DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE TO HIS GURU – PART 2

DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE TO HIS GURU – PART 2

To read PART 2(A), Click HERE
To read PART 2(B), Click HERE
To read PART 2(C), Click HERE
To read PART 2(D), Click HERE

DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE TO HIS GURU – PART 2(A)

We are seeing why we should obey the orders of our spiritual master in this article “Duties Of A Disciple To His Guru”. Let us continue to read what Srila Prabhupada said about this and my explanation followed by that:

“After being initiated and receiving the orders of the spiritual master, the disciple should unhesitatingly think about the instructions or orders of the spiritual master and should not allow himself to be disturbed by anything else. This is also the verdict of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, who, while explaining the verse of Bhagavad-gītā beginning vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (Bg. 2.41), points out that the order of the spiritual master is the life substance of the disciple. The disciple should not consider whether he is going back home, back to Godhead; his first business should be to execute the order of his spiritual master. Thus a disciple should always meditate on the order of the spiritual master, and that is perfectional meditation. Not only should he meditate upon that order, but he should find out the means by which he can perfectly worship and execute it. (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.15)

(TYPES OF GURUS (SPIRITUAL MASTERS) FROM THE SCRIPTURES! READ HERE!)

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“Disciple” is associated with the word “discipline”!

To accept a spiritual master is to voluntarily agree to behave in accordance with the rules and regulations imposed by a sanctorum.

‘Disciple’ means voluntary acceptance. “Okay sir. I accept whatever you say”.

The Sanskrit word disciple means one who follows the rules. In English, ‘Sishya’

The word is related to the word order. So a disciple is ordained by the Guru.

“I don’t care about the inconvenience. I have to act according to orders”.

(Lecture 5.5.1 Titna Hurst, London Sep.)

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Now, a question arises:

Well, you have done wrong against Guru. How to get rid of that mistake?

Surrendering at the Guru’s feet and confessing the mistake to Him and seeking forgiveness in the same way from other Vaishnavas whom we have harmed can free you from this offense.

(Is Brahmana Diksha (Second Initiation) Compulsory for all? READ HERE!)

Srila Prabhupada says about this in the Foreword of Srimad Bhagavatam (that have been summerized here from memory):

“Lord Caitanya accepts all types of sinners on this one condition. Nityalanda Prabhu pleaded with Bagawan to forgive the two brothers (Jagai and Madhai ) when the Lord summoned his Sudarsana Chakra. At that time the two brothers fell at the Lord’s feet and prayed for His forgiveness.

But the Lord made it a condition that they should give up all sinful activities. The brothers also agreed and vowed to renounce their sinful activities. The merciful Lord also accepted them and did not point out their past sinful deeds again.

This is Lord Caitanya’s greatest mercy. No one can claim to be free from sin in this age. But after being initiated by a qualified spiritual master, they must vow not to engage in any sinful activity. All types of sinners are accepted by Bhagawan Caitanya on this one condition. All Kaliyuga people have the qualities of Jagai and Madhai. If they want to be freed from the effects of sin, they should take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And after receiving initiation, one should abstain from things prohibited by the Shastras.”

(ISKCON Disciples Course (IDC) – The Purpose & Contents! READ HERE!)

Let’s remember well:

All the reactions of our sins before we took initiation affected us only.

When we receive initiation from a guru, our guru takes responsibility for all our actions including sins.

Is this a normal liability for a guru?

See how big a risk our guru is taking trusting that we will follow his instructions!

After initiation, the reactions of our every good deed and sin reach our Guru.

“Well, our sins are not going to affect us, they are going to affect our Guru only, it doesn’t matter”

If we keep committing sins even after promising to guru thereby affecting his health, can there be more selfish people than us in this world?

Should we deceive the Guru who trusted us and initiated us? Should we be the cause of his illness?

(Why ISKCON follows Siksha Guru Parampara? READ HERE!)

If we regularly chant the Hari Nam, follow the rules of restraint, follow the Guru’s orders and serve the temple of the Lord with which we are associated, it benefits our Guru and keeps him healthy

On the contrary, if we do not chant properly and live a life full of offenses and sins like average people, it greatly affects the health of our Guru.

If our health goes down, we need not feel guilty. We can take it as our karma.

But if we harm our Guru? Is it not our selfishness to harm the health of our guru?

Is it not the violation of trust?

Don’t we have more responsibility after initiation?

Let us just think it over till the next part of “Duties Of A Disciple To His Guru”

(Why Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati took diksha from the Picture of his guru Gaur Kishore Babaji? READ HERE!)

DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE TO HIS GURU – PART 2(B)

The initiated life is the beginning of our formalized spiritual life.

The life of an initiated disciple is a life that is not lived for ourselves but for our Guru and the Lord.

Therefore, one should take initiation only if he has faith that he will not do sinful things. Otherwise he can think about it after his reformation.

If not, as said by Srila Prabhupada in the previous section that our Guru would have to take birth many times to take us to Bhagavan.

(Why ISKCON follows Siksha Guru Parampara? READ HERE!)

So, never forget that discipleship is an ascetic life.

Well, how important is Guru to us?

How much should we respect him?

Why such a level of respect and worship to our Guru?

The reason is:

 Srila Prabhupada has said a lot about it. Let’s read some more today:

(1) “There is no difference between the spiritual master and Krishna”

Guru – Krishna Rupa Hana Sastrera Pramane

Guru – Rube Krishna Krupa Karena Bhakta-Gane

“To the spiritual master according to the deep sober concept of all the Shastras. Krishna is no different. Lord Krishna liberates his devotees in the form of a spiritual guru.”

Not only that!

(Is the system of appointing the gurus beneficial and effective? READ HERE!)

(2) Sri Chaitanya Charitamiruta, Adi Lila 1.45 says:

“Even a disciple. The relationship between the spiritual master is like the relationship he (the disciple) has with Krishna.”

(3) Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27 says:

Acharya mam vigyananeyan navamanyeta kahisit na madya – budhyaseeyate sarva-deva-mayoguru:ha

“Knowing that I am the Acharya, one should not insult him in any way. Since he is the representative of all the gods, one should not envy him as an ordinary man.”

(4) Without knowing this, can we think that the spiritual master is an ordinary person like us?

No. Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.26 says that he who regards the spiritual master as an ordinary man will be all ruined.

“It is prescribed to respect the spiritual master as equal to the Supreme Purusha. Saud Daritvenasamastha-sastrai. This is enjoined in all the Shastras. Asara yam mam vijaniyat. One should consider the Acharya as equal to the Supreme Purusha. Despite all these teachings, one who regards the spiritual master as an ordinary man is doomed. .”

If we follow a pure devotee, we are also a pure devotee Srila Prabhupada says:

(5) Bhagavad Gita, 2.1-10. Los Angeles, November, 25, 1968:

“So if you follow a pure devotee, you are also a pure devotee. One may not be hundred percent pure. Because we are trying to lift ourselves out of the bondage of life. But if we follow a pure devotee, we are also a pure devotee. The more we follow, the purer we are. So being a pure devotee does not mean that one should immediately become one hundred percent pure. But if we firmly follow the principle of ‘we will follow a pure devotee’, then his actions and he will be equal to the pure devotee.”

In the Next Part, we will discuss about the external outlook and the matching character of the disciples that will be very interesting!

Why our problems continue even after initiation if guru accepts our karma? READ HERE!

DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE TO HIS GURU – PART 2(C)

Appearance and Action should match!

Today we will look at another very important thing.

Do you know what it means after getting initiated?

We represent whatever tradition or spiritual movement (for example ISKCON) that has trained us and helped us to get this guru.

That is, we also represent ISKCON.

So what?

Whatever achievements we make, the glory goes to our Guru and to ISKCON!

If so?

Yes, the same! Whatever wrong/crime or sin we commit, it also brings disrepute to our Guru and the ISKCON Movement!

We have heard the sayings, “like a bull that we protected kicking on our chest” and “like pinning our own eyes with our finger”.

Similarly, ISKCON is a sathsangha that helps us to recognize and bring out the dormant Krsna Consciousness from within us, that trains us to grow to this level in Krsna Consciousness and that helps us to get a great bonafide Guru. If we bring the movement into disrepute, does that mean we have failed in our responsibility? Is there any other meaning?

(How to repent for not following the Vows given to Guru? READ HERE!)

How do our mistakes tarnish the image of our Guru and the name of the ISKCON movement?

We wear uniforms, ie, Vaishnava clothes and symbols! Beautifully adorned with Tilak, wearing tulsi garlands and Chanting beads around our neck, wearing a dhoti, we present ourselves to the outside world as the great Vaishnavas!

All our symbols proclaim to the outside world that we are a Vaishnava!

What happens next?

All the other devotees start showing us immense respect to us!

Why?

They look at our appearance and give us respect believing that we are a humble, disciplined and a responsible Vaishnava!

Did we receive such a honor before wearing those marks? No.

So what does it mean?

They believe that just as we dress ourselves like a Vaishnava on the outside, our inner qualities should also be that of a Vaishnava.

Therefore, when we outwardly present ourselves as a Vaishnava, our thoughts and actions should also reflect the Satva nature of a Vaishnava.

A Vaishnava respects other Vaishnavas.

A Vaishnava respects women as mother and sister.

A Vaishnava does not hesitate to apologize immediately if he commits a mistake perhaps unknowingly.

A Vaishnava does not present himself as a big and important person. He always thinks that he is only a servant of other Vaishnavas.

Just imagine: if you saw a devotee in a beautiful Vaishnava dress yesterday in a temple, but drinking alcohol in a bar today, what would your mind say?

Be honest in reply. It says:

“Oh.. is everything in this world a disguise?”

Does that seem common or not?

So what?

For devotees, a disciple who presents himself as a Guru’s disciple to the outside world MUST somehow avoid making mistakes/violations/offenses.

How to avoid offenses?

(WHAT IF A DISCIPLE IS UNABLE TO SURRENDER TO GURU? READ HERE!)

DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE TO HIS GURU – PART 2(D)

Some may have mental stimulation to commit violations. It’s nature.

The Lord says in Gita (6-35): “Controlling the mind is undoubtedly difficult”

He did not stop there. He goes on to say: “But with proper training it is possible.”

Therefore, when we make it a habit to take satsang with humble, excellent Vaishnavas as much as possible, take only Krishna prasadam, read about the Lord daily, pray regularly – all these things if done from the heart, it is easy to control our mind.

You buy a soap that says that it is a sandalwood soap on the outer packaging. When you take it apart at home, it’s lemon-scented soap. How will be your mood?

Soap can be replaced at the store. How can we correct the harm caused to others by our wrong actions? It is difficult to fix a broken life!

Therefore, a Vaishnava, especially a disciple, should realize that he is a representative of his Guru and the ISKCON movement and behave in such a way that he does not harm even an ant.

Therefore, a Vaishnava should not stop at giving importance only to external appearances. Even their thought and action should declare them as Vaishnavas.

What does Srila Prabhupada say about this?

(1) Observance of etiquette is the ornament for the devotee:

“It is the attribute of a devotee to observe and protect Vaishnava ethics. Observance of Vaishnava etiquette is the ornament of a devotee.”(Chaitanya Charitamruta – Anthya-lila – 4.129-130).

(2) Character is paramount:

“Act in such a way that they know we are of good character.”

(Will accepting a Guru alone elevate a devotee to attain perfection? READ HERE!)

(3) How to convince a Vaishnava?

“How to recognize a Vaishnava?”

Srila Prabhupada replied: “He would be a gentleman.”

(Said by HH. Bhakti Charu Swami)

(4)  “Apane akare keha, na kare prasara prasara karena keha, na karena asara”

“Some people behave well but do not teach the culture of Krsna consciousness, others teach but do not behave properly.

(5) Our behavior is a propaganda:

“By your personal conduct and by your preaching you are simultaneously doing both in relation to the Holy Name. So you are the most advanced devotee in the world.”   (CC- Anthya Lila 102-3 Sanatana Goswami, to Haridas Thakura.)

(6) The devotee is excellent in conduct:

“A devotee is always excellent in conduct.” So we all should cooperate among ourselves, otherwise what will people think if we fight with each other? A devotee is always excellent in conduct.” – Letter to Patitha Uttarana (December 12, 1974)

(7) Vaishnava Sign of Humility:

“Lord Caitanya taught me to be humbler than the grass in the street and more tolerant than the tree. So these signs are Vaishnava signs. (Letter to Kargamuni, 5.2.1963)

(Let us continue in Part-3 of this Important topic HERE)

Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.