tanre sikhaila saba vaisnavera dharma
bhagavata-adi sastrera yata gudha marma
tanre—unto him (Sanatana Gosvami); sikhaila—the Lord taught him; saba—all; vaisnavera—of the devotees; dharma—regular activities; bhagavata—Srimad-Bhagavatam; adi—beginning with; sastrera—of the revealed scriptures; yata—all; gudha—confidential; marma—purpose.
On the basis of scriptures like Srimad-Bhagavatam, which reveal these confidential directions, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sanatana Gosvami regarding all the regular activities of a devotee.
In the parampara system, the instructions taken from the bona fide spiritual master must also be based on revealed Vedic scriptures. One who is in the line of disciplic succession cannot manufacture his own way of behavior. There are many so-called followers of the Vaisnava cult in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu who do not scrupulously follow the conclusions of the sastras, and therefore they are considered to be apa-sampradaya, which means "outside of the sampradaya." Some of these groups are known as aula, baula, kartabhaja, neda, daravesa, sani sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosani, ativadi, cudadhari and gauranga-nagari. In order to follow strictly the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one should not associate with these apasampradaya communities.
One who is not taught by a bona fide spiritual master cannot understand the Vedic literature. To emphasize this point, Lord Krsna, while instructing Arjuna, clearly said that it was because Arjuna was His devotee and confidential friend that he could understand the mystery of the Bhagavad-gita. It is to be concluded, therefore, that one who wants to understand the mystery of revealed scriptures must approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him very submissively and render service to him. Then the import of the scriptures will be revealed. It is stated in the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23):
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
"The real import of the scriptures is revealed to one who has unflinching faith in both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the spiritual master." Srila Narottama dasa Thakura advises, sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, hrdaye kariya aikya. The meaning of this instruction is that one must consider the instructions of the sadhu, the revealed scriptures and the spiritual master in order to understand the real purpose of spiritual life. Neither a sadhu (saintly person or Vaisnava) nor a bona fide spiritual master says anything that is beyond the scope of the sanction of the revealed scriptures. Thus the statements of the revealed scriptures correspond to those of the bona fide spiritual master and saintly persons. One must therefore act with reference to these three important sources of understanding.
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