THE BENEDICTINE TREE OF DIVINE ASPIRATION: CHAPTER FOUR
Introducing Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-GoswamI Maharaj
It's a very great opportunity to have in our midst Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He represents the Sri Rupanuga Sampradaya in the whole world today. His Gurudeva, Paramahamsa Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, is unanimously hailed for his high teachings of the ultimate conclusions of the Scriptures. And we are all truly aware of the great, world-renowned Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupada who formed the world-wide ISKCON movement. These two great teachers and Swamijis both blessed our Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, to spread the Holy Name around the world.
We also have in our midst Sripad Bhakti Ananda Sagar Maharaj. He is highly learned. Apart from English he also knows Hindi, Sanskrit and Bengali, and he can speak each fluently.
Srila Govinda Maharaj himself is a master of Sanskrit and Bengali, composing many slokas and songs in these languages.
Now I'll talk about the need for a Spiritual Master.
As our Scriptures we have the Vedas. Veda means 'to know,' and there our knowledge begins. Spiritual knowledge begins only when we surrender to the Lotus Feet of a Spiritual Master.
Material education such as we have in colleges and universities is, we are sorry to say, nothing more than progress in ignorance. I also used to be in that tunnel, but the fact is that such education is considered in this way. We can have true knowledge only when we surrender to the Lotus Feet of a Spiritual Master. Real knowledge will make us understand our own self, and God. We will realise our happy position as a servitor, and we will serve accordingly. We will have proper service and we will engage ourselves in proper activities.
We pray in the temples for some spiritual benefit, and in the temples we also read the Scriptures. There it is said that real knowledge of our self is available only at the Lotus Feet of a Spiritual Master.
tad viddhi pranipatena
Without surrender we shall not get proper light of who we are, and our service will be nearly null and void; this is mentioned in our Sastras. Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-glta, "If you want to have knowledge, this is available only at the Lotus Feet of a Gurudeva."
For example, there are many educational books, such as books for doctors, but without a qualified teacher, our studies will be in vain. Similarly, matters about spiritual things can be had only at the Lotus Feet of a bona-fide spiritual teacher, a Spiritual Master, and nowhere else. Indeed, this is the advice of Lord Sri Krsna, our Lord, Bhagavan. We should have complete faith in His words.
acaryyam mam vijaniyan
Lord Krsna Himself glorifies the position of an Acharyya, and says that He Himself comes as the Acharyya. We cannot see Lord Krsna, He is spiritual and we are material. But He comes in the form of a Spiritual Master. So, you see, we have the Lord Himself explaining about His own Self, His own wealth.
I won't say more, because our Gurudeva is here and we wish to hear his words. But we can learn everything only from the Lotus Mouth of our Spiritual Master. He is our eye-opener. And by his grace we will have spiritual insight.
Now our Srila Gurudeva will speak.
(Verses in glorification of Srila Govinda Maharaj)
II: Chanting the Mahamantra
III: Dasa-vidha Namaparadha
(The Ten Offences to the Holy Name)
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