Qualities of a True Disciple - Part 5

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

This is in continuation of the previous offerings titled "Qualities of a True Disciple", wherein we saw the maxims provided by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Thakura. In the previous offering we meditated on the first three maxims. In this offering let us meditate on the fourth maxim.

4. No one can chant the holy name purely unless they see Gurudeva as non-different from Krishna as Krishna's manifestation: In Shikshashtakam verse 3, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that we can chant the holy names constantly and purely only when we develop the qualities of tolerance and humility. When we tolerate and treat others respectfully and politely even if they disrespect us, then not only will we be at peace chanting the holy names, but by the purity and potency of holy names even the offenders will be purified. Such is the power of holy names. If Mahaprabhu wants our behaviour with others to be in the above manner, then what to speak of how our behaviour should be towards Guru who is giving us the gift of holy names? Indeed as mentioned in the above maxim, we should see Guru as non-different from Krishna, offer him due respects, listen to his instructions sincerely and serve them with great care and attention. When we do so, we will be able to chant purely and give the gift of holy names to others as well. The below pastime of Srila Haridas Thakura is a very good example for this.

Although a muslim by birth, Srila Haridas Thakura used to chant 3 lakhs of holy names daily and he was a very dear disciple of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One of the land-lords got envious of Haridas Thakura and decided to entice him with a prostitute. The prostitute went to Srila Haridas Thakura and asked for consummation. Haridas Thakura politely said, "I have not completed the prescribed rounds of 3 lakh holy names. So please wait till I complete it." But however the first day went off with full chanting and prostitute was just hearing the names of the Lord. The next day also he said the same thing. The third day also followed the same pattern and at the end of third day, the prostitute fell at the feet of Srila Haridas Thakura and asked for forgiveness and got initiated by Haridas Thakura and became completely pure. Srila Haridas Thakura's spiritual master is none other than Caitanya Mahaprabhu and therefore Haridas Thakura always took Lord Caitanya as non-different from Krishna in his heart and therefore even a prostitute became purified of all material contamination.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 7.15.25 and 26, Narada Muni says to Yudhishtir Maharaj as to how the pure chanting is possible only by coming out of the modes of material nature. He also gives the easy way to get out of the modes and also confirms to consider the spiritual master as non different from Krishna.

rajas tamaś ca sattvena sattvaṁ copaśamena ca
etat sarvaṁ gurau bhaktyā puruṣo hy añjasā jayet

yasya sākṣād bhagavati jñāna-dīpa-prade gurau
martyāsad-dhīḥ śrutaṁ tasya sarvaṁ kuñjara-śaucavat

One must conquer the modes of passion and ignorance by developing the mode of goodness, and then one must become detached from the mode of goodness by promoting oneself to the platform of śuddha-sattva. All this can be automatically done if one engages in the service of the spiritual master with faith and devotion. In this way one can conquer the influence of the modes of nature.

The spiritual master should be considered to be directly the Supreme Lord because he gives transcendental knowledge for enlightenment. Consequently, for one who maintains the material conception that the spiritual master is an ordinary human being, everything is frustrated. His enlightenment and his Vedic studies and knowledge are like the bathing of an elephant.

We wish all of you a very happy and blissful Gaura Purnima. It is a nice arrangement of Mahaprabhu that we got to meditate on this maxim today, on the wonderful appearance of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. One of the main reasons of His appearance is to distribute the holy names to all and this maxim is very nicely teaching us how we can chant the holy names purely. Mahaprabhu ki Jai! Srila Haridas Thakur ki Jai! Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswathi Maharaj ki Jai! Srila Prabhupada ki Jai! Srila Gurudev ki Jai!

Krishna willing we will continue meditating on the other maxims in the ensuing offerings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sajjana Priya Krishna das
Abu Dhabi.