Srila Giri Maharaja “Without…the Guru, the Disciple is Nowhere”



Dear ____________ ,

Please accept my blessings.

Your view, as expressed through your so-called questions, is mundane. I cannot have a mundane relationship with my disciples. If you want to have a spiritual relationship with me then you must follow the spiritual path:

Bg 4.34

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

Word for word:
tat — that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi — try to understand; praṇipātena — by approaching a spiritual master; paripraśnena — by submissive inquiries; sevayā — by the rendering of service; upadekṣyanti — they will initiate; te — you; jñānam — into knowledge; jñāninaḥ — the self-realized; tattva — of the truth; darśinaḥ — seers.

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.


yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

“The key to success in spiritual life is unflinching devotion to both the spiritual master and Krsna. To those great souls who have full faith in both Krsna and the spiritual master, the inner meaning of the scriptures is fully revealed.”

Verses such as those above describe the spiritual path to spiritual perfection. If you are really searching for Sri Krishna, there is no choice but to follow the directions given above, as I have continuously instructed you to do.

If you want me to agree with you by allowing you to disregard the above shastric injunctions, then you want to be cheated. I do not want to cheat you, therefore I will not agree with you.

It is easy to find a cheating guru. It is easy to follow a cheating guru. The cheating guru will tell you what you want to hear and he will let you do what you want to do. He will tell you that your material desires are very beautiful and spiritual and that whatever you do is the same as service to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. I cannot do that. Nor do I want that kind of disciple.

The guru knows what constitutes service to Sri Sri Radha Govinda. The disciple is ignorant about this, you are ignorant about this. You can also know the facts, but only by following the instructions of your spiritual master. There is no other way.

You can accept the directions of shastra and your guru, or you can follow the directions of your own mind, intelligence and ego. The first will take you out of the material world and deliver you to the spiritual plane of Sri Vrndavana Dhama; the second will keep you entangled in material existence, birth after birth.

You seem to think a guru is in need of disciples, or a particular disciple. It is not so. Guru is atmarama, he is self satisfied, being fixed in his service to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga. He is not feeling any need, nor does he want anything whatsoever, except, in some cases, the need to deliver the fallen souls of this world.

The disciple is the needy party. A bonafide disciple feels utterly helpless and hopeless except for the nourishment and support of Sri Gurudeva. One example we know is this one:

Srila Sridhara Maharaja: The disappearance of the spiritual master is mentioned in the sastra with an example. The disciple is like a lotus. The spiritual master is like the water around the lotus, just as in a pond or a lake. Your late gurudeva’s position is like water. And Krsna is like the sun. As long as the lotus is floating on the water, the sun will nourish the lotus. But if the water vanishes, that very sun will burn the lotus. Without water, the Krsna sun will burn the lotus. Without the help of the guru, the disciple is nowhere. (Sri Guru and His Grace)

A foolish disciple may think he is qualified to approach the Krishna sun, leaving aside the protection of Sri Guru. He may try, but I believe in the words of my guru who tells me that such a foolish disciple will be burned up, he will be “nowhere.”

I pray this finds you well in all respects.

Your ever well-wisher,

Swami B.K. Giri