Photo Album (#849)
(*Please click on photo to see an enlarged image of Srila Prabhupada in Toronto, 1976.)

"You have inquired why Caitanya Mahaprabhu has not mentioned anything about accepting a Spiritual Master in His Siksastaka. But perhaps you have missed the point that He says amanina manadena kirtaniya sada hari. This means one has to chant the Holy Names of Krishna, becoming humbler than the straw, and more tolerant than the tree. So who can become humbler than the straw unless he accepts a Spiritual Master? The whole world is puffed up. Everyone wants to become the Lord of everything. Ultimately, the Mayavadi philosopher wants to become one with the Supreme Lord. This means that when one fails to become Lord of everything, he wants to mix up with the Supreme Lord and tries in that way to automatically become Lord of everything. What he can't perform by his own capacity he wants to have done by being merged into the Supreme Lord. That is the mentality of the general people. But if anyone becomes humbler than the grass and more tolerant than the tree, it is understood that he has accepted a Spiritual Master. Besides that, if we accept Sikshastak as authority given by Lord Caitanya, this means we accept Lord Caitanya as Spiritual Master. In the Bhagavad-gita it is openly mentioned that Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Spiritual Master. There is another mention in the Sikshastak, Lord Caitanya says 'I do not want any wealth of this world, I do not want any following, neither do I want a beautiful wife. Simply I want to become a servant of the Lord.' To become the servant of the Lord means to accept a Spiritual Master. Without accepting somebody as master, how can one become an expert servant? It is not that in every literature you will find the words that everyone has to accept a Spiritual Master, but we have to study things scrutinizingly. In the Caitanya Caritamrta there is mention guru krsna krpaya paya bhakti lata bija. By the mercy of the Spiritual Master and Krishna one can get the seeds of bhakti lata, the plant of devotional service."

(Srila Prabhupada letter, July 4, 1969)

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