You are on page 1of 9

very rare achievement.

This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the spiritual master as
the captain and the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as favorable winds impelling it on its course.
Considering all these advantages, a human being who does not utilize his human life to cross the ocean of material
existence must be considered the killer of his own soul."*

Commentary by rla Santana Gosvm

This verse is spoken by Lord Ka, who is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, as is described in rmad-
Bhgavatam 1.3.28. The word dyam here means the root of all auspicious results." The human life is attained after
many pious deeds. Without many millions of struggles it is not possible to attain a human birth. Still, it seems to come of
its own accord.

Text 32

atha r-gurpasatti

tatraiva r-prabuddha-yogevaroktau

tasmd guru prpadyeta


jijsu reya uttamam
bde pare ca nita
brahmay upasamrayam

athanow; r-gurpasattitaking shelter of the spiritual master; tatrathere; evaindeed; r-prabuddha-


yogevara-uktauin the statement of r Prabhuddha, the master of yoga; tasmttherefore; gurumof a spiritual
master; prpadyetaone should take shelter; jijsudesirign to know; reyagood; uttamamhighest; bdein
scriptures; paresupreme; caand; nitamexpert; brahmayof the Supreme Personality of Godhead;
upasamrayamtaking shelter.

One Should Take Shelter of a Bona-fide Spiritual Master

r Prabhuddha, the great master of yoga, explained (rmad-Bhgavatam 11.3.21):

"Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona-fide spiritual master and take shelter of
him by initiation. The qualification of the bona-fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by
deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the
Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bond-fide spiritual masters."*

Text 33

svaya r-bhagavad-uktau

mad-abhija guru nta


upsta mad-tmakam

svayampersonally; r-bhagavad-uktauin the statement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mad-abhijam


who knows me; gurumspiritual master; ntampeaceful; upstashould take shelter; mad-tmakamdedicated his
heart to Me.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself affirms (rmad-Bhgavatam 11.10.5):

"One should take shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master, who is peaceful, who knows the truth about Me, and whose
heart and mind are fixed on Me."

Text 34

krama-dpiky ca
vipra prdhvasta-kma-prabhti-ripu-ghaa nirmalga gariha
bhakti kghri-pakeruha-yugala-rajo-rginm udvahantam
vettra veda-strgama-vimala-path sammata satsu dnta
vidy ya samvivitsu pravaa-tanu-man deika sasrayeta

krama-dpikymin the Krama-dpik; caand; viprambrhmaa; prdhvastadestroyed; kmawith lust;


prabhtibeginning; ripuenemies; ghaamengaged; nirmalgampure; garihamexalted; bhaktimdevotion;
kghri-pakeruha-yugalaof Lord Ka's lotus feet; rajathe dust; rginmlove; udvahantambearing;
vettramthe knower; veda-strgama-vimala-pathmof the pure path of the Vedas and Agamas; sammatam
concluded; satsuamong the devotees; dntamself-controlled; vidymknowledge; yawho; samvivitsuknows;
pravaa-tanu-manhumble; deikamguru; sasrayetashould take shelter.

r Krama-dpik explains:

"One should take shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master, who is a qualified brhmaa, who has conquered lust and all
other enemies, who is pure, exalted, devoted to the dust of Lord Ka's lotus feet, fully aware of the pure path of the
Vedas and Agamas, convinced of the conclusions reached by the great devotees, self-controlled, eager to learn about the
Supreme Lord, and humble at heart."

Text 35

rutv api

tad-vijnrtha sad-gurum evbhigacchet


samit-pi rotriya brahma-niham

cryavn puruo veda

rutauin the ruti; apialso; tad-vijnrthamto attain knowledge; sad-gurumto a bona-fide spiritual master;
evaindeed; abhigacchetone must approach; samit-piwith firewood in his hand; rotriyamlearned in the
Vedas; brahma-nihamdevoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; cryavnwho has a spiritual master;
puruaa person; vedaknows.

In the Muaka Upaniad (1.2.12) it is said:

"To learn the transcendental subject matter one must approach a spiritual master. In doing so one should carry fuel to
burn in sacrifice. The symptom of such a spiritual master is that he is expert in understanding the Vedic conclusion and
therefore he constantly engages in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

In the Chndogya Upaniad (6.14.2) it is said:

"One who approaches a bona-fide spiritual master can understand everything about spiritual realization."*

Text 36

atha gurpasatti-nityat

r-bhgavate daama-skandhe ruti-stutau

vijihka-vyubhir adnta-manas-turaga
ya iha yatanti yantu-mati-lolam upya-khida
vyasana-atnvita samavahya guro caraa
vaija ivja santya-kta-karadhra jaladhau

athanow; guruof a spiritual master; upasattitaking shelter; nityateternality; r-bhgavatein rmad-


Bhgavatam; daama-skandheCanto Ten; ruti-stutauin the Prayers of the Personified Vedas; vijitaconquered;
hkasenses; vyubhiand air; adntanot controlled; manaof the mind; turagamthe horse; yawho; iha
here; yatantistruggle; yantumto control; ati-lolamvery eager; upya-khidastuggling in many ways; vyasana
troubles; atahundreds; anvitawith; samavahyaabandoning; guroof the spiritual master; caraamthe feet;
vaijamerchants; ivalike; ajaO unbron one; santyare; anot; ktaaccepted; karadhracaptain of the boat;
jaladhauin the ocean.

One Should Always Remain in the Shelter of the Spiritual Master

In rmad-Bhgavatam (10.87.33) the Personified Vedas affirm:

"O unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead, they who leave the shelter of their spiritual master's lotus feet and,
holding back the senses and breath, struggle to control the wild horse of the mind, meet with a hundred calamities. They
are like merchants trying to sail on the ocean in a boat without a captain."

Text 37

rutau ca

naia tarkea matir apaney


proktnyenaiva su-jnya preha

rutauin the ruti; caand; nanot; eathus; tarkeaby logic; maticoncept; apaneyto be removed;
proktsaid; anyenaby another; evaindeed; su-jnyafor good knowledge; prehaO dearest one.

In the Kaha Upaniad (1.2.9) it is said:

"O dear one, spiritual truth cannot be understood by material logic. It is understood only hearing the explanations of
the spiritual master."

Text 38

atha vieata r-guror lakani

mantra-muktvalym

avadtnvaya-uddha
svocitcra-tat-para
ram krodha-rahito
veda-vit sarva-stra-vit

athanow; vieataspecifically; r-guroof the spiritual master; lakanithe qualities; mantra-muktvalym


in the Mantra-mukval; avadtsaintly; anvayafamily; uddhapure; svaown; ucitaproper; cra
activities; tat-paradevoted; ramfollowing varnasrama; krodhaanger; rahitawithout; veda-vitknowing the
Vedas; sarva-stra-vitknowing all the scriptures.

The Qualities of a Genuine Spiritual Master

In r Mantra-muktval it is said:

"A genuine spiritual master is saintly, born in a pure family, diligent in performing his prescribed duties, a follower of
varrama, devoid of anger, learned in the Vedas and scriptures, . . .

Commentary by rla Santana Gosvm

rmad-Bhgavatam 11.3.21 (quoted in text 32) also describes the qualities of a genuine spiritual master.

Text 39

raddhvn anasya ca
priya-vk priya-darana
uci su-veas tarua
sarva-bhta-hite rata

raddhvnfaithful; anasyanon-envious; caand; priya-vkspeaks sweetly; priya-daranais pleasing to


the eye; ucipure; su-veahas a pleasing appearance; taruayoung; sarva-bhta-hitein the welfare of all living
beings; rataengaged.

. . . faithful, free of envy, a pleasing speaker, pleasing to the eye, pure, well-dressed, young, a person who works for the
welfare of all living beings, . . .

Text 40

dhmn anuddhata-mati
pro 'hant vimaraka
sad-guo 'rcsu kta-dh
ktaja iya-vatsala

dhmnintelligent; anuddhata-matihumble at heart; praperfect; ahantnon-viloent; vimaraka


thoughtful; sad-guavirtuous; arcsuin the worship of the Lord; kta-dhenploying his intelligence; ktaja
grateful; iya-vatsalaaffectionate to his disciples.

. . . intelligent, humble at heart, perfect, non-violent, thoughtful, virtuous, intent on worshiping the Lord, grateful,
affectionate to his disciples, . . .

Text 41

nigrahnugrahe akto
homa-mantra-paryaa
uhpoha-prakra-ja
uddhtm ya kplaya
ity-di-lakaair yukto
guru syd garima-nidhi

nigrahapunishment; anugraheand mercy; aktaable; homa-mantra-paryaadevoted to homa and


mantras; uhpoha-prakra-jaexamining all sides of an issue; uddhtmpure at heart; yawho; kplaya
merciful; ity-di-lakaaiqualities beginning with these; yuktaendowed; gurua spiritual master; sytis;
garima-nidhia treasury of saintly qualities.

. . . capable of both punishment and mercy, devoted to mantras and yajas, examining all sides of an issue, pure at heart,
and merciful. A genuine spiritual master has these and many other virtues. He is a treasure-house of virtues."

Text 42

agastya-sahity ca

devatopsaka nto
visayev api nispha
adhytma-vid brahma-vd
veda-strrtha-kovida

agastya-sahitymin the Agastya-sahit; caand; devatopsakaworshiping the Supreme Personality of


Godhead; ntapeaceful; visayevin the obejcts of the material senses; apialso; nisphawithout desire;
adhytma-vitlearned in spiritual truth; brahma-vda prpounder of spiritual truth; veda-strrtha-kovidalearned
in the Vedas and scriptures.

In the Agastysa-sahit it is said:

"A genuine spiritual master is a worshiper of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, peaceful, free of material desires,
aware of the spiritual truth, a teacher of the spiritual truth, learned in the Vedas and scriptures, . . .
Text 43

uddhartu caiva sahartu


samartho brhmaottama
tattva-jo yantra-mantr
marma-bhett rahasya-vit

uddhartuto deliver; caand; evaindeed; sahartumto quell; samarthaable; brhmaottamathe best of


brhmaas; tattvathe truth; jaknowing; yantra-mantrmof yantras and rituals; marma-bhettcutting
doubts; rahasya-vitknowing the secrets of spiritual truth.

. . . able to deliver others, able to surmount obstacles, the best of brhmaas, expert in yantras and mantras, one who
goes to the heart of the matter, aware of the secrets of spiritual philosophy, . . .

Text 44

puracaraa-kd dhoma-
mantra-siddha prayoga-vit
tapasv satya-vd ca
ghastho gurur ucyate

puracaraa-kta performer of puracaraa; homa-mantra-siddhaexpert at chanting mantras in yajnas; prayoga-


vitaware of what is needed; tapasvaustere; satya-vdtruthful; caand; ghasthaa householder; guru
spiritual master; ucyateis said.

. . . a performer of purcaraa, expert at chanting mantras in yajas, aware of what is needed, austere, and truthful. These
are the qualities of a householder spiritual-master."

Text 45

viu-smtau

paricary-yso-lbha-
lipsu iyd guru na hi
kp-sindhu su-sampra
sarva-sattvopakraka

viu-smtauin the Viu-smti; paricaryworship; ysafame; lbhaattainment; lipsudesirign; iyt


from his disciple; gurua spiritual master; nanot; hiindeed; kp-sindhuan ocean of mercy; su-sampravery
perfect; sarva-sattvopakrakadoing good to everyone.

In the Viu-smti it is said:

"A person who is greedy to get worship, praise, and money from his disciple is not a true spiritual master. A true
spiritual master is an ocean of mercy, perfect, a person who does good to everyone, . . .

Text 46

nispha sarvata siddha


sarva-vidy-virada
sarva-saaya-sacchett-
nalaso gurur hta

nisphadesireless; sarvatain all ways; siddhaperfect; sarva-vidy-viradaexpert in all knowledge; sarva-


saaya-sacchettable to cut apart all doubts; analasanot lazy; guruspiritual master; htasaid.
. . . free of all material desires, completely perfect, learned in all knowledge, able to cut apart all doubts, and not lazy."

Texts 47 and 48

r-nrada-pacartre r-bhagavan-nrada-samvde

brhmaa sarva-kla-ja
kuryt sarvev anugraham
tad-abhvd dvija-reha
nttm bhagavan-maya

bhavittm ca sarva-ja
stra-ja sat-kriy-para
siddhi-traya-samyukta
cryatve 'bhiecita

r-nrada-pacartrein r Nrada-pancaratra; r-bhagavan-nrada-samvdein a conversation of the Supreme


Personality of Godhead and r Nrada; brhmaaa brhmaa; sarva-kla-jaaware of appropriate situations;
kurytshould do; sarvevin all; anugrahammercy; tad-abhvtin the basence of such a person; dvija-rehaO
best of brhmaas; nttmpeaceful at heart; bhagavan-mayaand devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead;
bhavittmpure in heart; caand; sarva-jaall-knowing; stra-jalearned in the scriptures; sat-kriy-para
devoted to pious deeds; siddhi-traya-samyuktaendowed with three perfections; cryatveas a spiritual master;
abhiecitamay be anointed.

In r Nrada-pacartra the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains to r Nrada:

"O best of brhmaas, a spiritual master should be an exalted brhmaa who knows everything at all times and who is
merciful to everyone. In the absence of such a highly qualified person a spiritual master may be a katriya who is peaceful
at heart, devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, pure in heart, all-knowing, learned in the scriptures, devoted to
pious deeds, and endowed with three perfections.

Texts 49 and 50

katra-vi-dra-jtn
katriyo 'nugrahe kama
katriyasypi ca guror
abhvd ido yadi

vaiya syt tena krya ca


dvaye nityam anugraha
sajtyena drea
tdena mah-mate
anugrahbhiekau ca
kryau drasya sarvad

katra-vi-dra-jtnmof those who are born as ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras; katriyaksatriya; anugrahein
mercy; kamais competent; katriyasyaof a ksatriya; apialso; caand; guroguru; abhvtin the absence;
idalike this; yadiif; vaiyavaisya; sytis; tenaby him; kryashould be done; caand; dvayein both;
nityamalways; anugrahamerciful; sajtyenalike him; dreaby a sudra; tdenalike that; mah-mateO
noble-hearted one; anugrahbhiekaumerciful; caand; kryaushould be done; drasyaof a sudra; sarvad
always.

"Such a katriya spiritual master should be merciful to the katriyas, vaiyas, and dras. In the absence of such a
katriya spiritual master one should accept a vaiya spiritual master who is always merciful to the vaiyas and dras. In
the absence of such a vaiya spiritual master a dra may accept a dra as a spiritual master."

Text 51

ki ca
varottame 'tha ca gurau
sati y virute 'pi ca
sva-deato 'tha vnyatra
neda krya ubhrthin

ki cafurthermore; varottamein the best of varnas; athathen; caand; guraua spiritual master; satiis; y
who; viruteheard; apiand; caand; sva-deatafrom one's own country; athathen; vor; anyatrain
another; nanot; idamthis; kryamto be done; ubhrthinby one who desires auspiciousness.

Furthermore:

If a famous brhmaa spiritual-master is present in one's own district, a person who desires auspiciousness will not
travel somewhere else to accept initiation from someone other than him.

Text 52

vidyamne tu ya kuryt
yatra tatra viparyayam
tasyehmutra na syt
tasmc chstroktam caret
katra-vi-dra-jtya
prtilomya na dkayet

vidyamnebeings so; tuindeed; yaone who; kurytmay do; yatrawhere; tatrathere; viparyayamthe
opposite; tasyaof him; ihahere; amutraand in the next life; nadestruction; sytis; tasmtfrom that;
stroktamspoken by the scriptures; caretshould do; katraksatriya; vivaisya; drasudra; jtyabirth;
prtilomyaminverted order; nanot; dkayetshould give initiation.

A person who accepts a spiritual master from a lower caste meets destruction in this life and the next. Therefore one
should follow this instruction of the scriptures. A katriya, vaiya, or dra should not give initiation to a person of a
higher caste.

Text 53

pdme ca

mah-bhgavata-reho
brhmao vai gurur nm
sarvem eva lokn
asau pjyo yath hari

pdmein the Padma Pura; caand; mah-bhgavata-rehathe best of great devotees; brhmaaa
brhmaa; vaiindeed; guruspiritual master; nmof men; sarvemall; evaand; loknmpeople; asauhe;
pjyato be worshiped; yathas; hariLord Ka.

In the Padma Pura it is said:

"A brhmaa who is a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual master of all human beings.
Everyone should worship him as if he were Lord Ka Himself.

Text 54

mah-kula-prasto 'pi
sarva-yajeu dkita
sahasra-khdhyy ca
na guru syd avaiava

mah-kula-prastaborn in a noble family; apialso; sarva-yajeuin all yajnas; dkitainitiated; sahasra-


khdhyylearned in a thousand branches of the Vedas; caand; nanot; gurua spiritual master; sytis;
avaiavanot a devotee of the Lord.

"However, a person born in an aristocratic family, initiated in all yajas, and learned in a thousand branches of the
Vedas, but not a devotee of Lord Viu, cannot be a genuine spiritual master.

Commentary by rla Santana Gosvm

In the Pacartra it is said:

avaiavopadiena
mantrea niraya vrajet
puna ca vidhin samyag
grhayed vaiavd guro

"By chanting a mantra given by a spiritual master who is not a devotee of Lord Viu, one goes to hell. Such a disciple
should be initiated again, this time by a spiritual master who is a devotee of Lord Viu."

Text 55

ghta-viu-dkko
viu-pj-paro nara
vaiavo 'bhihito 'bhijair
itaro smd avaiava

ghta-viu-dkkaaccepted initiation in the worship of Lord Viu; viu-pj-paradevoted to the worship of


Lord Viu; naraa person; vaiavaa devotee of Lord Viu; abhihitais called; abhijaiby the wise; itara
other; smtthan him; avaiavanot a devotee.

"A person who has accepted initiation in the worship of Lord Viu and who is devoted to the worship of Lord Viu
is called a devotee of Lord Viu by the wise. One who is not like him is not a devotee of Lord Viu."

Text 56

atha aguru-lakaa

tattva-sgare

bahv- drgha-str ca
viaydiu lolupa
hetu-vda-rato duo
'vg-vd gua-nindaka

athanow; anot; gurua spiritual master; lakaamthe qualities; tattva-sgarein the Tattva-sgara; bahv-
one who eats voraciously; drgha-strdresses in opulent clothing; caand; viaydiuin the objects of material sense
gratification; lolupais greedy; hetu-vda-rataattracted to arguing with others and a follower of the atheistic
philosophies; duawicked; avg-vdnot an eloquent speaker; gua-nindakafilled with vices.

The Characteristics of A Person Who Is Not A Genuine Spiritual Master

In the Tattva-sgara it is said:

"A person who eats voraciously, wears opulent clothing, is greedy after sense pleasures, loves to argue, is a follower of
the atheist philosophers, is wicked, speaks what should not be spoken, has many vices, . . . .

Commentary by rla Santana Gosvm


The phrase "speaks what should not be spoken" means that such a person preaches that one should perform sinful
deeds.

Text 57

arom bahu-rom ca
ninditrama-sevaka
kla-danto 'sitauha ca
durgandhi-vsa-vhaka

aromwithout hair; bahu-romwith abundant hair; caand; ninditrama-sevakaa servant of wicked men;
kla-dantawith black teeth; asitauhablack lips; caand; durgandhi-vsa-vhakawithj bad breath and heavy
breathing.

. . . has either a big beard or no beard, is a servant of wicked men, has black teeth, black lips, and bad breath, breathes
heavily, . . .

Text 58

dua-lakaa-sampanno
yadyapi svayam vara
bahu-pratigrahsakta
crya r-kayvaha

dua-lakaa-sampannafilled with faults; yadyapialthough; svayampersonally; varaable; bahumany;


pratigrahadonations; saktaattached; cryaa spiritual master; rof good fortune; kayathe destruction;
vahabringing.

. . . has a host of faults, and, although financially well situated is greedy for more and bigger donations, is the kind of
spiritual master that destroys the good fortune of his disciples."

Text 59

atha iya-lakani

mantra-muktvaly

iya uddhnvaya rmn


vinta priya-darana
satya-vk puya-carito
'dabhra-dhr dambha-varjita

athanow; iyaof a true disciple; lakanithe qualities; mantra-muktvalymin the Mantra-Muktval; iya
a disciple; uddhnvayafaithful; rmnglorious; vintahumble; priya-daranapleasing to the eyes; satya-
vktruthful; puya-caritapious; adabhra-dhintelligent; dambha-varjitahonest and without hypocrisy.

The Qualities of a Genuine Disciple

In the Mantra-Muktval it is said:

"A genuine disciple is faithful, glorious, humble, pleasing to the eye, truthful, pious, intelligent, honest, not a
hypocrite, . . .

Text 60

kma-krodha-parityg