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Beginning is the guru, the spiritual master, because he is the representative of the parampara system, disciplic succession. Therefore, whatever we do, we must first of all try to understand from guru

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"Beginning is the guru, the spiritual master, because he is the representative of the paramparā system, disciplic succession. Therefore, whatever we do, we must first of all try to understand from guru"

Lectures

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Anyone who understands the Absolute Truth factually as He is, not by mental speculation, but by the paramparā system... So therefore, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta is beginning with guru, pūrve gurv-ādi. Beginning is the guru, the spiritual master, because he is the representative of the paramparā system, disciplic succession. Therefore, whatever we do, we must first of all try to understand from guru.


Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.3 -- Mayapur, March 3, 1974:

Knowledge means tattva-jñāna, to know the Absolute Truth. In the Bhagavad-gītā also . . . (aside) They are making noise. Hmm . . . Kṛṣṇa says:

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

Everything should be understood in truth. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to understand the Absolute Truth. So in another place Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9): anyone who understands the Absolute Truth factually as He is, not by mental speculation, but by the paramparā system . . . so therefore, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta is beginning with guru, pūrve gurv-ādi (CC Adi 7.3). Beginning is the guru, the spiritual master, because he is the representative of the paramparā system, disciplic succession. Therefore, whatever we do, we must first of all try to understand from guru.

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also says in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, ādau gurvāśrayam: the beginning of spiritual life is to accept the bona fide spiritual master. Sad-dharma pṛcchāt (Brs. 1.1.74). Then inquiry from the spiritual master. The approach should be by full surrender. Tad viddhi praṇipātena, tattvam, etad viddhi (BG 4.34). By praṇipātena. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipātam. Just like we have learned how to offer obeisances to the spiritual master, to the gurus, falling down flat, praṇipā, no reservation, falling flat—that is called praṇipā—so one has to approach the spiritual master. That is the Vedic injunction. Tad vijñānārtham. Tad means tattva. In order to understand the tattva, the Absolute Truth, vijñāna . . . vijñāna means practical science, not theoretical. Theoretical is jñāna. When that is practically applied in life, that is called vijñānam. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, therefore, the statement is there: jñānaṁ me paramaṁ guhyaṁ yad vijñāna-samanvitam (Bhāgavata). Jñāna and vijñāna.