Prabhupada 0208 - Take Shelter of a Person Who is a Devotee of Krsna
A Vaiṣṇava never commits any sinful activities, and whatever he had done in the past, that is also finished. This is said by Kṛṣṇa. Or in other words, if you devoutly engage yourself in the service of the Lord, then certainly you are freed from all reaction of sinful activities.
So how it is possible? Yathā kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇaḥ (SB 6.1.16). Prāṇaḥ, prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā (SB 10.22.35). Prāṇa, prāṇa means life. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa, such person How this dedication of life to Kṛṣṇa's service can be made possible? That is also stated here: tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā (SB 6.1.16). You have to take shelter of a person who is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, and you have to serve. That means you have to accept a devotee, a true devotee, a pure devotee, as your guide. That is our process. The Rūpa Gosvāmī says in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, "The first process is, first step is ādau gurvāśrayam to accept guru." Accept guru Guru means Kṛṣṇa's representative. One who is not Kṛṣṇa's representative, he cannot become guru. Guru does not mean any nonsense can become guru. No. Only tat-puruṣa. Tat-puruṣa means a person who has accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as everything. Tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā (SB 6.1.16). That means Vaiṣṇava, pure devotee. So it is not very difficult. By the grace of Kṛṣṇa there are pure devotees, so one has to take shelter of him. Ādau gurvāśrayam. Then sad-dharma-pṛcchāt (ભ.ર.સિ. ૧.૧.૭૪): after accepting a bona fide spiritual master, one should be inquisitive to learn what is the science of Kṛṣṇa. Sad-dharma-pṛcchāt sādhu-mārga-anugamanam. And this Kṛṣṇa consciousness means one has to follow the footsteps of the devotees, sādhu-mārga-anugamanam.
So who are those sādhus? That is also mentioned in the śāstra, we have already discussed.
- svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
- kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
- prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
- balir vaiyāsakir vayam
- (SB 6.3.20)
That two..., twelve personalities are mentioned especially, that they are mahājana, they are authorized, bona fide guru, and you have to follow their path. It is not difficult. So Svayambhū means Lord Brahmā. Svayambhūḥ nāradaḥ śambhuḥ. Śambhu means Lord Śiva. So each of them, out of these twelve mahājana, four are very prominent, that is, Svayambhū means Brahmā, and then śambhuḥ, Lord Śiva, and then kumāraḥ. And there is another sampradāya, Śrī sampradāya, from Lakṣmījī. So we have to accept a spiritual master who are strictly in these four line of disciplic succession. Then we shall be gainer. If we accept a so-called guru, then it will not be possible. We have to accept guru in the disciplic succession. Therefore it is recommended here, tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā: we have to serve him faithfully and always honestly. Then our purpose will be served. And if you take to this line of action, dedicating life to Kṛṣṇa and always engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa under the direction of tat-puruṣa—means who has no other business than to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness—then our life is successful. We become free from all sinful reaction, and without being purified... Because Kṛṣṇa, or God, is pure. Arjuna said, paraṁ brahma paraṁ brahma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12-13): "My Lord Kṛṣṇa, You are the supreme pure." So unless we are pure we cannot approach Kṛṣṇa. That is the statement in the śāstra. Without becoming fire, you cannot enter into fire. Similarly, without becoming completely pure, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That is accepted by all religious system. The Christian system is also like that, that without becoming pure you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.