The fate of those who defy Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas.

By Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur

The following is a translation of an excerpt from a Bengali essay by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur published in Volume 2, Issue 6 of Sri Gaudiya Darsan, Friday, 11 December 1956.

Devotees dedicated to the Lord’s service are eternal servants of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna. Devotees eternally serve Sri Krishna in subservience (anugatya) to Sri Guru. Attempting to serve the Lord without subservience to Guru and the Vaisnavas is not service to the Lord; it is service to maya. If someone, according to their own conception and without subservience to Guru and the Vaisnavas, behaves virtuously, visits holy places, performs the sixty-four practices of devotion, practises renunciation, performs austerities, practises Nam-sankirtan, chants japa, practises meditation, or engages in any other devotional practice, they are not serving the Lord at all. Rather, they are simply fulfilling their own desires for sense gratification. When sense gratification is deceptively dressed up as service to the Lord, people are often cheated by this pretence to enjoyment. A deceitful show of service to the Lord motivated by desire for fame, wealth, and women is not service to the Lord; it is simply deceitful cheating of oneself and others. The fundamental basis of service to the Lord is subservience (anugatya) to Guru and the Vaisnavas. The pretence of serving the Lord without subservience to Sri Guru is like the mistaken act of “jumping over a goda to eat grass”. In the conditioned state, one cannot gain entrance into the Lord’s service without subservience to Guru and the Vaisnavas, and even in the liberated state, in which one serves the Lord in a spiritual body, constant subservience to Gurudev continues. If one is not subservient to the eternal embodiment of the Lord’s shelter (the asraya-vigraha), Sri Gurudev, and his followers, one does nothing more than commit the offence of worshipping oneself.

Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was the most influential proponent of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the 20th century. As a vehement spiritual revolutionary, he denounced all conventional religious dogmas, broke through society’s false notions of spirituality, and compelled all to appreciate the true path of divine love. For more information on Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, please visit his biography page.

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