Causeless Mercy of Srila Prabhupada

mercy of guru krishna

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. By the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 19.151)

Here Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that by the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service. This double mercy is required.

If one is serious, Krishna is satisfied: “Now he’s serious about finding out, about knowing Me,” then Krishna gives him direction that, “Here is guru, My representative. You take shelter of him and you will get Me.”

Krishna through His mercy sends us a bona fide representative; and by that pure devotee’s mercy we get Krishna. Without the double mercy of guru and Krishna it is not possible to attain Krishna.

guru-krishna-kripaya: “By the mercy of guru and by the mercy of Krishna.”

We have to serve both of them, that is the process. It is not that, “Now I have become advanced devotee, I don’t require to serve guru.” Neither, “Oh, I am serving my guru. I don’t care for Krishna.” Both are parallel lines which are essential; we cannot walk on one line, we need both Krishna and guru and by taking shelter of both we will be able to attain the ultimate goal of life.

When we say guru-prasada it indicates that the spiritual master is very merciful in bestowing the boon of devotional service upon the disciple. That is the best possible gift the spiritual master has to offer. Those with a background of pious life are eligible to receive life’s supreme benefit, and to bestow this benefit, the Supreme Personality of Godhead sends His representative to impart His mercy.

Endowed with the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master distributes the mercy to those who are elevated and pious. Thus the spiritual master trains his disciples to render devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called guru-kripa.

It is Krishna-prasada, Krishna’s mercy, that He sends a bona fide spiritual master to the deserving disciple. By the mercy of Krishna, one meets the bona fide spiritual master, and by the mercy of the spiritual master, the disciple is fully trained in the devotional service of the Lord.

Bhakti-lata-bija means “the seed of devotional service.” Everything has an original cause, or seed. For any idea, program, plan or device, there is first of all the contemplation of the plan, and that is called the bija or seed. The methods, rules and regulations by which one is perfectly trained in devotional service constitute the bhakti-lata-bija, or seed of devotional service.

This bhakti-lata-bija is received from the spiritual master by the grace of Krishna.

If one is not fortunate enough to receive the bhakti lata-bija from the spiritual master, he instead cultivates anyabhilasa-bija such as karma-bija, jnana-bija, or political, social or philanthropic bijas.

However, the bhakti-lata-bija is different from these other bijas. The bhakti-lata-bija can be received only through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one has to satisfy the spiritual master to get the bhakti-lata-bija. yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah.

The bhakti-lata-bija is the origin of devotional service. Unless one satisfies the spiritual master, he gets the bija or root cause of karma, jnana and yoga without the benefit of devotional service.

But one who is faithful to his spiritual master gets the bhakti-lata-bija. This bhakti-lata-bija is received when one is initiated by the bona fide spiritual master. It is said that this mercy of the spiritual master is given to only those who have a background of pious life. When we look at our lives neither were we pious nor were we very inclined to devotional service but somehow or other we have been blessed with the greatest fortune of bhakti-lata-bija. It is just our good fortune that we have received it without any pre-qualification or being deserving of this special mercy. It is just out of the causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna that we have this received this greatest benediction which is not available in the entire universe.

aho bata sva-paco ‘to gariyan yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te

O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a chandala [dog-eater], is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Aryan family.
(Srimad Bhagavatam 3.33.7)

The holy name of Krishna is now dancing on our tongues, which is available to those who have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices as per Vedic rituals and studied Vedic literature and taken bath in holy places many times. We never had the great fortune of performing all these pious activities but somehow by great fortune we are chanting the holy names. All this has actually been made possible because of your causeless mercy. It is not because of piety but by the power of the all-merciful pure devotee that just by moments’ association we were blessed with the benefits of all the pious activities mentioned in the revealed scriptures.

We are eternally indebted to Srila Prabhupada for having blessed us with the greatest thing in the universe, not seeing our disqualifications and undeserving nature. After receiving the spiritual master’s mercy, one must repeat his instructions, and this is called shravana-kirtana — hearing and chanting. One has to water the bhakti-lata-bija by receiving instructions from the spiritual master. The bhakti lata creeper will grow and yield the highest fruit of Krishna prema.