Power to Recognise
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: How can we recognise that a place is a pilgrimage place, a sacred holy place, or at what point can somebody say, "This is a holy place"?
অন্ধীভূত চক্ষু যার বিষয ধূলিতে ।
andhibhuta chaksu yara visaya dhulite
"Our eyes have become blind by the dust of visaya, the material world—how can we see the transcendental world?"
Our eyes are blind—without the mercy of the Guru, without the mercy of the great Vaishnava we cannot see anything. People say, "This is a holy place," but they can all cheat, if you go to some place in good association then you can understand what an original place is. In Nabadwip, also there are some sahajiyas, some aul, baul and other misconception people who say that Mayapur is not the birthplace of Mahaprabhu, that Mahaprabhu's birthplace is in Nabadwip—what they say is wrong, it is a misconception. Also, Gokul, the place where Krishna plays, where Vasudev brought Lord Krishna after His birth—they now made a place called New Gokul, it is a nice big place and they take those who do not know anything there instead. Keep good association, then if you visit any place in that good association, you will be able to recognise it.
Sometimes people ask, "How can I recognise a pure Vaishnav?" It is also a question. Prabhupad himself said that if you get real sandalwood and you rub it, some good smell will come, but if you get some fake sandalwood and rub it, no smell will come. Every shopkeeper will tell you, "My shop's sweets are very nice," but you must go there and taste it yourself, then you will understand it.
In your heart, you have what is called a chaitya guru, internal guru, and our Gurudev is a mahanta guru. Before initiation, if you always pray to that chaitanya guru (internal guru) that is here, in your heart, then he will take to the real bona fide Guru. The quality of that prayer to the chaitya guru can be very different, that is why some people end up going to a wrong guru. Why? Because their prayer mood is not right.
Gurudev said there are three kinds of Guru in this world—kaulik guru, laukik guru, paramarthik guru. 'Kaulik' means Kali-yuga. For example, here is Purujit Prabhu, and somebody can think, "If he becomes my disciple, I will get some money!" This is called a kaulik guru. A laukik guru is for example your parents. Your father and mother are also your gurus—they always ask, "Oh, my son will be a big doctor," "My son will be a big engineer," "He will feed me," and so on—they always ask something. A paramarthik guru, a spiritual guru, is rare.
I will give you an example of one guru and you can understand what kind of sahajiya gurus are available in India.
One time, there was one sahajiya guru in India. He would go to each disciple's house one a year (one day to this disciple, another day to another disciple, and so on) and collect some tax from the disciple.
He told his disciples that they could do anything they wanted—they could eat fish, meat, cows, everything. He said that if they wanted something, it was a desire of their jivatma (jiva soul), so they could do whatever they wanted and there would be no punishment for that ("Oh, you want to eat meat? Yes, your soul wants it, so you can do it."). What he said to them was a misconception. Our tongue is always asking for some kind of nonsense food, our mind, eyes, etc. are always asking for some nonsense things—the jivatma does not want these kinds of things! Jivatma always wants to serve the paramatma.
That guru also had a wife and children and one day his wife told him, "You are very old now, but you are going house to house... There is a king in this area, why do you not make him your disciple instead? Then you will not have to go to anyone else—he is a big wealthy man, he will give you everything." So, that guru happily initiated the king of that area and the family lived very well after that.
Five years later, the king said to his guru, "O Gurudev, I have been your disciple for many years now... I have a good wife, a good house, I have so much wealth, but why am I not getting happiness? You are my guru, I took initiation from you, but why cannot you give me happiness?" The king's Gurudev said, "It is necessary to make a big fire sacrifice," and wrote a list of ingredients necessary for the sacrifice. The king saw the list and said, "I have no time to buy everything, I better give you the money, you can buy it." Gurudev was even happier. He had given a long list to the king, but after he got the money he did only some little fire sacrifice. Six months later, the king again said to his guru, "O Gurudev, I am still not happy! Maybe you are cheating me? If you cannot make me happy within seven days, I will kill you!"
Gurudev began to cry, "What kind of a disciple have I made?!" He came home and said to his wife, "It your fault! You told me to make that king my disciple, now because of you I am going to die in seven days!" He kept thinking, "What will become of me? If I do not make the king happy in seven days, he will kill me... What will become of me?" That guru had one good son. So, soon that son came home.
"Mummy, please give me some food!" he said. "I am hungry!"
"I have not cooked today," answered his mother.
"Why? What has happened? Why did you not cook?"
"Do you know that the king is going to kill your father? The king told him to make him happy in seven days otherwise he will kill him."
That son did not work anywhere, but sometimes he went to a temple and spent time in devotees' good association. So, he said,
"Do not worry, I will make the king happy!"
"You are a crazy boy!" cried his father and mother. "How will you make the king happy?!"
"Do not worry, I will do it!" and he ran to the king's house. His mother tried to stop him, "No! Do not go, do not go!" but it was too late, he was already gone.
When the guru's son reached the king's house, the king's security guard asked him, "Who are you?" The boy replied, "I am your king's Gurudev's son." Then the king came and the boy introduced himself,
"Your Majesty, I am a son of your guru."
"What do you want?"
"I have came for you—I can you give happiness."
"Oh, yes, come, come. Your father could not do it, five-six years have gone... Please tell me what do I need? Give me your list."
"I do not have any list. I only want two pieces of rope, 7-8 feet each."
"It is easy to do!" said the king. The rope was brought in, and the guru's son said,
"Now please call my father."
The king sent one of his security guards to bring his guru. When the security guard came to the guru, he said, "But the seven days have not finished yet!" He was afraid. The security said, "I do not know anything about the seven days. Your son came there and the king is calling you." The husband and the wife began to cry, they thought, "Our son went there, he must have told something to the king... What if the king has changed his mind and wants to kill me now!" Then, the security guard caught the guru and brought him to the king. The guru said to the king, "But the seven days have not finished yet..." and the king answered, "I have not called you—your son has called you."
Then, three of them—the guru, the king and the son—started walking and they came to a cremation ghat. Both the king and the guru thought, "What is going on? Why are we at the cremation ghat? When they cremate they say, 'Rest in peace,' is this the happiness he wants to give us? What if he ties us and cremates?!" The guru said to the king, "Your Majesty, you are a very gentle, a very expert man, and my son is crazy... Why are you following his instruction? We are old men, and he is a young boy—what if he ties us with the rope and sends to the cremation?" The king said, "Do not worry, we are walking on, no problem."
Near the cremation ghat, there were two big trees. First, the boy tied his father to one of the trees, and then he tied the king to the other tree. Now both were tied to a tree. Then he said to his father,
"Father, please unbind the king, untie him," said the boy to his father.
"How? I am also tied!"
Then the boy turned to the king, "Do you see, Your Majesty? My father is always bound in the illusory environment—how can you be cured, how can you be released from the illusory environment when he himself is always tied and attacked by the illusory environment? How will he release you if he is tied himself?" Then, he explained, "Does my father think about you? He always thinks about his family, how will he then make you happy? My father is a guru, but he himself has fallen down and is inside a hole, how will he get you out of the hole, out of the illusory position?"
If a guru is under the influence of the illusory environment, in the hole, how can he pick another man out of that hole?
Do you understand?
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