Importance of Spiritual Master

Hare Krishna dear devotees,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Below was the verse taken from Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.45 in the mangala-arati class held on 17-6-05 at Avataridesh:

nāradaḥ prāha munaye sarasvatyās taṭe nṛpa
dhyāyate brahma paramaṁ vyāsāyāmita-tejase

In succession, O King, the great sage Narada instructed Srimad-Bhagavatam unto the unlimitedly powerful Vyasadeva, who meditated in devotional service upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, on the bank of the River Sarasvati.

In the above verse, it is told that Narada Muni instructed the nectarean Srimad Bhagavatam to Srila Vyasadeva. Srila Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of Godhead, wrote the Vedas, Vedanta-sutra, Puranas, etc. The question that came to my mind, was Srila Vyasadeva is Krsna Himself, what was the need for Him to have a spiritual master?

In the battlefield of Kurukshetra, after the day's war was over, Krishna used to clean the horses, feed them grass, etc... He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and there was no need for Him to do those activities. But, He did all these just to teach fallen souls like us by setting an example.

In the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.40, Srila Prabhupada says "The pure devotees of the Lord, like Brahma and persons in the chain of disciplic succession, do not do anything to instruct their subordinates without acting accordingly themselves."

Here in the above verse, we see that Vyasadeva, (literary incarnation of Lord), by his personal example has shown us that everybody should take shelter of a spiritual master. What to speak of Vyasadev? When Krishna descended on this planet, in His original form and also in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He took shelter of spiritual masters.

The analogy is always given that we send our children to the school. The textbooks that is being given in the school is available in the local market as well. We can buy those books and give it to our children, but if they need to understand the subject matter given in the book and get proper shravanam, a teacher is required.

Only when it comes to understanding the spiritual matter, we question, "Why do we require a spiritual master?" The analogy given above, even though crude, makes it clear for us and further it is said that "yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo". By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement.

We have our parents, children, relatives and other paraphernalia and this is available in the other species of life. But every sane man has to have a spiritual master because only in human life one could have a spiritual master.

Thank you very much.
Your servant,
Sriniketan das
Abu Dhabi.