Question: What is the benefit of having a Nityananda-nishth guru, as compared to a non Nityanand-nishth guru?. What is your understanding of a Nityananda-nishth guru? please don’t take offence by me asking this question as I am still on the level of a what’s known as a kanishtha adhikary, beginning stage devotee, so I may we’ll have the wrong understanding / appreciation of what is a guru.
My understanding of guru is that a guru is a person who is the representative of Nityananda Prabhu - dedicated to carrying out the will of Nityananda, and would therefore be knowing and loving the person they are representing.
Nityananda Prabhu is the Guru of all gurus throughout the entire material manifestation, so any bona-fide guru will be carrying the order of their lord and master, Nityananda, on their head.
So from my perspective any bona-fide guru will be actually a knower and lover of Nityananda Prabhu, and will be doing what Nityananda wishes. As all bona-fide gurus will be fixed on serving their lord Nityananda - that would make such a bona-fide guru also a Nityananda-nishth guru.
If Nityananda-nishth means fixed on the one you have dedicated your life to please, because you love that supreme person, Nityananda. As you have used the term a Nityananda-nishth guru, perhaps you can explain what you mean by a Nityananda-nishth guru?
Answer by Bhaktiratna Sadhu:
You have asked a very sensitive question. It is not so black and white as it seems. The answer to this question can be divided into three parts: Uttama Adhikari Gurus, Madhyama Adhikari Gurus, and Kanistha Adhikari Gurus.
Uttama Adhikari Gurus
What you have said above pertains more to Uttama Adhikari Gurus. But we have to consider the possibility that the Gurus could be Madhyama or Kanishtha also, because they are much more in number in Kaliyuga than Uttama Adhikari Gurus.
Jaiva Dharma states that even among Uttama Adhikari Gurus - some are Krishnavadis, some are Gauravadis, and some are GauraKrishnavadis. And some are Nityanandavadis and Radhavadis too.
All of them are pure devotees and even if they emphasize or talk more about Krishna or Gauranga, they have true internal love for Nityananda and full realization of Nityananda’s most merciful position among the Three. So they are certainly carrying the order of Nityananda on their heads even if they externally glorify and distribute Krishna or Gauranga more than Nityananda.
Among pure devotees or among any class of devotees for that matter, it is not appropriate to say that one is higher and the other is lower. But here I am specifically talking about benefit awarded to the conditioned souls only.
So even among such Uttama Adhikari Gurus, in regards to parmartha or the benefit awarded to the conditioned souls, very staunch Nityananda-Nishth Gurus like Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura who emphasize on Nityananda all the time are considered even more merciful than (for example) the supremely exalted and rasika six Goswamis. Because due to the dull forgetful brains of the people in Kaliyuga, most of the people need to hear constant and repeated emphasis of the Lord (Nityananda) who can help them the most in their present offensive state.
For example, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wanted every new soul coming to Gaudiya Matha to read Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura's most merciful Chaitanya Bhagavata first instead of jumping directly to the advanced scriptures of the Six Goswamis.
So we can clearly see how the vani of the Nityananda-Nishth Shiromani Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura is more important for the conditioned souls than anything else, because it actually prepares them to understand the advanced vani of the Six Goswamis. This method of approaching Gaura Radha Krishna only through Parama Doyal Nityananda has been adoped by even the Goswamis themselves.
In the same way, when a Guru is Nityananda-Nishth and externally emphasizing the name and pastimes of Nityananda all the time for the rapid attainment of Hare Krishna Rasa, he/she proves more beneficial to the conditioned souls, who really need one-pointed shelter of Nityananda the most before approaching Gaura Radha Krishna.
Of course, this does not mean at all that the Six Goswamis were even a tiny bit less realized about Nityananda Tattva, because they all are perfect Uttama Adhikaris as explained above. They were given the specific task of writing rasika scriptures about Radha Krishna by Gauranga so that everyone can learn about our ultimate goal also and the Vraja lila places can be manifested again.
The only thing is that as Kaliyuga progresses, the conditioned souls become more and more unqualified to directly understand these scriptures of the Goswamis without taking one-pointed shelter of Nityananda first. In such a scenario, even the Six Goswamis themselves will accept that the writings of a very staunch Nityananda-Nishth Guru like Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura are even more beneficial to the conditioned souls than their own writings, because they are the very first and mandatory steps in Bhakti for every single devotee.
Madhyama Adhikari Gurus
Madhyama Adhikari Gurus have reached the stage of Nishtha or Ruchi and more by constant relishing. So normally what they speak or teach is fully as per the scriptures. Thus their case is almost the same as Uttama Adhikari Gurus as described above. Even if they are externally sharing more about Gaura Krishna, still they are fully aware of Nityananda’s paramount importance and carrying His order on their heads.
Kanistha Adhikari Gurus
However the same cannot be said about Kanishtha Adhikari Gurus. They have still not crossed the stage of anartha-nivritti. Hence they are not perfect. So if they glorify Gaura Krishna more, then it may also be due to a subtle lack of faith or realization about Nityananda’s most merciful position. And that decreases the rapid purification, advanced qualification, and freedom from offenses which such Gurus can give to their disciples.
And yes, there are many Kanishtha Adhikari Gurus in Kaliyuga, as stated in the Krishna Bhajanmrita by Srila Narahari Sarakara and by Srila Prabhupada in Upadeshamrita.
And that is fully fine as they are needed to raise millions of conditioned souls at least to their own level of advancement. In fact, there are many many more Kanistha Adhikari Gurus in Kaliyuga than Uttama Adhikaris, who are actually quite rare, one in a million or more you may say.
Someone who has truly realized even a drop of the causeless mercy of Nityananda, will want to share it with others by constantly speaking or writing about it. Because that drop can actually inundate an ocean. Just like Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami could not help but share how Nityananda causelessly saved him in Caitanya Caritamrita.
So I would suggest that it would be the safest for such Kanishtha Adhikari Gurus to always focus and emphasize on Nityananda Tattva for Hare Krishna Rasa, like Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura himself. This will help to develop a very strong one-pointed surrender in their followers for Nityananda first. Because this is a mandatory non-bypassable requirement for rapid advancement in Gaura Radha Krishna Bhakti.
If the Kanistha Adhikari Gurus do this, then even if they are not perfect, they will end up giving the most perfect, suitable, and relevant medicine of Nityananda Tattva to their followers and quickly make them offenseless for relishing Hare Krishna Rasa. This will make up for their imperfectness and thus even these Gurus will be able to give the highest unadulterated knowledge and bhakti to their followers even in their imperfect stage.
Of course, this is just my humble viewpoint based on the scriptures which I am not forcing on anyone. Nor am I attached to see if this viewpoint is accepted by anyone else. I just wanted to pen it down here as it is very relevant to this question.
A Revolutionary Conclusion
I could go on. But I would like to conclude now with a revolutionary statement which is again based on the scriptures, my decades of realizations in Bhakti, and my above explanations:
Just like Nityananda’s mercy is very unorthodox like never seen before, Nityananda can somehow grant MORE benefit to the conditioned souls of Kaliyuga through a Kanishtha Guru who is stressing more on Nityananda all the time for Hare Krishna Rasa than even a fully self-realized Uttama Guru who has written the highest rasika scriptures.
Of course, as I said before, this does not mean that the Kanishtha Guru is higher or even equal to the Uttama Guru in any respect. That can never be. The Uttama Guru always remains the maha-bhagavata and is much higher than the Kanishtha Guru in the absolute sense. At the same time, one should not just brush aside Kanishtha Adhikari Gurus because they can also be used as direct mercy mediums by Lord Nityananda Himself as described above.
And specifically in regards to the mercy delivered to the conditioned souls in the form of the only medicine which works in Kaliyuga (Nityananda Nam and Lila for Hare Krishna Rasa), the Nityananda-nishth Guru’s (Uttama, Madhyama, or Kanishtha) public contributions on Nityananda Tattva may prove more beneficial for the mass people of Kaliyuga in general.
Hence we can safely conclude that approaching, taking shelter of, and reading or hearing such Nityananda-nishth vani first from any class of Guru may help the souls to become more quickly qualified to understand the most advanced siddha and rasika Acharyas. Basically no one can ever go wrong (and by no one I mean even the sahajiyas or apasampradayas) in the glorification of Nityananda and it can never be in excess or can never be emphasized enough. Hare Krishna! Dandavats.
Read here more about Kanishtha, Madhyama, and Uttama Gurus.