Fluidity in Guru-tattva

BY: CAITANYA DAS - 26.9 2017

Considering guru-tattva is a very fluid principle, in the sense that Sri Guru can appear in any number of ways, diksa, siksa, and even through speakers not immediately recognised as Sri Guru, it behooves our society not to overly legislate in that regard. If one does, that would place ISKCON outside of the known and recognised standard of Guru, Sadhu and Sastra.

As much as the sweet Name of Krishna does not appear in sweet melodies but in the heart of the sincere pure singer, no matter what they sound like, he or she can bring the pure Name and His Divine energies down from the Spiritual realm into their hearts and onto their lips.

Making judgments on who should and shouldn't lead Kirtan, who should and shouldn't give lectures, who should or shouldn't becomes diksa, siksa or any other type of guru, based on judgments whilst in the modes of nature will take us into the realms of overly organised religion. We then become legislators, but that is the task of one who is liberated and connected to parampara.

Of course, what can be legislated is the orders of Srila Prabhupada in terms of how he wanted his society managed and the way he saw how the preaching should be conducted. Even that principle has to be carefully applied. As we can see, he gave a lot of leeway in many areas and expected his followers to work things out in cooperation with each other. So a constitution, although bringing a firm framework, gives a lot of flexibility and independence as well.

To further elaborate on the idea of fluidity in regards to guru-tattva, the examples of the river Ganga can be given. The water that flows on its basin is the Ganga, water that flows out is not, although water that flows in from other tributaries is.

One who is connected to our parampara through pure devotion, and by following the bona fide spiritual master and Acaryas in our line, are in the ocean of Krishna prema to one degree or another. Our Guru is our life and soul, he has brought us to this ocean, he is the very ground that we walk on in spiritual life, our eternal master, but he also brings us to other swimmers in this ocean.

It is an offensive mentality, of course, that one forgets who brings him to the ocean and gives transcendental access to such association of devotees who swim in the ocean. One who takes help from someone and later minimises him and does not continue in full appreciation, credit and service to that person is in breach of etiquette, and this will hamper his development of the Bhakti process.