Questions for Followers of Sri Narayana Maharaj
BY: SRI RAJIV MOHAN BHATTA GOSWAMI
Jan 07, 2011 INDIA (SUN) Brajanath dasa has given the instructions of Srila Narayana Maharaja for post-samadhi. However there are a couple questions that appear. Perhaps Brajanath dasa can give the response.
First question is about the "living guru" talk of Narayana Maharaja. The ISKCON devotees, particularly the disciples of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj, were told they needed "living guru", essential. Now that Narayana Maharaja has gone to his reward, becoming in his talk a ‘non-living guru', we are left wondering who the next "living guru" will be for his followers?
Second question is regarding initiations. Brajanath dasa informs the sannyasis can now initiate. But what about the householders? Those that widely read the Mahabharata and Puranas, they know that the munis and rsis where generally married and in their gurukula, place of guru, they initiated and taught the disciples the Vedas. Householders in Gaudiya line were initiating gurus, for example Advaita Acarya.
Actually Vaisnava householder in Vedic tradition is commonly diksa guru, in comparison to sannyasi. Householder has home, the place of guru, gurukula, so disciples can visit a fixed spot and take the methodical step-by-step instruction in Sri Krsna bhakti over time. Whereas sannyasi is meant for austerity and no fixed place, traveling constantly. Sometimes, sannyasi is traveling with one or two brahmacari assistant disciples. By traveling he cannot sit to give teaching over long time. Also sannyasi is a social dead man in Vedic saying, so how he can take as disciple a householder and single girl, all of whom are meant for regulated dharmic sex and children?
Sannyasi is meant to catch paramahamsa stage, by bhajan and tapasya; he should not have mind for marriage advice and single girl disciple. Mind should be fixed in renouncement, so family matters is not his concern generally. Majority of population is householder, so householder diksa guru fixed in truth of Krsna is a vital member of Gaudiya line.
If an immature sannyasi takes the householder disciple and single girl disciple, then danger to him is there by association. Single girl disciple can easily fall in love with single sannyasi guru, leading to marriage of sannyasi. If sannyasi spends much time in the house of even a Vaisnava householder, he can forget renouncement by the clever power of maya-shakti and consider to enjoy the comfort and affection of a wife. All this is a disturbance to Vedic society, and sannyasi will lose the chance of liberation and return to samsara for offence and by attachment.
So householder guru, protected by chaste wife, is safe position and traditional guru of Vedic society. Sannyasi is traveling with brahmacari meant for similar renouncement, not steady contact with persons of regulated sense enjoyment even. Of course, by arrangement of Sri Krsna, sometimes great powerful acarya can give the diksa widely to all social status persons of all gender, like Srila Prabhupada, but this is the special circumstance for starting new wave of Sri Mahaprabhu covering the world. Immature sannyasi will find great danger to his own renouncement by false fanciful imitation of powerful paramhamsa.
So the point is, householder guru should not be excluded, especially in Gaudiya line. Sri Mahaprabhu's teaching is meant for all members of human society, and the majority of society is householders. Only sannyasi gurus is a sign of Mayavadi apasampradaya. So householder guru is a vital necessity. There is no restriction in the Vedas, but rather full example of the necessity of Vedic householder by tradition, example and sastric illustration.
Sri Mahaprabhu gave qualification of guru: krsna-tattva vetti sei guru hoy, meaning one who knows the truth of Sri Krsna, he can become guru. Srila Rupa has given the qualification of controlling the six pushings of mind and body for diksa guru. There is no mention of only sannyasi is guru.
Finally, either householder or sannyasi, is upadhi, material distinction, and not part of consideration of qualification for giving initiation. Knowledge of truth of Sri Krsna is final qualification, and by grace of Sri Mahaprabhu that is available to all souls without dependence to material social status.
No offence given or taken, but the line of Sri Mahaprabhu should be followed.
Servant, Sri Rajiv Mohan Bhatta Goswami