Questions & Answers

By Svami Bhaktivedanta Vana Maharaja

All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
Dear Prabhu and Didi,
First of all I offer my dandavat pranam at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva and then I offer my dandavat pranams to all Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis.
I received your email and became very happy. I will answer your questions as far as my ability allows.

Question 1)  Sometimes a devotee may see that attachment to siksa Guru is surpassing diksa guru. For example if he has more association with siksa guru. Could this be an offense? As in your case you are a diksa disciple of Srila BV Vamana Maharaja, but take siksa from Srila BV Narayana. Please can you explain how to reconcile this?

Answer 1:
You asked me about diksa and siksa guru. You should read C.C. Adi. 1. 45-47 (see *APPENDIX 1) and you should also read Srila Narayana Maharaja’s purport in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu page 39-41. (see **APPENDIX 2) The diksa- and siksa guru have been described respectively as bhagavad rupa or prakasa, the eternal form or feature of the lord. This is clearly mentioned in C.C. "guru-krsna rupa… bhakti gane." C.C. Adi 1.47. "siksaguru keta jani krsnera svarupa". One should know the siksa guru to be the eternal form or identity of Krsna.
Diksa guru reveals Krsna´s rupa and siksa guru reveals Krsna´s svarupa. So there is no difference between siksa- and diksa guru. In Krsna there is no difference between rupa and svarupa. Those who are discriminating between siksa- and diksa guru are practically lower then kanistha-adhikari. Krsnadas Kaviraja explains the siksa- diksa guru tattva in his Krsnakaranamrta. If you have curiosity you may read sloka 1 and 104. And especialy Krsnadas kaviraja in his commentary explains that sometimes siksa guru is higher than diksa guru. If you read this sloka prema dancha me kama dancha me… from Krsnakaranamrta.
In our case, though we took diksa from Paramaradhyatama Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja but we think Paramaradhyatama Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja is non-different from him. Even in our Guru-parampara we see many examples. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami took diksa from Yadunandana Acarya and he took siksa from Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarupa Damodara. Even Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami was attached to Rupa Gosvami. In seperation of Rupa Gosvami,  Raghunath Das Gosvami quoted one verse. "suna yati maha gostham girindro ajagacate     vyagre tunday kundam jivatu rahitasye me." and so many things. Maybe when I meet you I will try to explain more about siksa- diksa guru.
If you see the same qualifications and mood of your diksa guru in your siksa guru and have much attachment with siksa-guru then how is it possible for an offence to come?

Question 2) Some devotees only like to hear from pure devotees, sannyasis and Gurudeva, but will not go to hear classes in the temple from anyone else, including disciples of Gurudeva. Is this an offence? Is it proper that they hear from others?

Answer 2:
If you read Madhurya Kadambini Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Pada explains these things. Actually when sadhaka comes in the stage of ruci, taste, he will always hanker for Hari-katha. There are 2 types of ruci, vastu upeksa rucini and vastu anupeksa rucini, that which depends on exellence of the enviroment and that which does not depend on exellence of the enviroment. If the sadhak is not in the stage of ruci and he is pretending to be a ruci sadhak then he commits offence. On the other hand if a sadhaka comes to the stage of ruci he should hear hari-katha from a like minded person. This is also explained in Srimad Bhagavatam praspanam kathanam mithyunati mithu…... that means he should associate with sajatiya asraya snigdha bhakta.
Question 3) Sometimes I’ve heard that it is not our place to correct older devotees and that only sannyasis can correct sannyasis. So what should we do if we see some discrepancy? Just pray to Krishna that he will rectify any wrong?
Answer 3:
If you see anyones fault, if he is junior you should humbly rectify him, but very humbly. But who will rectify the heart of a devotee? Whos heart is completely free from anarthas, he can rectify others´ heart. Gurudeva gives example sieve is pointing out the hole of needle. If you see anyones” fault you should correct him by sastra.  In Caitanya Caritamrta it is explained who is senior and junior. Kiba vibra kiba…….sei guru hoy. Cc.. Madhya ch. 8. (See ***APPENDIX 3) So not dependent on older, younger, grhasta, vanaprastha or sannyasi. I know many sannyasis are doing many faults and some grhastas are doing bhajan and sadhan in a proper way. In this case grhasta is higher then sannyasi. If any sadhak comes in the stage of bhava-das and you see any fault in him then don’t try to rectify him. This thing has been shown to us in Caitanya Mahaprabhu´s lila with Damodara Pandita. Caitanaya Mahaprabhu loved one boy who´s mother was a widow and at that time Damodar Pandit chastised Mahaprahbu. Then Mahaprabhu put him out of his association and sent him to Navadvipa. So according to your adhikar you should rectify devotees.

Question 4)  You said that Krishna never leaves Vrindavana and is always with Srimate Radhika, then why after Krishna went to Mathura was Srimate Radhika always in a dieing condition?

Answer 4:
 Srila Rupa Gosvami explains in his Laghubhavanamrtam that Vrajendranandana Krsnacandra does not leave Vrindavan. This is explained inC.C. Antya 1.6 (See ****APPENDIX 4 ). This Srila Gurudeva has explained many times in his classes. 3 forms of Srimati Radharani. Sam-yogini Radha, Vi-yogini Radha, Vrsabhanu Nandini Srimati Radhika.  Vrsabhanu Nandini is always staying with Krsnacandra and doing lila vilas with him. Sam-yogini Radha went to Kuruksetra and Vi-yogini Radha felt seperation for krsna in dying position. When I meet with you I will discuss all these things in more detail.
Thank you for your attention.
Tridandisvami BV Vana Maharaja


guru krsna-rupa hana sastrera pramane
guru-rupe krsna krpa karena bhakta-gane


guru--the spiritual master; krsna-rupa--as good as Krsna; hana--is; sastrera--of revealed scriptures; pramane--by the evidence; guru-rupe--in the form of the spiritual master; krsna--Lord Sri Krsna; krpa--mercy; karena--distributes; bhakta-gane--unto His devotees.


According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is nondifferent from Krsna. Lord Krsna in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.


The relationship of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord. A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead, but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead


acaryam mam vijaniyan
navamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyasuyeta
sarva-deva-mayo guruh


acaryam--the spiritual master; mam--Myself; vijaniyat--one should know; na avamanyeta--one should never disrespect; karhicit--at any time; na--never; martya-buddhya--with the idea of his being an ordinary man; asuyeta--one should be envious; sarva-deva--of all demigods; mayah--representative; guruh--the spiritual master.


"One should know the acarya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods."


This is a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.17.27) spoken by Lord Krsna when He was questioned by Uddhava regarding the four social and spiritual orders of society. He was specifically instructing how a brahmacari should behave under the care of a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not an enjoyer of facilities offered by his disciples. He is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents, a child cannot grow to manhood; similarly, without the care of the spiritual master one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service.

The spiritual master is also called acarya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science. The Manu-samhita (2.140) explains the duties of an acarya, describing that a bona fide spiritual master accepts charge of disciples, teaches them the Vedic knowledge with all its intricacies, and gives them their second birth. The ceremony performed to initiate a disciple into the study of spiritual science is called upaniti, or the function that brings one nearer to the spiritual master. One who cannot be brought nearer to a spiritual master cannot have a sacred thread, and thus he is indicated to be a sudra. The sacred thread on the body of a brahmana, ksatriya or vaisya is a symbol of initiation by the spiritual master; it is worth nothing if worn merely to boast of high parentage. The duty of the spiritual master is to initiate a disciple with the sacred thread ceremony, and after this samskara, or purificatory process, the spiritual master actually begins to teach the disciple about the Vedas. A person born a sudra is not barred from such spiritual initiation, provided he is approved by the spiritual master, who is duly authorized to award a disciple the right to be a brahmana if he finds him perfectly qualified. In the Vayu Purana an acarya is defined as one who knows the import of all Vedic literature, explains the purpose of the Vedas, abides by their rules and regulations, and teaches his disciples to act in the same way.

Only out of His immense compassion does the Personality of Godhead reveal Himself as the spiritual master. Therefore in the dealings of an acarya there are no activities but those of transcendental loving service to the Lord. He is the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead. It is worthwhile to take shelter of such a steady devotee, who is called asraya-vigraha, or the manifestation or form of the Lord of whom one must take shelter.

If one poses himself as an acarya but does not have an attitude of servitorship to the Lord, he must be considered an offender, and this offensive attitude disqualifies him from being an acarya. The bona fide spiritual master always engages in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By this test he is known to be a direct manifestation of the Lord and a genuine representative of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Such a spiritual master is known as acaryadeva. Influenced by an envious temperament and dissatisfied because of an attitude of sense gratification, mundaners criticize a real acarya. In fact, however, a bona fide acarya is nondifferent from the Personality of Godhead, and therefore to envy such an acarya is to envy the Personality of Godhead Himself. This will produce an effect subversive of transcendental realization.

As mentioned previously, a disciple should always respect the spiritual master as a manifestation of Sri Krsna, but at the same time one should always remember that a spiritual master is never authorized to imitate the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. False spiritual masters pose themselves as identical with Sri Krsna in every respect to exploit the sentiments of their disciples, but such impersonalists can only mislead their disciples, for their ultimate aim is to become one with the Lord. This is against the principles of the devotional cult.

The real Vedic philosophy is acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, which establishes everything to be simultaneously one with and different from the Personality of Godhead. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami confirms that this is the real position of a bona fide spiritual master and says that one should always think of the spiritual master in terms of his intimate relationship with Mukunda (Sri Krsna). Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his Bhakti-sandarbha (213), has clearly defined that a pure devotee's observation of the spiritual master and Lord Siva as one with the Personality of Godhead exists in terms of their being very dear to the Lord, not identical with Him in all respects. Following in the footsteps of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami, later acaryas like Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura have confirmed the same truths. In his prayers to the spiritual master, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura confirms that all the revealed scriptures accept the spiritual master to be identical with the Personality of Godhead because he is a very dear and confidential servant of the Lord. Gaudiya Vaisnavas therefore worship Srila Gurudeva (the spiritual master) in the light of his being the servitor of the Personality of Godhead. In all the ancient scriptures of devotional service and in the more recent songs of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and other unalloyed Vaisnavas, the spiritual master is always considered either one of the confidential associates of Srimati Radharani or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu.


siksa-guruke ta' jani krsnera svarupa
antaryami, bhakta-srestha,----ei dui rupa


siksa-guruke--the spiritual master who instructs; ta'--indeed; jani--I know; krsnera--of Krsna; sva-rupa--the direct representative; antaryami--the indwelling Supersoul; bhakta-srestha--the best devotee; ei--these; dui--two; rupa--forms.


One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the Personality of Krsna. Lord Krsna manifests Himself as the Supersoul and as the greatest devotee of the Lord.


Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami states that the instructing spiritual master is a bona fide representative of Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna Himself teaches us as the instructing spiritual master from within and without. From within He teaches as Paramatma, our constant companion, and from without He teaches from the Bhagavad-gita as the instructing spiritual master. There are two kinds of instructing spiritual masters. One is the liberated person fully absorbed in meditation in devotional service, and the other is he who invokes the disciple's spiritual consciousness by means of relevant instructions. Thus the instructions in the science of devotion are differentiated in terms of the objective and subjective ways of understanding. The acarya in the true sense of the term, who is authorized to deliver Krsna, enriches the disciple with full spiritual knowledge and thus awakens him to the activities of devotional service.

When by learning from the self-realized spiritual master one actually engages himself in the service of Lord Visnu, functional devotional service begins. The procedures of this devotional service are known as abhidheya, or actions one is dutybound to perform. Our only shelter is the Supreme Lord, and one who teaches how to approach Krsna is the functioning form of the Personality of Godhead. There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami is the ideal spiritual master, for he delivers one the shelter of the lotus feet of Madana-mohana. Even though one may be unable to travel on the field of Vrndavana due to forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can get an adequate opportunity to stay in Vrndavana and derive all spiritual benefits by the mercy of Sanatana Gosvami. Sri Govindaji acts exactly like the siksa-guru (instructing spiritual master) by teaching Arjuna the Bhagavad-gita. He is the original preceptor, for He gives us instructions and an opportunity to serve Him. The initiating spiritual master is a personal manifestation of Srila Madana-mohana vigraha, whereas the instructing spiritual master is a personal representative of Srila Govindadeva vigraha. Both of these Deities are worshiped at Vrndavana. Srila Gopinatha is the ultimate attraction in spiritual realization.

Cc. Adi lila Ch. 1 Txts 45-47 with Purports

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 

How can a person who is desirous of knowing what is duty and what is not duty obtain the topmost benefit? In order to understand this one must approach the lotus feet of a sad-guru. One who is expert in understanding all the conclusions of the revealed scriptures such as the Vedas, who has direct experience and realization of Bhagavan, and who is not influenced by any kind of material agitation is know as a sad-guru.

The purport of this statement is that only a person who is situated in suddha-bhakti, who is learned in all the conclusions of the sastra, whose actions are pure, who is simple and honest, who is free from greed, who is free from deviant conclusions such as mayavada, who is expert in all functions related to the service of the Lord, who is free from lethargy, who is intently devoted to the holy name of the Lord is fit to become a guru. It doesn’t matter what family, race, social classification (varna) or stage of life (asrama) he may be in.

Another consideration is that only a person who is free from lethargy, who is faithful, whose activities are pure, and who is desirous of bhagavad-bhakti is eligible to become a disciple. When the guru considers the disciple fit and when the disciple ascertains the guru to be a pure devotee of Krsna and thus reposes his faith in him, the spiritual master will then impart instructions unto the disciple.

There are two kinds of gurus: the diksa-guru and the siksa-guru (the sravana-guru and the siksa guru are here considered as one). One should accept initiation form the diksa-guru and take instructions regarding the process of worship (arcana). There is only one diksa-guru, but there can be many siksa-gurus. The siksa-guru gives instructions on how to perform bhajana. According to the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and other scriptures, one should not discriminate between the diksa and siksa-gurus–there is no difference between these two.

The diksa and siksa-gurus have been described respectively at bhagavad-rupa or prakasa (the external form or feature of the Lord) and bhagavad-svarupa (the internal identity or form of the Lord). This is clearly mentioned in the Caitanya-caritamrta. The diksa —guru has been described in the following words (Adi 1.45):

guru krsna-rupa hana sastrera pramane
guru-rupe krsna krpa karena bhakta-gane

According to the evidence of the revealed scriptures, the (diksa) guru is directly the outward form of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna (krsna-rupa). Krsna in the form of the spiritual master bestows mercy upon the devotee.

The siksa guru is described as follows (Adi 1.47)

siksa-guruke ta' jani krsnera svarupa

One should know the siksa-guru to be the internal form or identity of Sri Krsna (krsna-savrupa).

Jagad-Guru Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura has given an elaborate explanation of these verses In his commentary to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.


There is very little difference between the words rupa and svarupa. The word rupa conveys the sense of form, figure, or appearance, whereas the word svarupa conveys the sense of form, nature or condition. For example, Sri Krsna is trbhanga-lalita. He looks very charming as He holds the flute to His lips. This is krsna-rupa. The various moods he expresses as dhiroddhata, dhira-lalita, dhira-santa, dhirodatta and so man other moods are all krsna-svarupa. In Krsna there is no difference between rupa and svarupa. There is no difference between his External form and His internal moods. Similarly there is no difference between the diksa and siksa gurus. The diksa-guru reveals Krsna’s rupa and the siksa-guru reveals Krsna’s svarupa.

Without thoughtful consideration, some people take shelter at the feet of a mayavadi sannyasi or a prakrta-sahajiya * who is a Vaisnava in name only, or a family guru (kula-guru) who is ignorant in the matter of bhajana. Having taken shelter of such persons, they thin they have obtained a genuine spiritual master or sad guru. They think that there is no need for sadhana bhajana or for sadhu-sanga, but this kind of consideration is blind faith. Such a spiritual master simply hinders one’s attainment of prema.

After taking shelter of the lotus feet of a sad-guru and performing bhajana in a regular way, the disciple should discern whether or not his anarthas are going away. One can consult the books named Madhyurya-kadambini written by the same author, Srila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakura, for a detailed description of anarthas and the method to obtain freedom from them. Those who perform bhajan but make no endeavor to become free from anarthas cannot make any advancement inbhajana. Therefore, only by performing bhajana in accordance with the appropriate methods can the sadhaka make steady progress beginning form sraddha and culminating in one’s desired goal of prema.

*A prakrta-sahajiya is one who abandons the fundamental procedures of sadhana and imitates the symptoms of advanced devotees by a material display.


the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu of
Srila Visvanatha CakravartiThakura

(3) Stages leading to the Appearance of Prema:
(Bhakti-rasmarta-sindhu-bindu pp. 39-41)
"Sri Bindhu-vikasini-vrtti":
by Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja

TEXT 111

tanra thani mantra laila yatana karina
calila daksine puri tanre diksa dina


tanra thani--from him; mantra--initiation; laila--accepted; yatana--efforts; karina--making; calila--started; daksine--toward the south; puri--Madhavendra Puri; tanre--to Him (Advaita Acarya); diksa--initiation; dina--giving.


Advaita Acarya begged to be initiated by Madhavendra Puri. After initiating Him, Madhavendra Puri started for South India.


In this connection, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that Advaita Acarya took initiation from Madhavendra Puri, who was a sannyasi in the disciplic succession of the Madhva-sampradaya. According to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

kiba vipra kiba nyasi sudra kene naya,
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya

"A person may be a brahmana, a sannyasi, a sudra or whatever, but if he is well conversant in the science of Krsna, he can become a guru." (Cc. Madhya 8.128) This statement is supported by Sri Madhavendra Puri. According to the pancaratra injunction, only a householder brahmana can initiate. Others cannot. When a person is initiated, it is assumed that he has become a brahmana; without being initiated by a proper brahmana, one cannot be converted into a brahmana. In other words, unless one is a brahmana, he cannot make another a brahmana. A grhastha-brahmana partaking of the varnasrama-dharma institution can secure various types of paraphernalia to worship Lord Visnu through his honest labor. Actually, people beg to be initiated by these householder brahmanas just to become successful in the varnasrama institution or to become free from material desires. It is therefore necessary for a spiritual master in the grhastha-asrama to be a strict Vaisnava. A spiritual master from the sannyasa order has very little opportunity to perform arcana, Deity worship, but when one accepts a spiritual master from the transcendental sannyasis, the principle of Deity worship is not at all neglected. To implement this conclusion, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave us His opinion in the verse kiba vipra kiba nyasi, etc. This indicates that the Lord understood the weakness of society in its maintaining that only a grhastha-brahmana should be a spiritual master. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu indicated that it does not matter whether the spiritual master is a grhastha (householder), a sannyasi or even a sudra. A spiritual master simply must be conversant in the essence of the sastra; he must understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only then can one become a spiritual master. Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination.

Cc. Madhya lila Ch. 4 Txt 111
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


TEXT 128

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya


kiba--whether; vipra--a brahmana; kiba--whether; nyasi--a sannyasi; sudra--a sudra; kene--why; naya--not; yei--anyone who; krsna-tattva-vetta--a knower of the science of Krsna; sei--that person; guru--the spiritual master; haya--is.


"Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra--regardless of what he is--he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna."


This verse is very important to the Krsna consciousness movement. In his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that one should not think that because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was born a brahmana and was situated in the topmost spiritual order as a sannyasi, it was improper for Him to receive instructions from Srila Ramananda Raya, who belonged to the sudra caste. To clarify this matter, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu informed Ramananda Raya that knowledge of Krsna consciousness is more important than caste. In the system of varnasrama-dharma there are various duties for the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. Actually the brahmana is supposed to be the spiritual master of all other varnas, or sects, but as far as Krsna consciousness is concerned, everyone is capable of becoming a spiritual master because knowledge in Krsna consciousness is on the platform of the spirit soul. To spread Krsna consciousness, one need only be cognizant of the science of the spirit soul. It does not matter whether one is a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, sannyasi, grhastha or whatever. If one simply understands this science, he can become a spiritual master.

It is stated in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa that one should not accept initiation from a person who is not in the brahminical order if there is a fit person in the brahminical order present. This instruction is meant for those who are overly dependent on the mundane social order and is suitable for those who want to remain in mundane life. If one understands the truth of Krsna consciousness and seriously desires to attain transcendental knowledge for the perfection of life, he can accept a spiritual master from any social status, provided the spiritual master is fully conversant with the science of Krsna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also states that although one is situated as a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, vanaprastha, grhastha or sannyasi, if he is conversant in the science of Krsna he can become a spiritual master as vartma-pradarsaka-guru, diksa-guru or siksa-guru. The spiritual master who first gives information about spiritual life is called the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, the spiritual master who initiates according to the regulations of the sastras is called the diksa-guru, and the spiritual master who gives instructions for elevation is called the siksa-guru. Factually the qualifications of a spiritual master depend on his knowledge of the science of Krsna. It does not matter whether he is a brahmana, ksatriya, sannyasi or sudra. This injunction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not at all against the injunctions of the sastras. In the Padma Purana it is said:

na sudrah bhagavad-bhaktas
te 'pi bhagavatottamah
sarva-varnesu te sudra
ye na bhakta janardane

One who is actually advanced in spiritual knowledge of Krsna is never a sudra, even though he may have been born in a sudra family. However, even if a vipra, or brahmana, is very expert in the six brahminical activities (pathana, pathana, yajana, yajana, dana, pratigraha) and is also well versed in the Vedic hymns, he cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a Vaisnava. But if one is born in the family of candalas yet is well versed in Krsna consciousness, he can become a guru. These are the sastric injunctions, and strictly following these injunctions, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as a grhastha named Sri Visvambhara, was initiated by a sannyasi-guru named Isvara Puri. Similarly, Sri Nityananda Prabhu was initiated by Madhavendra Puri, a sannyasi. According to others, however, He was initiated by Laksmipati Tirtha. Advaita Acarya, although a grhastha, was initiated by Madhavendra Puri, and Sri Rasikananda, although born in a brahmana family, was initiated by Sri Syamananda Prabhu, who was not born in a caste brahmana family. There are many instances in which a born brahmana took initiation from a person who was not born in a brahmana family. The brahminical symptoms are explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.11.35), wherein it is stated:

yasya yal-laksanam proktam
pumso varnabhivyanjakam
yad anyatrapi drsyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiset

If a person is born in a sudra family but has all the qualities of a spiritual master, he should be accepted not only as a brahmana but as a qualified spiritual master also. This is also the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura therefore introduced the sacred thread ceremony for all Vaisnavas according to the rules and regulations.

Sometimes a Vaisnava who is a bhajananandi does not take the savitra-samskara (sacred thread initiation), but this does not mean that this system should be used for preaching work. There are two kinds of Vaisnavas--bhajananandi and gosthy-anandi. A bhajananandi is not interested in preaching work, but a gosthy-anandi is interested in spreading Krsna consciousness to benefit the people and increase the number of Vaisnavas. A Vaisnava is understood to be above the position of a brahmana. As a preacher, he should be recognized as a brahmana; otherwise there may be a misunderstanding of his position as a Vaisnava. However, a Vaisnava brahmana is not selected on the basis of his birth but according to his qualities. Unfortunately, those who are unintelligent do not know the difference between a brahmana and a Vaisnava. They are under the impression that unless one is a brahmana he cannot be a spiritual master. For this reason only, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu makes the statement in this verse:

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya

If one becomes a guru, he is automatically a brahmana. Sometimes a caste guru says that ye krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya means that one who is not a brahmana may become a siksa-guru or a vartma-pradarsaka-guru but not an initiator guru. According to such caste gurus, birth and family ties are considered foremost. However, the hereditary consideration is not acceptable to Vaisnavas. The word guru is equally applicable to the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, siksa-guru and diksa-guru. Unless we accept the principle enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this Krsna consciousness movement cannot spread all over the world. According to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's intentions: prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult must be preached all over the world. This does not mean that people should take to His teachings and remain sudras or candalas. As soon as one is trained as a pure Vaisnava, he must be accepted as a bona fide brahmana. This is the essence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions in this verse.

Cc. Madhya lila Ch. 8 Txt 128
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto
yah purnah so 'sty atah parah
vrndavanam parityajya
sa kvacin naiva gacchati


krsnah--Lord Krsna; anyah--another Lord Vasudeva; yadu-sambhutah--born in the Yadu dynasty; yah--who; purnah--the full Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna; sah--He; asti--is; atah--than Him (Vasudeva); parah--different; vrndavanam--he place Vrndavana; parityajya--giving up; sah--He; kvacit--at any time; na eva gacchati--does not go.


" 'The Krsna known as Yadukumara is Vasudeva Krsna. He is different from the Krsna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadukumara Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana.' "


This verse is included in the Laghu-bhagavatamrta (1.5.461), by Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Cc.. Antya lila Ch. 1 Txt .6
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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