tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
This is the modest teaching of Lord Sri Krsna in Bhagavad Gita illustrating how simple it is to learn the truth. By simply taking shelter of a pure devotee of God as guru one can know the Absolute Truth.
Guru Purnima is actually the appearance day of Srila Vyasadeva. It is observed on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha. The auspicious day this year falls on Saturday, 24 July 2021.
Veda-vyäsa an incarnation of Näräyaëa, composed all the Vedic literature. He is the topmost authority in spiritual science. All acharyas belonging to the authentic guru sisya paramparas, are supposed to preach only that which was propounded by Srila Vyasadeva. Hence His appearance day is celebrated as Guru Purnima.
Every day the number of people interested in practicing yoga and meditation increases by the thousands. Everyone wants peace, health, and happiness. Today on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima let’s explore how to get a genuine guru.
The desire for spiritual life is an absolutely natural hankering. Because we are spirit souls, we cannot be happy in the material atmosphere. If you take a fish out of the water, it cannot be happy on land. Similarly, if we are without spiritual consciousness, we can never be happy. Today, so many people are after scientific advancement and economic development, but they are not happy because these are not the actual goals of life.
To search out a guru is very nice but one should devote time and research before accepting any person as one’s Guru. If we want a cheap guru, or if we want to be cheated, then one finds many cheating gurus. But if we are sincere, we will find a sincere guru.
It is said in Caitanya caritamrta
kibä vipra, kibä nyäsé, çüdra kene naya
yei kåñëa-tattva-vettä, sei ‘guru’ haya
“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in Vedic wisdom] or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life if he is master in the science of Kṛṣṇa, he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual master.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 8.128) So without being a master in the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no one is a bona fide spiritual master.
In the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad it is stated, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. “The genuine guru is well versed in the scriptures and Vedic knowledge, and he is completely dependent on Brahman.” He should know what Brahman [spirit] is and how to become situated in Brahman. These signs are given in the Vedic literature. The real guru is God’s representative. The real guru will not manufacture anything. Everything he says is in accordance with the scriptures and the previous acaryas. A guru’s business is to appeal to everyone to become devotees of God.
Srila Prabhupada being a master in the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, a Guru in the real sense, expected austerity from his disciples. He asked his students to refrain from illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling, and intoxication. He said one who is ready to give up the four sinful activities, only can be initiated.
Srila Prabhupada did not a mindless number of followers but he taught the truth. Hence for his sincerity, he was accepted all over the world.
The purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to awaken man’s original consciousness. At the present moment, our consciousness is designated. Someone is thinking, “I am an Indian,” and another is thinking, “I am American.” Actually, we do not belong to any of these designations. We are all part and parcel of God; that is our real identification. If everyone simply comes to that consciousness, all the problems of the world will be solved. Then we shall come to know that we are one—the same quality of spirit soul. The same quality of spirit soul is within everyone, although it may be in a different dress. This is the explanation given in Bhagavad-gītā.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is actually a purificatory process (sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam). Its purpose is to make people free from all designations (tat-paratvena nirmalam). When our consciousness becomes purified of all designations, the activities we carry out with our purified senses make us perfect. Eventually, we reach the ideal perfection of human life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is also a very simple process. It is not necessary to become a great philosopher, scientist, or whatever. We need only chant the holy name of the Lord, understanding that His personality, His name, and His qualities are all absolute.