Bonafide Spiritual Master

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

Here is a very nice mail written by Erica mathaji. She could not send to Granthraj directly and hence I am forwarding it. She is from California. Her specialization is Water Engineering and she is working for the California Department of Health Services Drinking Water Program. She has been very helpful in advices for drinking water for Rajkot and Dwarka projects and she is a very good student of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra das.

Mail from Erica Mataji

Dear devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj.

SB 1.1.8
vettha tvaṁ saumya tat sarvaṁ tattvatas tad-anugrahāt
brūyuḥ snigdhasya śiṣyasya guravo guhyam apy uta

And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them.

The secret of success in spiritual life is in satisfying the spiritual master and thereby getting his sincere blessings. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has sung in his famous 8 stanzas on the spiritual master: "I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master. Only by his satisfaction can one please the Personality of Godhead, and when he is dissatisfied there is only havoc on the path of spiritual realization. It is essential therefore that a disciple be very much obedient and submissive to the bona fide spiritual master.

Summary/Conclusion: This verse and purport describe the key to successful spiritual life: satisfying the spiritual master and getting his blessings. If the spiritual master is satisfied, Krishna will be pleased. And if he is not happy?! One will experience only havoc on the path of spiritual realization. So how does one please the spiritual master? By being obedient and submissive (I was curious and checked in folio the word submissive is mention 150 times in Prabhupada work).

But fur sure before that one has to find first bona find spiritual master almost all the time Srila Prabhupada in his purport is repeating this sentence bona find spiritual master not just spiritual master and the character of such bona find spiritual master is nicely describe in previous verses, one can sit on the Vyasasana and lecture on SB only if he has at least the following qualifications:

1. He sticks to the path of the previous acharyas [SB 1.1.5 purport]
2. He is free from all vice (ie follows the four regulative principles). [SB 1.1.6 purport]
3. His character is spotless. [SB 1.1.6 purport]
4. He must be well versed in all revealed scriptures. [SB 1.1.6 purport]
5. He understands the other philosophical systems. [SB 1.1.7 purport]

Your servant,
Erica Wolski
Los Angeles.