credit to Isana dasa
Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.19.36:
PURPORT-“The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī was certainly inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear voluntarily before Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the great devotee of the Lord, just to give him the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Mahārāja Parīkṣit and instruct him in the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One can achieve the ultimate success of going back to Godhead if he is favored by the Lord’s sending His true representative. As soon as a true representative of the Lord is met by a devotee of the Lord, the devotee is assured a guarantee for going back to Godhead just after leaving the present body. This, however, depends on the sincerity of the devotee himself. The Lord is seated in the heart of all living beings, and thus he knows very well the movements of all individual persons. As soon as the Lord finds that a particular soul is very eager to go back to Godhead, the Lord at once sends His bona fide representative. The sincere devotee is thus assured by the Lord of going back to Godhead. The conclusion is that to get the assistance and help of a bona fide spiritual master means to receive the direct help of the Lord Himself.” (Italics not mine)
This very rich and effulgent purport brings forward so many wonderful conclusions that I am thinking that you will greatly enjoy to contemplate……
1) “One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead.”
“Nucleus of devotional service” means the essence, or heart, of devotional service, which is genuine feelings of unalloyed ecstatic love of Krishna. And this achievement is only possible by the combined mercy of the spiritual master and Krishna, by receiving the direct blessing of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. There is no other way.
2) “The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success.”
“Manifested representative of the Lord”. In order to appear before us and impart His instruction and guidance for reestablishing us in our constitutional position, Krishna appears before us, becomes manifest before us, in the form of his pure devotee. In this way, Krishna’s pure devotee becomes the manifested presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as shaktiavesha avatar.
3) “One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master.”
Such a spiritual master, who is the manifest representative of the Lord, can only assume such position by receiving direct authorization, from the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
4) “Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Mahārāja Parīkṣit and instruct him in the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.”
Such an authorized spiritual master appears before us, to instruct us, being inspired to appear before us, individually, by the Lord Himself.
5) “One can achieve the ultimate success of going back to Godhead if he is favored by the Lord’s sending His true representative.”
One can achieve the ultimate success of going back to Godhead, only when the Lord Himself, sends His true representative to us for our deliverance. To achieve the association of such true representative of the Lord, is to be blessed by the direct favor of Krishna.
6). “As soon as a true representative of the Lord is met by a devotee of the Lord, the devotee is assured a guarantee for going back to Godhead just after leaving the present body. This, however, depends on the sincerity of the devotee himself.”
If we are sincere in surrendering, body, heart and soul, at the lotus feet of such true representative of the Lord, our meeting such a spiritual master assures us of a guarantee for going back to Godhead just after leaving the present body. Krishna individually favors us by arranging for our meeting with His true representative. This meeting is Krishna’s direct invitation for our going back to Godhead. And if we embrace Krishna’s favor upon us in this way, by our heartfelt surrender to Krishna’s true representative, our going back to Godhead after leaving this present body is guaranteed.
7) “The Lord is seated in the heart of all living beings, and thus he knows very well the movements of all individual persons. As soon as the Lord finds that a particular soul is very eager to go back to Godhead, the Lord at once sends His bona fide representative. The sincere devotee is thus assured by the Lord of going back to Godhead.”
Our meeting with Krishna’s true representative is not a matter of chance. Before our meeting with Krishna’s true representative takes place, Krishna understands, from within our hearts, when we are actually ready to receive bonafide instruction and guidance from His true representative. At such time, He immediately (as soon as, at once) sends His bona fide representative to meet us. And if we sincerely respond to Krishna’s personal invitation in this way, we are assured of going back Godhead.
8) “The conclusion is that to get the assistance and help of a bona fide spiritual master means to receive the direct help of the Lord Himself.”
That we have met Krishna’s true representative for receiving his assistance and help for returning back to Godhead…..this is a direct manifestation of Krishna’s individual favor upon us, in response to our desire to once again know and embrace our rightful alignment with the Absolute Truth. Therefore we should not doubt that Krishna is intimately aware of each of us individually, and is making personal arrangement for our return back home, back to Godhead.
On the other hand, this is what happens if we are not sincere or Krsna does not bless us with a bona fide spiritual master
So, our business is to accept a bona fide spiritual master, being guided by him, to follow the rules and regulations. Then advancement is sure. There is no doubt about it. And if we become hodgepodge and mix with hodgepodge and do hodgepodge, there is no progress.Srila Prabhupada Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.2.24-25 —Gorakhpur, February 13, 1971
SB 6.2.5-6-People in general are not very advanced in knowledge by which to discriminate between religion and irreligion. The innocent, unenlightened citizen is like an ignorant animal sleeping in peace with its head on the lap of its master, faithfully believing in the master’s protection. If a leader is actually kindhearted and deserves to be the object of a living entity’s faith, how can he punish or kill a foolish person who has fully surrendered in good faith and friendship?
This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In this age, animals are kept nicely sheltered, completely confident that their masters will protect them, but unfortunately as soon as the animals are fat, they are immediately sent for slaughter. Such cruelty is condemned by Vaiṣṇavas like the Viṣṇudūtas. Indeed, the hellish conditions already described await the sinful men responsible for such suffering. One who betrays the confidence of a living entity who takes shelter of him in good faith, whether that living entity be a human being or an animal, is extremely sinful. Because such betrayals now go unpunished by the government, all of human society is terribly contaminated. The people of this age are therefore described as mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. As a consequence of such sinfulness, men are condemned (mandāḥ), their intelligence is unclear (sumanda-matayaḥ), they are unfortunate (manda-bhāgyāḥ), and therefore they are always disturbed by many problems (upadrutāḥ). This is their situation in this life, and after death they are punished in hellish conditions.
SB 2.8.7 purport…Thus one who is not well versed in the authorized scriptures and not able to answer all such relevant inquiries should not pose as a spiritual master for the matter of material gain. It is illegal to become a spiritual master if one is unable to deliver the disciple.
śāstra. Gurur apy avaliptasya kāryākāryam ajānantaḥ parityāgo vidhīyate. Even by mistake you have come to a rascal who does not know how to become guru, you can reject him. Why should you stick to him? Reject him. And by mistake I have come to rascal. Why shall I continue to accept him as guru? Cāṇakya Paṇḍita said, tyaja durjana-saṁsargaṁ bhaja sādhu-samāgamam: ‘Give up all rascals. Associate with sādhus.’ If you do not do that, that is your fault. Tyaja durjana-saṁsargaṁ bhaja sādhu-samāgamam. We have to mix with sādhu. Sādhu means who are twenty-four-hours engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. Things are there. Why should you mix with asādhu? Then how can you understand? Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). If you have got little faith, then next business is to associate with sadhus.”(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Bhuvanesvara, January 31, 1977)“Even though somebody by mistake has gone to a rascal, the book is there. As soon as you find out, ‘Here is a rascal who does not know anything about Kṛṣṇa, and I have come to him,’ reject him. That is stated in the
Srimad-Bhagavatam warns of kali-yuga panditas
Translation-A person’s spiritual position will be ascertained merely according to external symbols, and on that same basis people will change from one spiritual order to the next. A person’s propriety will be seriously questioned if he does not earn a good living. And one who is very clever at juggling words will be considered a learned scholar. SB 12.2.4
Srimad-Bhagavatam predicts the situation of greedy sannyasis in kali yuga
TRANSLATION-The brahmacārīs will fail to execute their vows and become generally unclean, the householders will become beggars, the vānaprasthas will live in the villages, and the sannyāsīs will become greedy for wealth SB 12. 2. 33
Srimad-Bhagavatam predicts the appearance of bogus gurus, swamis etc.
TRANSLATION-Uncultured men will accept charity on behalf of the Lord and will earn their livelihood by making a show of austerity and wearing a mendicant’s dress. Those who know nothing about religion will mount a high seat and presume to speak on religious principles.
PURPORT-The epidemic of bogus gurus, swamis, priests and so forth is explicitly described here