Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā Lecture
Prabhupāda: Śrīpada Sampat Bhaṭṭācārya, Ladies and Gentlemen: I must thank you for your kindly coming here during this Vyāsa-pūjā ceremony. Vyāsa-pūjā… This āsana where they have seated me, it is called vyāsāsana. The guru is the representative of Vyāsadeva. Every one of you have heard the name of Vyāsadeva, Veda-vyāsa. So anyone who represents the great ācārya, Vyāsadeva, he is allowed to sit on the vyāsāsana. So Vyāsa-pūjā… Guru is representative of Vyāsadeva, therefore his birthday anniversary is accepted as Vyāsa-pūjā.
Now I must explain my position, because in these days, a person being worshiped as most exalted personality is something revolutionary. Because they like democracy: by vote somebody should be elevated, however rascal he may be. But our system, this guru-paramparā system, is different. Our system: if you do not accept the Vedic knowledge through guru-paramparā system, it is useless. You cannot manufacture an interpretation of the Vedic language. Just like cow dung. Cow dung is the stool of an animal. Vedic injunction is that if you touch cow dung…, any stool of an animal, you have to take immediately bath and purify yourself. But the Vedic injunction is also that cow dung can purify any impure place. Especially we Hindus, we accept it. Now by reason it is contradictory. The stool of an animal is impure, and the Vedic injunction is cow dung is pure. Actually we accept cow dung as pure to purify any place. Out of panca-gavya the cow dung is there, cow urine is there.
So it appears contradictory, the Vedic injunction. But still we accept, because it is Vedic order. That is… That is the acceptance of Vedas. Just like Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā, there are so many rascals, they cut short: “I like this; I do not like this.” No. Arjuna says, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye. That is understanding of Vedas. If a rascal makes cut, cutting, “I do not like this, I interpret,” this is not Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā means you have to accept as it is. That is Bhagavad-gītā. We are presenting therefore Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Kṛṣṇa says, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gītā, He says, sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa: “My dear Arjuna, this Bhagavad-gītā science,” imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam , “I spoke first of all to the sun-god, and he spoke to his son,” vivasvān manave prāha, “to Vaivasvata Manu.” Manur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ . This is the process. Sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. Anyone who does not come through this paramparā system, if he presents any interpretation of Vedic literature, it is useless. It is useless. It has no meaning. Yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa.
So that is going on. It has no meaning. You cannot interpret on the words of God. That is not possible. And dharma means dharmāṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam. You cannot manufacture at your home a kind of religious system. That is rascaldom, that is useless. Dharma means sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam. Just like the law. Law means what is given by the government. You cannot manufacture law at your home. Suppose in the street, common sense, the government law is “Keep to the right” or “Keep to the left.” You cannot say, “What is the wrong there if I go to the right or left?” No, that you cannot. Then you’ll be criminal. Similarly nowadays… Not nowadays—from time immemorial there are so many religious systems. So many. But real religious system is what God says, or Kṛṣṇa says. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja . This is religion. Simple. You cannot manufacture religion. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the beginning is dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām .
So the… Somebody may envy, that “This person has sophisticated some disciples, and they are offering prayers and pūjā.” No. It is the system. Don’t envy the… Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit [SB 11.17.27]. Ācārya is the representative of God. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo. If you offer prayers, honor to the ācārya, then Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is pleased. To please Him you have to please His representative. “If you love me, love my dog.” And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said ācāryopāsanam. Ācāryopāsanam. We have to worship the ācārya.
yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthaḥ
This is the Vedic mantra. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12].
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śabde pāre ca niṣṇātaṁ
Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā.
So these are the injunction. The guru must come through the paramparā system. Then he is bona fide. Otherwise he is a rascal. Must come through the paramparā system, and in order to understand tad-vijñānam, transcendental science, you have to approach guru. You cannot say that “I can understand at home.” No. That is not possible. That is the injunction of the all śāstra. Tasmād guruṁ prapad… Who requires a guru? Guru is not a fashion, just like you keep a dog as a fashion, modern civilization, similarly we keep a guru. No, not like that. Who requires a guru? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]—one who is actually serious to understand the science of spirit soul, tad vijñānam, oṁ tat sat, he requires a guru. Guru is not a fashion.
So Kṛṣṇa says that ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān [SB 11.17.27]: “You accept ācārya as I am.” Why? I see that he is a man. His sons call him father, or he looks like a man, so why he should be as good as God? Because he speaks as God speaks, that’s all. Therefore. He does not make any change. Just like God says, Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, the guru says that you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, or God. The same word. God says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru . Guru says that you always think of Kṛṣṇa, you surrender unto Him, you offer Him prayer, you become His devotee. There is no change. Because he says as the Supreme Personality says, therefore he is guru. Even though you see that he is materially born, his behavior is like other men, but because he says the same truth as it is spoken in the Vedas or by the Personality of Godhead, therefore he is guru. Because he does not make any change whimsically, therefore he is guru. That is the definition. It is very simple.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu has asked everyone to become guru. Everyone. Because there is need of guru. The world is full of rascals; therefore there is need of so many gurus to teach them. But what is that qualification of the guru? How everyone can become guru? This may be the question, next question. Because Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra ei deśa. Ei deśa means wherever you are living you become a guru and deliver them. Suppose you are living in a small neighborhood, you can become a guru of that neighborhood and deliver them. “How it is possible? I have no education. I have no knowledge. How I can become guru and deliver them?” Caitanya Mahāprabhu said it is not at all difficult. Yāre dekha tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa. This is your qualification. If you simply deliver the message given by Kṛṣṇa, you become guru. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja . You preach, you request everyone, “Sir, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa,” you become guru. Very simple thing. Kṛṣṇa said, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru . You say that “You become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, you offer obeisances. Here is a temple; here is Kṛṣṇa. Please come here. You offer your obeisances, and if you can, you offer patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ . You don’t offer…” But it is very simple thing. Anyone can secure a little flower, a little fruit, a little water. It is not at all difficult. So this is the guru’s qualification. Guru does not show any magic or produce some wonderful things then he becomes guru.
So practically I have done this. People are giving me credit that I have done miracles, but my miracle is that I carried the message of Caitanya Mahāprabhu: yāre dekha tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa. So this is the secrecy. So any one of you, you can become guru. It is not that I am an extraordinary man, an extraordinary god coming from some mysterious place. It is not that—it is very simple thing. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa. So I request you, follow the Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s instruction that you also, you become a guru at your home. It is not that you have to make a gigantic show of becoming guru. The father has to become guru, the mother has to become guru. Actually, in the śāstra it is said one should not become father, one should not become mother if he does not become a guru to his children. Na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum. If a person is unable to save his child from the clutches of birth and death, he should not become a father. This is real contraceptive method. Not that have sex like cats and dogs, and when the child is there, kill it and abortion. No. That is greatest sinful activities. Real contraceptive method is that if you are unable to deliver your son from the clutches of birth and death, do not become a father. That is wanted. Pitā na sa syāj jananī na sa syāt guru na sa syāt na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum . If you cannot save your children from the clutches of birth…
This is whole Vedic literature. Punar janma jayayaḥ. How to conquer over next birth, next material birth, they do not know. Foolish persons, they have forgotten Vedic culture, what is the Vedic culture. Vedic culture is to conquer over the next birth, that’s all. But they do not believe in the next birth. Ninety-nine point nine percent people, they have gone so down from the Vedic culture. The Bhagavad-gītā also, the same philosophy is there: tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya. This is Vedic culture. Vedic culture means by the evolutionary process we come to this human form of life. Here is the chance of stopping transmigration of the soul from one body to another. Tathā dehāntara prāptir, and you do not know what kind of body I am going to get next. This body may be prime minister or something, and next body may be dog by the laws of nature.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
They do not know. They have forgotten this culture. Misusing this human form of body like animals, eating, sleeping, mating and defending, this is not civilization. The civilization is punar janma jayayaḥ, how to conquer over next material birth. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Therefore we are presenting so many literatures. It is being accepted all over the world, learned circle. Take advantage of this movement. We have tried to open…, our humble attempt to open a center here. Do not be envious upon us. Kindly take mercy upon us, we are…, our humble attempt, and take advantage of it. That is our request.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [end]