Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi – Chapter Six
(Neglecting the Guru)
“To neglect or disobey the guru.”
pañca-tattva jaya jaya śrī-rādhā-mādhava
Glories to the Pañca-Tattva, glories to Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava. Glories to Navadvīpa, Vraja, the Yamunā and the Vaiṣṇavas.
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 appears.”
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.”
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 executed in other bodies. In the body of a Deva one may only enjoy the results of 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 the Supreme.
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 once again.”
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’
“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, but attempt 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? One who is accomplished in the matter of transcendence is suitable to be a guru.
śānta kṛṣṇa-bhakta, lakṣaṇa ye guru,
sa-dainya vacane tāṅre
santoṣa kariyā, kṛṣṇa-dīksā la’ya,
yāya saṁsārera pāre
“One of the characteristics 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.
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 true wisdom, one should accept mantra from a guru.
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.
brāhmaṇa-kulete, supātra abhāve,
anya kule dīkṣā pāya
uccavarṇa guru, gṛhīra ucita,
“In the absence of a qualified person from a brāhmaṇa family, one should accept dīkṣā from someone of another type of lineage. 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 Qualification is More Important than Varṇa)
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 kṛṣṇa–tattva is eligible to be a guru. Whether he is a brāhmaṇa, a śūdra, a householder or a sannyāsī, the guru is like a wish-fulfilling tree.
varṇera maryādā, pātrera vicāre,
paramārthe laghu ati
supātra milana, prayojana sadā,
yadi cāi śuddhā rati
“Considering suitability 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 rati (attachment to the Lord).
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 comes across 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 of 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)
ye kona kāraṇe, sei gṛhi-dharma
chāḍi’ anyāśrama laya
tāhe paramārtha, nā pāiyā śeṣe
“For some reason, if one renounces gṛhastha-dharma and accepts another āśrama, but ultimately cannot achieve the highest attainment, he should look for a sādhu-guru.
tāhāra pakṣete, agṛhī ācārya
praśasta sakala mate
tāṅra dīkṣā śikṣā, pāiyā se jana,
“All accept that a non-gṛhastha ācārya is most suitable 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)
gṛhī bhakta-jane, virāga labhile,
tabu pūrva-guru, caraṇa-āśraya
“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.
gṛhi-jana-madhye, gṛhi-guru ‘śasta,
yadi śuddha-bhakta hana
natuvā agṛhī, suyogya haile,
“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 appropriate guru. At all times, the guru must be competent. (5)
(5) If a householder cannot find a genuine householder guru, then he may accept a genuine guru who is not a householder.
sad-guru pāiyā, bhaktite bhajite,
bhāvera udaya yabe
saṁsāra virakti, saṁsāra chāḍiyā,
vairāgī haibe tabe
“Having accepted a genuine guru, one should worship him with devotion. When bhāva arises, one becomes indifferent to the world and 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)
vairāgya āśrama, grahaṇete tyāgī-
puruṣa haibe guru
tāṅhāra caraṇe, śikhibe virāga,
“One in the vairāgya-āśrama (sannyāsa) should accept 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)
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 they so desire, they can easily bestow the highest wealth unto a fit recipient.
kṛṣṇa-nāma-mantra, dena dīkṣā-guru
vaiṣṇava sakala, śikṣā-guru hana,
“The dīkṣā–guru gives the kṛṣṇa–nāma mantra, and the śikṣā–guru imparts tattva (knowledge of bhakti). All Vaiṣṇavas can become śīkṣa–gurus and are thus the creators of all auspiciousness. (7)
(7) There are two classes of guru. The one who gives mantra-dīkṣā is the dīkṣā-guru. Those who give teachings on sambandha-tattva are śikṣā-gurus. Only can have only one dīkṣa-guru.
Sampradāyera ādi-gurura śikṣā avalambana kariyā ācaraṇa karibe
(One Must Behave According to the Teachings of the Ādi-Guru of the Sampradāya)
sādhu-sampradāye, ācārya sakala
ādyācārya yini, guru-śiromaṇi
pūji tāṅ’re yathocita
“All the ācāryas in the sādhu–sampradāya worship the ādi–ācārya (original guru), who is the crest-jewel of gurus – the śikṣā–guru who established the sampradāya. (8)
(8) ‘Sādhu-sampradāya’ means a Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. The sādhu-paramparā 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.
tāṅ’ra su-siddhānta, anugata ha’ye
nā māniba anya śikṣā
tāṅhāra ādeśa, pāliba yatane,
nā laiba anya dīkṣā
“They follow his wonderful philosophical conclusions 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)
sampradāya guru-gaṇe śikṣā guru jāni
anya-mata paṇḍitera śikṣā nāhi māni
“These 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.
sei mate suśikṣita sādhu sucarita
dīkṣā-guru-yogya sadā jāne supaṇḍita
“One who carefully studies these teachings is a sādhu of good character. One should know that such a true paṇḍita is always qualified to be a dikṣā–guru.
Māyāvādīra nikaṭa kṛṣṇa-mantra laile paramārtha haya nā
(One Never Attains the Greatest Benefit by Accepting Kṛṣṇa-mantra from a Māyāvādī)
māyāvādi-mate thāke kṛṣṇa-mantra laya
tāra paramārtha lābha kabhu nāhi haya
“One will never attain the highest spiritual benefit by accepting 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)
ye anyāya śikhe, yei śikṣā deya āra
ubhaye narake yāya, nā pāya uddhāra
“Both the person who expounds a different philosophy and the person who accepts it go to hell. They cannot be saved.
śuddha-bhakti chāḍi’ yini śikhilena vāda
tāṅhāra jīvana mātra vāda-visaṁvāda
“The life of one who rejects śuddha–bhakti and teaches another philosophy is simply spent in arguments and counter-arguments.
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?
ataeva śuddha-bhakta ye se kene naya
upayukta guru haya, sarva-śāstre kaya
“Thus, how can someone who is not a śuddha–bhakta be eligible to be guru? This is stated in all the śāstra.
(The Principle of Guru)
dīkṣā-guru śikṣā-guru duṅhe kṛṣṇa-dāsa
duṅhe vraja-jana kṛṣṇa-śaktira prakāśa
“The dīkṣā–guru and śikṣā–guru are both kṛṣṇa–dāsa. They are residents of Vraja and manifestations of Kṛṣṇa’s śakti.
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 he is one’s eternal master. (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 Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa-śakti and as a personal associate of 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.
ei buddhi-saha sadā guru-bhakti kare
sei guru-bhakti-bale saṁsārete tare
“With this mindset, one should always have guru–bhakti. By the power of such guru–bhakti, one can cross over the repeated cycle of birth and death.
(The Worship of Guru)
agre guru-pūjā pare śrī-kṛṣṇa-pūjana
“One should worship the guru first, and worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa after. Gurudeva gives Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. (10)
(10) One worships the guru by offering him āsana (a seat), pādya (foot-wash), arghya (ceremonial water), snānīya (bathing), vastra (garments), and ābharaṇa (ornaments), and with his permission one then worships the Divine Couple. After that worship, 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.
guru ājñā la’ye 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?)
gurute avajñā yā’ra tā’ra aparādha
sei aparādhe tā’ra haya bhakti-vādha
“To neglect the guru is an offence. This offence obstructs one’s bhakti.
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 śuddha–bhakta is quickly delivered.
gurute acalā śraddhā kare yei jana
śuddha-nāma-bale sei pāya prema-dhana
“By steady śraddhā in the guru, and by the power śuddha–nāma, the great wealth of prema is attained.
Kon sthāne guru tyāga karite haibe
(In Which Situation One Should Reject the Guru)
tabe yadi e rūpa ghaṭanā kabhu haya
asat-saṅge gurura yogyatā haya kṣaya
“Through asat–saṅga a person’s eligibility to become guru may be ruined if events such as the following occur.
prathame chilena tini sad-guru pradhāna
pare nāma-aparādhe hañā hata-jñāna
“At first, he may be the best amongst sad–gurus, but after making offences to the Holy Name, his knowledge is destroyed.
vaiṣṇave vidveṣa kari’ chāḍe nāma-rasa
krame krame hana artha-kāminīra vaśa
“Becoming envious of the Vaiṣṇavas, he gives up nāma–rasa. Eventually he becomes a slave to wealth and women.
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 sad–guru who chants śuddha–nāma.
Guru-śiṣya sambandhera pūrvei parasparera parīkṣā
(Before the Guru-Disciple Relationship, They Must Examine One Another)
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.
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 Pramāṇa-māla for further evidence about giving up such a relationship.
Śuddha-guru parīkṣā kariyā varaṇa karibe
(After Examining the Pure Guru, One Should Accept Him)
sad-gurura prati yei avajñā ācare
se pāpiṣṭha aparādhī sarvatra saṁsāre
“One who disrespects the sad–guru is the worst miscreant and offender in the whole world.
ataeva prathame viśeṣa yatna kari’
śuddha-bhakte laibena guru-rūpe vari’
“Thus, at the very beginning one should take great care in finding a śuddha–bhakta to be one’s guru. (12)
(12) Before a guru is accepted, śāstra instructs that the guru and disciple should test and examine one another. This does not refer to the kula-guru (family guru). If a kula-guru is qualified then there is no issue. If he is unqualified, then one should search out a guru amongst sādhu-gurus. At the time of purchasing something, one examines the object and wants to know where it is from, thus only someone who is extremely unfortunate would not endeavour to properly examine and select a guru who is the greatest friend of the jīvas. An unqualified kula-guru should be begged for permission and shown respect, then one should bid farewell to him and search out a sad-guru.
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.
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.
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 committed, Devas and humans are doomed.
Guru sevāra prakriyā
(Ways in Which to Serve the Guru)
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.
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 or lectures (in front of the guru) nor try to lord over him.
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.
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.
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.
gurura caraṇe dainye laibe śaraṇa
karibe gurura sadā priya-ācaraṇa
“One 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.
e-rūpa ācāre kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtane
sarva-siddhi haya prabho bale śruti-gaṇe
“Behaving in this way and performing kṛṣṇa–nāma–saṅkīrtana, one attains all perfection. O Lord, this has been declared by the śruti.
nāma-guru prati yadi avajñā ghaṭaye
“If one associates with wicked people, or takes refuge in the philosophy found in evil śāstra, then one disobeys the nāma–guru (13).
(13) Nāma-guru – he who teaches one about nāma-tattva and establishes the supreme nature of the Holy Name, or that person who bestows the nāmātmaka-mantra (mantras that are comprised of the Holy Names) – that person is the nāma-guru. The dīkṣā-guru is the nāma-guru. 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.
tabe sei saṅga, sei śāstra dūra kari’
vilāpa kariba sei guru-pade dhari’
“Then one should cast that association or that śāstra far away, and lamenting, one should grasp the guru’s feet.
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.”
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.’