PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND
THIS KIND OF REASONING IS
My Dear Isana and Vibhavati,
Please accept my blessings.
Lately there has been some misunderstanding amongst our devotees about our Krishna Consciousness philosophy. Particularly there has been some confusion about the relationship between the Spiritual Master and Krishna. The Vedas say that there is a Master Krishna. This Servant Krishna is the Spiritual Master and this is the conclusion. The Spiritual Master is the Mercy Representative of the Supreme Lord and as such He is given honor as good as Krishna, but He is never identical with Krishna. Perhaps you know the picture of Madhvacarya, one of the great Acaryas in our line, who is holding two fingers up to indicate Krishna and jiva. The impersonalists hold up one finger because their idea is that everything is one. So if we make the Spiritual Master identical with Krishna, then we will also become impersonalists. If we say that our Spiritual Master is Krishna, then the conclusion is that if we become Spiritual Master some day, then we will also become Krishna. Please try to understand how dangerous this kind of reasoning is.
In my books I have tried to explain clearly this simultaneously one and different philosophy acinta beda beda tattva propounded by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But sometimes it happens that this philosophy is given a self-interested interpretation. As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy.
(S.P. Letter to: Isana, Vibhavati Calcutta 21 September, 1970)
Therefore Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura..., saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih: "All the sastras, the spiritual master is accepted as directly Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead," because he is carrying directly the message of Hari. Then again it is explained... Then Mayavadi will say, "Then I am God. Because I am carrying the message of Krsna, therefore I am Krsna." No. Kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. Not that he has become Prabhu, or God, but he is very dear servitor. Kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. Because He is carrying an important message, therefore he is very confidential. And because he is very confidential servitor, he is not different from Him. Suppose if I ask somebody to do something very confidential, so that means he is identical with me, because otherwise, how can I trust? Therefore it is clear, not like Mayavadis, that "Because I have been deputed by Krsna to carry some message," not that I have become. But I am equal because the business is the same. Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, and the spiritual master says the same thing, sarva-dharman parityajya: "Just surrender to Krsna." Therefore, message being the same, they are identical. The persons are identical. But not identical in the Mayavadi sense, that he has become now God. No. He is not God, but he is the most confidential servant of God. This is Vaisnava philosophy. Because spiritual master has to be accepted, saksad-dhari, directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore the so-called spiritual master should not be puffed up, that "Now I have become God." This is Mayavada. This is rascaldom. He is most confidential servant of God, Krsna. Therefore the disciple accepts him as good as God. Therefore the conclusion is simultaneously one and different. Acintya-bhedabheda. Bheda, different, means the spiritual master is a confidential servant, or the servant God. To the disciple he is servant God. Just like in Christian philosophy, they say, "The father and the son, the same." Is it not? Yes. So similarly, here the father and son, or the spiritual master and God, they are same, but at the same time not same. It is simultaneous.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture 2.9.7 Tokyo, April 24, 1972)