Sri Guru-Puja: What Is Puja?

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham, India
23 July 2013, part 2


You are doing your service on Guru-puja, but it is necessary to understand what is the meaning of Guru-puja, Guru Purnima. We must follow Gurudev's instruction, that is our main necessity. We must understand easily and clearly what Gurudev wants and what Gurudev wanted.

In this age of Kali, it is very difficult to harmonise with this, but you should always understand how you will harmonise the situation. I have told it to you many times, but if you think you cannot follow proper etiquette towards other Vaishnavs, if you think it is not necessary to do it, I can give you an example. Mahaprabhu loves Jagadananda Pandit very much, but when Jagadananda Pandit showed disrespect to Sanatan Goswami, Mahaprabhu chastised him. Then, it is easy to understand what is necessary and what our advice is.

So many obstacle can come. When I came in 1992, I saw that Gurudev's godbrothers did not give good respect to Gurudev. When I joined the Mission, they could not even establish the Guru—I did that and it was a very difficult time for me. For example, the Dum Dum Park temple was made in 1989 and it was written on the temple "Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj"—not even "Om Vishnupad", not even "Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj." In Srila Sridhar Maharaj's time, they would give "jay" to Gurudev, but after Srila Sridhar Maharaj expired, they stopped giving "jay" to Gurudev. Later, when I came in 1992, I chastised them and started giving "jay" myself—I did not allow the pujari to do it (before he could start the jaya dhvani, I did it). This is how I was establishing Gurudev. It was a very difficult time—they hated me, they chastised me, but I did not care.

In early 90s they also did not make Guru-puja—they would write "Acharya abhivandana maha-mahotsav." Acharya abhivandana maha-mahotsav festival means giving some general honour to the acharya, but it is not a Guru-puja or Vyasa-puja. When I came, I started writing the invitation letters and I was first to write "Vyasa Puja Maha-mahotsav." When I did it first time I made some mistake. Gurudev asked, "Who wrote this letter?" I said, "I wrote it." And Gurudev explained to me, "If my godbrother writes it, they can do it, but you are my disciple, why did you not write 'Om Vishnupad'? As a disciple, you must write it." In this way Gurudev corrected me—at that time I did not know so much Vaishnavism language, and Gurudev corrected me.


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Sri Sri Gurvastakam
'I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, the ocean of goodness who assumes the form of a cloud of mercy to deliver the souls burning in the blazing fire of material existence.'


'He is the embodiment of Hari-kirtan. He mercifully relieves Mother Earth of the burden upon her. He is an associate of Sri Gaura, and more kind and affectionate than a father. Eternally I offer my obeisance to my master's feet.'

There is no retirement in a devotee's life. We must do service until death.