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Get the FAQts right!

Guru, the Spiritual Master

This section of the FAQ covers questions about the genuine guru and the disciplic succession.

Q: Would I be able to become a spiritual master? How long would it take for me to become one?

A: The idea of the Krishna consciousness movement is not to become the master, it is to become the servant of God. As you gradually perfect your servitorship to the Supreme Lord by following the process of Krishna consciousness strictly and sincerely, you will naturally have many opportunities to help others learn what you have learned. That is what it means to be spiritual master. It means to become the servant of all living beings, to see them all as your masters and to serve them by giving them knowledge of Krishna.

Q: Why do you bow down before a statue of your guru?

A: We bow to our spiritual master because we accept him as God's representative. In a similar way, one will pull over to the side of the road when a policeman approaches -- not because the policeman is intrinsically different from you or I, but because he represents the government. The spiritual master is a soul like anyone else, but because he is completely dedicated to the Supreme Lord, Krishna, Krishna's power and magnificence (and sweetness) can act through him.

Why bow to his statue? Certainly his statue represents him and therefore is worthy of honor. Doesn't one honor a picture of one's mother? Beyond that, the saintly persons have spiritual potency so that they can reciprocate through their representations.

Q: Do your gurus pick mates for their followers?

A: They certainly do not pick mates for their followers. It is the disciples' own responsibility to find the proper mate and to live with that choice for the rest of their lives. It is not the guru's business to do that for them.

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