Power of Association - Part 19

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

In our last offering on the story of Mrgari, we saw how the hunter was satisfied with bare minimum needs even though all the villagers offered him alms in plenty. Let us continue to meditate on further lessons from the story today.

19. The Devotee Hunter Receives his Spiritual Master: One day Narada muni requested his friend Parvata muni to accompany him to go and meet the hunter and see how he is faring in his devotional service. As the sages approached the hunter's cottage, he could see them from a distance. 

"With great alacrity the hunter began to run toward his spiritual master, but he could not fall down and offer obeisances because ants were running hither and thither around his feet."

Srila Prabhupada's usage of words are nothing short of magical. He uses the word 'alacrity' to represent the mood of the hunter upon seeing his beloved spiritual master. 'Alacrity' is derived from the latin word, 'alacer' which means 'lively' & 'physical quickness coupled with eagerness or enthusiasm.' The word also means, 'brisk and cheerful readiness'. This is the mood of a person who is eagerly waiting to serve someone he adores and suddenly he got the opportunity to do that. After their first meeting, once Narada muni left and the hunter started following his instructions, he was experiencing great miracles in his life due to the potency of devotional service and his spiritual master's causeless mercy. Hence with each passing day, the hunter's gratitude towards his spiritual master Narada muni was growing in leaps and bounds and he was eagerly waiting to offer his humble obeisances and serve him when he gets a chance to meet him again. Narada muni too did not give any fixed appointment date for meeting him in the future, so the hunter was eagerly waiting everyday hoping, "Today my spiritual master will come", just like how Mother Sabari was waiting for Lord Rama's visit to her humble abode.

In this day and age it is hard to understand that we cannot meet our spiritual master whenever we feel like. One of the senior devotees in the movement shared a beautiful realization with me many years ago. This Prabhuji lived in Minneapolis and joined the movement in 70's when Srila Prabhupada was present but had not seen him yet. He called the local authority to check when will Prabhupada come to Chicago so that he can book a ticket to fly to Chicago and take darshan of Prabhupada. The local authority shot back, "You can't buy a ticket to see your spiritual master!". He then shared his beautiful realization with me, "That statement made me understand that our spiritual master is not an ordinary man that I can just book a ticket and go see him whenever I want. It is only by his grace, when he decides to give us his darshan, can we see him."

So the hunter had so many things in his mind to express to his spiritual master - his gratitude, his surrender, his love, his service and many more. Upon suddenly seeing his beloved master, he felt like his life came back, became cheerful and greatly enthusiastic. Since his spiritual master has come all the way, along with another saintly devotee, he rushed to meet them to receive them with great respect and honor. Narada muni was aware of all the changes in the hunter because as a doctor he exactly knew how the medicine (the Hare Krsna Mahamantra) will work on the patient. Hence he planned his visit to the hunter's place along with Parvata muni. 

We have heard about similar receptions by his disciples whenever Srila Prabhupada used to travel to different parts of the world. The receptions he would get in the airport, in the temples, ratha yatras, festivals etc. were simply out of the world and the respect the disciples/followers exhibited for Srila Prabhupada showed how exalted an acarya he is. The onlookers, media reporters, govt authorities, airport securities etc. were simply bamboozled at how crazy the disciples went when they saw Srila Prabhupada majestically walking out of the airport security gate. The devotees would cross all rules and etiquettes, sing loud kirtans inside the airport, throw flowers all over, jump up & down to dance cheerfully for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada, while Prabhupada would cast a beaming smile at them all filled with love. 

How did this transcendental connect happen between the Guru and the disciple? Srila Prabhupada would have hardly spent a few moments with his disciples. Srila Prabhupada himself met his guru Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur only a few times. Narada muni hardly spent a few moments with Mrgari. But how is it that the disciples decided to dedicate their entire life to their spiritual master? It is because of the purity of the relationship. The spiritual masters do not want anything from their disciples. They simply wish well-being of their followers and that they become good sincere devotees of Krishna. And for this to happen, the spiritual masters are willing to risk their own life. This is the secret of such a lovely, eternal relationship as we sing glorifying our spiritual master in the guru puja, 

cakṣu-dān dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei, divya jñān hṛde prokāśito
prema-bhakti jāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa jāte, vede gāy jāhāra carito

He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

Krishna willing, we will meditate on further lessons from the story of Mrgari in the subsequent offering.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das