Sunday, October 12, 2014

The meaning of Vyasa Puja
  "He comes to this material world to carry all conditioned souls back to God"


The meaning of Vyasa Puja
(From a Vrinda page, by unknown devotee) 

The worship of the spiritual master on the day of his appearance, is called Vyasa Puja. Puja means worship, and Vyasa refers to the powerful incarnation of God who came 5000 years ago to compile the Vedic literature. Srila Vyasadeva could foresee the degraded condition of the people of Kali Yuga and therefore compiled millions of verses of Vedic wisdom, to give the fallen souls of this age a chance to reach the perfection of life.

Srila Vyasadeva instructed his disciple Madhvacarya on this supreme science, and Madhvacarya in his turn instructed his disciple Padmanabha, and in this way, from master to disciple, the Vedic knowledge has come down to us in an unbroken chain of pure spiritual masters, who are bona fide representatives of Vyasadeva. Therefore Vyasa Puja means to worship the representative of Vyasadeva, who is in the chain of disciplic succession. 

Sometimes the question arises why we should worship the spiritual master, who looks like an ordinary human being. The Supreme Lord gives the answer in Srimad Bhagavatam (11.17.27):

Acáryam viyá-niyam navmán-yeta, kárhi-cit na mám-bhuddhya, súyeta mártya, sarva-deva-mayo guroh
One should know the spiritual master as Myself and never disrespect Him in any way. One should not envy Him, thinking Him an ordinary man, for He is the sum total of all the demigods.

The Guru is not a person concerned about worldly affairs, nor has He any selfish motive: He is a pure servant of the Supreme Lord and has come to this material world to execute the Lord's mission. Understanding the exalted position of the Guru, the disciple should offer the same respect to Him as to the very Supreme Lord. That is confirmed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur in Sri Gurvastakam: "The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord, He is the most confidential servant of the Lord."

On this auspicious day we have the opportunity to worship the spiritual master, a bona fide representative of Vyasadeva, His Holiness Srila Swami Paramadvaiti Bhakti Aloka Maharaja. Actually, any worship or offering that we give are insignificant compared to what He has given to us:

Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado, yasyaprasadam na gatih kuto'pi
By the mercy of the spiritual master we receive the blessing of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Without the grace of the spiritual master we can not make any progress.

The gift that Guru Maharaja gives us is spiritual advancement, which one is granted through His association. Sometimes with kind and encouraging words as soft as a lotus, deep and philosophical explanations of everyday reality; sometimes glorifying us, and sometimes punishing us only to save us. He is like a doctor giving a medicine to the sick that is sometimes tasty and sometimes bitter, but the fact is that the treatment is for the ultimate welfare of the patient. Indeed, He is feeling concern about the condition of the fallen souls, and for that reason He comes to this material world to carry all conditioned souls back to God.

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