Srila Giri Maharaja – “The guru’s Godbrothers.”

Recently I gave an instruction to one of my disciples as to how he should regard my Godbrothers. We must be respectful in our dealings with the Godbrothers of our guru. The following provide some guidelines for us to remember and follow.

CC Madhya 25.227

purī-bhāratīra prabhu vandilena caraṇa
doṅhe mahāprabhure kailā prema-āliṅgana

Translation:
When Paramānanda Purī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord offered them His respectful obeisances due to their being Godbrothers of His spiritual master. They both then embraced Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in love and affection.

Even though we see a Godbrother of our guru as one who is acting offensively towards him, we should practice the proper etiquette:

CC Antya 8.46

prabhu guru-buddhye karena sambhrama, sammāna
teṅho chidra cāhi’ bule, — ei tāra kāma

Translation:
When they met, the Lord would offer him respectful obeisances, considering him a Godbrother of His spiritual master. Rāmacandra Purī’s business, however, was to search for faults in the Lord.

And, in my letter I wrote:

Always try to remember:

Cc Adi 5.147

advaita-ācārya-gosāñi sākṣāt īśvara
prabhu guru kari’ māne, tiṅho ta’ kiṅkara

SYNONYMS

advaita-ācārya—of the name Advaita Ācārya; gosāñi—the Lord; sākṣāt īśvara—directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prabhu—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; guru kari’ māne—accepts Him as His teacher; tiṅho ta’ kiṅkara—but He is the servant.

TRANSLATION

Lord Advaita Ācārya is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although Lord Caitanya accepts Him as His preceptor, Advaita Ācārya is a servant of the Lord.

PURPORT

Lord Caitanya always offered respects to Advaita Prabhu as He would to His father because Advaita was even older than His father; yet Advaita Prabhu always considered Himself a servant of Lord Caitanya. Śrī Advaita Prabhu and Īśvara Purī, Lord Caitanya’s spiritual master, were both disciples of Mādhavendra Purī, who was also the spiritual master of Nityānanda Prabhu. Thus Advaita Prabhu, as Lord Caitanya’s spiritual uncle, was always to be respected because one should respect one’s spiritual master’s Godbrothers as one respects one’s spiritual master. Because of all these considerations, Śrī Advaita Prabhu was superior to Lord Caitanya, yet Advaita Prabhu considered Himself Lord Caitanya’s subordinate.

Even when I am fighting against my Godbrother’s opinions and actions you should maintain a respectful regard for them; believing the differences to be in the transcendental realm, which is beyond your comprehension. You should accept the opinion of your guru and act in accordance with it, as he is your guardian. You may also repeat his words and opinions in an appropriate fashion, believing them to be true, while maintaining a respectful attitude towards his Godbrothers. My father may be fighting with my uncles but if they come to visit me I still respect them as my seniors and avoid the quarreling matters they may have with my father. That is the general idea.

Swami B.K. Giri