& About Guru
VS, Sri Prabhuapada claims that he has given the actual original message of Sri Krshna to Arjuna in his Bhagavad Gita As It Is without any change just like a mailman delivers a mail without any change. How could it be? Why one should believe that he has not changed the message knowingly or unknowingly?
This is a very good question. Because you questioned it, I believe you are really interested to know what Krshna really said and want to use the knowledge for your spiritual benefit. Therefore, I answer it here. Sri Prabhupada said he knew the real message from his guru Sri Bhakti-siddhanta Sarasvati who knew it from his guru who knew it from his guru, and so on the chain goes all the way to Krshna Himself.
Then one might question: why all these gurus would want to pass on the pure message of Krshna to their disciples? The answer is: The only purpose of their lives was to love Krshna, do what Krshna said, and tell others about what Krshna is, and what He said for the benefit of all. When they lived and disappeared for the only purpose, how could we of our limited knowledge and intelligence and with more or less unspiritual desires say they lived to cheat us? They lived not only for the spiritual benefit of the people of their time, but for future generations as well. They did not have any selfish motive to lie. They all had completely surrendered to their guru and Krshna. Their love for Krshna was immensely more than your and my love for our wives, children, parents, and self. They have practiced what they have preached. And still some unfortunate people would not believe them. When Krshna was on earth in person, there were people who did not believe He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead or even a demigod. This is only because they are not intelligent enough spiritually to believe it, or they really do not care what God is or what He said. “Mistakes, illusions, cheating, and defective perceptions do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages.” (Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-Lila 2.86)
Then some may say, “Why I should believe any one? Why not I find out my self?” The answer is: Yes you could, but you will need to purify your self by the processes prescribed in Shastras under the guidance of a guru in order to receive the message from within you. If a radio is defective, it will not give message as was transmitted. If your mind, body, intelligence, ego, and senses are not perfected, you will not be able to pick up the message correctly. The effort is like re-inventing the wheel. It is smart to take advantage of recognized authorities and experts just as we do in our normal lives. One cannot become a doctor just by studying medical books from a library and not studying under a university professor. Similarly, one cannot understand fully what Krshna said without accepting a guru from a disciplic succession of an authentic sampradaya. Knowing is of no use if not practiced.
Then some may say, “I do not want to accept a guru because I do not want him to control me (I rathrer want to control him). I want to keep my freedom.” The answer is: In your normal life you hardly keet your freedom. At job you surrender to you boss, at home you surrender to your wife, children or parents. On road or if you are a business man, you surrender to the laws of government. When you get sick you surrender to a doctor. So then, what is wrong in surrendering to a guru for spiritual progress? (You would not be able to control him because he already would have his guru. If not, you could not get Krshna’s full pure message through him. One blind cannot see with the help of another blind.) -S Vyas