Letter from His Grace Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaj
Please accept my loving affection and convey the same to all members in your association.
On keeping our Srila Gurudeva a secret our Acharya, Srila Sanatan Goswami mentions the points but never explained the reason. According to my realization nowadays we can see the present problems are in devotional societies. We tend to forget that Krishna is our ultimate ‘Guru’ and that all initiating Gurus are just transparent representatives of Krishna, The Supreme personality of Godhead.
Today’s preaching style tends to make one more Guru & society consciousness rather than Krishna consciousness. As a result individual disciples are trying to promote their initiating Guru and the Guru’s society more than Krishna and Mahaprabhu. Even our present tendency appears in this manner: although originally the authenticated books like Srimad Bhagwatam, Srimad Bhagawatgita etc are written by Mahamuni Veda Vyasa we are putting our Gurudeva’s name in such a manner on these books that people will think these books are actually written by their Gurudeva. Due to this preaching style most of the people are starting to say that I have Iskcon Gita or Gaudiya Math Gita; some fanatic disciples are even saying my Gurudeva’s Gita or Srimad Bhagawatam etc.
Actually, we should be very careful in this regard because if we are misrepresenting the scriptural message then our devotional progress will gradually start to degrade day by day. As per the prediction of the shastras that in this case the person will take his next birth as a poisonous snake form in the deep forest.
It is true that Guru and Krishna are non different from each other; but in reality we see they are different. For instances: Gurudeva’s form gradually become old but Lord Krishna’s form never become Old, always young; Gurudeva unable to control entire universe but Krishna has eligibility to control all universes; Krishna is always beyond Maya (illusion) but Gurudeva is under the influence of Maya (illusion). Therefore we can see lots of Guru’s are falling down. Only one thing is common for all of us,that is Krishna’s mercy will come down to us through Gurudeva, the Pure devotee of Krishna. He or She who is chanting pure name and not committing any Vaisnava-offenses that person will be considered to be a pure devotee. This common thing is allowing us to say that Guru and Krishna are non-different.
Our fanatic nature of preaching the glories of Gurudeva may cause Gurudeva to fall-down. Most of the time we are seeing in the preaching field that in order to promote our Gurudeva we minimize other Vaisnavas but Chaitanya Charitamrita said we have to keep equal vision between Guru-Vaisnavas-Bhagawan. Therefore our Sanatan Goswamipada may have instructed us not to use Gurudeva’s name everywhere.
Secondly, if we use Gurudeva’s name we should use the ornamental words ‘His Divine Grace’ always before reciting Gurudeva’s name. In reality we can not use always such ornamental words before uttering Gurudeva’s name. Therefore, our previous Acharys teach us to call Gurudeva either Srila Vishnupada, Srila Gurudeva, Srila Gurupada, Srila Prabhupada etc instead of using allot of ornamental words. Also, if you use simply the Gurudeva’s name without ornamental words then our previous Acharya’s instruction will be violated and offences to Gurudeva’s feet as well as the Sampradaya’s feet will be the result.
Third point : Guru is not individual; Guru means entire linage, Sampradaya. If we become fanatic glorifying only initiating Guru then gradually we may adopt the tendency to avoid all other Acharyas in our linage.
Fourth point : Humility is an ornament of Vaisnavism. According to Shastra, Gurudeva is greatest Vaisnava amongst all Vaisnavas. As per above discussion in order to serve Gurudeva, means to promote his humility, better not to use his name and keep it hidden.
Fifth point : Pure devotee, Gurudeva is more valuable than 5000 large size diamonds. In reality we are always keeping high value in diamonds and we carefully care for them and keep them in a hidden place; in the same manner if we value our Guudeva then we should remember it is better to place him secretly in our heart.
Your second question : If anyone asks for Gurudeva’s name then we have to use all ornamental words before uttering Gurudeva’s actual name. In ancient time we saw wife use to call their husband: ‘Aryaputra’ (Son of a Nobleman) instead of husbands actual name.
I hope you understand my points.
I am praying to Lord Nrisimahdeva for curing all your obstacles in order to carry your spiritual life with generosity, simplicity, integrity, purity and enough rounds of chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra.