Power of Association - Part 7

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

We saw the qualities of a disciple from the hunter in our last offering on the story of Mrgari. We shall continue to meditate further on this topic. 

By the purity and association of Narada muni the hunter was convinced that he has committed grave sins all along and desperately wanted to absolve of all his sins. He completely surrendered unto Narada muni enquiring him of the way he can be relieved of all the reactions.

Nārada Muni assured the hunter, ‘If you listen to my instructions, I shall find the way you can be liberated.’

The hunter then said, ‘My dear sir, whatever you say I shall do.'

This is a very significant point to meditate upon. The relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple is built on the foundation of a strong mutual trust. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to BG 2.41, defining Faith thus: "Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime."

7. The Sublime Relationship Between Guru and the Disciple: The relationship between the spiritual master and disciple is based on the trust which is sublime, it can't be explained in words or analyzed through intelligence. One example that comes closest to this relationship is how the child depends on its mother & father naturally as the only shelter and how they love the child and keeps guiding it tolerating all the inconveniences it gives. However, unlike the child and its parents, there are some differences in the the spiritual master and disciple relationship. 

a) The guru and disciple do not get to spend a long time with each other and moreover there is no blood relation or material attachment. Even in the case of the hunter, Narada muni hardly spent a few moments with him.

b) The parents do not carry the responsibility of the child's past sins or future sins, whereas the spiritual master takes ownership of all of the disciples' sinful actions and reactions. 

c) There is no legal binding between the guru and disciple. The guru does not have any personal expectation from the disciple.The disciple can leave the guru anytime they feel like whereas in many countries even legal rights protects the parent-child relationship.

In spite of all these challenges, the guru being at a higher position spiritually, takes personal responsibility of bringing the disciple out of the modes and engage them in the service of Krishna. It is a highly challenging & risky service. Whenever our spiritual master was approached by his disciples (or even non-disciples), he would always say one thing - "I am like your father, you can approach me anytime like how the son or daughter approaches the father." He always was the first to extend his love to build the relationship with the living entities without any expectation of reciprocation from them. We had seen many times devotees (self included) would not even care how much it hurts Maharaj when we misbehave, but Maharaj would always extend his unconditional love for us all. At one time he said to one of his disciples in a yearning note, "Please trust me, I will never cheat you." Such was his love and affection towards every living entity in this world.

In Maharaj's own words he explains the role of a spiritual master in a letter to his disciple, "One special qualification, naturally the spiritual master adopts and that is to be an extremely unselfish loving parent, spiritual father for all the conditioned souls. In the whole world all the conditioned souls require loving guidance...therefore, he, being completely unselfish and at the same time fully aware of the Vedic traditions, can successfully guide the misguided modern society, provided the seeker is obedient and submissive."

The only conditions required of the disciple is to simply do what the spiritual master says, be honest and frank with him and trust him completely. How much ever anarthas a disciple has is immaterial. If he simply trusts the spiritual master and obeys him, that will take him completely out of the material energy and place him eternally at the transcendental lotus feet of Krishna. The hunter did it. He took complete shelter of Narada muni by saying, "Whatever you say, I shall do." We see that Arjuna too, after hearing the complete Bhagavad-gita from Krishna, said exactly the same thing - kariṣye vacanaṁ tava - 'I am now prepared to act according to Your instructions.' We can see that both the hunter and Arjuna exhibited the perfect qualification of a disciple and subsequently achieved eternal fame. This is the greatest lesson we can learn from the story of Mrgari, the hunter.

Krishna willing, we shall meditate further lessons in the subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das