guru (20)

Who Is a Guru ?


“One who is inquisitive to understand the ultimate goal of life must approach a proper guru,” says Srila Prabhupada in this lecture given in Mumbai, India, in November of 1974. Then he explains what that ultimate goal is, how that approach must be made, and who is the proper guru.

suta uvaca
dvaipayana-sakhas tv evam maitreyo bhagavams tatha
prahedam viduram prita anviksikyam pracoditah

“Sri Suta Gosvami said: ‘The most powerful sage Maitreya was a friend of Vyasadeva’s. Being encouraged and pl

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The Guru of the Whole World


Radhanath Swami: “I was in Vrindavan in 1971, and I was among five or six other people sitting around Srila Prabhupada. He wasn’t my guru then; he was just one of the saints I was coming to visit. And Srila Prabhupada was in Vrindavan for a few days. Somebody asked him, ‘Are you the guru for the whole world?’ He didn’t say anything. I was really very excited with anticipation—what is he going to say? Most people would say, ‘Yes.’ And after he paused for a few minutes, he looked down to the grou

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A Blizzard confined me to the indoors for the day. In such circumstances, I find that I can at least do some pacing within our sizable temple room period no, I will not surrender to a clunky treadmill. No space for such devices but I will wait until the storm clears an accept some snowy uneven terrain. ‘Natural’ comes first in my books period I feel very much the same about cars. Walk if you can. Avoid those deathtraps when possible.

Prabhupada Priya, visiting us from Florida, began teaching th

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Not so rigid by Kadamba Kanana Swami


I was reading some writings of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and he was speaking about diksha guru and siksha guru and he was saying that the diksha guru is basically giving the name and explaining the meaning of the name and the siksha guru gives so much relevant instruction about spiritual life and how to practice devotional service. Now, it seems that in our movement, this separation about diksha guru and siksha guru is not so rigid. This is because when Srila Prabhupada was in Mayapur, one of h

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I think I have acquired a spiritual guru…


Actually, I think it might be more accurate to say that he has acquired me.

I’m a scientist (astrophysicist to be precise) and I’ve been agnostic for as long as I can remember, so I’ve always struggled with the idea of God and the purpose of religion. But a few months ago, I had a spiritual experience, and since then, I’ve been on a quest to understand the being known as God. To learn more, I’ve studied and participated in various religious systems, a

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With the Mangalacarana prayers, we have invoked the blessings of the entire parampara, coming down from Lord Krsna and all the acaryas. That is how an initiation takes place. It is by the grace of all these personalities. We are all here simply as representatives of the mercy flowing from this parampara. Somehow or other, we have received mercy and because of that mercy, we are able to be here in some role. And the roles we play simply depends on whatever the vaisnavas have bestowed upon us. Be

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Following my Bhakti Path



When first joining the Bhakti Centre I had so many devotees offering to help with my spiritual journey, that I did not know which direction to take. I was quite bewildered until I met Rasarani, a most advanced devotee who would come to be my Siska Guru. She told me I could follow a progressive path in Bhakti, and she would be my guide. 

My first and possibly most difficult challenge was to try to control the mind and senses, or Sraddha. Rasarani explained that she used small tokens to help her

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Increasing Our Taste In Spiritual Life



When first joining the Bhakti Centre I had so many devotees offering to help with my spiritual journey, that I did not know which direction to take. I was quite bewildered until I met Rasarani, a most advanced devotee who would come to be my Siska Guru. She told me I could follow a progressive path in Bhakti, and she would be my guide. 

My first and possibly most difficult challenge was to try to control the mind and senses, or Sraddha. Rasarani explained that she used small tokens to help her

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By Krishna Premarupa Das

What is the most difficult service in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)? Most probably, it’s to serve as a diksa guru, or initiating spiritual master. 

On Saturday, 5th of June, the GSC hosted a three-hour online conference for ISKCON diksa gurus. This was the first of its kind as a virtual event. The event was titled the "Challenges of Being a Guru in ISKCON". 

The Guru Services Committee (GSC), a standing committee of the Governing Body Comm

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8253800666?profile=RESIZE_400xIf you can draw a little attention of Krishna, yat karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam [Caitanya-candramrta 5]. Kataksa-vaibhavavatam, Prabodhananda Sarasvati says. If somehow or other you can draw a little attention of Krishna, your life is successful. Immediately. And how can you draw? Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Gita 18.55]: simply by serving Krishna. Take to the service of Krishna, as it is ordered by the spiritual master—because the spiritual master is the representative of Krishna. We cannot approac

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7143027080?profile=RESIZE_400xSpeaking on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.41, on June 7, 1976, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada explained the following verse from the Padma Purana:

arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhir
visnor va vaisnavanam kali-mala-mathane pada-tirthe ’mbu-buddhih
sri-visnor namni mantre sakala-kalusa-he sabda-samanya-buddhir
visnau sarvesvarese tad-itara-sama-dhir yasya va naraki sah

“One who thinks the Deity in the temple to be made of wood or stone, who thinks of the spiritual master in t

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In a video released today featuring Gopal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Charu Swami, and Jayapataka Swami, these three initiating gurus and senior members of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) explain why they support the GBC resolution empowering women to serve as initiating spiritual masters in ISKCON. 

Watch the video here:


The resolution included under “701.6: ISKCON spiritual masters,” and entitled “Vaisnavi Diksa-gurus — 2019” was passed by the GBC at the Midterm General Meeting in Oct

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5720834075?profile=RESIZE_584xThe higher planetary systems have heavenly planets where one can enjoy, but above these celestial planets are planets of sages – the Maharloka and the Tapaloka, and ultimately the Brahmaloka. So, the Maharloka is the residence of the manus according to the Brhad-Bhagavatamrta. So the manus are basically prajapatis – they are forefathers of mankind. In the beginning, the universe is empty and only Brahma is there within the universe. Then from the mind of Brahma, various sages manifest and finall

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By Radha Dasi

 ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) recently ended a lengthy, detailed consideration of the Vaishnavi diksa guru question that has been under consideration since 2003. The Vaishnavi Ministry welcomes the new resolution, which upholds important spiritual principles and Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition while accommodating concerns about local communities having different cultural standards.  The resolution permits Vaishnavis to initiate disciples while allowing regional leaders

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By Madhusudana Visnu Das

A New Book by Bhakti Dhira Damodara Swami 'Spiritual Connection: Understanding the Dynamics of Guru-disciple Relationship' discusses the following important topics: 

Who is a Guru?

Why do I need a Living Guru?

Why am I not satisfied in my relationship with my Guru?

How to internalize the sacred Guru-disciple relationship?

How to be a Progressive Disciple? 

“Spiritual Connection” answers the above and many more questions with much depth and clarity. Presented in a v

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Lord Caitanya thought, “My name is Visvambhara, ‘one who maintains the entire universe.’ Its meaning will be actualized if I can fill the whole universe with love of Godhead.” Thinking in this way, He accepted the duty of a planter and began to grow a garden in Navadvipa. Thus the Lord brought the desire tree of devotional service to this earth and became its gardener. He sowed the seed and sprinkled upon it the water of His will. (Cc. Adi 9.7-9)

Lord Caitanya thus addressed the multifarious vari

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By Giriraj Swami

I heard a beautiful talk by Srila Prabhupada in which he spoke of the order of the guru and his own achievement:

“[Sanatana Gosvami] therefore said, krpa kari’ yadi more kariyacha uddhara: ‘I know that it is due to Your mercy that I have been able to give up my material position, as Your man. Now order me what is my duty.’ This is devotee, you see? Not that ‘Now I am free from family life, I have no responsibility. Now I shall take prasadam and sleep.’ No. You must be hundred t

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Guru or Krsna? by Kadamba Kanana Swami


Question: Whose mercy is more important, Guru or Krsna?

There is no difference between the mercy of Guru and Krsna, no difference whatsoever. The Guru is the direct representative of Krsna in each of our lives. In the beginning, we naturally see that the Guru is more accessible because he is here in our world and he speaks to us directly. Sometimes he would chastise us, and sometimes he would encourage us. So the Guru has the power to correct us.

Krsna on the other hand is silent. Now, He may

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Guru in the Morning By Danavir Goswami


Looking back to 1987, I remember trying my best to counsel several weeping ISKCON Vaisnavas when they learned that their guru had just defaulted his position. Their guru was previously a dynamic, conquering her who shone like fire through preaching, making disciples, and leading the sankirtan movement. Yet, those weeping Vaisnavas sitting in my office would have traded all the joy they shared with him during the victories just to have him remain their own spiritually-healthy guru. These devotee

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