Ariṣṭāsana dāsa: Gurudeva, every day we chant in the song śrī-guru caraṇa-padma, “Janme janme prabhu sei – śrī guru is my lord, birth after birth.” Is it that we are only starting to serve gurudeva in this life and that it will now go on forever, or have we already started in past lives?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Some have performed bhakti in previous lives, and some are newcomers. Regarding those who are now advanced, they have performed devotional activities in past lives. Regarding those who don’t know much about bhakti but are beginning to develop śraddhā by hearing from bona fide Vaiṣṇavas, they are new. It may also be true that some persons have accrued sukṛti (spiritual merits) in previous lives from having previously accepted a guru and are now joining again, but they may not be very sincere, whereas a new devotee may advance more quickly if he is sincere.
Devotee: Śrīla Gurudeva, may I please hear from your lotus lips something more about the phrase ‘janme janme prabhu sei?’
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Where is Padmanābha Mahārāja? Please answer.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has prayed in his song Śrī Guru Carana Padma to śrī guru: “Janme janme prabhu sei – He is my Lord birth after birth.” The question is: Does the same guru who is now our guru in this life become our guru in our next life – and in our following lives? Does that guru personally come back to save his disciple?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You must know that Nityānanda Prabhu, or Balarāma Prabhu, is akhaṇḍa-guru (the complete, undivided, original guru), and He may come in any form. Gurudeva in this present form is His manifestation. You should have the belief that the same guru will come.
Śrīpāda Āśrama Mahārāja: Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has prayed, “Cakṣu-dāna dilā jei, janme janme prabhu sei – You are my master birth after birth.” Guru is one. Guru is coming birth after birth. In what stage does the devotee have to be, in order to have that particular manifestation of guru-tattva come back to him for a relationship birth after birth?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There is no certainty that it will be the same guru. But Nityānanda Prabhu is akhaṇḍa-gurutattva, so a bona fide guru, one who is in His line, will come.
Rāmanātha dāsa: I read in an article in The Harmonist that a pure rasika devotee doesn’t worship Nityānanda Prabhu as akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva, but rather he worships Rādhārāṇī as akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No, no, no, no. This is not right.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Do you have that Harmonist with you?
Rāmanātha dāsa: No, but I think it is an article written by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
Śrīpāda Āśrama Mahārāja: I think the point of the article is that one cannot achieve the mercy of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa without the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu. One has to go through Nityānanda Prabhu.
Although Nityānanda, as Balarāma, is not present in a pastime where there is Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, still, without His mercy one cannot attain Their mercy?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Oh, you should know that just as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa, in the same way Nityānanda Prabhu is Baladeva. Baladeva can appear in all forms, and thus He can serve in all rasas. He manifests as Anaṅga Mañjarī, and thus we can worship Nityānanda Prabhu in the form of Anaṅga Mañjarī. Do you understand or not?
Śrīpāda Sādhu Mahārāja (from Lithuania): Many devotees worship the Deities of Śrī Gaura-Nityānanda Prabhu. Is it possible to achieve the same result in worshiping Nityānanda Prabhu as Anaṅga Mañjarī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, as is achieved when worshiping Deities of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Vinodabihari?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This is okay. The devotees can think, “I am worshiping Nityānanda, but in His form as Anaṅga Mañjarī.”
[Śrīla Gurudeva’s replies to this question may vary according to the level of his audience’s advancement in bhakti. In other words, according to the level of the worshiper.]
Balarāma dāsa: At what stage does our siddha-svarūpa (internally contemplated spiritual form) manifest?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: At the time of bhāva.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Any question?
Vrajeśa dāsa: I have one. You are our spiritual master forever. When we come back in future lives, how do we find you?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Until you are liberated you will somehow attain the association of akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva (the undivided principle of guru) [in other words, any bona fide manifestation of Nityānanda/Baladeva Prabhu; any bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa].
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: This question came to Gurudeva so many times. Last time in India, Gurudeva said that the bona fide guru comes in this world again and again in different forms as different manifestations of akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva. But Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura said that, “If there is one of my disciples present in the world, I will personally come back for him.”
Gurudeva said, “How to reconcile this? Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are going on in so many universes, and after that Mahāprabhu’s pastimes are also going on. Mahāprabhu came with so many associates, and after that He sends His representatives from time to time – like Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura – and in this way He sends our guru-paramparā. You will get the association of that bona fide guru who appears on the same planet where you have taken birth.
Rādhā-kānta dāsa: Will it be that same particular guru, or another?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: It may be another, and it maybe the same. If you have a strong desire for the same guru then you can get the same guru. You may not recognize him, but he will recognize you. Mahāprabhu will arrange that the disciple will take birth, and His manifestation, the bona fide guru, will appear on the same planet.
Nṛhari dāsa: So if you have a śikṣā or dīkṣā-guru, and you are very attached to him, do you get that guru?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: If guru is a liberated soul, a bona fide guru, you can get that same guru.
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