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Guru is not a fashion
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
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."
- tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
- jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
- śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
- brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
- [SB 11.3.21]
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.