quarta-feira, 21 de abril de 2010
GURU-TATTVA, PART 7
APPENDIX 1: THE QUALITIES OF A SAD-GURU
by: BV Suddhadvaiti Swami
He must be self-realized:
"Unless one is under the shelter of a self-realized guru, his understanding of the Supreme is simply foolishness." (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, p.201)
"The qualification of the guru is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures." (SBhag 11.3.21)
"To become Krishna conscious one must take shelter of a realized soul... a self-realized spiritual master, a niskincana." (SBhag 7.5.32)
"A serious devotee must first approach a spiritual master who is not only well versed in the Vedic literature but is also a great devotee with factual realization of the Lord." (SBhag 2.4.10)
"One must approach a self-realized Krishna conscious person and touch his feet." (SBhag 4.26.20)
"Unless one is self-realized and knows what his relationship is with the Supersoul, he cannot become a bona fide spiritual master." (SBhag 3.28.2)
The word 'tattva-darshi refers to one has perfectly realized the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (SBhag 5.15.4)
He must be a pure devotee:
"No one can get out of this struggle for existence without accepting a pure devotee of the Lord." (SBhag 5.14.1)
"This confidential knowledge is extremely difficult to understand, yet it's very easy if one takes shelter of a pure devotee." (SBhag 7.6.27)
"One cannot be in a transcendental position unless one serves very faithfully a pure Vaisnava." (CC Antya 7.53)
"One's guide must be a spiritual master who is an unalloyed devotee strictly following the instructions of the previous acarya." (CC Madhya 10.17)
"One has to hear from a pure devotee." (SBhag 4 20.25)
"If one desires liberation from the clutches of maya, one must associate with a pure devotee mahatma." (SBhag 5.5.2)
"Unless one is properly trained by a mahatma or unalloyed devotee of the Lord, there is no possibility of one's understanding Krishna and His devotional service." (SBhag 7.5.30)
He must be liberated:
The specific qualification for becoming the representative of the Lord is to be unaffected by the modes of nature.... Since a brahmana is in the mode of goodness, to be a brahmana is not sufficient for becoming a representative of the Lord." (SBhag 3.4.31)
"In the clutches of maya no one can be an authoritative instructor." (Gita 2.13)
The bona fide guru is freed from all material contamination." (SBhag 5.14.13)
He must be as good as Krishna:
"Help can only be given by a spiritual master like Krishna." (Gita 2.8)
"He is on the level of Krishna.... Krishna is worshipable God and the spiritual master is worshiper God." (Letter 9.26 69)
He must be Krishna's confidential associate:
"He is always considered either one of the associates of Radharani, or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu." (CC Adi 1.46)
"When- a devotee is fully surrendered at the lotus feet of Krishna, Krishna accepts him as one of His confidential associates." (CC Madhya 22.102)
"A bona fide guru is a most faithful and confidential servant of the Lord." (CC Adi 1.44)
He sees Krishna:
"In the suddha-sattva or vasudeva state, the Lord is revealed without any covering.... Krishna is revealed in the heart of a devotee.... In pure Krishna Consciousness, the Lord is revealed.... When the senses are purified by the discharge of pure devotional service, the pure senses can see Krishna without covering.... By the bhakti-yoga process, one can clearly see the face of the Lord." (SBhag 4.3.23)
"In the suddha sattva state one can always see Krishna eye to eye by dint of pure affection for the Lord".(SBhag 1.2.19)
The spiritual master has actually seen Krishna, therefore he can explain Him properly." (SBhag 5.12.11)
He must be a paramahamsa:
He must be a mahabhagavata;
There are three classes of devotees... the first class devotee is also called a mahabhagavata... only he is eligible to occupy the post of guru." (CC Madhya 24.330)
"Uttama-adhikari delivers others from material existence." (CC Madhya 22.65)
More symptoms of an uttama adhikari are given in the Bhagavatam 1 12.17; 1.18 16; 4.22.16; 7.4.37; 11.2 45-55; Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.273; 16.74; 17.32; 24.330, Upadesamrita 5; Perfect Questions Perfect Answers p 55; Isopanisad 6; Madhurya Kadambini.
He must be a resident of Krishnaloka:
(Letter 6 10.69)
APPENDIX 2: ANARTHAS
In the Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila, we read:
"Sometimes unwanted creepers, such as the creepers of desires for material enjoyment and liberation from the material world, grow along with the creeper of devotional service. The varieties of such unwanted creepers are unlimited." (158)
"Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creepers are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection, nisiddhacara, diplomatic behavior, kutinati, unnecessarily killing animals or the soul, jihva-himsana, profiteering according to material calculations, labha, mundane adoration, puja, and mundane importance, pratistha. All these are unwanted creepers." (159)
"Nisiddhacara: There's a certain pattern of behavior prescribed for those actually trying to become perfect. In our Krishna consciousness movement we advise our students not to eat meat, not to gamble, not to engage in illicit sex and not to indulge in intoxication. People who indulge in these activities can never become perfect.
"Kutinati: Diplomatic behavior cannot satisfy the soul. It cannot even, satisfy the body or the mind. The culprit mind is always suspicious; therefore our. dealings should always be straightforward and approved by Vedic authorities. If we treat people diplomatically or duplicitously, our spiritual advancement is obstructed.
"Jiva-himsana refers to the killing of animals or to envy of other living entities. The killing of poor animals is undoubtedly due to envy of those animals. There are many religious propagandists who do not know how the ultimate problems of life can be solved, and they also try to educate people in a form of sense gratification. This is also jiva-himsana. Real knowledge is not given, and religionists mislead the general populace.
"Labha: As far as material profits are concerned, one should know that whatever material profit one has must be abandoned at the time of death. Ignoring that there is life after death, mundane people waste their time amassing material profit which has to be left behind.
"Puja: Similarly, adoration by mundane people is valueless because after death one has to accept another material body. Material adoration and title are decorations that cannot be carried over to the next body. In the next life, everything is forgotten.
"All these obstructions have been described as unwanted creepers. They simply present obstacles for the real creeper, bhakti-lata One should be very careful to avoid all these unwanted things. Sometimes these unwanted creepers look exactly like the bhakti-lata creeper. They appear to be of the same size and the same species when they are packed together with the bhakti-lata creeper, but in spite of this, these creepers are called upasakha" (Purport)
"If one doesn't distinguish between the bhakti-lata creeper and the other creepers, the sprinkling of water is misused because the other creepers are nourished while the bhakti-lata creeper is curtailed." (160)
"If one chants the Hare Krishna mantra while committing offenses, these unwanted creepers will grow. One shouldn't take advantage of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra for some material profit. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that if one hears and chants without trying to give up offenses, one becomes materially attached to sense gratification. One may also desire freedom from material bondage like the mayavadis, or one may become attached to the yoga-siddhis. One may also be victimized by diplomatic or crooked behavior, or one may associate with women for illicit sex. Others may make a show of devotional service like the sahajiyas, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement. Thus, with the support of family tradition, one may become a pseudo-guru or so-called spiritual master. One may become attached to the four sinful activities. One may also try to carry out a professional business while chanting the Hare Krishna mantra or reading Srimad Bhagavatam, or one may try to increase his monetary strenght by illegal means. One may also try to be a cheap Vaisnava by chanting in a secluded place for material adoration, or one may desire mundane reputation by making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one's philosophy or spiritual life, or one may become a supporter of a hereditary caste system. All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sadhu, mahatma or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized by all these unwanted creepers and that the real bhakti-lata-bija has been stunted." (Purport)
"As soon as an intelligent devotee sees an unwanted creeper growing beside the original creeper, he must cut it down instantly. Then the real creeper of bhakti-lata-bija grows nicely, returns home, back to Godhead, and seeks shelter under the lotus feet of Krishna." (161)
"If one is mislead by unwanted creepers and is victimized, he cannot make progress back to Godhead. Rather, he remains within the material world and engages in activities having nothing to do with pure devotional service. Such a person may be elevated to the higher planetary systems, but because he remains within the material world, he is subject to the threefold material miseries." (Purport)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also explains that the desire for fruitive activities is so strong that one sometimes thinks of conducting business for improving devotional activities. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later degenerate into accepting things forbidden in sastra, diplomatic behavior, stopping the preaching, desire to be recognized as a great devotee, etc. In addition to these, a neophyte devotee risks to become victimized by desires for money and women and his heart will become gradually harder and harder like that of a materialist, or like an alkaline field where nothing can grow.
The cleaning of the Gundica temple is referred to as cleaning the heart from anarthas.
Anyabhilasa, extraneous desires in the form that "as long as in this world I'll merely gratify my senses" are like thorn, pieces of thorny grass piercing the soul's tender inclination toward exclusive devotion.
Endeavors for karma, in the form of sacrifice, austerity, charity, with the desire for heavenly enjoyment or enjoyment in this world, are like dust covering the mirror of the heart with heaps of dust in the form of many desires.
Efforts for the yoga of monism, and jnana-yoga are just like gravel.
When the heart of a sadhaka is completely cleansed of all these, whereas it was like a sun-scorched desert, it becomes devoid of the heat, of the scorching effect of the three-fold miseries born from material desires.
He whose anarthas have only been slightly destroyed will have punishment prescribed for him in the form of service to Sri Hari-Guru-Vaisnava.
Krishna has two kinds of lila, pastimes, eternal and occasional. The lilas of killing demons in Krishna-lila belongs to the category of occasional lila. They are a source of instruction for the sadhakas, and represent the destruction of the anarthas, each lila corresponding to a particular anartha. In the Sri Caitanya Siksamrita of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, we find the list of twenty lilas, among which are the following:
Killing of Putana. Putana represents a deceitful guru. Breaking the cart, Sakatasura, which represents load bearing or attachment to the four principles of dharma, artha, kama and moksa, vanity, and lethargy. Killing Trinavarta, vain glory from learning resulting in false logic and argumentation. Breaking the Arjuna trees representing pride and arrogance of aristocratic birth and wealth, giving rise to hatred, debauchery, shamelessness. Killing Bakasura, hypocrisy, false behavior. Killing Aghasura, which is removal of sinful mind given to violence and giving troubles to others. Subduing Kaliya, who represents vanity, malice, crookedness and unkindness. Killing Pralambha, licentious-ness, personal gain, worship and honor. Killing Sankhacuda, greed for name and fame and morbid desire for the company of females. Killing Keshi which represents the vanity of being a great devotee and preceptor, and the pride of richness and worldly attainment. Killing Vyomasura represents leaving the company of deceitful devotees, etc.
All these obstacles are adverse to pure devotional service. The aspirant devotee in the very beginning should pray to the Lord to drive out these evils. If he does, his heart will be purified. If he cries out most humbly and piteously to Krishna, begging Him to drive out the trouble represented by those asuras whom He had destroyed from the domain of his heart, the Lord Hari Himself will remove those evils.
But it is said that the mystery of Vraja-bhajan is that the devotee will have to drive out himself, with his own efforts the troubles of those asuras whom Lord Balarama has killed. Dhenukasura is the evil of load-carrying, prejudice and superstition. This demon represents loss of knowledge of the svarupa of self, of the svarupa of Nama, of the relationship with the svarupa of the adorable Deity, ignorance and avidya. With the greatest care and endeavor the aspirant will have to remove this evil and restore his self-knowledge. Pralambhasura is the evil of licentiousness, lewdness for male or female, greed for wealth, effort for acquiring material prosperity and gain, desire for honor, for increasing one's fame and reputation, and aspiration for selfish ends. These are very pernicious evils and knowing these as strong impediments for Nama-bhajan, the aspirant, with his best care and effort will remove them. If humility becomes very deep and intense, Krishna will be merciful. In that case, feeling of Baladeva will arise in the devotee's mind and then these obstacles will be destroyed in no time. Then favorable and smooth cultivation of Bhajan will gradually improve. This process is naturally very secret and should be learned from a good preceptor with a clear mind."
In the Madhurya Kadambini of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the whole third chapter deals with anrtha-nivritti, the mitigation of inauspicious elements. The following is an extract from it:
"There are four types of anarthas according to their origin:
"Arising from past sins (duskrtottha): They fall in the category of five types of Mesa, miseries: ignorance, false ego, attachment (the desire to obtain material happiness and to decrease suffering), hatred (aversion to unhappiness or the causes of unhappiness), fear of death.
"Arising from previous pious works (sukrtottha): They are the desire for the enjoyments that arise from pious action and the desire for liberation.
me sages also include them within the five types of miseries.
"Arising from offenses (aoaradhotta), This refers to those due to namaparadhas, but not to seva-aparadhas, which are usually ineffective being nullified by chanting the Holy Name, by recitation of stotras and by constant service. If nama-aparadhas, both long-standing or recent, have been made unconsciously, but their presence is inferred by the effect, lack of advancement, one should chant the Holy Name constantly. By that chanting, one can attain steadiness in bhakti and thus gradually neutralize his aparadhas. If committed in full knowledge, however, there are some other procedures for their removal, according to the particular aparadha.
"Arising from bhakti (bhaktyuttha). These are the unwanted creepers mentioned above."
Anarthas have also been divided into four other categories as follows:
Tattva-bhrama: Misconceptions about the Lord, maya, jiva, sadhana.
Hridaya daurbalyam: Weakness of heart.
Asat-trsna: Thirst for material enjoyment. Desire for happiness in this life, In heaven, desire for mystic siddhis, desire for liberation.
Aparadhas: Namaparadhas, seva-aparadhas, dhama-aparadhas, vaisnava-aparadhas.
According to Madhurya Kadambini, the different categories of anarthas have five different grades of nullification: limited or partial, pervasive, almost complete, complete, and absolute, according to the level of spiritual progress.
The nullification of anarthas arising from past sins is almost complete at bhajana-kriya, complete at nistha, and absolute at asakti.
The nullification of anarthas arising from bhakti is partial at bhajana kriya, complete at nistha, absolute at ruci.
The nullification of anarthas arising from aparadhas is partial at bhajana kriya, pervasive at nistha, almost complete at bhava, complete at prema, absolute with no possibility of their reappearance when one attains the Lord's association.
The Holy Name has an inestimable power of eradication of anarthas, but, being unhappy with offenses made against it (Him), the Holy Name doesn't manifest its (His) full power in the offender. This is indeed the reason sinful tendencies continue in the offender. The case of the offender losing the mercy of the name is similar to a subordinate who is offensive to his vastly wealthy and capable master. The master treats him indifferently and denies him proper care. As a result, that servant comes to suffer poverty and distresses of all sorts. In the same way, the offending devotee at first suffers some miseries. As he does again sincere service to the devotees, sastras and guru, the name gradually manifests mercy and eliminates his evil tendencies. As a fruit-tree bears fruit only in the proper season, the Holy Name, though pleased with one who has become offenseless, reveals its (His) mercy to him only in due time.