Divine Quest, 8

Jagadgurus have historically followed two age-old traditions: sampradaya or disciplic lineage and delivering discourses from a simhasan or ornate throne. You, on the other hand, being the eminent Jagadguru today do not follow sampradaya nor do you have a simhasan. Why is this?

Sitting on a simhasan does not enhance the abilities of a Guru. I did have one originally when Kashi Vidvat Parishat honoured me as Jagadguru. However, I considered such a throne as a needless piece of exhibitionism and so I donated it to the Defence Fund of the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh during the Indo-China War. I renounced the use of a simhasan and desisted from complying with the traditional practices of making disciples and disciplic lineage. In my view, none of this is proper. It merely fosters unnecessary ill-will among sampradayas. Nevertheless, I have always offered my full respect to all the acharyas of all the various sampradayas.  

What is meant by a Guru-disciple sampradaya? Why haven't you made anyone your disciple through bestowing an initiatory mantra?

The word guru is a derivation of gum (darkness) and rauti (one who dispels). Therefore, etymologically the word guru means "one who dispels darkness". By implication it means someone capable of liberating a person from the bondage of maya. If such a person is able to liberate his initiated disciple at the time of bestowing an initiatory mantra then he is a genuine Guru. If not, it is sham. 

The correct way is to first accept a genuine Saint as your Guru sincerely, and then strive to purify your heart by following devotional practice as instructed by our Guru. It is only after complete purification of the heart that a true Guru will grace you with an initiatory mantra, which will automatically free you from the bondage of maya and you will attain supreme divine bliss. This means that you can receive divine bliiss through the medium of an initiatory mantra, but only after you become eligible to receive it, i.e. your heart is completely pure.

We can see in all facets of life that everything is decided upon by certain eligibility criteria. For example, if you want to do LLB you have to first pass your BA examination. Try and understand it this way. You connect your house to the power supply only when you have installed all the necessary electrical fittings. Similarly, you will only be able to make a withdrawal from your bank account if you have sufficient funds available. If there is nothing in your bank account, but you go ahead and drawn a cheque for one crore rupees in somebody's favour anyway, this amounts to an act of fraud. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a descension of Shri Krishna, says that one need not follow the rite of initiation. If we focus on purifying our hearts by practical devotion, then our Guru will bless us with divine bliss without us asking for it. Lord Chaitanya bestowed bliss to many eligible devotees without giving them any initiatory mantra

In this way, all is possible provided the seeker practices true devotion diligently and in the right manner. It all depends on the seeker. 

 

Original answers given in Hindi by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

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