An excerpt from Sripad Tyagi Maharaj's lecture. His Holiness began with remembering descriptions heard from Srila Gurudev Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, of the intimate and exemplary relationship he shared with his Guru, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He continued with emphasising the importance of wholeheartedly surrendering to Sri Guru-Vaisnava and the living agent of divinity in order to make genuine progress in spiritual life.
"Once we heard from Srila Gurudev, 'Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is governed by the law of love and affection.' And the law of love and affection is that everyone is fully submissive and surrendered to Guru out of attraction and appreciation for his mercy, for his sweetness, for what the Guru is revealing in their hearts... It is motivated and inspired by that love and affection that we adhere more and more strictly or strongly to the word of Sri Guru. That's the real thing, because even if we follow out of some conception of duty, that won't be the point either. Someone might do all these things but if their motivation is not one of reciprocal affection that also won’t be what is intended to be cultivated...
"...We preach about Krishna, we preach about Mahaprabhu, we preach about Nityananda Prabhu, we preach about the Braja Gopis, we preach about the Dasavatars, we preach about the Purusa Avatars -- we preach about so many things, but when it really comes down to it, our actual main thing is serving Guru and Vaisnava. And if someone hears all these things and says, 'Oh ok, yes, I want to be a devotee of Mahaprabhu', then actually they're not in our line. That's actually not our thing. It's our line but if one considers that to be the final conclusion of the line, then it's not. 'Yes, I want to serve Sri Krishna' -- ok, but if that's all you understand then you still don't get it. So, this is the main thing.
"We see in the world and in the historical sense, things generally 'slide out'. There's the original group that had some direct experience, personal appreciation and affection, all these things, then gradually persons later on have a more mild experience, and it becomes less and less vibrant. So the life of our Mission, the life of our endeavour, is the strength of that desire to serve the living Guru and Vaisnava; if we can maintain that kind of fire then we'll have some potency and a movement going in this world that is a real thing that can be drawn into people's hearts. But if it becomes just admiration of who was before, according to our own design, it's actually not what this is, even though it has the same name with all the same people and the same activities. The thing that makes it alive, the thing that makes it the most progressive form of all these things, is when someone is living in that state of surrender to another living person here. That is the secret of spiritual life given by Srila Saraswati Thakur: that if one has devotion for the Guru as they have for the Lord, if one considers the Guru literally as the Lord -- alive in this chair in front of me now -- that kind of faith is what creates a living spiritual movement in the world. And what a super thing, what a happy, super opportunity, to take part of and to give others the chance to participate in that type of high voltage, real-time experience."