Sri Guru Carana Padma

Someone may raise this question; this is the material world, illusory world, three modes of material nature; sattva, rajas, and tama gunas are here. If Guru comes here, stays here, how can he stay here and not be affected with it? How can he retain his transcendental nature or situation in this dreadful ocean of material existence and not become affected? How does he act here?

This is very easy to understand. As the lotus flower grows out of the water and lives inside the water but it is not being affected, it remains untouched. Similarly, Guru, though he comes here, he remains untouched. He never becomes affected with the three modes of material nature. He remains untouched. This is the lotus feet of Sri Guru; therefore, it is compared to a lotus.

So when the bumblebee comes to the lotus, the lotus gives shelter to that bumblebee in the core of its petals. Thereby, the bumblebee also doesn’t become affected with water; it remains there being untouched with water because it is in the core of the lotus. Similarly, a fortunate disciple or bhakta who has taken shelter at the lotus feet of bona fide Sri Guru need not be afraid of this material world, material nature. He cannot be affected by the material nature because he has sincerely taken shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Guru. As the lotus gives shelter and protects the bumblebee from being affected or touched by the water similarly, Sri Guru gives shelter to the disciple at his lotus feet and protects him from this material world. This is the lotus feet of Sri Guru. Understand, how the guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Sri Guru are compared to the lotus.

Rising and Setting of the Sun

Another very significant point is there. When the sun rises, the lotus blossoms and the petals open. When the sun sets, the petals of the lotus become closed. When the lotus sees the rising of the sun, it blossoms, the petals open. Similarly, when the guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Guru sees bhakti-vrtti in the heart of a sincere disciple, a very ardent, intense desire, crying of a suffering soul, in the heart of a jiva. An intense desire to get bhakti, go back home, back to Godhead, to understand Krsna and get Krsna in this very lifetime then the petals of the lotus opens! So that is like the rising of the sun. But when the sun sets, the petals of the lotus become closed.

When the sun rises, the lotus blossoms and the petals open. When the sun sets, the petals of the lotus become closed. When the lotus sees the rising of the sun, it blossoms, the petals open. Similarly, when the guru-pada-padma, the lotus feet of Guru sees bhakti-vrtti in the heart of a sincere disciple, a very ardent, intense desire, crying of a suffering soul, in the heart of a jiva. An intense desire to get bhakti, go back home, back to Godhead, to understand Krsna and get Krsna in this very lifetime then the petals of the lotus opens! So that is like the rising of the sun. But when the sun sets, the petals of the lotus become closed.

Similarly, one disciple has come, he has developed intense desire, burning desire in his heart to love Krsna, unconditionally then the guru-pada-padma gives him shelter. But many times we see, in the course of time that bhakta, that disciple looses his bhakta-vrtti because of aparadha. If he commits aparadha: nama-aparadha, vaisnava-aparadha, like that, he looses his bhakti-vrtti. His bhakti-vrtti becomes shrunken. Now he is not carrying out the order of the Guru, he is not hearing the message of the Guru, he is not accepting the instructions of the Guru, he is not acting according to the instructions of the Guru, so he is avoiding or disobeying. That means the sun is setting now. When the sun sets, the petals of the lotus close. Similarly, the Guru disappears from the vision and heart of that disciple.

Sri Guru is Always Manifest

Of course, one who is an advanced devotee, who has made advancement, he has already developed taste for this transcendental mellow. So for him this is not applicable. It is only applicable for the neophyte devotee, one who has not made any advancement, one who has not developed any taste for it. If such a disciple or devotee commits some aparadha and associates with offenders or materialistic persons and doesn’t associate and hear from bona fide sadhu than the sun will set for him. Due to his offences, he will disobey the order of Guru, he will violate the instructions of Guru, and the directions of Guru and he will act according to his own whims. Thereby, the guru-pada-padma will disappear from him.

But this is not applicable for very advanced devotees; those who have already developed taste for this transcendental mellow. They cannot leave it because it has become their life and soul. Without relishing the transcendental mellows, they cannot survive. For those bhaktas or sisyas, who have developed taste for this transcendental mellow, jata-rati, the guru-pada-padma will never disappear. Such a dedicated disciple is always with the Guru and the Guru is always with him. In all conditions, he is engaged in the loving service of guru-pada-padma.

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