We are now in material condition of life, therefore we do not understand what is God and what is our aim. Therefore it is called ajnana, ignorance. Therefore one who dissipates this ignorance, he is called guru

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"we are now in material condition of life, therefore we do not understand what is God and what is our aim. Therefore it is called ajnana, ignorance. Therefore one who dissipates this ignorance, he is called guru"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

If God is alive, then part and parcel are alive. Just like if my body is alive, the finger is alive, because finger is part and parcel of my body, similarly, if God is alive, we are alive. And because we are now in material condition of life, therefore we do not understand what is God and what is our aim. Therefore it is called ajñāna, ignorance. Therefore one who dissipates this ignorance, he is called guru.
Lecture on SB 1.1.1 -- Caracas, February 20, 1975:

If you say, "I can't believe it, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything," that is of course your business, your independence. Then you wait for many, many births, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). You come to the same conclusion. But because you have denied, you have to wait for many, many births. You have to come to this conclusion because He is the origin of everything, sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam (Bs. 5.1). So there is no other second or alternative. You have (to) come to that conclusion. But if you don't accept now, you will have to wait for many, many births. But even that, if you are intelligent enough and if you have to accept because Kṛṣṇa says blindly, that is also good. Just like gold. Gold, you accept blindly or by chemical examination, the gold is the same. So if you are scientist, if you say that "First of all I shall test whether it is gold and chemical composition and other ingredients. Then I will accept you" ...And somebody says, "No, my father says it is gold. My Guru Mahārāja says it is gold. Well, so many ācāryas says it is gold," then you accept it, gold. So one accepts gold by the authoritative statement of the superiors, and one accepts gold by chemical analysis. So one who accepts by the authority's statement, he is more advanced. He immediately gets the gold immediately. And those who are awaiting for chemical examination, they will get it. They will also know, but it will take time.

So in this Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa Himself explains Himself, analytical study, and Vyāsadeva presents Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, "Here is God, Kṛṣṇa." Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Now it is up to you to take it or reject it. That is your business, but things are ready for acceptance. So everyone is searching after what is God. Somebody says, "There is no God." Somebody says, "God is dead." Somebody, "Something, something," but no. God is neither dead nor the action, action that "There is no God"—both of them foolishness. God is not dead; neither we are dead. Because we are part and parcel of God. So if God is alive, then part and parcel are alive. Just like if my body is alive, the finger is alive, because finger is part and parcel of my body, similarly, if God is alive, we are alive. And because we are now in material condition of life, therefore we do not understand what is God and what is our aim. Therefore it is called ajñāna, ignorance. Therefore one who dissipates this ignorance, he is called guru.

ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

The guru means he gives light to the persons who are living in darkness. So that is the motto in our Back to Godhead paper, that "Godhead is light, and nescience is darkness. Where there is God, there is no nescience." So Kṛṣṇa or God or light, the same thing. If you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there will be no more ignorance. Just like here there is light, electric light. There is no darkness. The darkness is there, but when there is light, darkness automatically goes away. Similarly, if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then darkness of life immediately goes away. And that is required in human life. The animal life means full of darkness, and the human life, although full of darkness, it can be dissipated. So our request is—we are pushing this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement everywhere all over the world—just to drive away the darkness of ignorance and come to the light of knowledge. So this center is open for this purpose. I request you, all of you, to take advantage of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and be enlightened and be happy in your life. Thank you very much.