The proper conception and etiquette explained.
The following is an excerpt from Sri Hari-nama-chintamani (6.31–38, 50–59) which was published in Sri Gaudiya Darsan, Volume 1, Issue 4, 15 November 1955, and Volume 14, Issue 2, 1 December 1970.
Guru-tattva: the position of Sri Guru
diksa-guru siksa-guru duhe krsna-dasa
duhe vraja-jana krsna-saktira prakasa
The Diksa-guru and Siksa-guru are both servants of Krsna; they are both residents of Vraja and manifestations of Krsna’s potency.
guruke samanya jiva na janibe kabhu
guru krsna-sakti krsna-prestha nitya prabhu
Never consider Sri Guru an ordinary soul. Sri Guru is Krsna’s potency, Krsna’s favourite, and one’s eternal master.
Commentary: Do not consider Sri Guru an ordinary soul. Serve Sri Guru considering him an associate of Krsna who is empowered by Krsna’s personal energy (svarup-sakti). Thinking that Guru is Krsna is a conception of the mayavadis. It is not the conception of the pure Vaisnavas. Sincere devotees should be especially careful about this. If mayavad even subtly enters one’s practice (sadhana), then one’s entire practice becomes contaminated.
ei buddhi saha sada guru-bhakti kare
sei guru-bhakti-bale samsarete tare
With this conception, always serve Sri Guru. By the power of one’s devotion to Sri Guru, one crosses over samsara.
Guru-puja: worship of Sri Guru
agre guru-puja pare sri-krsna-pujana
gurudeve sri-krsna-prasada samarpana
One should first worship Sri Guru, then worship Sri Krsna, and then offer Sri Krsna’s prasad to Sri Guru.
Commentary: After worshipping Sri Guru with a seat, water to wash his feet, arghya, a bath, clothes, and ornaments, one should take his permission and worship the Divine Couple. One should offer Their prasad first to Sri Guru and then to the other Vaisnavas.
guru-ajna laye krsna pujibe yatane
sri-guru smariya krsna balibe vadane
After taking permission from Sri Guru, one should carefully worship Krsna. Remembering Sri Guru, one should chant Krsna’s Name.
Gurute ki rupe sraddha kara uchita: how should one have faith in Sri Guru?
gurute avajna yara tara aparadha
sei aparadhe tara haya bhakti-badha
One who disrespects Sri Guru commits an offence, and by that offence, one’s devotion is obstructed.
guru-krsna-vaisnavete sama-bhakti kari’
namasraye suddha-bhakta sighra yaya tari’
Being equally devoted to Sri Guru, Krsna, and the Vaisnavas, a pure devotee who takes shelter of the Name is quickly delivered.
gurute achala sraddha kare yei jana
suddha-nama bale sei paya prema-dhana
One who has unwavering faith in Sri Guru attains, through the pure Name, the wealth of divine love.
Guru-sevara prakriya: the way to serve Sri Guru
guru-sayyasana ara padukadi yana
pada-pitha snanodaka chayara langhana
One should not lay on the bed of the Guru, sit on his seat, wear his shoes, use his vehicle, use his footrest, touch his bathwater, or step on his shadow.
gurura agrete anya pujadvaita jnana
diksa vyakhya prabhutvadi karibe varjana
In front of Sri Guru, one should not worship others, give initiation, offer explanations, or show mastership in any way.
yatha yatha gurura paibe darasana
dandavat padi’ bhume karibe vandana
Wherever one sees him, one should bow down and offer obeisance.
guru-nama bhaktite karibe uchcharana
guru-ajna hela na karibe kadachana
One should pronounce Sri Guru’s name with devotion, and one should never disregard his order.
gurura prasada seva avasya karibe
gurura apriya vakya kabhu na kahibe
One must honour Sri Guru’s prasadam, and should not speak words that are unpleasant to him.
gurura charane dainye la-ibe sarana
karibe gurura sada priya acharana
One should humbly take shelter at Sri Guru’s feet, and always act in a way that is pleasing to him.
e rupa achare krsna-nama-sankirtane
sarva siddhi haya prabho bale sruti gane
By practising in this way, one attains all perfection through the chanting of Krsna’s Name. So say the scriptures, O Lord!
nama-guru prati yadi avajna ghataye
dusta sange dusta sastra mata samasraye
tabe sei sanga sei sastra dura kari’
vilapa kariba sei guru-pade dhari’
If, by associating with condemned persons or accepting conceptions given in condemned books, one happens to disrespect the Guru who initiated one into the Name, then one should leave that association and such books, and lament at the feet of Sri Guru, grasping his feet.
Commentary: He who teaches one the truth about the Name, reveals the supremacy of the Name, and gives one the Name, or the mantra made up of the Name, is the Nam-guru. The Diksa-guru is the Nam-guru, as the mantra is the Name. If one separates the Name from the mantra, the quality of the mantra is lost. Moreover, only by chanting the Name is the mantra chanted.
krpa kari’ gurudeva ha-ibe sadaya
name prema dibe se vaisnava dayamaya
Sri Gurudev will kindly be merciful. As an all-merciful Vaisnava, he will give one love for the Name.
The commentaries are part of the text of Sri Hari-nama-chintamani and written by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur himself.