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The process is, as recommended by Srila Rupa Gosvami, adau gurvasrayam. You must select, you must accept the guru who's coming in parampara system

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"the process is, as recommended by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, ādau gurvāśrayam. You must select, you must accept the guru who's coming in paramparā system"

Lectures

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

Without the door being opened by the devotee, we cannot enter into the region. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Therefore the process is, as recommended by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, ādau gurvāśrayam. You must select, you must accept the guru who's coming in paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2).


The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 10, 1972:

So jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (CC Madhya 19.167): "Devotional service should not be contaminated by jñāna-kāṇḍa, karma-kāṇḍa, by fruitive activities or mental speculation." Devotional service should be taken exactly in the line of the great authorities. Just like our sampradāya, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, they are following. Rūpānuga.

śrī-rūpa sanātana bhaṭṭa-raghunātha
śrī-jīva gopāla-bhaṭṭa dāsa-raghunātha

Ei chaya gosāi yāra tāra mui dāsa (Nāma-saṅkīrtana 6). We have to follow the principles of these six Gosvāmīs. That will make us happy.

Otherwise, if we adopt the ritualistic ceremonies, śubha-karma . . . sama-śubha-kriyā matir pramādaḥ. If we take devotional service as one of the pious activities, śubha-kriyā, that is offense. We should not take devotional service, or chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, equal to some Vedic pious activities, ritualistic ceremony. That is offense. We should simply follow the path . . . that is also Vedic. But because we cannot select . . . vedeṣu adurlabha. If we study Vedas independently, without going through the lines chalked out by the six Gosvāmīs, then we'll be misled. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau (Bs. 5.33).

These Gosvāmīs, they were personal devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa. They are eternal associates of the Lord. Therefore if we follow their principle, our success is guaranteed. But if we take to the Vedic ritualistic ceremony without any reference to the path chalked out by the Gosvāmīs, it will not be possible to be successful.

Devotional service is not dependent on śubhāśubha-karma. It is simply dependent on the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Kṛṣṇa de . . . sādhu . . . guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ, mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekam niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yā . . . (SB 7.5.32). Unless we surrender to the lotus feet of a pure devotee, it is not possible to come to the platform of devotional service. That is the way.

We cannot taste the honey within the bottle. The bottle must be opened by the expert. If you simply lick up the bottle, if we think, "Now we are tasting honey," that is not the proper way. We should get the bottle opened by the expert, and when we taste within the bottle, then actually . . . similarly, devotional service without being opened by the . . . open, without the door being opened by the devotee, we cannot enter into the region. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151).

Therefore the process is, as recommended by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, ādau gurvāśrayam. You must select, you must accept the guru who's coming in paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Sampradāya. That is recommended. We have got Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, four sampradāya: Rāmānuja-sampradāya, Madhva-sampradāya, Nimbārka-sampradāya. So intelligent persons should select guru from these sampradāyas and follow his instruction. Then the path of devotional service will be very easily opened. This is the way.