(Video at YouTube)German Translation
Purport to Sri-Sri-Gurv-astakam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, January 2, 1969
prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam
This song is offering obeisances particularly to the spiritual master, and the symptoms of the spiritual master are described in this prayer. The spiritual master has two kind of symptoms in his activities. One kind is called constant, and other kind is called temporary.
So the first verse says that the constant symptom of the spiritual master is that he can deliver his disciples from the blazing fire of this material existence. That is the eternal qualification of spiritual master. Trāṇāya means for deliverance, and kāruṇya means compassionate, very merciful.
The spiritual master comes to the deliverance of the fallen souls out of his causeless mercy. Nobody has any business for the sufferings of others. The best example is Lord Jesus Christ, that he suffered for others. And it is the principle in the Bible that he accepted all the sins of others. This is the sign of spiritual master, that he voluntarily accepts the sinful activities of others and delivers them. That is the qualification of spiritual master. How it is?
Just like ghanāghanatvam. Ghanāghanatvam means dense cloud in the sky. The first example has been said, that this material existence is just like forest blazing fire. Now, to extinguish the forest blazing fire, there is no use of sending fire brigade. The fire brigade cannot approach the forest fire; neither any man can go there to extinguish the fire. One has to depend completely on the mercy of nature. That means one has to completely depend on the cloud in the sky. Otherwise, there is no question of pouring water on that blazing fire. So the example is very appropriate. As man-made engine or fire brigade is unable to extinguish the forest blazing fire, similarly, the material existentional blazing fire cannot be extinguished by any man-made method.
They are planning to be very comfortable in this material existence, but they are still more being confused and failure. That peace movement, that United Nation movement, everything is failure. Why? These miseries of this material existence cannot be stopped by any material means. One has to take shelter of spiritual means. Just like the blazing fire in the forest has to wait for the cloud in the sky, similarly, one has to wait for the merciful cloud as the spiritual master. That is described. Trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam, prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya **.
So the spiritual master is not self-made. It is not that if anyone comes before you and bluffs you that "I have attained spiritual perfection, and I have realized something by some method.'' No. The spiritual master, bona fide spiritual, means he has to receive the power from authority. Otherwise it is useless. No It is not that one can become spiritual master overnight. He has to take the power from his spiritual master. Therefore it is called prāptasya. Prāptasya means one who has obtained, one who has got the merciful blessings of his spiritual master.
We should always remember that the spiritual master is in the disciplic succession. The original spiritual master is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He blesses his next disciple, just like Brahmā. Brahmā blesses his next disciple, just like Nārada. Nārada blesses his next disciple, just like Vyāsa. Vyāsa blesses his next disciple, Mādhvācārya. Similarly, the blessing is coming. Just like royal succession—the throne is inherited by disciplic or hereditary succession—similarly, this power from the Supreme Personality of Godhead has to receive.
Nobody can preach, nobody can become a spiritual master, without obtaining power from the right source. Therefore the very word, it is stated here, prāptasya. Prāptasya means "one who has obtained." Prāptasya kalyāṇa. What he has obtained? Kalyāṇa. Kalyāṇa means auspicity. He has received something which is auspicious for all the human kind. Prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya. Here is another example. Guṇārnava. Arṇava means ocean, and guṇa means spiritual qualities. Just like the same example is going on. It is very nice poetry. There is nice rhethorics and metaphor. The example is set, blazing fire, and it is to be extinguished with the cloud. And wherefrom the cloud comes?
Similarly, wherefrom the spiritual master receives the mercy? The cloud receives his potency from the ocean. Therefore the spiritual master also receives his power from the ocean of spiritual quality, that is, from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya. Such kind of spiritual master, one has to accept, and vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam, and one has to offer his respectful obeisances to such authorized spiritual master. (end)