Apr 012024

April Fools’ Day is celebrated yearly on April 1, and today I thought of Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that we remain fools before the spiritual master, as stated in a room conversation in Bombay on August 16, 1976.

A devotee asked, “Even nitya-siddha has guru . . . Even the liberated soul, nitya-siddha?” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “Liberated soul never says that ‘I am liberated.’ As soon as he says ‘liberated,’ he’s a rascal. A liberated soul will never say that ‘I am liberated.’ That is liberation. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He is God—guru more murkha dekhi’ karila sasan [Cc Adi 7.71]: ‘My Guru Maharaja saw Me fool number one, and he has chastised Me.’ He’s God. This is the example. If one remains always a servant, everlastingly, of guru, then he is liberated. And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he’s a rascal. That is the teaching of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Guru more murkha dekhi’. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is murkha? Why He is posing Himself that murkha, ‘I am fool number one’? That means that is liberation. You must be ready always to be chastised by guru. Then he’s liberated. And as soon as he thinks that ‘I am beyond this chastisement. I am liberated,’ he’s a rascal. Why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says guru more murkha dekhi’ karila sasan? This is sahajiya-vada, thinking, ‘Oh, I have become liberated. I don’t require any direction of my guru. I’m liberated.’ Then he’s rascal. . . . So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection.”

In a letter dated December 14, 1967, Srila Prabhupada wrote, “I may inform you that you cannot be fool as you have humbly expressed yourself. Better to remain ever a fool before the spiritual master. But if a disciple is actually fool, it reflects on the spiritual master. To think of becoming a fool is the real qualification for a bona fide disciple. As soon as one thinks that he has become a wiser man than the spiritual master, one is surely doomed. We should remain everlastingly a fool before the spiritual master—not artificially but feelingly—and then we can make real progress. Even my spiritual master, a great scholar, remained a so-called fool before his spiritual master, who was outwardly an illiterate village fellow. So, in the absolute world the fool is also the master and the master is also a fool in reciprocal exchange of dealings. Lord Chaitanya also accepted Himself a great fool before His spiritual master, and all of us must follow the transcendental process.”

I pray to be directed by Srila Prabhupada eternally as his humble servants’ servants’ servant.

Hare Krishna.

Your servant,
Giriraj Swami

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