Q. Some devotees say that their Gurudeva is more merciful than Nityananda so surrendering to Nityananda only through their Gurudeva and following him is enough?
A. A Guru is meant to carry the mercy of God, attract the souls to God and awaken their relationship to God, glorify the Lord, and give full credit to the Lord who is the source of all mercy, without taking any credit for himself.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada writes in His commentary to verse 1.14, Adi-Khanda, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata:
“By considering these statements from the scriptures, it is understood that by offering prayers or glorifying the names and qualities of Lord Nityananda Rama, who is the personification of Vaishnava scriptures, a living entity material designations or bondage, which are born out of nescience, are destroyed. The purified living entity then accepts Lord Nityananda Rama as his spiritual master, and with a purified tongue he glorifies the worshipable Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya under Nityananda Prabhu guidance.”
A Guru will never say or think that he is more merciful than God. And no Guru will ever want his disciples not to awaken their direct relationship with Nityananda which is dormant in every soul (se sambandha nahi jar). In fact, that is a real purpose of a bona-fide Guru. Otherwise he becomes a Goru.
If one separates and gives more importance to one’s own Gurudeva more than his own Guru Parampara and Lord Nityananda, then it may become a cult mentality. No bona-fide Gurudeva would never want himself to be called more merciful than Nityananda because that is simply not the scriptural truth.
Did their Gurudeva ever say that? Those who say this commit an offense to their own Gurudeva himself, who thus becomes greatly displeased when they call him equal to God even in the mercy aspect. It is like forcibly putting words in his own mouth.
Saying this is like going against all what our Srila Gurudeva stands for. And going against all his teachings about how infinitely merciful Nityananda is and against the Bhagavad Gita which states how all of us are not God but the infinitesimal part and parcels of God (mamaivamsho jiva loke).
Srila Prabhupada stated in Chaitanya Charitamrita something on the lines that not even a Shaktyavesha Guru may make animals say Haribol like Lord Gauranga did in Jharkhanda. Same mercy was given by Lord Nityananda too, because as per Chaitanya Charitamrita both Nityananda Gauranga are Avataris.
How can the mercy of an infinitesimal vibhinnamsha jiva tattva shaktyavesa avatara, or even if you consider your Gurudeva as a nitya-siddha kayavyuha of the Lord, be equal to the mercy of the infinite source of all Svamsha Vishnu Tattva Nityananda Himself? Every single drop of mercy which our Gurudeva has, displays, and gives to us is coming from the source Nityananda Himself.
This may lead to subtle Mayavada philosophy in the future which tries to force the concept in a concealed manner that our Guru is God or our Guru is greater than God, even if just in the aspect of mercy. That would ruin Bhakti.
No one can say that the clouds are more merciful than the ocean in the absolute sense because the clouds get all their water from the ocean only. They don’t have any water of their own.
Sometimes Acharyas are called as more merciful than the Lord but that is to be understood in the way that Acharyas have compassionately brought the mercy of God (kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya) freely to everyone. Not because the Acharyas have their own mercy to give and not because their mercy is more than the mercy of their very source God Himself. No one and nothing can be more than God is any respect.
This is a common mistake which devotees tend to fall a victim of because they can see their Gurudeva in front of their eyes but they have not yet seen Nityananda face to face. Anyone whom we can see or feel in “real” becomes more important to us than someone whom we have just heard of, even though if that someone is God Himself.
This misconception is also the reason why devotees sometimes choose to keep on blindly following their Gurus even if their Gurus subtly or even directly discourage them from developing their direct relationship with Nityananda, even though that is clearly against the scriptures.
● My Guru Did Not Tell About Nityananda Kirtan for Hare Krishna Rasa?
Q. My Guru did not mention about taking Nityananda Nam and Lila Kirtan and Namlekhan for Harinam Siddhi. So how can I do it?
1) Its not possible for any Guru to stress on or to tell all the instructions in the shastras. That does not mean that the untold scriptural instructions should not be followed or are not bona-fide.
2) No Guru can possibly be against or be displeased by the singing of Nityananda Nam in addition to Harinam, because it is the direct order of Lord Gauranga Himself, Vrindavan das, Krishna das, Lochan das, Bhaktivinoda Thakur, and many Acharyas, as shown in the above verses.
3) Caitanya Bhagavata states that a Guru falls into the illusory energy if he can’t stop his or her disciples from criticizing bhaktas. But if these disciples take Nityananda Nam too, they save their Gurus and themselves from ninda, which is the common cause of losing taste in Harinam.
4) “Nityananda” is a bona-fide name of the Lord given by our Acharyas. So no Guru or devotees should discourage anyone to sing it in addition to Harinam. Nityananda is the origin of all Vishnu Tattva and all Gurus, who are Jiva Tattvas. So Nityananda Nam is equal to the names of all our Acharyas combined. Hence they encourage all devotees to take shelter of Nityananda Nam and Nityananda Lila for Harinam-Siddhi.
● My Guru Is More Important Than Nityananda?
Q. Following the teachings of my Gurudev is the only way in which I will approach Nityananda.
sadyah param syad
(Chaitanya Chandramrita, Verse 25)
“Even if we strictly follow MILLIONS OF EXALTED GURUS, or study millions of advanced scriptures, we will never attain the deepest secret of bhakti till we receive mercy of a great personality like Nityananda, who is the very first recepient of the direct sidelong glance of Gauranga.”
sadhu paoya kashta
bada jivera janiya
krishna aila nadiya
(Prema Vivarta by Srila Jagadananda, 7.8)
“Knowing that finding a truly pure guru and sadhu in Kaliyuga is almost next to impossible, Krishna appeared as the true sadhus and gurus: Nityananda Gauranga in the Nadia district of Bengal.”
● Srila Prabhupada States that Guru is Not Nityananda Himself
“Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura said, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ: in every śāstra the spiritual master is accepted directly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This does not mean that the spiritual master or a saintly person like Nārada has actually become the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he is accepted in this way because he possesses the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart constantly.”
The above three references make it very clear that we can’t just brush aside Nityananda Nam by saying that I will approach Nityananda only through my Guru and Radha. No Guru is independent. Every Guru wants us to sing Nityananda Nam too: “nityananda” na bolilo mukhe, majilo sansar sukhe.
Those who don’t have a Guru yet, can’t they serve Nityananda? In fact, it is the very opposite! One has to worship Nityananda even to find a bonafide Guru in the first place. So how can we give up the direct worship of Nityananda after finding Guru?
And what about if the Guru is not fully self-realized, which is a big possibility in Kaliyuga, since there have been so many falldowns recently and there were so many cases like this even during Nityananda Gauranga’s time as explained in Narahari Sarkar Thakura’s Krishna Bhajanamrita?
Besides how can the mercy of a infinitesimal Jiva (Guru), even if he is empowered, shaktyavesha, or even kayavyuha be equal to the source of all mercy, the infinite Nityananda? Guru can never be infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent in the heart of every soul like Nityananda is even he is a kayavyuha nitya-siddha. So Guru Bhakti is for the purpose of increasing our Nityananda Bhakti, not for making our beloved Gurudeva more prominent in our lives than even our Lord Nityananda Himself.
And what is the instruction of a bona-fide Guru like Srila Prabhupada: “Become a dog of Nityananda and accept Him as your Master.” So we shouldn’t we follow this instruction too?