāya
yei saba aparādha guru avajñāya

By your order, I will describe in detail all the offences that proceed from neglecting the guru.”

(4)
bahu yoni bhrami     mānava-śarīra
durlabha śubhada ati
tathāpi anitya    pāileka yei
yāvat jīvane sthiti

“After wandering through many wombs, one attains a human form which is very rare and extremely fortunate. However, having attained that status in life, such a body is also temporary.” (1)

 (1) Wandering continuously through sixteen-thousand wombs, by the power of ajñāta-sukṛti (unknown spiritual merit), the jīva is awarded a human body. The human form is rare, because in the human body one may perform sādhana that leads towards spirituality, which cannot be done in other bodies. In the body of a Deva one may only enjoy the results of his previous karma, but one may not perform pious activities. In the form of animals, birds etc. there is a lack of knowledge  and one cannot independently perform pious activities. Only the human body is suitable to perform bhajana of Īśvara.

(5)
parama maṅgala     labhibāre tare
yadi nā yatana kare
punarāya bhave      anitya śarīra
labhiyā ābāra mare

“If no endeavour is made to attain the highest auspiciousness, then one must take birth again in this mundane world, accept a temporary body, and die again.”

(6)
subodha ye haya     durlabha nṛ-deha
labhiyā bhava saṁsāre

“One should understand how rare it is to attain the human form within the cycle of birth and death.”


Saṁsārī jīva avaśya sad-guru āśraya karibe
(The Bound Jīva Must Take Shelter of a Genuine Guru)


guru karṇa-dhāra     samāśraya kari

kṛṣṇa ānukūlye tare

“The guru is the captain of the ship, and one should take shelter of Him, then by Kṛṣṇa’s favour, one can cross over (the ocean of birth and death). (2)

(2) The guru is the only captain of the ship to deliver the fallen jīvas across the ocean of repeated birth and death. All those persons who do not take refuge in the guru’s feet and attempts to cross the ocean of birth and death by the power of their own intelligence are great fools. Without following the instructions of the guru, one can never achieve perfection in this world. How can one become perfect in order to attain the highest benefit without the instructions of a guru? On who is accomplished in the matter of transcendence is suitable to be a guru.

(7)
śānta kṛṣṇa-bhakta     lakṣaṇa ye guru
sa-dainya vacane tāṅre
santoṣa kariyā     kṛṣṇa-dīksā laya
yāya saṁsārera pāre

One of the charatceristics of a guru is that he is a peaceful devotee of Kṛṣṇa. One should inquire from such a person submissively, satisfy him and accept kṛṣṇa-dīkṣā from him. In this way one can cross over saṁsāra

(8)
sahaje jīvera    āche kṛṣṇe mati
vṛthā tarke tāhā yāya
vitarka chāḍiyā    sumati āśraye
guru hate mantra pāya

“It is easy for the jīva’s intelligence to be fixed upon Kṛṣṇa when useless rhetoric has disappeared. By rejecting such logic and taking shelter of real philosophy, one should accept a mantra from the guru.

(9)
gṛhī jīva-gaṇa    varṇāśrame thāki
sad-guru āśraya kare |

“Those jīvas who are householders should remain situated within varṇāśrama and take shelter of a genuine guru.


Brāhmaṇādi ucca-varṇe sat-pātra thākile tini haibāra yogya
(Brāhmaṇas and Others from Higher Varṇas Should be Accepted as Guru if They are Suitable.)


brāhmaṇa ācārya    sarva-varṇe haya

yadi kṛṣṇa bhakti dhare

“A brāhmaṇa is the ācārya of all the other varṇas if he follows kṛṣṇa-bhakti.

(10)
brāhmaṇa kulete     supātra abhāve
anya kule dīkṣā pāya
ucca varṇa guru    gṛhīra ucita
guru śiṣya parīkṣāya

“In the absence of a suitable person from a brāhmaṇa family, one should accept dīkṣā from someone from another kind of family. A householder should accept a guru from the higher varṇas. The guru and disciple should examine each other.

Varṇa-vicāra apekṣā supātrera vicāra adhika śreyaḥ (Consideration of Qulification is More Important than Varṇa)

(11)
kṛṣṇa-tattva vettā      prakṛta ye haya
se haite pāre guru
kibā vipra śūdra     ki gṛhī sannyāsī
guru hana kalpa-taru

It is natural that one who is conversant with kṛṣṇatattva is suitable to be a guru. Whether he is a brāhmaṇa, a śūdra, a householder or a sannyāsī, the guru is like a wish-fulfilling tree.

(12)
varṇera maryādā     pātrera vicāre
paramārthe laghu ati
supātra milana     prayojana sadā
yadi cāi śuddhā rati

“Considering suitablility based upon the reputation of a particular varṇa is not very relevant from the highest perspective. Finding the proper qualifications is always the necessity if one desires to attain pure attachment (to the Lord).

(13)
supātrera prāpti     mūla prayojana
pavitra suvarṇa hena
tāhe ucca varṇa     labhile saṁyoga
sohāgā suvarṇe yena

“Proper eligibility is the foundation for accepting someone (as guru). Such a person is like pure gold. If one meets such a person amongst the higher varṇas, then that person is as beautiful as gold. (3)

 (3) One should accept a qualified guru. A guru from the higher varṇas is pleasing to society. Therefore, if he can find a suitable guru amongst the higher varṇas, a gṛhastha need not seek one amongst the lower varṇas. But it should be kept in mind that someone from a higher varṇa or a kula-guru (family preceptor) who has no proper qualification should not be accepted as guru.

Gṛha-tyāgī agṛhi-gurvāśraya karite pāren (A Householder who Renounces His Home Should Take Shelter of A Guru Who is not a Householder)

(14)
ye kona kāraṇe     sei gṛhi dharma
chāḍi anyāśrama laya
tāhe paramārtha    nā pāiyā śeṣe
sādhu guru anveṣaya

“For some reason, if someone renounces gṛhastha-dharma and accepts another āśrama, but at the end cannot achieve the highest attainment, he should look for a sādhu-guru.

(15)
tāhāra pakṣete    agṛhī ācārya
praśasta sakala mate
tāṅra dīkṣā śikṣā     pāiyā se jana
bhāse nāma-rasāmṛte

“All agree that a non-gṛhastha ācārya is best for such a person. Taking dīkṣā and śikṣā from him, that person will swim in the nectar of nāma-rasa. (4)

 (4) One who renounces householder life must accept a genuine guru. He should accept a guru who has also renounced his home.

Gṛhi-bhakta gṛha-tyāga karile-o pūrva-guru tyāga karite haya nā (The Householder Devotee who Renounces His Home Should not Reject His Previous Guru)

(16)
gṛhī bhakta-jane     virāga labhile
chāḍaye saṁsāra vidhi
tabu pūrva-guru     caraṇa āśraya
karibe jīvanāvadhi

“A householder devotee who attains the stage of renunciation should abandon the regulations of family life. But for his whole life he should continue to accept the shelter of the feet of his previous guru.

(17)
gṛhi jana madhye     gṛhi guru śasta
yadi śuddha bhakta hana
natuvā agṛhī    suyogya haile
guru-yogya sarva-kṣaṇa

Amongst householders, a householder guru is glorious if he is a pure devotee. Yet, one who has already renounced his home should search for an approriate guru. At all times, the guru should be suitable. (5)

 (5) If a householder cannot find a genuine householder guru, then he may accept a genuine guru who is not a householder.

(18)
sad-guru pāiyā     bhajie bhajite
bhāvera udaya yabe
saṁsāra virakti     saṁsāra chāḍiyā
vairāgī haibe tabe

“Having accepted a genuine guru, one should constantly worship him. When bhāva arises, one becomes indifferent to the world and one renounces it. Then he becomes a renunciant.

Yini vairāgya āśraye laibena tini vairāgī guru kariben (One Who Takes Refuge in Renunciation Should Accept a Guru who is a Renunciant)

(19)
vairāgya āśrama     grahaṇete tyāgī
puruṣa haibe guru
tāṅhāra caraṇe    śikhibe virāga
guru śikṣā kalpa taru

“One in the vairāgya-āśrama (a sannyāsī) should accept someone who is a renunciant as his guru. At his feet one will learn about renunciation. Such a guru is a wish-fulfilling tree of spiritual instructions. (6)

 (6) A householder who has accepted the vairāgya-āśrama should seek out a suitable renunciant-guru and accept the clothes and paraphernalia appropriate for the stage of a mendicant (bhikṣu-āśrama).

Dīkṣā o śikṣā guru ubhayakei samāna sammāna karā āvaśyaka (The Dīkṣā and Śikṣā-gurus Should Both be Given Equal Respect)

(20)
dīkṣā śikṣā bhede     guru du’ prakāra
ubhaye samāna māna
arpibe sujana    paramārtha dhana
anāyāse yadi cāna

Dīkṣa and śikṣā are the two kinds of gurus, and both should be respected equally. If he so desires, he can easily bestow the highest wealth unto a fit recipient.

(21)
kṛṣṇa-nāma mantra      dena dīkṣā-guru
śikṣā-guru tattva dātā
vaiṣṇava sakala     śikṣā guru hana
sarva śubha janayitā

“The dīkṣāguru gives the kṛṣṇanāma mantra, and the śikṣāguru imparts tattva (knowledge of bhakti). All Vaiṣṇavas can become śīkṣagurus and are thus the creators of all auspiciousness. (7)

 (7) There are two classes of guru. The one who gives mantradīkṣā is the dīkṣāguru. Those who give teachings on sambandhatattva are śikṣāgurus. Only one person can be dīkṣaguru.

Sampradāyera ādi-gurura śikṣā avalambana kariyā ācaraṇa karibe (One Must Behave According to the Teachings of the Ādi-Guru of the Sampradāya)

(22)
sādhu sampradāye     ācārya sakala
śikṣā guru pratiṣṭhita
ādyācārya yini     guru śiromaṇi
pūji tāṅre yathocita

“All the ācāryas in the sādhusampradāya worship the ādiācārya (original guru), who is the  crest-jewel of gurus, the śikṣāguru who established the sampradāya. (8)

(8) ‘Sādhu sampradāya’ means a Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. The sādhuparamparā imparts mantras, tattva (knowledge), and teachings concerning sādhya (the goal) and sādhana (the method how to attain the goal). In order to protect oneself from evil sampradāyas such as those of  the māyāvādīs etc., one should accept a guru from a sādhu sampradāya. One should respect the teachings imparted by the original ācāryas of the sādhu sampradāyas. Śrī Rāmānuja, Śrī Madhva-muni, Śrī Nimbāditya and Śrī Viṣṇu-svāmī are the original ācāryas of their respective sampradāyas.

(23)
tāṅra su-siddhānta    anugata haye
nā māniba anya śikṣā
tāṅhāra ādeśa     pāliba yatane
nā la-iba anya dīkṣā

“They follow his wonderful siddhānta and do not accept any other philosophy. They endeavour to carry out his teachings and do not accept dīkṣā anywhere else.

Sampradāya guru varaṇa karā kartavya (One Must Accept a Guru From Within a Sampradāya)

(24)
sampradāya guru-gaṇe śikṣā guru jāni
anya-mata paṇḍitera śikṣā nāhi māni

“The gurus are conversant with the teachings of the original gurus of the sampradāya. They do not accept the teachings of any other paṇḍita who expounds another philosophy.

(25)
sei mate suśikṣita sādhu sucarita
dīkṣā-guru yogya sadā jāne supaṇḍita

“One who carefully studies these teachings is a sādhu of good charatcer. One should know that such a true paṇḍīta is always qualified to be a dikṣāguru.

Māyāvādīra nikaṭa kṛṣṇa-mantra laile paramārtha haya nā (One Never Attains the Greatest Benefit by Accepting a Kṛṣṇa-mantra from a Māyāvādī)

(26)
māyāvādi-mate thāke kṛṣṇa mantra laya
tāra paramārtha lābha kabhu nāhi haya

One will never attain the highest spiritual benefit by accepting a kṛṣṇa-mantra from someone who follows māyāvāda philosophy.

Śuddha-bhakta vyatīta anyake guru karibe nā (Except for a Pure Devotee, No One Else Can be a Guru)

(27)
ye anyāya śikhe yei śikṣā deya āra
ubhaye narake yāya nā pāya uddhāra

“Both the person who expounds another philosophy and the person who accepts it go to hell. They cannot be saved.

(28)
śuddha bhakti chāḍi yini śikhilena vāda
tāṅhāra jīvana mātra vāda visaṁvāda

“The life of one who rejects śuddhabhakti and teaches another philosophy is simply spent in arguments and counter-arguments.

(29)
se kemane guru habe uddhāribe jīve
āpani asiddha anye kibā śubha dibe

“How can such a person become a guru and deliver the jīvas? If he is imperfect, how can he bestow auspiciousness upon others?

(30)
ataeva śuddha bhakta ye se kene naya
upayukta guru haya sarva-śāste kaya

“Thus, how can someone who is not a śuddhabhakta be eligible to be a guru ? This is stated in all the śāstra.

Guru-tattva (The Principle of Guru)

(31)
dīkṣā-guru śikṣā-guru duṅhe kṛṣṇa-dāsa
duṅhe vraja jana kṛṣṇa śaktira prakāśa

“The dīkṣāguru and śikṣāguru are both kṛṣṇadāsa. They are both residents of Vraja and manifestations of Kṛṣṇa’s śakti.

(32)
guruke sāmānya jīva nā jānibe kabhu
guru kṛṣṇa śakti kṛṣṇa-preṣṭha nitya prabhu

“One should never consider the guru to be an ordinary jīva. The guru is Kṛṣṇa’s śakti, most dear to Kṛṣṇa, and the eternal master (of the disciple) (9)

 (9) One should never consider the guru to be an ordinary jīva. Devotion must be given to the guru as one who is nourished by the Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpaśakti and as a personal associate of the Kṛṣṇa. To think of the guru as Kṛṣṇa is the philosophy of the māyāvādīs, and not that of the pure Vaiṣṇavas. Sādhu-devotees are extremely careful of this.  If it is evident that māyāvāda has entered into one’s sādhana, then all of one’s sādhana is ruined.

(33)
ei buddhi saha sadā guru bhakti kare
sei guru-bhakti bale saṁsārete tare

“With this mindset, one should always have gurubhakti. By the power of such gurubhakti, one can cross over the repeated cycle of birth and death.

Guru pūjā (Worship of Guru)

(34)
agre guru pūjā pare śrī kṛṣṇa pūjana
gurudeve śrī-kṛṣṇa prasāda samarpaṇa

“First one should worship the guru, and after worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Gurudeva gives Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. (10)

 (10) One worships the guru by offering him āsana (aseat), pādya (foot-wash), arghya (ceremonial water), snānīya (bathing), vastra (garments), and ābharaṇa (ornaments), and with his permission one then worships the Divine Couple. After, the prasāda such as drinks etc. should be first offered to the guru, and then to other Vaiṣnavas and the Devatās. Then prasāda may be offered to the pitṛs.

(35)
guru ājñā laye kṛṣṇa pūjibe yatane
śrī guru smariyā kṛṣṇa balibe vadane

“Following the guru’s instructions, one should carefully worship Kṛṣṇa. Remembering Śrī Guru, one should chant the name of Kṛṣṇa.

Gurute ki rūpe śraddhā karā ucita (What KInd of Faith Should one Have in the Guru ?)

(36)
gurute avajñā yāra tāra aparādha
sei aparādhe tāra haya bhakti bādha

To neglect the guru is an offence. This offence obstructs one’s bhakti.

(37)
guru kṛṣṇa vaiṣṇavete sama bhakti kari
nāmāśraye śuddha bhakta śīghra yāya tari

Having equal bhakti for the guru, Kṛṣṇa, and the Vaiṣṇavas, and by taking shelter of the Holy Name, a śuddhabhakta is quickly delivered.

(38)
gurute acalā śraddhā kare yei jana
śuddha nāma bale sei pāya prema-dhana

“By steady faith in the guru, and by the power of chanting śuddhanāma, the great wealth of prema is attained.

Kon sthāne guru tyāga karite haibe (In Which Situation One Should Reject the Guru)

(39)
tabe yadi e rūpa ghaṭanā kabhu haya
asat saṅge gurura yogyatā haya kṣaya

“By asatsaṅga a person’s eligibility to be a guru may be ruined if events such as the following occur.

(40)
prathame chilena tini sad guru pradhāna
pare nāma aparādhe hañā hata jñāna

“At first, he may be the best amongst sadgurus, but after making offenses to the Holy Name, his knowledge is destroyed.

(41)
vaiṣṇave vidveṣa kari chāḍe nāma-rasa
krame krame hana artha kāminīra vaśa

“Becoming envious of the Vaiṣṇavas, he gives up nāmarasa. Eventually he becomes a slave to wealth and women.

(42)
sei guru chāḍi śiṣya śrī-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya
sad guru labhiyā punaḥ śuddha nāma gāya

“Rejecting that guru, and by the mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, a disciple may again find a sadguru who chants śuddhanāma.

Guru-śiṣya sambandhera pūrvei parasparera parīkṣā (Before the Guru-Disciple Relationship, They Must Examine One Another)

(43)
ayogya śiṣyere guru kariben daṇḍa
bhajiyā ayogya guru śiṣya haya paṇḍa

“A guru that accepts an unqualified disciple is punished. The disciple who worships an unqualified guru becomes hopeless.

(44)
duṅhera yogyatā yata dina sthira raya
paraspara sambandha kakhana tyajya naya

“As long as they are both qualified, their relationship should not be abandoned. (11)

 (11) The relationship between guru and disciple is eternal. As long as there is mutual eligibility, their relationship will not be broken. If the guru becomes wicked, the disciple must give him up, and if the disciple becomes wicked, then the guru must give him up. If not, then both will fall down. KIndly look at the Pramāṇamāla for further evidence about giving up such a relationship.

Śuddha-guru parīkṣā kariyā varaṇa karibe (After Examining the Pure Guru, One Should Acccept Him)

(45)
sad-gurura prati yei avajñā ācare
se pāpiṣṭha aparādhī sarvatra saṁsāre

“One who disrespects the sadguru is the worst miscreant and offender in the whole world.

(46)
ataeva prathame viśeṣa yatna kari
śuddha bhakte laibena guru-rūpe vari

“Thus, at the very beginning one should take great care in finding a śuddhabhakta to be one’s guru. (12)

 (12) Before a guru is accepted, śāstra instructs that the guru and disciple should test and examine one other. This does not refer to the kulaguru (family guru). If a kulaguru is qualified then there is no issue. If he is unqualified, then one should search out a guru amongst sādhugurus. At the time of purchasing something one examines the object and wants to know where it is from, so only someone who is extremely unfortunate would not endeavour to properly examine and select a guru who is the greatest friend of the jīvas. And unqualified kulaguru should be begged for permission and shown respect, then one should bid farewell to him and search out a sad-guru.

(47)
guru tyāga kleśa yena kabhu nāhi ghaṭe
e rūpa cintile kabhu nā paḍe saṅkaṭe

“One should be concerned that he should never have to undergo the misery of having to reject his guru and fall into such a calamity.

(48)
guru yathā bhakti-hīna śiṣya tā’ra prāya
ataeva śuddha guru la’be parīkṣāya

“Just as the guru may be devoid of bhakti, so the disciple may also be. Therefore, the pure guru must examine him.

 (49)
sad guru avajñā aparādha bhayaṅkara
ei aparādhe naṣṭa haya deva nara

“To disrespect the sad-guru is a dreadful offence. When such an offence is commited, Devas and humans are doomed.

Guru sevāra prakriyā (Ways in Which to Serve the Guru)

(50)
guru śayyāsana āra pādukādi yāna
pāda pīṭha snānodaka chāyāra laṅghana

“One should not disrespect the guru’s bed, seat, shoes, vehicle, foot-stool, bath-water and shadow.

(51)
gurura agrete anya pūjā dvaita jñāna
dīkṣā, vyākhyā, prabhutvādi karibe varjana

“One should not worship anyone else before the guru, considering him to be secondary. One should not give dīkṣā, lectures, nor lord over the guru.

(52)
yathā yathā gurura pāibe daraśana
daṇḍavat paḍi bhūme karibe vandana

“Whenever one sees the guru, one should offer daṇḍavats, falling to the ground and offering respects.

(53)
guru nāma bhaktite karibe uccāraṇa
guru ājñā helā nā karibe kadācana

“One should utter his guru’s name with bhakti. One should never, ever disrespect the guru.

(54)
gurura prasāda sevā avaśya karibe
gurura apriya vākya kabhu nā kahibe

“One should honour the prasāda-remnants of the guru. One must never speak unpleasant words to the guru.

(55)
gurura caraṇe dainye laibe śaraṇa
karibe gurura sadā priya ācaraṇa

“On must surrender with humility at the guru’s feet. One must always behave in such a way that one will become dear to the guru.

(56)
e rūpa ācāre kṛṣṇa nāma saṅkīrtane
sarva siddhi haya prabho bale śruti gaṇe

“Behaving in this way and performing kṛṣṇanāmasaṅkīrtana, one attains all perfection. O Lord, this has been declared by the śruti.

(57)
nāma-guru prati yadi avajñā ghaṭaye
duṣṭa saṅge duṣṭa śāstra mata samāśraye

“If one associates with wicked people, or takes refuge in the philosophy found in evil śāstra, then one disobeys the nāmaguru (13).

 (13) Nāmaguru – he who teaches one about nāmatattva and establishes the supreme nature of the Holy Name, or that person who bestows the nāmātmakamantra (mantras that are comprised of the Holy Names) – that person is the nāmaguru. The dīkṣāguru is the nāmaguru. The mantra is also the nāma. If the Holy Name is separated from the mantra, then there is no mantra. On the contrary, simply by chanting the Holy Name, the mantra is automatically chanted.

(58)
tabe sei saṅga sei śāstra dūra kari
vilāpa kariba sei guru pade dhari

“Then one should throw that association or that śāstra far away and lamenting, one should grasp the guru’s feet.

(59)
kṛpā kari gurudeva haibe sadaya
nāme prema dibe se vaiṣṇava dayāmaya

“Being kind, the guru will bestow his mercy. Being full of compassion, that Vaiṣṇava will give one nāma prema.”

(60)
hari-dāsa pada reṇu bharasā yāhāra
nāma cintāmaṇi gāya tṛṇādhika chāra

He who considers himself lower than a blade of grass, who has faith in the dust of Hari Dāsa’s feet, sings this Hari-nāma-cintāmaṇi.

iti śrī- hari-nāma-cintāmaṇau gurv-avajñā-vicāro
nāma ṣaṣṭhaḥ paricchedaḥ

Thus ends the sixth chapter of Śrī Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi entitled, ‘Discussions on Disrespecting the Guru.’