Guru is not a fashion

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Expressions researched:
"Guru's not a fashion" |"Guru is not a fashion"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Who requires a guru? Guru's not a fashion. "Oh, I have got a guru. I shall make a guru." Guru means one who's serious.
Lecture on BG 2.7 -- London, August 7, 1973: Who requires a guru? Guru's not a fashion. "Oh, I have got a guru. I shall make a guru." Guru means one who's serious. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. One has to seek out a guru. Why? Jijñāsu śreya uttamam. One who is inquisitive of the Supreme. Not guru make a fashion. Just like we keep a dog, fashion. Similarly, we keep a guru. That is not guru karma (?). "Guru will act according to my decision." Not like that. Guru means one who can give you Kṛṣṇa. That is guru. Kṛṣṇa sei tomāra. Because Kṛṣṇa is guru.
You have to find out guru. Because guru is not a fashion...
Lecture on BG 2.11 (with Spanish translator) -- Mexico, February 11, 1975:

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) How can we understand the guru?

Prabhupāda: How do you understand? When you go for treatment to a physician, how do you understand that here is a physician? How do you understand? Tell me?

Hṛdayānanda: He says by the title and reputation.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Some way or other, you know that he is a physician. So similarly, you have to find out guru. Guru... First of all, who requires a guru? That is the question. Because guru is not a fashion... The... It is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta: [SB 11.3.21] "On account of this, you should go to a guru." What is that account? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: "One who is very much inquisitive to know about spiritual affair, he requires a guru." Spiritual affair means that... We are in this material world. We are suffering. When the question will come in one's mind, "Why I am suffering?" that is spiritual. Just like an animal is being taken to the slaughterhouse. He cannot inquire, "Why I am being taken to the slaughterhouse?" But if a man is being taken forcibly, he'll protest; he will cry; he'll call crowd. Therefore human being can inquire about spiritual affair. So when there is spiritual inquiry, then one requires a guru. And by going to guru, as it is stated, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. One has to learn by surrendering, praṇipāta. So first of all there must be a strong impulse to inquire about the transcendental subject matter. Then one requires a guru. Not that, to follow a fashion, that one has guru. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Unless one becomes under the control of ācārya, he has no perfect knowledge. Therefore the Vedas says, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet: [MU 1.2.12] "For understanding that transcendental science, one must approach a guru."
To accept one guru is not a fashion. Nowadays it has become a fashion, to accept a guru.
Lecture on BG 13.1-2 -- Miami, February 25, 1975: So nobody is actually male except Kṛṣṇa. We are also female. We are dressed like male, and somebody has dressed like female. But all of us, we are female, prakṛti, enjoyable. The enjoyer is Kṛṣṇa. That we do not know. Here the so-called woman is also puruṣa because she is also trying to enjoy. Anyone who is trying to enjoy, he is called to be puruṣa. And the subject matter or object which is enjoyed, that is called prakṛti. So in the material world we are trying to exploit one another either in the dress of male or in the dress of female, because this body is dress. So originally we are all female, but falsely we are trying to enjoy one another or this material world. Therefore they are sometimes called puruṣa. So this question is raised by Arjuna from his master because the master is accepted to acquire knowledge. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. To accept one guru is not a fashion. Nowadays it has become a fashion, that accept some guru, Guru Mahārāja. Whether he knows or does not know, it doesn't matter, and whether one is inquisitive or not. It is a fashion. No. Guru is required for a person who is very inquisitive to know about the transcendental subject matter. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. It is not a fashion; it is necessary because human life is meant for understanding the real position of his identity. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is necessary.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

A guru is not a fashion, "Oh, such and such swamiji is a..., let me make him guru." Just like, "Oh, there is a nice dog. Keep me a dog. Let me keep here dog."
Lecture on SB 1.2.10 -- Delhi, November 16, 1973: So we should be awakened to the consciousness, "Now what is my duty?" We should inquire. And for your inquiry, the answers are there already in the Bhagavad-gītā, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Upaniṣads. We have got in the Purāṇas. So we should utilize it. So instead of utilizing this knowledge, this treasurehouse of knowledge, we are reading bunch of useless newspapers. You see? In the Western countries, most of you may know, they are delivering in the morning such big lump of newspapers. And after one hour, it is thrown away. Who will read that? But people's attentions are diverted by so many nonsense literatures, and they are not interested to inquire from the real source of knowledge, real treasurehouse of knowledge. Therefore here it is said that jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā: "Your only business is to inquire about the truth." And that truth should be inquired from whom? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. If you are actually inquisitive to understand what is Absolute Truth, what is your life, what is the value of life, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. A guru is not a fashion, "Oh, such and such swamiji is a..., let me make him guru." Just like, "Oh, there is a nice dog. Keep me a dog. Let me keep here dog." And if a guru says, "Yes, whatever you are doing, you are right. You can do whatever you... You can eat whatever you like. You can do whatever...," "Oh, he is a very nice guru." And as soon as he will say, "No illicit sex life, sir, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication," "Oh, Swamiji, you are very conservative." I have heard these things. That poet Allen Ginsberg, he said, "Swamiji, you are very conservative." No, I am the most liberal. You do not know. If I become conservative, then none of you will come to me.
One who is inquisitive or serious about inquiring about Brahman, he requires guru. Guru is not a fashion. Guru is necessity.
Lecture on SB 1.7.18 -- Vrndavana, September 15, 1976: The body is matter, and the spirit soul is Brahman. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is human life. One should be inquisitive to know about spiritual life, what is spirit soul. That is the first education. But where is that education? There is no such education. Prahlāda Mahārāja teaches that immediately, from the beginning of life, as soon as one is four or five years old, he should be educated about Brahman. That is called brahma-jijñāsā. Beginning. That is wanted. And for him there is need of guru. One who is inquisitive or serious about inquiring about Brahman, he requires guru. Guru is not a fashion. Guru is necessity. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Tad-vijñānam. Tad-vijñānam means spiritual education.
We should not make a fashion of keeping a Guru. Guru is not a fashion.
Lecture on SB 1.7.38-39 -- Vrndavana, September 30, 1976: Mr. Mukherji, Sir Asutosh Mukherji, he replied, "Yes, as soon as the Germans will come, we shall offer our respect in this way, 'Come on sir.' " "So you'll not counteract? Why?" "You have taught us to make like this, so we shall do that. Because you have simply taught us this, how to obey your orders. So anyone who will come, we shall do this." The idea is the slave mentality... The Englishmen, in an organized way, they taught the Indians how to become servant of the Englishmen. We have seen. It is Gandhi's movement that he dismantled this idea of white prestige. Otherwise, we were taught like that. So this imitation of Englishmen... Formerly, in our childhood, it was the advancement of civilization if one could imitate the English fashion. That was. So we should not make that a fashion. Guru is not a fashion.
To keep guru is not a fashion. Just like you keep a dog or a cat as a fashion.
Lecture on SB 3.25.8 -- Bombay, November 8, 1974: So here also, Devahūti, the same principle. She says, tasya tvaṁ tamaso 'ndhasya duṣpārasyādya pāragam, sac-cakṣur janmanām ante: "My dear Kapila, You have come as my son. But You are my guru. You are guru because You can give me information how I can cross over the nescience of darkness, of this material life." So one who is feeling the necessity of going across the dark nescience of material existence, he requires a guru. Not for curing some disease or getting a little portion of gold. That, that does not require that one should go to guru. Guru is required for whom? Just like Devahūti or Sanātana Gosvāmī. Those who are inqui... athāto brahma jijñāsā. Those who are interested in the matter of Brahman. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. If one is interested to understand things which is beyond this darkness, he requires a guru. To keep guru is not a fashion. Just like you keep a dog or a cat as a fashion. So things should not be done like that, that "I have got a guru. I don't care for him. That's all. I give him some money; therefore he must be my servant." That kind of keeping guru is not use.
If you are inquisitive to understand transcendental truth, the Absolute Truth, the guru is... To have a guru is not a fashion.
Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 13, 1975: Everywhere, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also the same thing is explained, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsur śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. If you are inquisitive to understand transcendental truth, the Absolute Truth, the guru is... To have a guru is not a fashion. Now it has become a fashion. If somebody shows some jugglery, people become very much anxious to accept such guru. No. Guru means, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. Who requires a guru? Jijñāsu śreya uttamam, one who is very much anxious to know about the ultimate benefit of life. For him guru is required. Not a fashion. Just like we keep a dog as a fashion. Nowadays it is a fashion to keep a dog. So don't keep a guru like a dog. And who will hear you? "Come on. Come on." Yes. Not like that. Guru require then where you can surrender. Not like a dog, but master, where you can surrender. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta, prapadyeta means you must surrender.
And who requires a guru? Guru is not a fashion. It is necessary.
Lecture on SB 6.1.1-4 -- Melbourne, May 20, 1975: "My dear Kṛṣṇa, we are now talking as friends. No, we shall talk now as master and disciple. You I accept You as my master." Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. He accepted Him as the master and he became disciple to understand Bhagavad-gītā. This is the way. If you have got your own opinion, you will never understand Bhagavad-gītā. You have to take lessons from the master. Although the book is there, for example I can give you. Suppose if you want to be a medical man, the books are available in the market. You can purchase and read and become a doctor. Is it possible? Is it possible that simply by reading books, purchasing from the market, I become a medical man? No. That is not possible. You have to learn it from a person who is a medical man. Then you will. You go to the medical college and learn the medical science from the practical medical man, and then you examine, put yourself in examination. When you pass... This is the way. So any śāstra, any book, even in the material world, it is not possible to read oneself and understand the real fact. That is not possible. Therefore Vedic injunction is that if you want to learn that spiritual science, tad-vijñāna. Tat. Tat-vijñāna means spiritual science. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. This is the instruction. If you want to learn that spiritual science, then you must approach a bona fide guru. Gurum evābhigacchet. There are many sastric injunction like that. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. And who requires a guru? Guru is not a fashion. It is necessary. How it is necessary? Now, anyone who is inquisitive to understand the spiritual science, for him it is necessary. Jijñāsuḥ sreya uttamam. Even if you want to become an ordinary electrician, still, you require a teacher, and what to speak of spiritual science. So that is necessary. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet. So Arjuna followed it, and he submitted himself to Kṛṣṇa to become His disciple, not to talk as friend. So when he accepted Him as the spiritual master, so... Teacher... The teacher has the right to chastise the student. That is accepted.
There is no need of accept a so-called fashionable guru. To accept guru is not a fashion or a style.
Lecture on SB 7.6.20-23 -- Washington D.C., July 3, 1976: Prabhupāda: Yes. In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, is explaining Himself. Absolute Truth is the ultimate end, Vedānta. The subject matter of knowledge is Absolute Truth. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So we have got this human form of life to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. Unless one is jijñāsuḥ, inquisitive, there is no need of accept a so-called fashionable guru. To accept guru is not a fashion, style, that "Everyone has guru; I'll have a guru." No. The śāstra says, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam. One should accept guru when he is inquisitive, jijñāsuḥ. What about? Śreyaḥ uttamam. The Absolute or the auspicity beyond this material world. Uttamam. Tamaḥ means darkness, ignorance.

General Lectures

Guru is not a fashion just like you keep a dog as a fashion, modern civilization, similarly we keep a guru.
Sri Vyasa-puja -- Hyderabad, August 19, 1976: Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. 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.
Therefore the Bhāgavata says, "Who requires a guru?" Guru is not a fashion, that "Everyone has a guru. Let me possess a guru, and let me do all nonsense."
Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami's Appearance Day -- Vrndavana, October 19, 1972: So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to induce people to become daivī-prakṛtim āśritāḥ instead of becoming asurī-bhāvam āśritāḥ. So how this can be done? This is possible if you approach Caitanya Mahāprabhu or His representative. Just like Sanātana Gosvāmī. He's approaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu with right humbleness, that "I am lowest of the mankind, most abominable associated." Therefore the Bhāgavata says, "Who requires a guru?" Guru is not a fashion, that "Everyone has a guru. Let me possess a guru, and let me do all nonsense." Not like that. One must be very serious to accept a guru. Unless one is very serious... What is that seriousness? The seriousness is to know God, "What is God? What is my relationship with Him?" This is seriousness. Those who are not serious to know God and act godly, they do not require to seek after a guru. There is no necessity. Don't make it a fashion to have a guru. Generally, they make it a fashion that "Everyone has a guru, so let me have a guru also." No. The Bhāgavata says, gives this direction, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]. Guruṁ prapadyeta. To approach guru means fully surrendered unto him.
Guru, to keep a guru or to have a guru is not a fashion. One who is very serious to understand spiritual life, he requires a guru.
Lecture What is a Guru? -- London, August 22, 1973: So guru is one. Guru cannot be two. As soon as you find two opinions of guru, either both of them are rascals, or one is still at least rascal. There cannot be two. This is guru. Another place it is said,
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
[SB 11.3.21]
Who needs a guru? A third-class, fourth-class man, ordinary man, doesn't require a guru. Guru, to keep a guru or to have a guru is not a fashion. One who is very serious to understand spiritual life, he requires a guru. Otherwise, there is no need of guru. Just like you keep a dog as a fashion, don't keep a guru. Guru means..., is a question of necessity. One must be very serious to understand what is spiritual life, what is God, what is my relation with God, how to act. When we are very much serious about this subject matter, then we require a guru. Don't go to a guru as a matter of fashion. That is useless. That is useless. Therefore śāstra says, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. Because we have to go to guru and surrender there. Without surrendering, you cannot learn anything. If you want to challenge guru, it is not possible. Then you'll learn nothing.
This is the system of guru and disciple. It is not a fashion, bogus fashion.
Philosophy Discussion on Jacques Maritain: One who inquires from authoritative Vedas, śāstras, he's a human being. And those who are not inquisitive, they are not considered to be human being. "What is the essence?" that is human being. Otherwise animal life. And tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. And one who is actually inquisitive, he, he requires to have the guidance of spiritual master. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. Guru is required for him who is inquisitive of the higher essence, not for... To accept a guru is not a fashion. Those, without being inquisitive of the highest essence, accept from guru, they think it is a fashion to keep a guru. Just like one keeps one dog by fashion: "My friend is keeping a dog, I shall keep a dog. My friend is keeping a car, I shall keep a car." Such kind of acceptance of guru is useless. It has no meaning. Actually, guru means... One..., the disciple must be very much inquisitive, interest into this is to understand the original essence. And he should approach a suitable bona fide person who can answer about the original essence. This is the system of guru and disciple. It is not a fashion, bogus fashion. A śiṣya must be intently inquisitive to understand the original essence, and guru must be a well-conversant person who can answer the disciple's relevant questions. This is guru and śiṣya.
One has to approach a guru. To accept a guru is not a fashion, it is necessity.
Philosophy Discussion on Soren Aabye Kierkegaard: So man's general position is as good as animal. Therefore in the human society there is system of education. But man, being advanced in consciousness, he can be properly educated so that he can understand what is God by the teachings of authority, and that is our Vedic system. In the human form of life—not generally but in special cases—they are very much inquisitive to understand about God. That is technically called brahma-jijñāsā. inquiring about the Absolute. And that is only possible in the human form of life. Generally, any human being can be educated in the spiritual life or God consciousness, but if anyone awakens his inquiry, as it is stated, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21], if one is actually anxious to inquire about God or the supreme knowledge, then he has to approach a guru. That's a fact. Without approaching a bona fide guru there is no possibility of understanding the nature of God and our relationship with Him. So one has to approach a guru. To accept a guru is not a fashion, it is necessity. If one is actually inquisitive, it is a necessity. So the qualification of guru is also given there, that what sort of guru you should search out. Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam [SB 11.3.21]. A guru is he who has taken full training in the ocean of spiritual knowledge or Vedic knowledge, śābde pare. Śābde means the Vedic words, or vibration of sound, but that is not ordinary sound, material sound, but spiritual sound. Just like we are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, this spiritual sound. So one who has taken full bathing in the ocean of spiritual sound, and how he has realized the symptom of his life is that such guru is no more interested in materialistic way of life. Such guru does not manufacture gold or jugglery words to attract some foolish men and make money.
Guru is not a fashion, as you keep some pet cat, pet dog.
Evening Darsana -- May 15, 1977, Hrishikesh:

Prabhupāda: Actually, spiritual life means questioning. (Hindi) Who requires a guru? Guru is not a fashion, as you keep some pet cat, pet dog. (chuckles) Guru is not like that. (Hindi) So when you require a guru? Aiye. (Hindi)

Indian man (1): (Hindi) That is why I spoke some words yesterday without your permission, sir, just to explain to them in Hindi. Some ladies were sitting in the back. And they were more interested in that picture, "Kṛṣṇa likes Rādhārāṇī," so I had explained.

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) English boliye.

Indian man (1): I think that will be better. It will suit many.

Prabhupāda: So we are talking of who requires a guru. Guru is not a fashion.
Facts about "Guru is not a fashion"RDF feed
Compiled byKanupriya +, Vraj Kishori + and Labangalatika +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entry21 November 8 +
Date of last entry21 February 9 +
Total quotes16 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 15 +, Conv: 1 + and Let: 0 +