The following are excerpts from Walking with A Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2008 and 2010 by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja
Vimalā dāsī: Śrīla Gurudeva, does transcendental greed come from sukṛti or by the mercy of guru?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Sukṛti and the mercy of guru are the same, in the sense that by sukṛti one attains the mercy of devotees and by the mercy of devotees one develops greed.
Viṣṇu dāsa: Śrī guru’s physical association and his instructions are the same. At the same time, when we are sitting in front of you, our minds are completely focused and peaceful and spiritualized; whereas when we are reading, our minds wander here and there.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Vāṇī (instructions) and vapu (physical presence) are the same. However, if you follow śrī guru’s instructions, you will be attracted to Kṛṣṇa very quickly. So try to follow his words. Association means ‘to follow him,’ not ‘to physically be with him.’ It does not matter whether or not you are physically with him. If you follow his instructions, there will be an effect.
Walking with A Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations May 30, 2008
Aniruddha dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, which is more important: vapu, the physical presence of guru, or vāṇī, the instructions of guru?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: When we compare vapu and vāṇī, vāṇī is better. It is better to serve. The disciple must follow gurudeva’s instructions. However, if vāṇī is with vapu, then vapu is so exalted.
Walking with A Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations June 13, 2008
Devotee: What is greater: vapu-sevā (personal service to the form of śrī guru) or vāṇī-sevā (service to his instructions)?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Both are equal.
Devotee: We are attracted towards vapu-sevā.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Vāṇī means following his instructions and vapu means serving his body. Both are the same. Sometimes a person can be cheated in vapu-sevā, but he cannot be cheated in vāṇī-sevā. If one follows śrī guru’s instructions, he will be benefitted and get auspiciousness. Engaging in vapu-sevā, some foolish persons don’t do vāṇī-sevā (service to guru’s instructions). It will take such persons lifetimes to attain perfection. Therefore we also need to do vāṇī-sevā.
Walking with A Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations August 3, 2010
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