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His Appreciation of Akhanda-Guru-Tattva

If I would have to name five teachings of Srila Guru-Maharaj I value the most, then one of them would be his teaching of akhanda-guru-tattva, especially in relation to Srila Rupa Goswami.

Akhanda-guru-tattva means that Sri Guru is always unlimited and comes to us not only in one, but in unlimited forms. Guru is not limited to our diksa Guru. Our most important Guru may not be our diksa Guru, but a siksa Guru. In one lecture, Srila Gurudev explained, that although Srila Narottam Das Thakura’s Guru was Lokanath Goswami, in his “Sri Rupa Manjari Pada”, he reveals that his eternal Guru is Srila Rupa Goswami, who is Sri Rupa Manjari in Krishna-lila. The way Srila Guru-Maharaj was relating this topic felt as if he was indicating his disciples to follow in the footsteps of Narottam Das Thakur.

This teaching entered deep into my heart and I was thirsting to at least hear more about realization of such akhanda-guru-tattva.

Then, in 2011, I planned to shortly go to Malaysia to get a new visa. My application was refused and I was stuck there for four months, during which Ramatanuja Prabhu, his wife Gopini Mataji and their four children very affectionately gave me shelter in their house in Kuang near Kuala Lumpur.

One day, Ramatanuja Prabhu told me how Srila Gurudeva once visited them. He was surprised to drive out of the city into the green countryside. When they arrived, it was already dark. They climbed up the stairs and entered the scenic wooden country house. Suddenly, Guru-Maharaja’s face lit up and he exclaimed with delight:

“Oh! Srila Gurudev is here!"

All were watching him with surprise as he said this and then paid his dandavat pranams to the large picture of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj, their Guru-Maharaj.

Seeing Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Gurudev at once felt at home and started ecstatic kirtan, the famous one beginning with Narasimha-kirtan up to Gaura-kirtan, Radha-Krishna-kirtan and Maha-mantra-kirtan. He was dancing like they have never seen any senior Swami dance.

When Ramatanuja Prabhu told me this story, one thing immediately struck me:  How Srila Guru-Maharaja spontaneously called Srila Sridhar Maharaj “Gurudev.” Of course, Srila Sridhar Maharaj was close to him and they had many personal exchanges. But to spontaneously call him “Gurudev” means more than just accepting him as Siksa-Guru. It shows Srila Gurudeva’s realization of akhanda-guru-tattva – how all Acaryas in our line are non-different from our very own Gurudev. In fact; they all are our beloved Gurudevas - each and every one of them.

—Radhamadhav Das


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