So guru, means, spiritual master means, who can deliver one from this forest fire. Just like when there is forest fire, the animals are very much disturbed, and they die mostly. The snakes, they die immediately. So this forest fire, saṁsāra-dāvānala, is going on perpetually, and the person, or the authorized person who can deliver you from this forest fire of material existence, he's called guru, or the spiritual master.
Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam. How he delivers? What is his means? The same example: Where there is fire in the forest, you cannot send fire brigade, or you cannot go there with bucketful of waters to extinguish the fire. That is not possible. Then how it will be extinguished? Fire means it requires water to be extinguished. But where the water is coming from? From your bucket or from your fire brigade? No. It must come from the sky. It must come from the sky. When there will be torrents of rain from the sky, this forest fire, blazing forest fire, will be extinguished.
So these rains from the sky, it does not depend on your scientific propaganda or manipulation. It depends on the mercy of the Supreme Lord. So the spiritual master is compared with the cloud. Just like from the cloud there is torrents of rain, similarly, a spiritual master is considered just like cloud. Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka. Just like cloud takes the water from the sea—cloud hasn't got its own water; cloud takes water from the sea—similarly, a spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just see the comparison. He has no own mercy, but he carries the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the qualification of spiritual master.
A spiritual master will never say that, "I am God. I can give you mercy." No. That is not spiritual master. That is a bogus, pretender. A spiritual master will say: "I am servant of God. I have brought His mercy. Please take it and be satisfied." This is spiritual master's business. Just like a post peon. A post peon, when he delivers you some large amount of money, it is not his own money. The money is sent by somebody else. But he honestly delivers you, "Sir, here is your money. Take it." So you become very much satisfied with the peon. Although it is not his money, but when, in case of need, you get the money sent by your father or somebody else, brought by the peon, oh, you get very much satisfaction.
Similarly, we are all suffering in this blazing fire of material existence. The spiritual master brings the message from the Supreme Lord and delivers you. And if you kindly accept, then you'll be satisfied. This is the business of the spiritual master.
- prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇarṇavasya
- vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam
So spiritual master is offered obeisances, "Sir, you have brought the mercy from the Supreme Lord. Therefore we are much obliged to you. To deliver us, you have come. We offer our respectful obeisances." This is the meaning of this verse. Vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. That means the first qualification of the spiritual master, or guru, is to deliver you some message by which immediately your blazing fire in the heart will be stopped. This is the test.