One of my most favorite analogies. Many times we try to overcomplicate everything for ourselves & for others. But here guru-tattva is explained in such a simple & clear way.
••• “Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers” Chapter 2
Śrīla Prabhupāda: But you have to learn it through the disciplic succession, otherwise you will misunderstand it.
Bob: But presently you do not receive information directly from Kṛṣṇa? It comes through the disciplic succession from the books?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: There is no difference. Suppose I say that this is a pencil. If you say to him, “There is a pencil,” and if he says to another man, “This is a pencil,” then what is the difference between his instruction and my instructions?
Bob: Kṛṣṇa’s mercy allows you to know this now?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: You can take Kṛṣṇa’s mercy also, provided it is delivered as it is. Just as we are teaching Bhagavad-gītā. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says (BG 18.66):sarva-dharmān parityajyamām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
“Just give up all other forms of religion and simply surrender unto Me.”
Now we are saying that you should give up everything and surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s instruction and our instruction. There is no deviation. So if you receive knowledge in that perfect way, that is as good as receiving instruction directly from Kṛṣṇa. But we don’t change anything.
••• 770107 – Conversation B – Bombay
Prabhupāda: Everyone must make mistake, because a conditioned soul are liable to four defects. One of them is to commit mistake; one of them is to become illusioned; one of them, he is a cheater; and one of them, his senses are imperfect. So every conditioned soul who has got this material body, he is defective in these four things. Therefore he has to take knowledge from a person who has no defects. Then his knowledge will be perfect. Just like a small child, he is defective, but he receives the knowledge from the father: “This is called pencil.” A child does not know what it is, but the father says, “My dear child, it is pencil.” And if he says, “It is pencil,” then it is correct, although he’s a child, because he has received the knowledge from the person who knows it. Similarly, our principle is—that is Vedic principle—evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). The knowledge has to be taken from the superior, liberated person.