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A spiritual master should not be sought after to fulfill one's sense gratification

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Expressions researched:
"A spiritual master should not be sought after to fulfill one's sense gratification"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Why one should approach a spiritual master unless one is inquisitive to understand if there is anything beyond this material world? Otherwise there is no need of seeking a spiritual master. A spiritual master should not be sought after to fulfill one's sense gratification. No. One should be very much eager to understand, to know the science of Brahman, which is beyond this material existence, and then he should very seriously seek after a spiritual master.


Lecture on SB 11.3.21 -- New York, April 13, 1969:

Now, in order to approach a bona fide spiritual master, one must be very much disgusted with this material way of life. That is very nice qualification. Unless one he's disgusted with this materialistic way of life, that actually in this materialistic way of life there is no happiness . . . this proposition must be convinced by one, that he should know certainly that, "In the material way of life I cannot become happy." This is the first condition. Tasmād. Tasmād means "therefore."

Similarly, in Vedānta-sūtra also, atha . . . ataḥ brahma-jijñāsā. When we become fed up, disgusted with the materialistic way of life, natural inquiry is then "What is next?" That "next," in order to understand that "next," the Vedānta-sūtra says, the Vedic knowledge says that tasmād gurum evābhigacchet. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. Therefore one should seek after a bona fide spiritual master and learn there. That is the Vedic injunction.

So one who is actually convinced that, "The materialistic way of life cannot make me happy," his duty is to seek after a bona fide spiritual master to be enlightened in the transcendental science of understanding oneself and what is God. There are five elementary truths. The living entity . . . we are all living entities, cats and dogs or animals.

There are 8,400,000's of different kinds of . . . according to different kinds of bodies. The living entity is one, spirit soul, but according to his body he is claiming. Just like you have got American body, you are claiming that, "I am American." I have got Indian body, I am claiming, "I am Indian." This is by bodily designation. Similarly, a cat has got a body of cat; he is thinking, "I am cat." A dog has got a dog's body; he's thinking that, "I am dog."

So there are 8,400,000 species of life. They are claiming, "I am this and that." Actually, he is spirit soul. He is spirit soul and eternal servant of the Supreme Lord. That is his constitutional position, but he has forgotten. Some way or other, he does not know. And in order to invoke that original knowledge, which is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one should approach a bona fide spiritual master. That is the way. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21).

Why one should approach a spiritual master unless one is inquisitive to understand if there is anything beyond this material world? Otherwise there is no need of seeking a spiritual master. A spiritual master should not be sought after to fulfill one's sense gratification. No.

One should be very much eager to understand, to know the science of Brahman, which is beyond this material existence, and then he should very seriously seek after a spiritual master. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ. Jijñāsuḥ means inquisitive. What kind of inquisitiveness? Not that we are inquisitive about politics or economics or some football result or some . . . so many things we have got.

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that there are many questions by the conditioned soul. There are many questions by the conditioned soul living within this material existence without any knowledge of the self-realization. There are many questions.

So that sort of question is not required to be solved by the spiritual master. The spiritual master should be approached by a person who is inquisitive to understand śreya uttamam, what is the highest benefit, spiritual benefit, beyond this material existence. For that purpose. Śreya. Śreya means the benefit, highest benefit. Preya and śreya. Preya means immediately I want some benefit, and śreya means the ultimate benefit. One who is inquisitive about the ultimate benefit, he should be inquisitive or inquire from a bona fide spiritual master. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam.

Now, the next question is, "Who is spiritual master where I have to go and inquire?" Otherwise I'll be misled. I may approach a person who is not actually bona fide spiritual master. That should also be known. And what is that? That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Vedas and Bhagavad-gītā—everywhere the same thing is. Here also it is said that you should approach a bona fide spiritual master—jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam—to whom?

Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam (SB 11.3.21): one who has actually taken full bath in the ocean of transcendental knowledge. Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam. Śābde means the transcendental sound. The Vedic words, hymns, are called transcendental sound, and the gist of all such sound is oṁ, or Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma . . . so one has to take bath in the ocean of this transcendental sound, then he is bona fide spiritual master. Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam.

And what is the symptom? Everyone can say that, "I have taken full bath in this transcendental sound," but the symptom is there. What is that symptom? Śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam: he has taken shelter of the Supreme Brahman, finishing all material activities. He has no more any material activities. He is simply after the Supreme Brahman, or Kṛṣṇa. This is the qualification.