How to repent for not following the Vows given to Guru?
“I need one advice. What is the remedy to please guru once again if I have made them sad by neglecting their service. My guru has stopped me giving service if not all service. I am repenting for my negligence.
How to make them happy once again in this lockdown. I can’t do much in this unavoidable situation.
Please do not mention my name.”
Let me use this question to explain the trend existing now. I have already given some details about not following the Vows given to Guru in the past. In this Post, let us read how to repent for it.
Yes….It is happening in some cases. While accepting a guru, the devotees give certain promises in front of Agni. Promising in front of Agni means, serious promise, not casual. This VOW TAKING is the part and parcel of initiation (Diksha) process. So, an initiated devotee has to follow the vows taken before a guru. Not following the Vows given to Guru is not good for him.
(Surrender to Krishna and Surrender to Guru – which is important? A detailed analysis! READ HERE!)
Some points of the ISKCON GBC laws regarding the vows taken by the disciples while taking initiation have been given below:
All new initiates must take some vows at the time of the First (Hari nam) initiation like the following few:
(1) To chant a minimum of sixteen rounds daily without fail.
(2) To follow the four regulative principles (no meat eating, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling) strictly.
(3) To accept the order of the spiritual master as one’s life and soul.
(4) To accept discipleship into the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya through the Founder-acharya of ISKCON and to remain faithful to their order and teachings.
(5) To remain faithful to Srila Prabhupada’s order by maintaining loyalty to ISKCON and its ultimate managing authority, the GBC.
(Is the Mercy of Guru and Krishna only for selected devotees? READ HERE!)
Some Points from the recommended Qualifications for Second Initiation or Brahminical, Initiation:
(1) To be qualified to receive second initiation, a first-initiated devotee must have been steadily engaged in favorable devotional service, chanting sixteen rounds a day without fail, and strictly following the four regulative principles for a period of at least one year from the time of receiving first initiation.
(2) A devotee, who, after receiving first initiation, falls severely from the spiritual standard by neglecting or forsaking his initiation vows in a serious way or by rejecting the association of ISKCON devotees for a prolonged time, shall, after he returns to normal practice, be required to wait for at least two years before being given second initiation.
(3) It is the responsibility of the initiating guru to determine the fitness of his disciple for brahminical initiation. To help do this, he may require his disciple to pass a suitable examination.
The recommending authority must certify that the candidate has fulfilled the qualifications for second initiation to the best of his understanding.
NOT FOLLOWING THE VOWS GIVEN TO GURU:
A devotee who, after receiving first initiation, falls severely from the spiritual standard by neglecting or forsaking his initiation vows in a serious way or by rejecting the association of ISKCON devotees for a prolonged time, shall, after he returns to normal practice, be required to wait for at least two years before being given second initiation.
(Are women Priests, Sanyasis and Gurus allowed in Sanathana Dharma? READ HERE!)
Restoration of Brahminical Status for a fallen disciple:
If an initiated brahmana falls severely from the spiritual standard by neglecting or forsaking his initiation vows in a serious way or by rejecting the regular association of devotees for a prolonged time, and then later returns to the spiritual standard, the following procedure is to be observed:
(1) The devotee should not wear a sacred thread, chant gayatri-mantra, or serve the Deity until he has strictly followed and practised devotional service for a period of no less than sixmonths.
(2) He may put on the sacred thread, resume chanting gayatri, and serve the Deity only after he proves himself fit in the judgement of his spiritual master and local spiritual authority.
(3) If, in the judgement of his spiritual master, the deviation was exceptionally severe or prolonged, the spiritual master may again give the disciple gayatri-mantra. If the spiritual master is beyond mortal vision, the local GBC representative shall decide the proper course of action.
Hereafter, My Note:
So, when a disciple is not following the Vows given to Guru, he can definitely recover from that and follow the vows again with utmost sincerity for two years.
(How to select, serve and please guru? READ HERE!)
How to avoid fall down from the vows taken by the disciple to the Guru?
You need serious conviction. The guru BELIEVES you and gives initiation. In fact, in my view, a guru is taking risk by accepting (the karma of) a disciple in a hope that he will follow the rules. But, when a disciple does not follow the rules, it is a clear betrayal of trust. Every offense of a disciple may affect the health of his guru. How? Because, while giving initiation, a guru takes the responsibility of entrusting a disciple to Krishna. So, there are serious rules.
So, we should accept a guru only when we are fully convinced and faithful to a guru and ONLY WHEN we can follow the rules sincerely. Otherwise, we have to wait till we get that conviction.
SELF CORRECTIBLE OFFENSES:
Some offenses can be set right by yourself. For example, omission of chanting rounds, Offering Food to Krishna, Worship, etc.
In case , Some times you are unable to chant 16 rounds any day because of serious reasons, you can compensate it by chanting the missed rounds the next day. But, this should not be habitual, but, used only for genuine reasons. Even when you are suffering from fever, you can take rest but chant Hare Krishna within heart silently and complete the vows.
(Can a devotee take diksha (Initiation) from two gurus? READ HERE!)
If you are unable to offer food any day, because of genuine reasons or even willingly, you can pray for forgiveness to Krishna and then follow offering regularly again.
In fact the above mentioned vows are possible to be followed and they take just 2.5 hours a day and we have 21.5 hours more for our other duties. Even in these 2.5 hrs, if you wake up at 4 AM, you can complete everything before 6 AM. After that, you have the whole day for other services and duties.
So, planning and sincerity is required to follow all the vows. Can’t we spare just 10% of the time available every day for Krishna? Out of 24 hrs, 2.5 hours is just 10%. So, if we use this 2.5 hrs for Krishna, it will protect us the whole day in the remaining 21.5 hrs.
So, we must believe that these devotional practices are really protecting us throughout the day. When we feel that we are living for Krishna, our mind will not involve in unhealthy activities arising out of lust. These silly pleasures will not attract us when we work for Krishna who is the ultimate attractor.
(How to develop faith in gurus if you find it difficult? READ HERE!)
The fall down of initiated devotees happen only among those who are doing these devotional practices just as mechanical rituals from the lips – not from the heart while diverting the mind all over.
THOSE WHO ARE DOING SUCH SAADHANAS FROM THEIR HEART WITH UTMOST SINCERITY AND TASTE WILL NEVER FALL DOWN.
This is the guarantee.
The above offenses are targeted at Krishna. So, Krishna can forgive you. There is an offense that only your guru can forgive.
THE OFFENSES THAT ONLY YOUR GURU CAN FORGIVE:
This involves the offenses of speaking and acting against the guru, his disciples, his management, his preaching, etc. A disciple should be in a satisfied and surrendered state in the guidance and performance of guru. This can be forgiven only by that concerned guru.
(Why should we worship Guru who has material body instead of Krishna only? READ HERE!)
Your case of not following the Vows given to Guru need not be called as offense, but just deviation. However, for understanding, let us use the word offense itself.
In case you failed to follow what your guru advised to do as a service to Krishna, you have to approach your guru to forgive you..
In your case, your guru gave you some service as serving Krishna is one of the duties of an initiated devotee. You could not follow that and your guru stopped giving service to you.
This does not mean that your guru is angry. Usually, the gurus are merciful and they might have thought that you have some background that prevents you from fulfilling his request to do some service. That is why, he would have stopped giving service to you not willing to make you disturbed.
In case you are sure that you can serve the Lord as advised by your guru, do the following things:
(i) Now a days, most of the spiritual masters have email address. Find the e-mail id of your guru or his office. Write your failure of fulfilling the request of the guru and sincerely seek his pardon and also assure that you will be ready to fulfill the request of your guru. If possible, mention the list of services that can be best done by you according to your nature and background.
(How Can a disciple reduce his guru’s Karma? Wonderful Tips! READ HERE!)
He will definitely accept your explanation and start to give services back to you. Then, make the best use of this second chance and become the most successful disciple hereafter that will make your guru happy about you.
Then he will start to give more service for you and feel happy about you.
This is the ONLY WAY to convince your guru. Krishna is nothing to do in this.
Therefore, In case a devotee has fallen down without following the vows, he need not worry. He can re-dedicate himself to his guru and Krishna and start to follow the vows again from this day. He can inform this deviation and rededication to his guru frankly over phone or mail or even in person. He will understand your reformation because in this kaliyuga, even thinking of dedicating to the God is the great thing. Being frank and submit ourselves to the concerned authority will keep our heart free from guilt. Just be frank to your guru. He will protect you and help for your serious dedication again.
Hope this helps you.
(I have more attachment with Guru than Krishna. What to do? READ HERE!)