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According to Vaisnava philosophy, the first business is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master

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Expressions researched:
"according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy, ādau gurvāśrayam. The first business is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

"If you are actually interested in inquiring about Brahman, then you must go to guru who knows Brahman." Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. You cannot understand Brahman realization alone. Therefore, according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy, ādau gurvāśrayam. The first business is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.


Lecture on SB 3.25.19 -- Bombay, November 19, 1974:

So this life is meant for brahma-jijñāsā. This life, this human life, is meant for brahma-jijñāsā. Other jijñāsā, inquiries, that is in the cats and dogs and hogs and crows and everywhere. So don't be bothering. "If I don't bother, then how shall I eat?" No, that people generally says that, "Everyone becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, how we shall eat? How things will go on?" Now, we are Kṛṣṇa conscious, practical example. Are we not eating? Are we not sleeping? What business is stopped? We have no business, we simply beg. There is no certainty that, "Tomorrow I shall go there, I'll get this money." There is no certainty. We do not know. We are eating in the morning. We do not know whether there will be food in the evening. If Kṛṣṇa gives, then we can eat. You know it very well. We have no business. We are not professional men. We are not going to the market for what is bao. Ke a bao haya? So are you not eating? We are eating. Not only eating, we have got hundred and two branches, and every branches there are at least one hundred men. They're all eating. Why? Because we know, "Kṛṣṇa will give us. Kṛṣṇa giving food to the ants, to the elephant. Why not to His servant? We have no . . ." If you have got this confidence, then . . . the śāstra says, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. You should simply try for perfection of life, brahma-jijñāsā. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). This is the only . . . jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. This is the only business. "What I am?" The answer is ahaṁ brahmāsmi, so 'ham, "I am same, Brahman." "So then, what is my relation with the Parambrahman?" Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam.

Now, when there is question of jijñāsā, brahma-jijñāsā, then we inquire from a person who knows. Therefore it is said that tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21): "If you are actually interested in inquiring about Brahman, then you must go to guru who knows Brahman." Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. You cannot understand Brahman realization alone. Therefore, according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy, ādau gurvāśrayam. The first business is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. If you want . . . not only brahma-jijñāsā—any. You must go to the perfect person who knows things. If you are wandering on some street you do not know, you ask somebody, "Where shall I go? In this way or that way?" So this is natural. So about Brahman, jijñāsuḥ . . . Brahma-jijñāsā means . . . that is not ordinary jijñāsā. It is called uttamam. Uttamam means transcendental to this material world, which is full of darkness, ignorance. That is called ut. Ud-gata tama yasmād iti uttama. There is no more darkness; simply light. If you, at night, you inquire about something, then it is very difficult. But if you go in the daytime . . . and at night if you got up on your roof and want to see where is Bombay or where is Santa Cruz, it is very difficult. But daytime, you can see. Similarly, uttamam. You must go out of this darkness, come to the light, and then you will see.