Radhanath Swami speaks on recognizing a guru


Srila-PrabhupadaQuestion to Radhanath Swami: How do you recognize a genuine guru?

Radhanath Swami Answers: That takes a little education, but in principle, according to our traditions, a true guru is not one who claims to be God. A true guru is one who claims to be a humble messenger of God.

I met so many gurus who had so many philosophies and I liked almost all of them, because I was just learning, learning. I discuss this in the book I wrote. I remember, I was in Vrindavan in 1971 and I was among 5 or 6 other people sitting around Srila prabhupada. He wasn’t my guru then; he was just one of the saints I was coming to visit. And Srila Prabhupada was visiting Vrindavan for a few days, coming from somewhere else. Somebody asked him, “Are you the guru for the whole world?” He didn’t say anything. I was really very excited with anticipation: what is he going to say? Most people would say, “Yes.” And after he paused for a few minutes, he looked down to the ground. With tears of humility in his eyes, he said, “No, I am the servant of everyone. That’s all.” And I was thinking, “He is really the guru of the whole world!”


By Radhanath Swami

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