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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sādhu Bābā’s promise

Kṛṣṇā Didi told me once in Sādhu Bābā’s ashram:

“Bābā said that all knowledge and perfection lies in the mantra that he gives you.”

Sādhu Bābā’s promise confirmed

By Sanātan Goswāmī in Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta (2.3.5-6)

snātvā sva-datta-mantrasya dhyānādi-vidhim uddiśan |
kiñcin mukhena kiñcic ca saṅketenābhyavedayat ||5||

jagāda ca nijaṁ sarvam idaṁ preṣṭhāya te’dadām |

sarvam etat-prabhāvena svayaṁ jñāsyasi lapsyase ||6||

“Having bathed, Śrī Guru instructed me in the rules of how to practise my mantra and how to meditate on it. Some instructions he gave me verbally and some through gestures. He said: ‘I have given you, my dear one, everything. Whatever other secrets there are you will learn it spontaneously, by the power of this mantra. «

Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī’s commentary of verse 6:

nanu saṅketopadeśena tatra ca kṣaṇikena kathaṁ tat tad aśesa-vidhi-jñānam sidhyet. satyaṁ tasyaivānugrahād ityāha - jagādeti. sarvam uddiṣṭam anuddiṣṭam api sādhanaṁ sādhyaṁ ca. etasya mad dattasya saṅga mantrasya prabhāvena svayam eva jñāsyasi prāpsyapi ca ātmasāt kariṣyasi.

"If you say, ‘how can the Guru, with just some gestures and instructions, within a moment, accomplish (the śiṣya's) endless knowledge of divine truths? (Then to that the response is:) Truly, it all happens by his grace alone - (attainment and realization of) all the sādhana and sādhya (means and goals) that are described and not described. (The Guru says :) "By the power of the mantra I gave and its ritual applications (saṅga) you will know everything spontaneously, and after you received it you will make it your own (realize it) too."

The texts are added to Sādhu Bābā’s biography (page 20, footnote) and my essay ‘The glories of the (one) Guru’ (page 8, linktab 'Articles') on


  1. This morning (Ekadashi in the Netherlands) I read this verse and commentary and I was mesmerized. I am anyway going through a phase that I feel I should no longer consult anyone anymore but just glean my knowledge from the Goswamis' books, as my Guru-siblings have repeatedly told me this is the most proper way to get the residue knowledge our Guru may not have been able to give yet. As the Guru is the external manifestation of the Supersoul I came across this verse just at the right time.

  2. Sri Guru is manifestation of Sri Krsna who acts as Supersoul...I am sure Advaitaji you did mean that...

  3. "I feel I should no longer consult anyone anymore but just glean my knowledge from the Goswamis' books"
    what of cc antya 5.131
    “yäha, bhägavata pada vaisñëavera sthäne
    ekänta äçraya kara caitanya-caraëe
    yäha—just go; bhägavata pada—read Çrémad-Bhägavatam; vaisñëavera sthäne—from a self-realized Vaisñëava; ekänta äçraya kara—fully surrender; caitanya-caraëe—at the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
    “If you want to understand Srimad-Bhägavatam,” he said, “you must approach a self-realized Vaisñëava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu.”
    and bg 4.34 tad viddhi pranipatena.....tattva-darsinah don't we need a current link to the gosvami's in the form of a living diksa and siksa guru to understand these books should we merely become bookworm and get perfection

  4. Anon you quote ancient generic verses, but this blog was very personal really. It is not that simple anymore now – Vaishnavism has diversified and there are so many opinions nowadays. Rup Goswami says - Svajatiyasaya snigdhe sadho sanga svato-vare – ‘Associate with like-minded sadhus that are gentle and superior’. In this day and age there are no sadhus who are fully compatible with my Sadhu Baba, otherwise your quotes would apply. Jiva Goswami says: sri gurvajnaya tat sevanavirodhena ca anyesam api vaisnavanam pujanam sreyah anyatha dosah syat. yatha sri naradoktau - gurau sannihite yastu pujayed anyam agratah. sa durgatim avapnoti pujanam tasya nisphalam (Bhakti Sandarba 238) “It is good to worship other Vaisnavas only if it is on the order of Sri Guru and does not contradict his service. Otherwise it is a fault, as is said by Sri Narada: “Whoever worships others in front of the Guru attains a bad destination and his worship will be fruitless.” The opening words of Caitanya Caritamrta are vande gurun, “I praise my Gurus (gurun is plural).” How then is the Guru still one? It is explained a little later: mantra guru ara joto siksa-guru-gana (CC Adi 1.35) "There is one mantra-guru and so many siksa gurus." So we go around and whimsically choose siksa-gurus that will tell us all kinds of things that we want to hear but that may contradict the diksa-guru's teachings? No, because who these siksa-gurus are is explained immediately in the next two verses: sri rupa sanatana bhatta raghunatha sri jiva gopala bhatta dasa raghunatha ei chay guru siksa guru ye amar “Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta, Dasa Raghunatha - these six gurus are my siksa gurus.” Of course they are siksa gurus through their brilliant books and their splendid personal examples.

    And about bookworms - I did not claim that all knowledge comes from books alone, and that is very clear from the text in the blog, too, as well as bhajatam preety purbakam, dadami buddhiyogam tam

  5. "Like-minded" refers to the mind of the person seeking sanga, not the mind of the seeker's guru. One is to seek sanga that matches one's own tendencies, hence like-minded. We may follow guru, but we are not him. This means that even though we may worship our guru with deep reverence and submission, still our path will be slightly other - our own. And in that path we are nourished by like-minded seekers, that is, seekers who are equally in a position of following a beloved diksa guru but also having his/her own realizations which must be confirmed by siksa guru(s). How can it be otherwise?

    "In this day and age there are no sadhus who are fully compatible with my Sadhu Baba, otherwise your quotes would apply."

    Obviously that quote applies to all ages. To say otherwise may be a way to glorify one's own guru. But at the expense of other sadhus? Not a chance.

  6. "Like-minded" refers to the mind of the person seeking sanga, not the mind of the seeker's guru. "

    sadhoh - of the sadhu, svataH - than oneself, vare - greater.

    Who else can that be than the Guru or some senior devotee?

    "How can it be otherwise?"

    I happen to agree with the paragraph that preceded this, personally, but of course it can be otherwise.

    "But at the expense of other sadhus? Not a chance."

    This very blog is founded on the premise that such an attitude is not expressed. Please do not imply otherwise, as I dont see it in this blog. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  7. Like minded means sharing the same aspiration. There is a difference between diksa guru and siksa for a reason. Senior implies superior, higher rank. Superior cannot be "like". Superior is in fact unlike. A superior is honored with reverence, awe - diksa guru. Equal is less formal, more intimate. If the sadhu is superior then how can you call him "like-minded"? If you say he is of the same mind as yours then you are not being proper. If you say you are the same mind as him, then you are being, well, foolish.

    I trust that you do not intend to NOT honor sadhus in general. But it becomes a conundrum when one says, "No sadhu is as great as my gurudev." Because of "this day and age" there is no bhakti manifesting in jivas' hearts? How can this be when exactly the opposite is the case?

    What I think is happening is you are just feeling intense separation from your baba and so you provoke others to come and alleviate your pain. But how can anyone, such a special baba you had...

  8. With the final paragraph you flatter me into passing this comment. Strictly speaking I should have blocked it because of your defiance of Rupa Goswami in the other paragraphs. Next time I will be less lenient.

  9. Loved this post! Jai Guru, Sri Guru.


  10. Anonymous, in "svajatiyasaya snigdhe sadho sanga svato-vare" Srila Rupa Goswami is not indicating just "like-minded". Whoever translates that as simply "like-minded" is not translating correctly. Sva-jatiya means same group, same bhav.

    So, a Vaishnava that is of one's own bhav (gopi-bhav in general and manjari-bhav in particular in the case of Adwaita das) as well as "snigdha" or affectionate towards him, and svato-vare, more advanced in manjari-bhav than himself, is the kind of sanga that Srila Rupa Goswami is advising Adwaita and all of us to seek out.

    Adwaita's diksha and siksha guru was Sadhu Baba, and he also seeks sanga from his own guru-bhais and bheins, asking them questions and taking advice from them.

    What more should he do?

  11. Hare Krishna,

    In so many words, you have said still the same thing: like-minded. Because in English its too difficult to translate bhav, like-minded is a broad expression that, for lack of better words in English, can mean all those things you mention. But still, the mind, or the bhav, is of the seeker, not of the seeker's guru. One cannot procure sanga for one's guru.

    I am sure Advaita das is doing superbly and I have no comments on what he should or should not do.

  12. Advaita Prabhu, you wrote:

    I am going through a phase that I feel I should no longer consult anyone anymore but just glean my knowledge from the Goswamis' books . . .

    I think it's important to strengthen our internal dialog with Lord Syama. He will always respond to our spiritual needs. Sometimes we just need to quiet things down to hear Him.

  13. Thanks for sharing this great post. Truly, it all happens by his grace alone all the sādhana and sādhya that are described and not described. it is very helpful.