Guru - Vani and Vapu

Guru - Vani and Vapu

Postby admin » Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:32 pm

Q. Is it necessary that Guru should be alive until you are in the process of devotion and what if Guru leaves the world in between? Does this affect our devotion?

A. The Guru is supposed to guide us and he does so both by vani and vapu. When the guru is present with us, he guides us by Vapu, or by physical presence in the form of direct instructions. When he is not physically present, we can learn from his instructions. For example, when Lord Krishna left the planet, Arjuna remembered the instructions given by the Lord and gained solace and direction. At the same time, we need the presence of Guru to receive spiritual initiation.

S.B 1.15.27 Purport: “The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gita so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight.”

The spiritual master is always present with the disciple by his vani, his words:

Srila Prabhupada said, “Although according to material vision, His Divine Grace srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati thakura Prabhupada passed away from this material world on the last day of December, 1936, I still consider His Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vani, his words. There are two ways of association-by vani and by vapu. Vani means words, and vapu means physical presence.”

Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vani continues to exist eternally. Therefore, we must take advantage of the vani and not the physical presence. Bhagavad-gita, for example, is the vani of Lord Krishna. Although Krishna was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, Bhagavad-gita continues.”

Sri Caitanya-caritramrita “Concluding Words”: The spiritual master and the disciple are eternally united through the association of vani , i.e. by the disciple’s following the spiritual master’s instructions:

The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapu. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master. (srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.47)
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