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Guru Dakshina
Guru bhakti and guru seva are essential factors in spiritual life. Guru bhakti is devotion to the Guru. It helps to
free the disciple from earthly attachments to other worldly things and beings. Guru seva or service of the Guru
when properly done is effective in removing selfishness, laziness and cravings for comfort in spiritual sadhakas.
True guru bhakti is in obeying and following the upadesh and instructions of your Guru. Real guru seva is to live
your life and conduct yourself in such a manner that your life and personal vyavahara bring a good name to the
Guru. It raises the Guru’s reputation to higher heights and makes your Guru enshrined forever in the memory of
all men. The best guru dakshina that can be offered to any Guru is a life lived in accordance with the Guru’s
teachings. A tree is known by its fruits. A flower is known through its fragrance. A country is known by its
citizens. A father is known by the nature and behaviour of his son. A teacher is known by his students. This is
the popular belief in human society. Hence, the devotees and disciples of any holy person must try their utmost
best to make themselves the embodiment of that holy person’s teachings and reflect guru upadesha in their
own day-to-day life.

Srila Prabhupada:
We cannot understand how things are taking place. In 1936... Today is ninth December, 1938(68). That means
thirty-two years ago. In Bombay, I was then doing some business. All of a sudden, perhaps on this date,
sometimes between 9 or 10 December. At that time, Guru Maharaja was indisposed little, and he was staying
at Jagannatha Puri, on the seashore. So I wrote him letter, "My dear master, your other disciples, brahmacari,
sannyasi, they are rendering you direct service. And I am a householder. I cannot live with you, I cannot serve
you nicely. So I do not know. How can I serve you?" Simply an idea, I was thinking of serving him, "How can I
serve him seriously?" So the reply was dated 13th December, 1936. In that letter he wrote, "My dear such and
such, I am very glad to receive your letter. I think you should try to push our movement in English." That was
his writing. "And that will do good to you and to the people who will help you." That was his instruction. And
then in 1936, on the 31st December--that means just after writing this letter a fortnight before his departure--
he passed away. But I took that order of my spiritual master very seriously, but I did not think that I'll have to
do such and such thing. I was at that time a householder. But this is the arrangement of Krsna. If we strictly try
to serve the spiritual master, his order, then Krsna will give us all facilities. That is the secret. Although there
was no possibility, I never thought, but I took it little seriously by studying a commentary by Visvanatha
Cakravarti Thakura on the Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita the verse vyavasayatmika-buddhir ekeha kuru-
nandana, in connection with that verse, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives his commentary that we should
take up the words from the spiritual master as our life and soul. We should try to carry out the instruction, the
specific instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly, without caring for our personal benefit or loss.

So I tried a little bit in that spirit. So he has given me all facilities to serve him. Things have come to this stage,
that in this old age I have come to your country, and you are also taking this movement seriously, trying to
understand it. We have got some books now. So there is little foothold of this movement. So on this occasion of
my spiritual master's departure, as I am trying to execute his will, similarly, I shall also request you to execute
the same order through my will. I am an old man, I can also pass away at any moment. That is nature's law.
Nobody can check it. So that is not very astonishing, but my appeal to you on this auspicious day of the
departure of my Guru Maharaja, that at least to some extent you have understood the essence of Krsna
consciousness movement. You should try to push it on. People are suffering for want of this consciousness. As
we daily pray about devotees,

 vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca
                                                                    krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
                                                                    patitanam pavanebhyo
                                                                 vaisnavebhyo namo namah

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of
everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls."

A Vaisnava, or devotee of Lord, his life is dedicated for the benefit of the people. You know--most of you belong
to Christian community--how Lord Jesus Christ, he said that for your sinful activities he has sacrificed himself.
That is the determination of devotee of the Lord. They don't care for personal comforts. Because they love
Krsna or God, therefore they love all living entities because all living entities are in relationship with Krsna. So
similarly you should learn. This Krsna consciousness movement means to become Vaisnava and feel for the
suffering humanity. So to feel for the suffering humanity, there are different angles of vision. Somebody is
thinking of the suffering of the humanity from bodily conception of life. Somebody is trying to open hospital to
give relief to the diseased condition. Somebody is trying to distribute foodstuff in poverty-stricken countries or
places. These things are certainly very nice, but actual suffering of the humanity is due to lack of Krsna
consciousness. These bodily sufferings, they are temporary; neither they can be checked by the laws of nature.
Suppose if you give some distribution of foodstuff in some poverty-stricken country, that does not mean that
this help makes solution of the whole problem. The real beneficial work is to invoke every person to Krsna
consciousness. As soon as he comes to Krsna consciousness... The same example, as I have given several
times, that a rich man's son is loitering in the street, forgetting his father's opulence and property. And
somebody, out of sympathy, giving him some food. But other person comes to him and says, "Oh, my dear boy,
I know you. You are the son of such and such rich man. Why you are loitering in the street? Come on, I shall
take you to your father." So if that gentleman takes that loitering boy to his father, the father is glad, and the
boy inherits his father's property, and his whole problem of life becomes solved. This is a crude example.
Similarly, all living entities, they are loitering within this universe in different bodies, in different planets, and
from time immemorial, without knowing that he belongs to the kingdom of God, he is the direct son of Krsna and
God, that Krsna is the proprietor of everything, and he can enjoy his father's property, and these problems of
material conditioned life automatically solved. Just like if you become a rich man, if you can possess millions of
dollars, then your poverty is automatically solved. Similarly, if you become Krsna conscious and if you act in that
way, then all other problems in the material conditional life will be solved.


Read and listen to the entire lecture of Srila Prabhupada on
the occasion of the disappearance day of his Guru Deva.