sakala-vaiṣṇavā eva guravaḥ. tatra dīkṣā-guravaḥ śikṣā-guravaś ca viśeṣataḥ santi tayor eva kāryam. yadi tāv alpa-balau tathāpy anya-mahatām mukhāc chikṣā viśeṣaṁ jñātvāpi gurave deyam. tad eva guruṣu paṭhanīyaṁ na tu gurau helā kartavyā, yathā sneha-bhājana-putro’rthopārjanaṁ pitre dattvā prārthya ca svayaṁ bhuṅkte. yadi svayam ānīya khādati, tataḥ kuputraḥ pāpī syāt. tasmāt sarvatra vaiṣṇavānāṁ guroḥ samādhikārā pūjā kāryā. tathāpi kāya-mano-vākyair guror eva sevanaṁ kuryāt. kārya-kāle parair guror avahelāyāṁ guror eva gurus tat-pakṣa eva grāhyaḥ. paśya, paśya, yathā pitā gurus tathā tasya bhrātā grajo’nujaḥ, pitur adhika-pūjyo vā pituś cedātmīya eva vā, tathāpi pituḥ pitā-gurur api guruḥ, tasya pūjā dvi-guṇiteti śailī loka-prasiddhā, atra yadi pitaraṁ kārya-kāle ete vṛthaiva garhayanti, tarhi pataiva guruḥ, pituḥ pakṣa eva āśrayaṇīyas tad balenaiva jīvā-lambanaṁ kāryam. pitā gurur vā patir vā nirguṇo’pi pūjya eva. eteṣāṁ balān mahadbhir jñānibhir vā saha vivaditavyaṁ ke nāma-janāḥ pituḥ kalaṅke jīvanti? balābalaṁ khalu-jīvanaṁ sarve tad anumatam eva guru-mukhād vā sva-buddhyā vā vyavaharantīti kramaḥ, ātmānaṁ tad-dāsye tadā gaṇayanti. eṣa eva paro dharmaḥ |kintu yadi guru-rasam añjasaṁ karoti, tarhi yukti-siddhaiḥ siddhāntais tasya rahasi daṇḍaḥ karaṇīyaḥ na tu tyājyaḥ | gurur daṇḍya hati cen na, tatrāpi |
guror apy avaliptasya kāryākāryam ajānataḥ |
utpatha-pratipannasya parityāgo vidhīyate ||
anena sarvaṁ suśobhanam iti | svabhāvata eva vaiṣṇavānāṁ kṛṣṇāśraya eva mūlam | tad-guṇa-gāna-yaśo varṇana-vilāsa-vinoda-prakhyāpanam eva jīvanam | sarve tad-artham eva guru-mukhād vāśṛṇvanti sva-buddhyā vā vyavaharantīti kramaḥ | tatra gurur yadi visadṛśakārī, īśvare bhrāntaḥ, kṛṣṇa-yaśo vimukhas tad-vilāsa-vinodaṁ nāṅgīkaroti svayaṁ vā durabhimānī, loka-svastavaiḥ kṛṣṇam anukaroti, tarhi tyājya eva | katham eva gurus tyājyaḥ? iti cen na, kṛṣṇa-bhāva-lobhāt kṛṣṇa-prāptaye guror āśrayaṇaṁ kṛtaṁ, tad-anantaraṁ yadi tasmin gurau āsura-bhāvas tarhi kiṁ kartavyam? asura-guruṁ tyaktvā śrī-kṛṣṇa-bhaktimantaṁ gurum anyaṁ bhajet | asya kṛṣṇa-balād asurasya guror balaṁ mardanīyam iti vaiṣṇava-bhajana-vicāraḥ | evaṁ tu dṛṣṭā bahavaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanyāvatāre iti guru-nirūpaṇa-siddhāntāḥ |
All pure Vaiṣṇavas are gurus. This is because they all impart potency to the hearts of other jīvas through their instructions. Amongst them, the one we approach for dīkṣā is the dīkṣā–guru. Those we approach for instructions on bhakti are śīkṣā–gurus. What should be the proper etiquette towards these gurus? This is the question.
Obedience to the dīkṣā and śikṣā–guru is mandatory. If these two kinds of guru are weak, one should approach another who is a mahā-puruṣa with great potency and attain instruction from him. When one studies under that śikṣā–guru, one should never neglect him in any way. A good son earns wealth and offers it to his father and only upon accepting his order, he enjoys it himself. He does not earn wealth and enjoy it himself like a sinful son. In a similar way, a good disciple does the same thing. The Vaiṣṇavas have the same qualifications as the guru. It is one’s duty to worship them in a similar way.
Still, it is one’s essential duty to serve Śrī Guru with body, mind and words. If at a particular time, the gurus of one’s guru notice him performing some erroneous activities and shun him, then it is acceptable to take the side of the superior gurus. The father should always be respected as guru. Similarly his brother, whether he is younger or older, is more affectionate than the father. Of course, the father is one’s relative. Still, the father’s father and the guru of one’s guru are worthy of double the worship. This brief method is well known amongst people. If they (the brothers or superior gurus) unjustly condemn the guru during this process, then one should take shelter of the father or the guru. It is one’s duty to depend upon the strength of the father, or the strength of the guru to maintain one’s life. The father, guru or husband are revered even if they are worthless. It is possible to respectfully disagree with other great persons. Moreover, who can maintain their life upon hearing blasphemy of one’s father? Therefore, everyone should understand everything from the instructions of their guru or through one’s own wisdom – that is the best principle. In this way, the guru will consider you as a servant. This is the highest dharma.
However, if the guru gives absurd instructions or misbehaves, then the guru must be rectified with good advice in private. If he becomes purified by that, then he should not be rejected. Not knowing which activity is proper or improper, if the guru involves himself in dishonest activities or accepts the wrong path, then a similar kind of rectification should be prescribed. This kind of action is beneficial for both the guru and the disciple.
Taking shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the inherent nature of Vaiṣṇavas. The mūla-mantra of Kṛṣṇa, singing about the qualities of Kṛṣṇa, describing Kṛṣṇa’s fame, and narrating Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful pastimes are the very life of a Vaiṣṇava. That is why everyone should be guided by listening to the words of the guru and using one’s intelligence – this is the gradual progression of sādhana.
In this way, wherever the guru becomes a follower of opposing philosophies or becomes antagonistic, forgetting that the jīva is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, following the evil philosophy of māyāvāda or materialistic smārtavāda, or does not accept the blissful praiseworthy pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and proudly abuses Kṛṣṇa, then that guru must certainly be rejected. One should not be concerned with, “How can I reject the guru?” Greed for attaining kṛṣṇa-bhakti and obtaining Kṛṣṇa requires the shelter of a guru’s feet. Yet when one observes all good qualities in a guru and takes shelter at his feet, but later, due to bad association, many asurika inclinations arise within that guru, then what is to be done?Leaving that asurika guru, one must worship another guru who has bhakti for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Gradually, by the potency of a guru who is a true devotee, the material energy stemming the asurika guru’s anger will be destroyed. This consideration is hidden within the bhajana of the divine Vaiṣṇavas. During the advent of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, there were many similar conclusions concerning defining a guru.