Sri Guru: The Country of Love

Q. When we worship a guru we worship the Lord’s potency existing in the jiva-tattva. What kind of expansion of the Lord is this guru potency?

A. At first we shall see Sri Guru as saksad-hari, representing Krsna in general and in this sense non-different from him. Only after some time as we advance will we begin to see him as representing a particular potency of Krsna, and this will be relative to one’s developing innate serving tendency. Different disciples may see the same guru as representing different potencies. One may see him representing Subala, another Sri Radha, etc.

Just as a U.S. senator while coming from a particular state and representing it also represents the entire country when he becomes President. In the same way, when the Vaisnava serves as Sri Gurudeva, while he has his own particular sentiment, he represents the others as well for those whose nature it is to serve in other capacities. Therefore, Krsna says of Sri Gurudeva, acaryam mam vijaniyat, “He represents the whole of the Absolute.” And at the same time, kintu prabhor ya priya eva tasya, he is vrajendranandana-prestha—dear to Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna.

Our sampradaya is primarily a madhurya lineage.This means that it represents the full face of rasa, as all sentiments are found within madhurya. However, madhurya is not an independent affair. As all rasas are within it, it is composed to some extent of all of them. Without the other rasas madhurya has no independent standing. The parakiya of madhura-rasa requires the clash of vatsalya and the support of sakhya, etc. for it to flourish. All are present where madhurya is the primary representation, and thus Mahaprabhu’s sampradaya facilitates all in vraja-prema.

While most of the acaryas in our sampradaya are themselves from the province of madhurya, there are exceptions, and those that find their beatitude and finality in madhurya also represent the entire country of love as Sri Gurudeva. We are the Rupanuga sampradaya, followers of Rupa manjari and Rupa Goswami. As Rupa Goswami our founder represented all of the divine sentiments in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. In Ujjvala-nilamani he revealed his own heart, that of Rupa manjari.

Republished from Sri Guru: The Country of Love, Sanga, Volume 1, Number 1, 1999