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SB 11.18.39

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


tāvat paricared bhaktaḥ
śraddhāvān anasūyakaḥ
yāvad brahma vijānīyān
mām eva gurum ādṛtaḥ


tāvat—that long; paricaret—should serve; bhaktaḥ—the devotee; śraddhā-vān—with great faith; anasūyakaḥ—being without envy; yāvat—until; brahma—spiritual knowledge; vijānīyāt—he clearly realizes; mām—Me; eva—indeed; gurum—the spiritual master; ādṛtaḥ—with great respect.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


Until a devotee has clearly realized spiritual knowledge, he should continue with great faith and respect and without envy to render personal service to the guru, who is nondifferent from Me.


As stated by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in his Gurv-aṣṭaka prayers, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: one receives the mercy of the Supreme Lord through the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master. A devotee who has been blessed by his guru with spiritual knowledge becomes qualified to directly engage in the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śrīla Prabhupāda always emphasized that service to the spiritual master in separation, pushing on the mission of the guru, is the highest form of devotional service. The word paricaret in this verse indicates waiting upon one's master by rendering personal service. In other words, one who has not clearly realized the teachings of his spiritual master should remain very close to the guru to avoid falling down into illusion, but one who has acquired realized knowledge by the mercy of his spiritual master may expand the spiritual master's mission by traveling around the world to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

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