Prem Ras Madira (Vol. I - II )
Prem Ras Madira (Vol. I - II )Language :Hindi
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Prema Rasa Siddhanta
Prema Rasa SiddhantaLanguage :English
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Importance and Role of a Guru
Part - 1
The Vedic scriptures have clearly established that the only way to attain God is through bhakti, devotion.  Although all the descensions of God are equal in terms of Their power and divine bliss, the highest level of love is revealed in the loving pastimes of Shri Krishna. A soul can love God through different sentiments. We can love God by considering Him as our master, and ourselves as His servants. This type of devotion is called dasya bhava. Similarly, we can love Him as our friend, son or our beloved.

The highest form of devotion is considering God as our beloved, and loving Him without any material desires. The only aim should be to make Him happy. This form of worship is called madhurya bhava, or devotion in the conjugal sentiment. We can receive this divine love of madhurya bhava by the grace of our Guru, after purification of our heart by sadhana, devotion. Hence, it is absolutely essential for all spiritual aspirants to gain knowledge of the supreme form of love and about the grace of a Guru.

Guru tattva is knowledge about God-realised Saints. We will aim to learn what is revealed about guru tattva in the Vedas, and these are not my personal views.  Hence, you must listen with great sincerity and devotion, because the Vedas are the authentic word of God, and revered by all. The Vedas are eternal and flawless.

There are three types of personalities: the soul or a human being - purush, a God-realised personality or Saint - mahatma or mahapurush and the Supreme Soul, God - Paramatma or Parampurush. Of the three personalities, God is beyond maya, since it is His own power, and He rules over it. mayam tu prakritim . . . (Shvetashvara Upanishad 4.10) God says: "This material energy, maya is one of My powers and it is subordinate to Me." Maya in its original form is lifeless and has no power. Maya gets its energy and power from God, and we souls have been under the control of maya since eternity. So who is a mahapurush


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti
Part - 2
When a soul attains God its personality changes from a purush to a maharapurush. That soul is no longer under the influence of maya, nor does the soul rule over maya. He is now beyond the reach of maya. Such a personality is called a God-realised Saint, a mahapurush or a mahatma. There are many names used to describe such personalities.
 
A soul under the influence of maya cannot know anything about God because the mind and the intellect are under the control of maya, and God is beyond maya. At present, even if God were to come and stand before us, since our vision is material, we would not be able to receive His divine love. We have seen God many times during the descension, avatar of Lord Rama and Shri Krishna. But due to the influence of maya, we perceived Him in a material form. We were unable to perceive the divinity in Him due to material influence.

The Katha Upanishad (1.3.14) says: uttishthata jagrata prapya varannibodhata. “O souls sleeping in maya! Arise and awake. Seek the lotus feet of a mahapurush.” Note that the Vedas have not said, "Arise and seek God.” We have to realise that we cannot reach God with our material possessions, since God is divine and we are under material influence. But a God-realised personality can help you reach God. He may have been like one of us some time back. But now, he has reached God. Go to him, and he will impart all the scriptural knowledge. He will teach you who is God?  How does God look? How to reach Him? He will explain all the required knowledge. Only a Guru can make a soul a God-realised one. Not everybody can read the Vedas and understand them because: veda brahmatmavishayah. "The Vedas are divine like God."

Just as no one can know God directly, nobody can attempt to read the Vedas and aim to understand them. Even the very learned celestial gods, Sarasvati and Brihaspati get confused while listening to the Vedas and are not able to conclude anything. Even the creator of this universe, Lord Brahma, could not understand the Vedas. It was God who graced Lord Brahma, after which he could understand the essence of the Vedas. He then passed on this sacred knowledge to his descendants.


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti
Part - 3
The Vedas contain contradictory statements which cannot be reconciled by the human intellect. The literal meaning is different from the actual meaning. anantaparam gambhiram  . . . Even the Ramayana written in this Age of Kali has conditions attached to it. je shraddhasambal rahit, nahim santan ko sath . . . . 1. You need to have faith and strong belief in God. 2. You need to have a God-realised Saint to teach. 3. You must have love for God (Lord Rama). When you fulfil these three conditions, only then can you understand the Ramayana.  

Similarly, even the Bhagavad Gita has certain conditions to be fulfilled before you read them. There are many contradicting statements in the Vedas that even the most learned of scholars cannot comprehend or reconcile. Only a God-realised Saint can understand them, and reveal the secrets behind them. parikshya lokan karmachitan brahmano . . . (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12) Hence, it is clearly mentioned in the Vedas that one must surrender to a God-realised Saint to acquire knowledge of the Vedas and other holy scriptures, instead of attempting to read them by oneself. The Chhandogya Upanishad (6.14.2) states: 
acharyavan purusho hi veda. "Only that person can understand the importance of the Vedas who surrenders and takes guidance from a Guru." This is the statement of the Vedas.


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti   
Part - 4
Shri Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita (4.34): tadviddhi pranipatena pariprashnena sevaya . . . "Surrender yourself to a Guru and serve him faithfully. Learn the secrets of devotion from him by asking him spiritual questions with a curious mind." Questions such as, who is God? What is a soul? What is maya?  What is the mind?  What is the intellect? Why are we under maya? What is the goal of our life?  How we will attain God? What should we do to attain God? [Bhagavad Gita (4.34)] upadekshyanti te jnanam . . . "It is only through the grace of a Guru that we can attain divine knowledge. This is because he has practically realised God and also possesses theoretical knowledge of the scriptures."

This bhakti or devotion is received by the grace of Saints: milai jo sant hohim anukoola. (Ramayana) “Without theoretical knowledge, God realisation is out of question.” In the material world, we are not able to learn anything by our own effort. In the spiritual realm too, it is impossible. When we want to learn a subject, we go to a person who has knowledge of that subject.  Why are so many schools and colleges open throughout the world? As per the choice of our subject, we enrol in an institution. Even then, we do not receive complete knowledge of that subject.  

It is well known that even the biggest and most famous advocates of law refer to books. How can an advocate remember every aspect of every law? This is impossible. No advocate of any country can remember all aspects of that country's law. So the need for a Guru, teacher or a mahapurush is necessary not only for practical knowledge, but for theoretical knowledge as well. This is why the Vedas say: "Consider mahapurush and God as one.”yasya deve parabhaktihi yatha deve tatha gurau (Shvetashvatara Upanishad).


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti   


to be continued next week...
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