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The spiritual master within

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 13 - 18

BG 13.23, Purport:

The living entity can be situated either in the material energy or in the spiritual energy. As long as he is conditioned by the material energy, the Supreme Lord, as his friend, the Supersoul, stays with him just to get him to return to the spiritual energy. The Lord is always eager to take him back to the spiritual energy, but due to his minute independence the individual entity is continually rejecting the association of spiritual light. This misuse of independence is the cause of his material strife in the conditioned nature. The Lord, therefore, is always giving instruction from within and from without. From without He gives instructions as stated in Bhagavad-gītā, and from within He tries to convince the living entity that his activities in the material field are not conducive to real happiness. "Just give it up and turn your faith toward Me. Then you will be happy," He says. Thus the intelligent person who places his faith in the Paramātmā or the Supreme Personality of Godhead begins to advance toward a blissful eternal life of knowledge.


SB Canto 1

SB 1.7.5, Purport:

The surrendering process is completed by the influence of association. The Lord has suggested, therefore, that by the influence of the speeches of saintly persons who have actually realized the Supreme, men are engaged in His transcendental loving service. The conditioned soul gets a taste for hearing about the Lord, and by such hearing only he is gradually elevated to the platform of respect, devotion and attachment for the Lord. The whole thing is completed by the surrendering process. Herein also the same suggestion is made by the Lord in His incarnation of Vyāsadeva. This means that the conditioned souls are being reclaimed by the Lord both ways, namely by the process of punishment by the external energy of the Lord, and by Himself as the spiritual master within and without. Within the heart of every living being the Lord Himself as the Supersoul (Paramātmā) becomes the spiritual master, and from without He becomes the spiritual master in the shape of scriptures, saints and the initiator spiritual master. This is still more explicitly explained in the next śloka.

SB 1.9.32, Purport:

Pure devotees of the Lord have no desire other than the service of the Lord, and therefore they are called sātvata. The Lord is the chief amongst such sātvatas. Bhīṣmadeva, therefore, had no other desires. Unless one is purified from all sorts of material desires, the Lord does not become one's leader. Desires cannot be wiped out, but they have only to be purified. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā by the Lord Himself that He gives His instruction from within the heart of a pure devotee who is constantly engaged in the service of the Lord. Such instruction is given not for any material purpose but only for going back home, back to Godhead (BG 10.10). For the ordinary man who wants to lord it over material nature, the Lord only sanctions and becomes a witness of activities, but He never gives the nondevotee instructions for going back to Godhead. That is the difference in dealings by the Lord with different living beings, both the devotee and the nondevotee. He is leader of all the living beings, as the king of the state rules both the prisoners and the free citizens. But His dealings are different in terms of devotee and nondevotee.

SB Canto 3

SB 3.9.26, Purport:

Brahmā's enlightenment in knowledge was due to the Lord sitting within his heart. After being created, Brahmā could not ascertain the source of his appearance, but after penance and mental concentration he could see the source of his birth, and thus he became enlightened through his heart. The spiritual master outside and the spiritual master within are both representations of the Lord. Unless one has contact with such bona fide representations, one cannot claim to be a spiritual master. Lord Brahmā had no opportunity to take the help of a spiritual master from outside because at that time Brahmā himself was the only creature in the universe. Therefore, on becoming satisfied by the prayers of Brahmā, the Lord enlightened him about everything from within.

SB 3.9.38, Purport:

When a living entity desires to serve the Lord in transcendental loving service, the Lord helps the devotee in so many ways as the caitya-guru, or the spiritual master within, and thus the devotee can perform many wonderful activities beyond material estimation. By the mercy of the Lord even a layman can compose prayers of the highest spiritual perfection. Such spiritual perfection is not limited by material qualifications but is developed by dint of one's sincere endeavor to render transcendental service. Voluntary endeavor is the only qualification for spiritual perfection. Material acquisitions of wealth or education are not considered.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.28.41, Purport:

The Lord is the Supersoul seated in everyone's heart, and He acts as the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within. However, He gives direct instructions only to the advanced, pure devotees. In the beginning, when a devotee is serious and sincere, the Lord gives him directions from within to approach a bona fide spiritual master. When one is trained by the spiritual master according to the regulative principles of devotional service and is situated on the platform of spontaneous attachment for the Lord (rāga-bhakti), the Lord also gives instructions from within. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). This distinct advantage is obtained by a liberated soul. Having attained this stage, King Malayadhvaja was directly in touch with the Supreme Lord and was receiving instructions from Him directly.

SB 4.28.52, Purport:

When a person's relative dies, renunciation is automatically visible. Consultation with the Supersoul seated within everyone's heart is possible only when one is completely free from the contamination of material attachment. One who is sincere and pure gets an opportunity to consult with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature sitting within everyone's heart. The Paramātmā is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator spiritual master. The Lord can reside within the heart, and He can also come out before a person and give him instructions. Thus the spiritual master is not different from the Supersoul sitting within the heart. An uncontaminated soul or living entity can get a chance to meet the Paramātmā face to face. Just as one gets a chance to consult with the Paramātmā within his heart, one also gets a chance to see Him actually situated before him. Then one can take instructions from the Supersoul directly. This is the duty of the pure devotee: to see the bona fide spiritual master and consult with the Supersoul within the heart.

SB Canto 7

SB 7.15.76, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa can become the director and spiritual master of anyone who is serious about getting the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. The Lord sends the spiritual master to train a devotee, and when the devotee is advanced, the Lord acts as the spiritual master within his heart.

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
(BG 10.10)

"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." Kṛṣṇa does not become the direct spiritual master unless one is fully trained by His representative spiritual master. Therefore, as we have already discussed, the Lord's representative spiritual master should not be considered an ordinary human being. The representative spiritual master never gives any false knowledge to his disciple, but only perfect knowledge. Thus he is the representative of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa helps as the guru, or spiritual master, from within and from without. From without He helps the devotee as His representative, and from within He talks personally with the pure devotee and gives him instructions by which he may return home, back to Godhead.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 1.58, Translation and Purport:

Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Kṛṣṇa Himself.

It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Kṛṣṇa sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Kṛṣṇa, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.

CC Adi 8.79, Translation and Purport:

As a wooden doll is made to dance by a magician, I write as Madana-gopāla orders me to do so.

This is the position of a pure devotee. One should not take any responsibility on his own but should be a soul surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who will then give him dictation as the caittya-guru, or the spiritual master within. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased to guide a devotee from within and without. From within He guides him as the Supersoul, and from without He guides him as the spiritual master.

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 22.47, Translation:

“Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone's heart as the caittya-guru, the spiritual master within. When He is kind to some fortunate conditioned soul, He personally gives him lessons so he can progress in devotional service, instructing the person as the Supersoul within and the spiritual master without.

CC Madhya 22.143, Translation and Purport:

“If, however, a devotee accidentally becomes involved in a sinful activity, Kṛṣṇa purifies him. He does not have to undergo the regulative form of atonement.

Kṛṣṇa purifies from within as the caittya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. This is described in the following verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.42).

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 11:

When a conditioned soul becomes a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, the Lord, by His causeless mercy, trains him in two ways: He trains him from without as the spiritual master, and He trains him from within as the Supersoul. In this connection there is a very nice verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.29.6), in which Uddhava says to Lord Kṛṣṇa: "My dear Lord, even if someone lives as long as Brahmā, he would still be unable to express his gratitude to You for the benefits derived from remembering You. Out of Your causeless mercy You drive away all inauspicious conditions for Your devotee, expressing Yourself from outside as the spiritual master and from inside as the Supersoul."

Nectar of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion 11:

Regarding complete self-surrender, there is a nice description in the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 34, where the Lord says, "A person who has completely surrendered unto Me and has completely given up all other activities is protected by Me personally, both in this life and in the next. In other words, I wish to help him become more and more advanced in spiritual life. Such a person is to be understood as having already achieved sārṣṭi (having equal opulences with the Supreme)." It is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā that as soon as a person surrenders unto the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa takes charge of him and gives him a guarantee of protection from all sinful reactions. He also instructs from within, so that the devotee may very quickly make advancement toward spiritual perfection.

Mukunda-mala-stotra (mantras 1 to 6 only)

Mukunda-mala-stotra mantra 1, Purport:

As soon as a person agrees to surrender unto the Lord, the Lord takes complete charge of him. Satisfied with the activities of such a devotee, He gives him instruction from within, and thus the devotee becomes pure and advances on the path back to Godhead. The Lord is expert at guiding such a pure devotee, who is not at all anxious for material superiority. A pure devotee does not wish to possess material wealth, nor does he want to have a great following, nor does he desire a beautiful wife, for by the mercy of the Lord he knows the insignificance of material happiness. What he very sincerely desires at heart is to continue in the loving service of the Lord, even at the risk of taking birth again.


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 7.9 -- Vrndavana, August 15, 1974:

That acceptance of tapasya means that tapasya is itself Kṛṣṇa. You associate with Kṛṣṇa. When you voluntarily give up meat-eating or intoxication, this giving-up, this process, is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu. This is tapasya. Tapasya means to accept voluntarily something as enjoined in the śāstras. Śāstra says... Kṛṣṇa says. Whatever Kṛṣṇa says, that is śāstra. What is Veda? Veda means what Kṛṣṇa says; that is Veda. There is no other Veda. Just like in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, tene brahma hṛdā. Brahmā hṛdā. Brahma means Veda. Brahma, śabda-brahma. So Kṛṣṇa tene, imparted, injected brahma, Vedic, Vedic śabda, śabda-brahma, Vedas, tene brahma hṛdā, through the heart. Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone's heart. So Brahmā had no other spiritual master, but Kṛṣṇa is there within the heart. Therefore Kṛṣṇa's name is Caitya-guru. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. The caitya-guru, the guru... Kṛṣṇa is so kind. He is guru within, and when we are serious, He manifests Himself as a spiritual master. This is described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Lecture on BG 7.9 -- Vrndavana, August 15, 1974:

So guru is helping from inside and from outside. Antar-bahiḥ. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Therefore Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself as spiritual master. Therefore Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, sākṣād-dhari, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ. Manifestation of empowered. One who is pure devotee, he's empowered by Kṛṣṇa to act as spiritual master. Therefore spiritual master should be accepted: sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktaḥ **. It is described there. Tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ. Those who are learned scholars, actual devotees, they accept. But that does not mean guru is Kṛṣṇa. Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. Now, that, if you accept, you... Accept means you honor spiritual master as good as Kṛṣṇa, because he's representative. But not that Māyāvāda philosophy that guru and Kṛṣṇa is the same. This is simultaneously one and different. Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. He is as good as Kṛṣṇa because he is very, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. Why dear? Because he's preaching on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. What Kṛṣṇa wants, he's doing that. Therefore he's very dear.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.1.1 -- Caracas, February 21, 1975:

It may be questioned like that. But Brahmā is not the original source of everything. Although he has created this universe, he is not the original source. Therefore it is explained here that the original person is Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa, and He gave intelligence to Brahmā to create this universe. But if we put this argument that "Brahmā was alone. How he took instruction from the superior person?" therefore it is said, tene brahma hṛdā: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva instructed him from within the heart." That is not only for Brahmā. That is not the only prerogative of Brahmā. Kṛṣṇa, we have already stated, is seated in everyone's heart. If you want to consult Him, He can give you instruction. The only thing is that you have to become qualified like Brahmā so that you can received instruction from Him within the heart. And what is that qualification? That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
(BG 10.10)

Kṛṣṇa says that "I am situated in everyone's heart. Simply one has to become qualified to hear Me." And what is that qualification? That qualification is practice of bhakti-yoga. It is said, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam. Bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam means bhakti-yoga, always engaged in service of the Lord with love and affection. So teṣām, those who are always, twenty-four hours, engaged in loving service of the Lord, to him only He gives instruction, "You do like this." And what is that instruction? Yena mām upayānti te. The instruction is meant for giving him facilities to come back to home, back to Godhead. Here in this material world we are struggling for existence, and therefore we are not happy here. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) "You give up all these rascal engagement; you simply just surrender unto Me." And when we are surrendered, that surrender is oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. That means "Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, I accept Your proposal. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You." Then begin your loving service to render to Kṛṣṇa, and gradually you will get instruction from within, "You do like this, you do like this, you do like this." So it is not difficult for anyone. It is very simple thing. And what is that simple thing? Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65), means "Always think of Me, man-manāḥ. You just become My devotee." Unless one is devotee he cannot always think of Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. On the other hand, who thinks of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours, he is devotee. Therefore we are spreading this news that "You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." The chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa means thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava: "Just always think of Me."

Lecture on SB 1.2.21 -- Vrndavana, November 1, 1972:

This is another advantage of the devotee. Because Kṛṣṇa shows a special favor to the devotee. Although He's equal to everyone, He's specially, I mean, inclined favorable to the devotees. Teṣām eva anukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ. There... He takes special care. He says, samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu (BG 9.29). Although He's equal to everyone, still He's specially inclined to the devotees. For the devotees, he gives special instruction from within. Yena mām upayānti te. This is the special advantage of a devotee.

Lecture on SB 1.3.26 -- Los Angeles, October 1, 1972:

The Vedānta philosophy will reveal automatically. You haven't got to study. But provided you have got unflinching faith in God and spiritual master, all this Vedānta knowledge will be revealed within you. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya (CC Madhya 19.151). Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that you can make advancement in spiritual life by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and guru. You don't try to overlap guru and get Kṛṣṇa's mercy immediately. That is not possible. That is not possible. You have to go through the proper channel. Anyone who is thinking that "I shall make spiritual advancement without guru," he is wrongly thinking. It is not possible. Just like if you want to see a big man, you have to go through the servant of that man. You have to take permission. The servant may say, "Sir, such and such man wants to see you. He is very nice man, appears to be a good man." "Oh," the master says, "he is good man? All right, bring him." By the recommendation of the servant.

Therefore we sing daily, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. By the mercy of guru, immediately we become, get the mercy of God. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi **. Yasyāprasādāt. By... If guru is not satisfied, then na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. He has no gati. Gati means advancement. He has no advancement. Dhyāyaṁ stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyam. Therefore this Gurvaṣṭaka, saṁsāra-dāvānala, we have to sing. So God's incarnation, here it is said, "There are many incarnations." So guru is also incarnation of God, mercy incarnation of God. Guru means that... God is within you, caitya-guru, the guru, or the spiritual master, within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So this Paramātmā is also incarnation of God. And the same Paramātmā, when He comes before you, being very much merciful upon you, to teach you from outside, that is guru. Therefore it is said, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ. Guru is the mercy incarnation of God. Sākṣāt, direct. Hari-tvena, he is Hari, God. Samasta-śāstraiḥ. It is not that somewhere it is stated, somewhere it is not stated. No. In all Vedic literature. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktaḥ **. Uktaḥ means "it is said." And tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ. Sadbhiḥ, those who are real devotees, they accept this. "Yes, guru is exactly representative of Kṛṣṇa, mercy representative."

Lecture on SB 1.8.48 -- Mayapura, October 28, 1974:

So Kṛṣṇa, when instructs from within the heart, He is called caitya-guru. And that caitya-guru is expanded by the process, personal presentation of spiritual master. So both ways He is helping us. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpā. Kṛṣṇa is helping from within, but sometimes we are so dull, naturally, that we cannot understand. Therefore He sends His representative to instruct externally. So He is helping internally and externally. There is no difference between the internal and external instructor. We should take advantage of this instruction. That is called vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ, fixed-up resolution. Fixed-up resolution. If we become fixed up in this resolution, that "Whatever we have heard from my guru, the representative of Kṛṣṇa, I must execute. I do not care for my personal convenience or inconvenience. This is my life and soul," then your life is perfect. Then your life is... If I make some amendment, addition, alteration, in the name of Kṛṣṇa, guru, then it is spoiled. No. We should receive the instruction as it is, especially...

Lecture on SB 3.26.20 -- Bombay, December 29, 1974:

There is no other method for our spiritual progress. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. And there is no loss on our part. And if we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, there is no loss. You can chant, Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ: "There is no hard and fast rule for chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra." Everyone can attempt. Even the children, they are also chanting. There is no loss, but gain is very much. That is the greatest gain, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. Ceto-dar... That requires. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Just like in the mirror, if it is covered with dust, you cannot see your face, but if you cleanse the mirror very nicely, then you can see your actual face. Similarly, when our this heart is cleansed... And within the heart, Kṛṣṇa is there. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). If we try to cleanse our heart, then—Kṛṣṇa is already there—He will help immediately.

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
(SB 1.2.17)

Abhadrāṇi, the same dirty thing. Kṛṣṇa is always ready to help us provided if we take His help. Kṛṣṇa is so nice. As Paramātmā, He is living within the heart, and He is always ready to give us good advice and guide us. Caitya-guru, the guru within the heart. And this external spiritual master, he is Kṛṣṇa's representative. When He sees that "This living entity is little serious. He wants to know Me. He wants to come to Me," so He helps from within, and He sends His representative from without.

So from within and from without, Kṛṣṇa is ready to help us provided we become little anxious.

Lecture on SB 6.1.1 -- Melbourne, May 21, 1975:

Prabhupāda: Sādhu-saṅga means you have to give up the association of nondevotees. This question was asked to Śrī Caitanya was asked to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by a devotee. He was householder. So he inquired, "My dear Sir, what is the real standard of behavior of a devotee?" He immediately answered that asat-saṅga tyāga ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra (CC Madhya 22.87). "Vaiṣṇava devotee, his first behavior is he should give up unwanted association." That is first. Now, the next question will be: "What is that unwanted association?" He answered, asat eka strī-saṅgī kṛṣṇābhakta' āra: "This unwanted association means people who are too much attached to sex life, they are unwanted. And the another: nondevotee of God. They are unwanted." So you be careful not to mix with these people and come to the devotional service, then your life is perfect.

Devotee (8): Śrīla Prabhupāda, does a disciple first accept his spiritual master within the heart when he takes initiation?

Madhudvīṣa: What is the question again?

Devotee (8): When a disciple takes initiation, does he first take initiation within the heart?

Prabhupāda: Initiation is the third stage. First stage is that... Just like you have come. This is called śraddhā, faith, little faith, not full faith. Then you have to increase this faith by association of devotee. That is required. And when the faith is increased, then the question of initiation. Initiation should not be immediately offered. That will be misused. Therefore when we initiate, we inquire from the head of the temple, "How long he is coming? What is his behavior?" If he certifies that "Yes, he is doing nice," then we initiate. Our initiation is not so cheap, "You come and be initiated." No, we do not do that. We must test you first of all. Then we initiate.

Madhudviṣa: His question was that can you take initiation by accepting the spiritual master in your heart without actually taking...

Prabhupāda: These are bogus proposition. It has no meaning. (laughter) It has no meaning. If you think within yourself, "I am eating," will you be satisfied? You starve and simply think, "I have eaten everything." (laughter) Is that very practical proposal? You must eat. We don't say all these bogus proposition. All right. Thank you very much. (end)

Lecture on SB 6.3.16-17 -- Gorakhpur, February 10, 1971:

Kṛṣṇa appears in two ways. He appears as antaryāmi, the Supersoul within himself, within oneself, and He appears as the spiritual master, externally. Caitya-guru and dīkṣā-guru. Caitya-guru... As caitya-guru, as the supreme spiritual master, He is in everyone's heart. And His representative... In order to help externally the sincere person, He sends the spiritual master. Therefore the spiritual master from outside and the caitya-guru from inside, they are helping. The Supreme Personality is helping a devotee, a real, serious devotee two ways: from within, from without. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta therefore says that kṛṣṇera prakāśa, manifestation of Kṛṣṇa, a spiritual master. And Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasya aprasādād na gatiḥ kuto 'pi: ** "If I can satisfy my spiritual master, then I understand that Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. And if I cannot satisfy my spiritual master, then I have no other way to approach Kṛṣṇa." These songs we sing every day. So my Guru Mahārāja used to say that "Instead of seeing Kṛṣṇa, you serve so faithfully that Kṛṣṇa will see you." That should be the process. Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent. He can see you, He can understand you, what are doing. So we have to execute devotional service in such a faithful way that Kṛṣṇa will see us. Then you will be successful. "Don't try to see Kṛṣṇa. Try to become seen by Kṛṣṇa." That was my Guru Mahārāja's instruction. Cakṣur yathaiva kṛtayaiva antaḥ-param. Tasyātma-tantrasya harer ahīśituḥ parasya māyādhipater mahātmanaḥ. Evaṁ bhūtaḥ parameśvaraḥ mad-anyad astīti.

Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- Montreal, June 12, 1968:

Just like the sunshine, the sunlight, is everywhere, similarly, Kṛṣṇa is everywhere. As we understand from the Brahma-saṁhitā, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham: (Bs. 5.35) "Kṛṣṇa, or God, is within this universe and within this room, within your heart, even within the atom." Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham. So Kṛṣṇa is within you. As soon as you become sincere, Kṛṣṇa responds from within. If you want Kṛṣṇa, or God, sincerely, then the help will come two ways: from without, from within. From without, by these books of knowledge, by the instruction of spiritual master, you will get help from without. And as soon as you are serious to follow, then you will get instruction from within also, within.

It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam: (BG 10.10) "One who is seriously engaged in My service with faith and devotion." Prīti-pūrvakam. Prīti means love, not that official. As soon as there is less salary, oh, there is strike. Not that kind of love. They are considered that government servant and very faithful to the country's service, but as soon as a country or government does not pay, everything is rejected. So Kṛṣṇa service does not mean like that, that as soon as Kṛṣṇa Practically, Kṛṣṇa gives everything. One who knows, one who is intelligent, he knows that Kṛṣṇa is supplying him everything. Actually, Kṛṣṇa is supplying, either you give service or not service. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Even those who are not serving Kṛṣṇa directly Everyone is serving Kṛṣṇa but not directly. What is the difference between ordinary man and this Kṛṣṇa consciousness man? The difference is that Kṛṣṇa consciousness man knows that "I am eternal servant of God. Therefore let me willingly serve Kṛṣṇa." And others, they are also serving Kṛṣṇa, but by force, by māyā, by the qualities of nature.

Lecture on SB 7.9.8 -- Calcutta, March 5, 1972:

So brahmādayaḥ, Brahma is ādi, ādi-kavi. He was instructed by Kṛṣṇa, tene brahma ādi-kavaye. Lord Kṛṣṇa, He instructed Brahma to spread knowledge, Vedic knowledge, all over the universe. Tene. Tene means broadcasted, expanded. So tene brahma, brahma means śabda-brahma, Vedas. Hṛda, one may question how Brahma was instructed. So that is also stated, hṛda. Hṛda means from within the heart. So, therefore, Kṛṣṇa is also caitya-guru, a guru, spiritual master, within the heart. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭhaḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says that "I am situated in everyone's heart." Sarvasya ca ahaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. Sarvasya cāham hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). "From Me one can remember, one can forget." How is that? Kṛṣṇa helps one to remember and one helps..., He helps one to forget. That is also replied in the Bhagavad-gītā, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11). If you want to forget Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will give you facilities to forget Him forever. And if you want to remember Kṛṣṇa, He will give you facilities to remember Him.

Lecture on SB 7.9.9 -- Mayapur, February 16, 1976:

So gaja-yūtha-pāya. Here it is..., even the elephant, he also become a great devotee. Even a monkey, Hanumānjī, he became a great devotee. He's not even human. So therefore bhakti is apratihatā. It cannot be checked in any condition. In any condition you become bhakta simply if you learn from the authorities how to do it. That greatest authority is Kṛṣṇa. He says, "I'll give you intelligence," buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. "I'll give you." How? Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). If one is working under the direction of the spiritual master with love and faith, then Kṛṣṇa from within, as caitya-guru, the guru within the heart, He'll help you, and He'll send you bona fide guru to help you externally. So both ways you'll be helped, and you'll become Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.118-119 -- New York, November 23, 1966:

If you want to worship the Supreme Lord, then you have to worship Him simply by service. There is no other process. You cannot worship Kṛṣṇa by this controlling breathing or by mental speculation or by some pious activities or by charities. You have simply to worship Him simply by your devotional love. That is the only way. Bhaktyai, bhaktyaika, only one, bhakti. There is no other means. There is no second means to understand God without this devotional service. Rest assured. Foolish creatures, they take this, that. They do not understand. They come to the, that impersonal, void, all the nonsensical conclusions and... Because they do not take shelter of this, devotion, therefore they cannot have any conclusion. It is not possible. Therefore, more or less, they become atheists or after the voidness or impersonalism, and so many things there are. They create.

But because Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, cannot be understood by any other process... It is simply waste of time. If you want to know Kṛṣṇa, if you want to know God, then you have to take this process. That is a... Bhaktyaikayeśam, ābhajet tam bhaktyaikayeśaṁ guru-devatātmā: "He is the Supreme Lord, He is the Supersoul, and He is the supreme spiritual master." In this way. He's the supreme spiritual master within you. As soon as you will take to devotional service, He'll give you dictation, "You do this." What dictation? To go to hell? No. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. In the Bhagavad-gītā: "I give him intelligence." Why? What for? Yena mām upayānti te: "By which he can come back to Me." That buddhi-yogam. He'll help you. If you think something... If He takes seriously about your case, if you are fully surrendered, then He'll direct you in such a way that you cannot go elsewhere except to Him, even sometimes you may find that "He is doing something against my will." I have got my personal experience. I never tried, never accepted that I shall become a sannyāsī. And I tried my best to keep myself in this material world. And He has, several times He has frustrated me and has brought me by force (to) this life. And now I am happy. I can understand that how much favor has Kṛṣṇa showed me. Yes. I did not understand in the beginning.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.121-124 -- New York, November 25, 1966:

So what is the utility of this Vedic knowledge? Now, by understanding, by hearing from authorized sources, or by reading from authorized sources, the forgetful living entities will come to his senses. That is the purpose. He will come to his sense: "Oh, my position is this, and I am suffering in this way." So śāstra-guru-ātma-rūpe āpanāre jānāna. So Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, is always anxious to revive the memory of these forgotten souls, conditioned souls. Now, how He revives? He revives in śāstra. Śāstra means scripture. Śāstra, guru, spiritual master. Śāstra, guru, ātma-rūpe. And sometimes He comes Himself or as Paramātmā, or the Supersoul. He is giving you instruction from within as Paramātmā, He's sending you suitable spiritual master so can, you can have instruction without, and the books are, the scriptures are there. So many facilities the Lord has created. And therefore the human form of life is meant for utilizing all these facilities. In the animal form of life there is no facility. They cannot read śāstra. They cannot understand scripture. They cannot take the advantage of a bona fide spiritual master. They cannot consult within with God. They have no this capacity. Their consciousness is so undeveloped that it is not possible to have, utilize all these facilities. But in human form of life we can utilize all these facilities.

Sri Isopanisad Lectures

Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 11 -- Los Angeles, May 16, 1970:

So avidyā mṛtyum. If you do not go, then you remain in darkness. It is... Vedic injunction is gacchet. This is a verb, form of verb, which says "must." It is not that "Oh, I may accept a spiritual master; I may not. There are books. I shall learn it." No. Therefore the injunction is gacchet. Gacchet means "must go," not that alternative, may go or may not go. No. "Must go." Tad-vijñānārtham, in order to understand that knowledge, that science, you must go. Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Otherwise you remain in avidyā. Vidyām avidyām ca: two sides, darkness and light. So you must know two things: what is māyā and what is Kṛṣṇa. Then your knowledge is perfect. Of course, Kṛṣṇa is so nice that somehow or other, if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, then your all business finished. You automatically will learn what is māyā if you have got full surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will give you intelligence from within. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151), Caitanya-caritāmṛta. "By the mercy of spiritual master and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, one enters into this devotional service." How is that? The mercy is parallel line. If you have not found out a spiritual master, but if you are sincere, then Kṛṣṇa will take you to a bona fide spiritual master. And if you get a bona fide spiritual master, then he will take you to Kṛṣṇa. So both things parallel. If you are sincere... Kṛṣṇa is always sitting within your heart, caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. That spiritual master within the heart manifests himself externally as spiritual master. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ **. Sākṣāt, directly, directly representative of Kṛṣṇa. This is the verdict of all śāstras. Samasta. Samasta means all śāstra. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva **. And it is not only stated, but it is accepted as such by all great sadbhiḥ, devotees.

Festival Lectures

Sri Vyasa-puja -- London, August 22, 1973:

Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So He is called caitya-guru, means guru within the heart. And when Kṛṣṇa understands... Because Kṛṣṇa knows everything, whatever we are willing, whatever we are doing. He is the Paramātmā; He's sitting within our hearts as witness. Anumanta upadṛṣṭā. Upadṛṣṭā means simply observing what we are doing, and what we are desiring. So as we desire, Kṛṣṇa is very kind, He gives us facility. We have many times explained. Therefore, we have got varieties of bodies to enjoy this material world. So when Kṛṣṇa sees that a living entity is very anxious to understand Him or to revive his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Kṛṣṇa gives him all opportunity, especially by manifesting Himself as the spiritual master. Antar bahiḥ. The spiritual master is therefore Kṛṣṇa's manifestation-Kṛṣṇa's mercy manifestation to help a person to develop his Kṛṣṇa consciousness. From within He's helping. Therefore, He's called caitya-guru, and from without, He sends His representative to help how to become advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Initiation Lectures

Brahmana Initiation Lecture with Professor O'Connell -- Boston, May 6, 1968, (Glenville Ave. Temple):

Hṛdā means "through the heart." And that is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, that buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam, "I give instruction, buddhi-yogam, the yoga principle of intelligence or bhakti-yoga." Whom? Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). One who is engaged with love and affection in devotional service, to him He gives instruction.

Not to all. Samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu (BG 9.29). God is equal to everyone. That is a fact. So far eating, sleeping, mating, these four principles are concerned, God is giving everyone. Just like government provides maintenance, provision, even in the prison life. That is not very important thing for government. But education department or other higher cultural department, that is not for all. Similarly, although God is equal to everyone, he's especially inclined to the devotees. Ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā teṣu te mayi. Those who are engaged in devotional service, He's specially inclined to him. And to him he gives instruction from within. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām (BG 10.10). Satata means always. Twenty-four hours, one who is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to him He gives instruction from within because he's qualified. Others, instruction He's giving, but other is not obeying the instruction. Just like a man is ready to commit some sinful activities. He thinks, "Shall I do it?" From within, "No, no. Don't do it." Again he says, "Why not? Let me do it." In this way, when he insists, oh, then He says, "All right, do it. Do it." So the word that "Nothing can happen without the sanction of God," that is a fact. Nobody can act anything... Then the question is why a man acts sinfully? Why...? Does God give sanction for sinful action? Yes. When one insists that "I shall do it." "All right, do it. And suffer the consequences."

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on Edmund Husserl:

Śyāmasundara: Behind hearing one sound, the proof of that understanding of sound in general is the sky, like that. In an elective process, this is a process for understanding these things.

Prabhupāda: On the whole, his process is mental speculation.

Śyāmasundara: So he says that in things there is a self-evident truth. In everything there is something self-evident that makes it true. Is that not possible?

Prabhupāda: That self-evidence is certain (indistinct). Just like this leaf, that you see the greenness of the leaf, but that is not all. If you actually want to study that leaf, simply the superficial vision of the leaf as green is not all.

Śyāmasundara: No.

Prabhupāda: So a person who has adaksi, sense perception, they cannot have perfect knowledge. He has seen simply phenomenon. Behind this phenomenon they cannot see. Therefore their knowledge is imperfect.

Devotee: So then if we (indistinct), Lord Brahmā took instruction from within his heart, we can understand that he had a pure heart, he was able to take instruction from Kṛṣṇa from within, that his heart was pure.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: But when that contaminated consciousness, in..., that kind of knowledge is unacceptable to him, in that contamination.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That's it.

Śyāmasundara: It's just like if I understand the science that the greenness has a wavelength of 550 millimicrons per second...

Prabhupāda: So how does he know this measure?

Śyāmasundara: Well, if..., I'm saying "if." How does that understanding, scientific understanding, help my understanding of the greenness? It doesn't really enhance anything, just to know that it is a wavelength of light, greenness.

Prabhupāda: So if you are satisfied that the..., with the external feature of the leaf, if you don't want to go deep into the matter, then that is also knowledge-superficial knowledge.

Śyāmasundara: No. He wants to go deep into the matter.

Prabhupāda: How he can go deep into the matter? Because he doesn't want to consult anybody, and he cannot see beyond that superficial greenness. There are so many things which are not visible to our view. They are outside.

Śyāmasundara: Just like you have said that the sound was a symptom of the sky, that...

Prabhupāda: That..., that..., that symptom the sky we understand from the scientist, not that personally I have understood that sound is a symptom of the sky. It is the scientists, those who are dealing with physics, they say that the sky, the symptom of sky is sound.

Śyāmasundara: Well, it seems like I could...

Prabhupāda: That is (Sanskrit). That is not sense perception. That is a perception received from other authorities.

Śyāmasundara: So it seems like I could come to that same conclusion without consulting a scientist, that I could...

Prabhupāda: You cannot. That is our version. You cannot. Because simply you are puzzled with the sound, that's all. So wherefrom the sound comes, you have to approach the authorities.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 5, 1974, Bombay:

Girirāja: "The Blessed Lord said: All the great warriors—Droṇa, Bhīṣma, Jayadratha, Karṇa—are already destroyed. Simply fight, and you will vanquish your enemies."

Prabhupāda: So this is our duty. Just like in this particular case, about our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that so many people are giving me the credit. Actually, I have no credit. It is already desired or it is already planned that "This time in Western countries, this saṅkīrtana movement..." So it is our duty. Similarly, our only duty is to carry out the order of the Supreme. Other things is already done by Him. So if we abide by the orders of the Supreme, then we get the credit. We should know that. So our only thing is to abide by the... That is... Another place, Bhagavad-gītā, is explained

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
buddhayo 'vyavasāyinām
(BG 2.41)

So those who are vyavasāya, niścayātmika-buddhi, their duty is to carry out the orders of the Supreme. And the Supreme is giving order in two ways: as caittya-guru from within and as spiritual master. Inside and outside.

Room Conversation with Irish Poet, Desmond O'Grady -- May 23, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: Yes, the best friend is the spiritual master because he saves from the blazing fire of confusion. That is best friend.

O'Grady: The problem is to find this friend. The problem is to find this spiritual master.

Prabhupāda: No, there is no problem. The problem is if you are sincere. Yes. That is stated. Because actually you have got problems, but God is within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). God is not far away. God is within your heart. So if you are sincere, then God will give you spiritual master. If He knows that now you are sincere, then He will give you a spiritual master.

O'Grady: O.K. Thank you. That I know.

Prabhupāda: Therefore God is called caittya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. And the physical spiritual master is God's mercy. If God sees that you are sincere, He will give you a spiritual master who can give you protection. He will help you from within and without, without in the physical form of spiritual master, and within as the spiritual master within the heart. That is stated,

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmāyān sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
(BG 18.61)

All our questions are answered in the Bhagavad-gītā very nicely.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with writer, Sandy Nixon -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia:

Sandy Nixon: O.K. This question's a hard one for me to ask because it shows ignorance on my part. But I'm not asking it in ignorance. I want your answer on tape, O.K.? Does all desire ultimately have to go, including the desire to attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you will have simply rubbish desires. And when you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, then you desire rightly.

Sandy Nixon: The aim of many spiritual paths is to find the guru within.

Prabhupāda: Within?

Sandy Nixon: The guru within. Is this different...?

Prabhupāda: Who says that, to find guru within?

Sandy Nixon: Um...

Jayatīrtha: Kirpal Singh, he's one person who says that.

Guru dāsa: Krishnamurti says that also.

Prabhupāda: So why does he come to teach? (laughter) This rascal, why does he come to teach? This is the answer. These things are spoken by rascals. He has come to teach, and he says, "Find out guru within." Then why you have come to teach? Because people are not intelligent, they cannot catch him. He talks all nonsense, and they hear, that's all.

Guru dāsa: He also has written a book about "No books are needed." (laughter)

Prabhupāda: So you can find out how rascal he is. Is it not? Do you admit or not? He writes book, and he says, "There is no need of books." He has come to teach, and he says, "There is no need of teacher. Teacher is within." Is he not a rascal?

Visnu Murti +
January 6, 0014 JL +
January 6, 0014 JL +
BG: 1 +, SB: 7 +, CC: 4 +, OB: 3 +, Lec: 18 +, Conv: 3 +  and Let: 0 +