video: janakimohan — This video was inspired by Mangalananda and his wonderful “Beyond Illusion” CD
Prabhupada, San Francisco, March 3, 1967: [...] Tat means spiritual or transcendental. If you want to understand about transcendental science, then tad-vijnanartham, in order to understand that transcendental love, sa gurum eva. Eva. Gurum means a spiritual master. Eva. Eva means must. And gacchet. Gacchet also, it is used in the obli…, or the imperative, “must”.
And who is a guru? Who is a spiritual master? That is also defined there. Otherwise he will be puzzled where to go. “All right, I am ready to go to a spiritual master to understand the transcendental science, but who is a guru?” Everyone will be ready: “Oh, I am your guru. I am a spiritual master.” No. There are signs. What is that? Srotriyam.
Srotriyam means one who has perfectly heard the science of God from authoritative sources in disciplic succession. That is the qualification. Srotriyam, and brahma-nintham means not that simply he has heard, but the result is that he is firmly fixed up in God consciousness.
These two qualifications. You have to find out that whether this man is coming from disciplic succession, srotriyam… Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, evam parampara-praptam: [Bg. 4.2] “By this disciplic succession, this science of Bhagavad-gita was learned.” So you have to approach the spiritual master who is coming down from that disciplic succession. Then he is bona fide.
Not only… He may be coming, but if he has not understood, then simply accepting will not do. Then the next symptom is srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12]. Brahma-nistham means he is firmly fixed up. Nobody can deviate from his point of steadiness.
These are the general. There are many other definition in different… And the disciple also, he must have also qualification to approach a spiritual master. It is not that because you have got a bona fide spiritual master, therefore you will be benefited. You must be also qualified.
What is that qualification? What is the disciple’s qualification? That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. Sreya uttamam.
tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
tasmat—therefore; gurum—a spiritual master; prapadyeta—one should take shelter of; jijnasuh—being inquisitive; sreyah uttamam—about the highest good; sabde—in the Vedas; pare—in the Supreme; ca—and; nisnatam—perfectly knowledgeable; brahmani—(in these two aspects) of the Absolute Truth; upasama-asrayam—fixed in detachment from material affairs.
Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters.