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The Meaning of Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā

Vyāsa-Pūjā, worship of the spiritual master, is not some modern invention. It has existed since history began. Śrīla Vyāsadeva is the incarnation of Godhead who compiled the Vedas over five thousand years ago. So “Vyāsa-Pūjā refers to worshiping the bona fide guru who is following in disciplic succession from Śrīla Vyāsadeva.

People sometimes question why the spiritual master who appears as an ordinary human being is worshiped in the same way as we worship the Supreme Lord Himself. This is not very difficult to understand even by material example. For instance, the viceroy or representative of the king is given all respects that are due to the king. Sometimes presentations are even made to him when in fact they are meant for the king, but he never keeps such gifts for himself, nor does he consider that since all these people are honouring him that he has become as good as the king. He always remains the king’s obedient servant.

Similarly, the spiritual master is the most obedient servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. He never thinks that his disciples are worshiping him. He is simply accepting it all on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. As far as the disciple is concerned, he has no other means of approaching Kṛṣṇa save and except through the medium of the bona fide spiritual master. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, a great ācārya in the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, has written “By the mercy of the spiritual master, one receives. The benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, no one can make any advancement.” Therefore, all respect, worship and humble service are due to the spiritual master, who is addressed as “His Divine Grace,” because without his help no one can become free from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

His Divine Grace Śrīla Jayapatākā Swami Ācāryapāda has practically demonstrated the qualities of a bona fide representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For many years a leading disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanata Swami Prabhupāda, Śrīla Jayapatākā Swami Ācāryapāda was one of the eleven leading disciples chosen by Śrīla Prabhupāda to act as an ācārya for the Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement.

In appreciation of his divine work, his disciples have compiled these humble offerings in an attempt to glorify their eternal well-wisher, His Divine Grace Śrīla Jayapatākā Swami ācāryapāda.