A summary of my understanding of Prabhupad’s lecture .
Vrndhavan 30 Nov 1976
While He was wandering about, a wild forest fire began. This fire was caused by the friction of bamboos, which were being blown by the wind. In that fire, the entire forest near Kutakacala and the body of Lord Rsabhadeva were burnt to ashes.
No one goes to the forest to set up a fire. This is because of the friction between trees is caused by the strong wind. This material world is compared to this example. Nobody wants trouble even though you may make arrangements to live comfortably. The only way to get out of this situation is through the mercy of Krishna only. The fire in the forest can be well extinguished when it rains. Krishna’s sea of mercy and mercy cloud of Krishna can extinguish the fire of material existence. This mercy cloud is guru who is authorized and is a genuine representative of Krishna. You cannot get Krishna by studying Vedas. But if you go to Krishna’s confident and favourite servant, then you can make Krishna your property.
There is no distinction between a guru and Lord Krishna. This can be understood in the way we treat an agent or a messenger of a very powerful person. You treat this person exactly like the way you treat the owner. This messenger does not say he is the king or owner. But he is honoured like the owner. In our temple, we have a prayer which we should always sing everyday which talks about this principle :
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam
The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy. Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it, so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.
Krsna says, ” You are my very dear friend and hence I am talking to you this confidential message. Don’t waste your time, Give up everything and Just surrender to me”. This is the authoritative process. You will not get any happiness otherwise. This is real religion. A guru is a person who has received this confidential message. Shastra does not change because it is perfect no matter what the age is. A Sadhu follows this Shastra and hence he also does not change. And a guru also does not change because he is following the Shastra and Sadhu.
When there is a catastrophe in the world, the sinners suffer the most. Just like a snake who suffers the most when there is a forest fire. When we preach Krishna Consciousness with the regulative principles, the outside people find this a dangerous activity, finds fault and gives trouble to the devotees. This is like an envious snake. In fact such snakes are better than an envious man. All that Jesus did was talk about God and he was crucified. Devotional service is not sitting comfortably in a place and discussing Vedanta. The real activity is preaching to dangerous people. Such a devotee is under the protection of Krishna. Such a person is an authorized and powerful agent of Krishna.