Can't See the Wood for the Trees: The Guru Preoccupation
This is written in response to conversations that always end up divided over guru issues:
Mediation between the supernatural and people, always becomes a problem. The mediators grapple for power, monopoly, recognition, influence and control of the flock. Big buildings, big symbols, big books (and yes big beads), stand in for what is absent and convince us of their authority.
The genius of Sri Chaitanya was that he gave God to people in a form they could embrace Him personally without the corrupted mediator. He gave God's names, to take home and to celebrate together without a price or even rite of passage.
'Diksapuruscarya vidhi, apeksa na kare': nothing is require just chant with your tongue. In any state, clean or unclean, of any caste, of any sex, at anytime; just love Krishna and sing his name. It's that simple, his message.
Caitanya dev, turned the entire social structure of India on its head, by his message of love. Above all is the lover of God, not who is clever, clean or strong. Externally he lived within the varna system, but internally he rejected it.
Love, empowerment and benevolence combined with humility to the extreme; a mad person often incoherent.
We are lost and very insignificant. Which one of us has not screwed up, or been compromised and then corrected by whom we have hurt. Proud, morally challenged and condescending, to often the reality of preaching movements: those who discriminate against and possess, through deliverance, the 'lesser'.
Why are we obsessed by 'gurus', it has become our bread and butter. We need to be with people who love Krishna, guru or not. We need friends of abundant heart, guru or not; and we need to love and support each other, gurus or not.
In past young people often approached me and said 'can you be my siksa guru' and I say 'no', better you look for a Krishna conscious 'friend', such friends who care conscientiously are rare. Why complicate a friendship with such classical terminologies.
I think many of us are exhausted with many of such topics and hanker to be among friends, who allow us some peace and a little dignity, and who are happy to talk about Krishna, and trivia like 'how are you my friend'.
A positive alternative, in the margins if it must be. Where 'love' rules supreme.
Note: These thoughts are presented not in attempt to undermine the 'guru', so to speak. They are simply to bring attention to what must lie behind the names and titles that we use in a devotional setting. The Krishna conscious friend, that we depend on and who shelters us, is the guru; and not necessarily the other way round. Therefore, the guru is refered to as sudrdha-suahrdah, the firm friend.