Tridandiswami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
What is truly the most desired goal in the world? It is service unto the lotus feet of the divine couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Serving their lotus feet is undoubtedly our only purpose in life. Although it is extremely rare to achieve this, if one secures the shelter of the lotus feet of a genuine guru, this otherwise almost unattainable goal can be attained. In other words, if we surrender unto the lotus feet of the bona fide guru and practise serving the divine couple according to his teachings, instructions etc, we can attain the transcendental loving service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, very soon.
Although Sri Krsna Himself is the origin of bhakti, Sri Guru is His incarnation, or manifestation. Therefore, unless a person sincerely and selflessly serves Sri Guru he will not attain bhakti even if he makes millions of endeavours and even if Bhagavan Himself bestows mercy upon him. It should be understood that Sri Guru is non-different from Bhagavan:
yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah
Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.23)
The true import of the scriptures (srutis) is revealed in the hearts of those great souls who have equally the same unflinching bhakti for their guru and the Supreme Lord.
The people of Bharatvarsa (India) are indebted to Srila Vyasadeva. Srila Vyasadeva first divided the Vedas and thereafter compiled their essence in Vedanta-sutra. After that he manifested the Puranas and the Mahabharata, yet his heart still remained dissatisfied. Later, in Sri Bhagavat Purana (Srimad-Bhagavatam), by the mercy of Sri Narada Muni, he described the pastimes of Sri Krsna and narrated them to Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Srila Sukadeva Gosvamiís worship of Srila Vyasadeva, his father and spiritual master, was the first Vyasa-puja. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami was later worshipped by Srila Suta Gosvami. This was the second Vyasa-puja. In this way, the tradition of Vyasa-puja began. Therefore, Vyasa-puja, or guru-puja, has been practised since ancient times. Worship of the guru is performed even before the worship, or puja, of Sri Krsna.
Spoken on the eve of Sri Guru-purnima
and the Disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami
in Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Mathura, 16 July 2008