VI Sannyasi as Guru.

>> “Srila Prabhupada Quotes” > Sannyasi As Guru

1. Constitutionally guru
2. Accepts serious students
3. Spiritual master of varnas and asramas
4. Spiritual master of the brahmanas
5. As spiritual master with brahmacari as disciple
6. Gives names to brahmacaries
7. Does not attract disciples through material allurement
8. Must be free from vices before sitting on vyasasana
9. Definition of jagat guru
10. Guru must be an uttama adhikary
11. Some pose as gurus to cheat

1. CONSTITUTIONALLY GURU (top)

A SANNYASI IS CONSTITUTIONALLY GURU OF ALL DIVISIONS

The society of human beings is naturally divided into eight by orders and statuses of life-the four divisions of occupation and four divisions of cultural advancement. The intelligent class, the administrative class, the productive class and the laborer class are the four divisions of occupation. And the student life, the householder’s life, retired life and renounced life are the four statuses of cultural advancement towards the path of spiritual realization. Out of these, the renounced order of life, or the order of sannyasa, is considered the highest of all, and a sannyasi is constitutionally the spiritual master for all the orders and divisions.
(Bhag. 1.3.13 purp.)

A SANNYASI CAN BE A SPIRITUAL MASTER PART I

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

“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.”
(Cc. Madhya 8.128 )

A SANNYASI CAN BE A SPIRITUAL MASTER PART II

Thus Lord Caitanya clearly showed that a sincere student never cares whether his spiritual master is born in a high brahmana family or ksatriya family, or whether he is a sannyasi, brahmacari or whatever. Whoever can teach one about the science of Krsna is to be accepted as guru.
(TLC ch. 30, page 316 )

2. ACCEPTS SERIOUS STUDENTS (top)

THE PROCESS OF ACCEPTING DISCIPLES BY A SANNYASI DESCRIBED

One who has accepted the sannyasa order of life is forbidden to accept as a disciple anyone who is not fit. A sannyasi should first of all examine whether a prospective student is sincerely seeking Krsna consciousness. If he is not, he should not be accepted. However, Lord Caitanya’s causeless mercy is such that He advised all bona-fide spiritual masters to speak about Krsna consciousness everywhere. Therefore, in the line of Lord Caitanya, even the sannyasi can speak about Krsna consciousness everywhere, and if someone is seriously inclined to become a disciple, the sannyasi always accepts him. However, if one increases the number of disciples simply for some prestige or false honor, he will surely fall down in the matter of executing Krsna consciousness.
(NOD ch. 7, page 65 )

3. SPIRITUAL MASTER OF VARNAS AND ASRAMAS (top)

THE SANNYASA ORDER IS THE MOST ELEVATED, THEREFORE THE SANNYASI IS THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF ALL THE VARNAS AND ASRAMAS

TRANSLATION: “If these rogues offer Me obeisances, the reactions of their sinful activities will be nullified. Then, if I induce them, they will take to devotional service.
“I must certainly deliver all these fallen souls who blaspheme Me and do not offer Me obeisances.”
“I should accept the sannyasa order of life, for thus people will offer Me their obeisances, thinking of Me as member of the renounced order.
PURPORT: Among the spiritual orders, …the sannyasa order is the most elevated. Therefore a sannyasi is the spiritual master of all the varnas and asramas, and a brahmana is also expected to offer obeisances to a sannyasi. Unfortunately, however, caste brahmanas do not offer obeisances to a Vaisnava sannyasi. They are so proud that they do not offer obeisances even to Indian sannyasis, not to speak of European and American sannyasis. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, expected that even the caste brahmanas would offer respectful obeisances to a sannyasi because five hundred years ago the social custom was to offer obeisances immediately to any sannyasi, known or unknown. The sannyasis of the Krsna consciousness movement are bona fide. All the students of the Krsna consciousness movement have undergone the regular process of initiation. As enjoined in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa by Sanatana Gosvami, tatha diksa-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrnam: by the regular process of initiation, any man can become a brahmana. Thus in the beginning the students of our Krsna consciousness movement agree to live with devotees, and gradually, having given up four prohibited activities–illicit sex, gambling, meat-eating and intoxication–they become advanced in the activities of spiritual life. When one is found to be regularly following these principles, he is given the first initiation (hari-nama), and he regularly chants at least sixteen rounds a day. Then after six months or a year, he is initiated for the second time and given the sacred thread with the regular sacrifice and rituals. After some time, when he advances still further and is willing to give up this material world, he is given the sannyasa order. At that time he receives the title svami or gosvami, both of which mean “master of the senses.” Unfortunately, debauched so-called brahmanas in India neither offer them respect nor accept them as bona fide sannyasis. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu expected the so- called brahmanas to offer respect to such Vaisnava san nyasis. Nevertheless, it does not matter whether they offer respect, nor whether they accept these sannyasis as bona fide, for the sastra describes punishment for such disobedient so-called brahmanas. The sastric injunction declares:

devata-pratimam drstva yatim caiva tridandinam
namaskaram na kuryad yah prayascittiyate narah

“One who does not offer respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to His Deity in the temple or to a tridandi sannyasi must undergo prayascitta [atonement].” If one does not offer obeisances to such a sannyasi, the prescribed prayascitta is to fast for one day.
(Cc. Adi 17.263/264/265)

THE SANNYASI IS CONSTITUTIONALLY SPIRITUAL MASTER OF ALL OTHER DIVISIONS

The society of human beings is naturally divided into eight by orders and statuses of life… Out of these, the renounced order of life, or the order of sannyasa, is considered the highest of all, and a sannyasi is constitutionally the spiritual master for all the orders and divisions.
(Bhag. 1.3.13, purp.)

THE SANNYASI AS MASTER OF VARNASRAMA

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu decided to accept the order and become an ideal sannyasi so that the general populace would show Him respect. One is duty bound to show respect to a sannyasi, for a sannyasi is considered to be the master of all varnas and asramas.
(Bhag. Intro., page 15)

A SANNYASI IS THE PRECEPTOR OF ALL THE VARNAS AND ASRAMAS

Lord Caitanya appeared in the family of a high-caste brahmana, and over and above that as sannyasi He was the preceptor for all the varnas and asramas.
(Bhag. Intro., page 37 )

A SANNYASI IS THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF THE HOUSEHOLDERS

A person who is a householder but is initiated by a sannyasi has the duty to spread Krsna consciousness at home; as far as possible, he should call his friends and neighbors to his house and hold classes in Krsna consciousness. Holding a class means chanting the holy name of Krsna and speaking from Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam. There are immense literatures for spreading Krsna consciousness, and it is the duty of each and every householder to learn about Krsna from his sannyasi spiritual master.
(Bhag. 3.21.31 , purp.)

4. SPIRITUAL MASTER OF THE BRAHMANAS (top)

A SANNYASI IS ALSO THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF THE BRAHMANAS

In the varnasrama institution the sannyasi, or the person in the renounced order of life, is considered to be the head or the spiritual master of all the social statuses and orders. A brahmana is considered to be the spiritual master of the three other sections of society, namely, the ksatriyas, the vaisyas, and the sudras,

but a sannyasi, who is on the top of the institution, is considered to be the spiritual master of the brahmanas also.
(B.g. 16.1-3 purp.)

SANNYASI IS THE PRECEPTOR OF ALL VARNAS AND ASRAMAS

Lord Caitanya appeared in the family of a high-caste brahmana, and over and above that as sannyasi He was the preceptor for all the varnas and asramas.
(Bhag. Intro., page 37 )

5. AS SPIRITUAL MASTER WITH BRAHMACARI AS DISCIPLE (top)

A SANNYASI IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SPIRITUAL MASTER AND A BRAHMACARI HIS DISCIPLE

TRANSLATION: As a bona fide devotee, Balabhadra Bhattacarya, the twenty-third principal associate, acted as the brahmacari of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He toured Mathura.
PURPORT: Balabhadra Bhattacarya acted as a brahmacari, or personal assistant of a sannyasi. A sannyasi is not supposed to cook. Generally a sannyasi takes prasada at the house of a grhastha, and a brahmacari helps in this connection. A sannyasi is supposed to be a spiritual master and a brahmacari his disciple. Balabhadra Bhattacarya acted as a brahmacari for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when the Lord toured Mathura and Vrndavana.
(Cc. Adi 10.146 )

A BRAHMACARI ACCEPTS A SANNYASI AS HIS GURU

A brahmacari is supposed to engage in the service of a sannyasi and accept him as his guru.
(Cc Adi 7.6 4 purp.)

THE MEANING OF THE NAME CAITANYA IS: HUMBLE SERVANT OF THE SANNYASI

The Lord took sannyasa from Kesava Bharati in the Bharati sampradaya, in which the brahmacaris (the assistants of the sannyasis) are named “Caitanya”. Even after accepting sannyasa, Caitanya Mahaprabhu retained the name “Caitanya”, meaning a humble servant of a sannyasi.
(Cc. Madhya 6.6 9 purp.)

6. GIVES NAMES TO BRAHMACARIS (top)

THE SANNYASI’S BRAHMACARI ASSISTANTS ARE CALLED VARIOUS NAMES ACCORDING TO THE NAME OF THE SANNYASI

Among the sannyasis of the Sankara-sampradaya there are different names for brahmacaris. Each sannyasi has some assistants, known as brahmacaris, who are called by different names according to the name of the sannyasi.
(Cc. Adi 5.149 , purp.)

7. DOES NOT ATTRACT DISCIPLES THROUGH MATERIAL ALLUREMENT (top)

A SANNYASI IS PROHIBITED TO MAKE DISCIPLES THROUGH MATERIAL ALLUREMENTS

TRANSLATION: A sannyasi must not present allurements of material benefits to gather many disciples, nor should he unnecessarily read many books or give discourses as a means of livelihood. He must never attempt to increase material opulences unnecessarily.
PURPORT: So-called svamis and yogis generally make disciples by alluring them with material benefits. There are many so-called gurus who attract disciples by promising to cure their diseases or increase their material opulence by manufacturing gold. These are lucrative allurements for unintelligent men. A sannyasi is prohibited from making disciples through such material allurements.
(Bhag. 7.13.8 )

ONE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT DISCIPLES FOR THE SAKE OF FASHION OR POPULARITY

Nor should one accept a disciple for the sake of fashion or popularity.
(Bhag. 7.13.7 , purp.)

8. MUST BE FREE FROM VICES BEFORE SITTING ON VYASASANA (top)

A GOSVAMI MUST BE FREE FROM ALL VICES BEFORE HE CAN DARE SIT ON THE VYASASANA; INDEED, HE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SIT ON THE VYASASANA UNLESS HE IS SPOTLESS IN CHARACTER

A gosvami, or the bona fide representative of Sri Vyasadeva, must be free from all kinds of vices. The four major vices of Kali-yuga are (1 ) illicit connection with women, (2 ) animal slaughter, (3 ) intoxication, (4 ) speculative gambling of all sorts. A gosvami must be free from all these vices before he can dare sit on the vyasasana. No one should be allowed to sit on the vyasasana who is not spotless in character and who is not freed from the above-mentioned vices. He not only should be freed from all such vices, but must also be well versed in all revealed scriptures or in the Vedas. The Puranas are also parts of the Vedas. And histories like the Mahabharata or Ramayana are also parts of the Vedas. The acarya or the gosvami must be well acquainted with all these literatures. To hear and explain them is more important than reading them. One can assimilate the knowledge of the revealed scriptures only by hearing and explaining. Hearing is called sravana, and explaining is called kirtana. The two processes of sravana and kirtana are of primary importance to progressive spiritual life. Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.
(Bhag. 1.1.6, purp.)

9. DEFINITION OF JAGAT GURU (top)

DEFINITION OF JAGAT GURU

Srila Rupa Gosvami, however, has explained that jagad-guru properly refers to one who is the controller of his tongue, mind, words, belly, genitals and anger. Prthivim sa sisyat: such a jagad-guru is completely fit to make disciples all over the world.
(Cc. Adi 7.64 )

10. GURU MUST BE AN UTTAMA ADHIKARY (top)

ONE SHOULD NOT BECOME A GURU UNLESS ONE HAS ATTAINED THE PLATFORM OF UTTAMA-ADHIKARY, AND A DISCIPLE SHOULD BE CAREFUL TO ACCEPT AS SPIRITUAL MASTER AN UTTAMA-ADHIKARY

In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikary, madhyama-adhikary, and uttama- adhikary. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikary Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama- adhikary. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well towards the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikary as a spiritual master.
(NOI text 5, page 58 )

11. SOME POSE AS GURUS TO CHEAT (top)

SOME SANNYASIS BECOME GURUS JUST TO MAINTAIN A HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that there are many materialistic persons who become preachers, gurus, religionists or philosophers only for the sake of maintaining a high standard of living and sense gratification for themselves and their families. Sometimes they adopt the dress of a sannyasi or preacher. They train some of their family members as lawyers and continually seek help from a high court to acquire riches on the plea of maintaining temples. Although such persons may call themselves preachers, live in Vrindavana or Navadvipa, and also print many religious books, it is all for the same purpose, namely to earn a living to maintain their wives and children. They may also professionally recite the Bhagavatam or other scriptures, worship the Deity in the temple and initiate disciples. Making a show of devotional paraphernalia, they may also collect money from the public and use it to cure the disease of some family member or near relative. Sometimes they become babajis or collect money on the plea of worshipping the poor, whom they call daridra-narayana, or for social and political upliftment. Thus they spread a network of business schemes to collect money for sense gratification by cheating people in general who have no knowledge of pure devotional service. Such cheaters cannot understand that by offering devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can be elevated to a position of eternal servitude to the Lord, which is even greater than the position of Brahma and other demigods. Unfortunately, fools have no understanding of the perpetual pleasure of devotional service.
(Cc. Antya 9.69 , purp.)