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The Meaning of Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā


tvam ātmanātmānam avehy amogha-dṛk
parasya puṁsaḥ paramātmanaḥ kalām
ajaṁ prajātaṁ jagataḥ śivāya tan
mahānubhāvābhyudayo 'dhigaṇyatām

“Your Goodness has perfect vision. You yourself can know the Supreme Personality of Godhead because you are present as the plenary portion of the Lord. Although you are birth-less, you have appeared on this earth for the well-being of all people. Please, therefore describe the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa more vividly.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.5.21)

Śrīla Vyāsadeva is the empowered plenary portion incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The purpose of His advent in the material world is only for the deliverance of the fallen souls who have detached themselves from the service of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīla Vyāsadeva has put the Vedic literatures into systematic order so that those who are forgetful of their real positions as eternal servants of Kṛṣṇa can take advantage of such literatures to become freed from the bondage of material existence. Although formally, Śrīla Nārada Ṛṣi is his spiritual master, Śrīla Vyāsadeva is not at all dependent on a spiritual master because in essence he is the spiritual master of everyone else. But because he is doing the work of an ācārya, he has taught us by his own conduct that one must have a spiritual master even though. He be God Himself Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Lord Rāma and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, all incarnations of Godhead, accepted formal spiritual masters although by their transcendental nature. They were cognizant of all knowledge. In order to direct people in general to the Lotus Feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord Himself in the incarnation of Vyāsadeva has delineated the transcendental pastimes of the Lord.


ṛṣaya ūcuḥ
tvayā khalu purāṇāni
setihāsāni cānagha
ākhyātāny apy adhītāni
dharma-śāstrāṇi yāny uta 

“The sages said: Respected Sūta Gosvāmī, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Purāṇas and the histories as well, you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.6)

The spiritual master is one who is acquainted with the knowledge of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of Godhead. He is blessed by his spiritual master, who must be a bonafide representative of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, because of his being a perfect and submissive disciple. Thus he also becomes a pure representative of Śrīla Vyāsadeva. In this way only, one who is completely free from all vice and is spotless in character can dare sit on the Vyāsāsana. Along with this the spiritual master must also be acquainted with the Vedas. He must have assimilated the knowledge and have properly grasped the essence to explain it for the good of all living beings who are suffering the pangs of material existence. This material existence is like a blazing fire in the forest, which can be extinguished only by the mercy of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The spiritual master is the mercy representative of the Lord. Therefore, a person burning in the flames of material existence may receive the rains of mercy of the Lord through the transparent medium of the self-realized spiritual master. The spiritual master, by his works, can penetrate into the heart of the suffering person and inject knowledge transcendental, which alone can extinguish the fire of material existence.


pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam 

“Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.” (Bhagavad-gītā 2.7)

The most confidential representative of God mercifully appears on this planet for the purpose of relieving all the suffering living entities who take advantage of His Divine presence. 

The disciple is aware that due to his many sinful activities and offences in the past, he deserves to undergo mush severe pain. But the spiritual master is so kind, like a father who cannot bear to see his own children suffering he takes responsibility for the disciple’s activities, relieving them from the reactions.

The disciple must take the orders of the spiritual master as his life and soul. Keeping aloof from bodily activities, he only endeavours to execute his Guru’s instructions. All necessities of life are automatically provided by the Grace of Kṛṣṇa. When the spiritual master is pleased, he bestows his blessings on the disciple and thus the disciple becomes perfect and develops ecstatic devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. In making such tangible progress in spiritual life, the disciple feels so much appreciation that he spends every moment trying to repay this debt to his spiritual master, although he knows it is not possible.


The devotees take advantage of the day when the spiritual master has mercifully appeared on this planet, to express their deep gratitude and intimate love for the guru. During the Vyāsa Pūjā celebration, many beautiful arrangements of fragrant flowers and gifts are offered to the Guru along with many varieties of tasty transcendental foodstuffs.

Authorized verses of glorification are chanted on this auspicious occasion and the devotees recite their own personal prayers of appreciation for the pure representative of God. Thus the devotee worship and respects the guru as good as God, because he is delivering God. While so many wonderful offerings are being made, the disciple humbly thinks, “Actually, what do I have offer to the one who has given me everything?” In this sincere mood of self-surrender the disciple is inspired on this most glorious Vyāsa Pūjā day to strengthen his vows and dedication to assist his Guru in this mission.

The Vyāsa-pūjā celebration is transcendentally purifying for everyone. All devotees relish to hear the pure devotee being properly glorified, because by this, everyone increases their attachment for him and thus the Supreme Lord is pleased.

Appreciation for each other’s god-brothers and other devotees who are offering their sincere expressions of love for the pure devotee are also increase. Thus Śrī Vyāsa-Pūjā day when properly celebrated in a respectful mood, brings all devotees nearer to each other, nearer to the confidential servant of God and nearer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In presenting the transcendental glories of His Divine Grace Śrīla Jayapatākā Swami Ācāryapāda on His Divine Appearance Day, we hope that the readers heart’s will become infused with the deep significance of Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā.