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Anugatya

Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur describes the fate of those who defy Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas.

The following is a translation of an excerpt from a Bengali essay by Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur published in Volume 2, Issue 6 of Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan, Friday, 11 December 1956.

Devotees dedicated to the Lord’s service are eternal servants of Śrī Guru and Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Devotees eternally serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa in subservience (ānugatya) to Śrī Guru. Attempting to serve the Lord without subservience to Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas is not service to the Lord; it is service to māyā. If someone, according to their own conception and without subservience to Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas, behaves virtuously, visits holy places, performs the sixty-four practices of devotion, practises renunciation, performs austerities, practises Nām-saṅkīrtan, chants japa, practises meditation, or engages in any other devotional practice, they are not serving the Lord at all. Rather, they are simply fulfilling their own desires for sense gratification. When sense gratification is deceptively dressed up as service to the Lord, people are often cheated by this pretence to enjoyment. A deceitful show of service to the Lord motivated by desire for fame, wealth, and women is not service to the Lord; it is simply deceitful cheating of oneself and others. The fundamental basis of service to the Lord is subservience (ānugatya) to Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas. The pretence of serving the Lord without subservience to Śrī Guru is like the mistaken act of “jumping over a goḍā to eat grass”. In the conditioned state, one cannot gain entrance into the Lord’s service without subservience to Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas, and even in the liberated state, in which one serves the Lord’s in a spiritual body, constant subservience to Gurudev continues. If one is not subservient to the eternal embodiment of the Lord’s shelter (the āśraya-vigraha), Śrī Gurudev, and his followers, one does nothing more than commit the offence of worshipping oneself.

Note

When Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj publicly declared Śrīla Bhakti Nirmal Āchārya Mahārāj to be his successor, he emphasised this principle of ānugatya: “He [Śrīla Bhakti Nirmal Āchārya Mahārāj] is highly qualified, and I have chosen him as next Āchārya of this Maṭh. Āpnārā sakale mile miśe tā̐ra ānugatye chalben, tā̐ra ānugatye thākben, āra tāke bhālabāsben [‘All of you should proceed unitedly under his guidance, remain under his guidance, and love him’].”

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