Srila Swami Maharaj gave so much, and Srila Guru Maharaj gave more than that. Srila Swami Maharaj arranged to preach Krishna consciousness to the general conditioned souls. He did many different things in many different ways. Over that, Guru Maharaj gave nourishment, very good nourishment, to those conditioned souls.
They are both my Gurus. My conception is that one is avatar and the other is avatari. Mahaprabhu came as a Yuga-avatar, and Srila Swami Maharaj preached like a Yuga-avatar. Inside Mahaprabhu though was another form. In this way, I see Srila Swami Maharaj and Guru Maharaj as nondifferent. Guru Maharaj gave the finest conception. You all know that. Swami Maharaj made all the receivers and all the arrangements so that they could receive Krishna consciousness. He prepared the field, planted the seeds, and gave a good chance to everyone. He did everything. Then, Guru Maharaj gave very good nourishment to everyone.
That is my idea, one is avatar and the other is avatari. In this way, I consider Swami Maharaj and Guru Maharaj as my Siksa-guru and Diksa-guru.
Every Vaisnava has their own feelings, and with them they try to do something good for others. Srila Guru Maharaj has his own line, and Srila Swami Maharaj has his own line. They are, however, nondifferent actually.
Food is prepared in one way in the West. Food is prepared in another way in the East. Food in Southern India is prepared in another way, and food is prepared in the Northern India in another way. Still, all food lastly goes into our stomachs.
There are differences in the ways of Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj. It is not possible for them to be the same. The nature of every jiva-soul and every maha-purusa is not the same and cannot be the same. Every saint has their own sadhana and through that they try to do something good for others. So, their ways are nondifferent but there are also differences between them.
That is an external matter though. Internally it is deeper. A few may have been deceived but for the most part everyone is getting and has got the wealth of Krishna consciousness. Now, all over the world, people are chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Who knew about the mahamantra before Srila Swami Maharaj? Who knew about Chaitanyadev? Who knew about Nityananda Prabhu and the Pancha-Tattva? Who knew about Radha-Krishna? Before Srila Swami Maharaj and Srila Guru Maharaj, no one knew about these things actually.
Guru Maharaj used to always sing one song of Vasudev Ghos:
yadi gaura na hata tabe ki ha-ita,
kemane dharitam de
radhara mahima prema-rasa-sima
jagate janata ke?
“If Gauranga Mahaprabhu had not appeared in this mundane world, then how could anyone have understood Radha-Krishna and Their prema?”
We could not have understood Their supreme love and beauty. We are so fortunate that we have now got that conception. Maybe not fully, but some percentage we have got, and that is enough. Eka-bindu jagat dubaya (Cc. 3.15.19): “One drop can overflood the world.”
Srila Swami Maharaj and Srila Guru Maharaj have given that type of mercy and that type of Krishna-prema. By their mercy, we are enlightened and trying to practise Krishna consciousness.
There is a deep, a deeper, and a deepest conception of Godhead. There are many conceptions, but Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His love, beauty, and effulgence are supreme. Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj have given that Krishna to this world.
I am very fortunate that I have got their mercy; since my youth they have always been very merciful and affectionate to me.
Spoken on 28 June 1992 in San Jose, California.