SRI HIT PREMANANDAJI
Vrindavan – Radhavallabha Sampradaya
Question & Answers, CAN ONE CHANGE THEIR GURU? The original Video can be played from YouTube. This page brings also the English translation from Hindi, translated by Hari Radhacharan Das. (reverence and contact and the end oft the page)
A foreword from Jagadananda das ‘Vrindavan’ about this video:
This excerpt of a Premananda Baba talk is really a breath of fresh air in a very musty smelling barnyard. A man is asking how one can change guru when one loses faith, but is prohibited by scriptures from doing so.
Baba says, The idea that one changes or does not change gurus is an error in understanding. When one accepts that God is the Ultimate Goal for which one strives, then from that moment Krishna in the form of Guru becomes active within one’s heart. Then Guru both gives the impulse to seek further and further and then reveals the external guru, his external manifestation. To come to the point where one no longer needs the guru is also a misunderstanding. There are only new manifestations of the same One Guru appearing according to need, or the overwhelming sense of gratitude that the marvellous manifestations of Guru Tattva make at various points in our lives. ‘adbhuta jahako prakash‘ “Wonderful are his manifestations!” The ‘Inner Guru’ will not allow anything to stop you from moving forward. And one who is committed to the ‘Highest Truth’ will not allow anything to stop him from moving forward towards that goal… This segment is worth very careful attention. We must move forward!
DEVOTEE: I have some doubts. It is said that Bhagavan Sri Krishna only gave knowledge to Arjuna once he had accepted him as Guru. When he accepted him as Guru, then he received knowledge. And then the Acharyas say that “without the Guru, one can not attain the supreme destination. If you don’t accept a Guru, then whatever bhajan/worship you do is not accepted by Bhagavan”.
Now you [addressing Hit Premanandaji] explained previously what qualifications a Guru should possess, how they should be, how one should accept a Guru.
So getting to my question now, imagine there’s someone who becomes influenced by the katha (talking) of a travelling Bhagavata speaker and they end up taking diksha (initiation) from that person, it may even be that they took diksha due to the recommendation/pressure from a friend or seeing the speaker’s external appearance etc.
But let’s say that later on, this person ends up hearing your explanation on how the ideal Guru should be, then they will fall into a dilemma. There was another devotee here who asked a question relating to this previously as well, he was saying very clearly that “Now I have no Guru”, but he was deeply confused/in a dilemma because every time he spoke to the local Acharya where he stays he would first tell them “Maharajaji I have taken Guru Diksha, but I don’t feel any satisfaction in the heart, nor does remembrance of my Guru come in my heart. When I chant the mantra, my heart doesn’t experience any peace. Now I want to change Guru”. Immediately they reply to him “No! No! The scriptures say that you can’t change Guru. This is a very big offence!”
HIT PREMANANDAJI: Look, the idea of changing the Guru and not changing the Guru are both based on ignorance. In our heart we accepted the Guru as the form of absolute reality [para-tattvabrahman-svarupa]. Now if you want to move forward in your spiritual progress and you find a path, a process which will facilitate that, then you should know that the Guru is inspiring you from within and secondly, that externally the Guru is also accepting you [in the form of the external person Guru].
The Guru has not been changed, it is the Guru who has changed their form only; so therefore the disciple also made this change in accordance with that, in accordance with the Guru changing their external form. The disciple has to recognise who and where is my Guru. akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram – “he whose form is one whole, which is indivisible, present everywhere,
pervades both moving (living) & non-moving (non-living) manifestation.” – [Guru Gita, Skanda Purana].
What happens is that ignorant people get caught in this trap [with the concept of having to remain stuck with a particular physical manifestation of Guru and hence stifle their spiritual progress] and they are often exploited emotionally, physically, materially etc. I don’t accept any of this. I myself don’t accept this concept. And by the grace of Bhagavan, because of me not accepting these limited concepts I was able to move forward and progress on my spiritual path. Sannyasis used to swear at me. They’d tell me that “you’ve become polluted, you’ve lost your intelligence.” They’d say “Look at how superior the path of a Sannyasi is, it makes you realise that you are the Ultimate-reality [brahman-svarupa] and here you are, accepting servanthood [dasatva/bhakti path]”. I just used to tell them “Yes your knowledge is correct.” because ‘prīti na kāhu kī kāni vichāre, mārag-apmārag vithakit mann ko anusarat nivāre’ – “Love never considers any sense of shame or limits. Who could prevent a love-filled mind from following its course, whether it be considered wrong or right?” – Sri-Hit-Chaurasi 42.
In no way can we stop moving forward! Making progress. We will take steps forward for the sake of Bhagavad-Prapti [Attainment of Bhagavan]. If we are not getting support to move forward in the path of the Guru that we have accepted, then we must instead accept a Guru who is giving us great enthusiasm to attain our goal. Whatever so called aparadha [offence] we get, we’ll see to that. In reality no offence will be made. We’re moving forward for the sake of attaining Bhagavan. It’s not that when you’ve got the tulasi-neck-beads [kanthi-mala] tied around your neck now [which takes place during initiation/diksha from a Guru], that then now you are captured, you are trapped or that there will be some offence if you leave. It’ll be an offence if you remain trapped there [halfheartedly]!