om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah
O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine knowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.
Just recently I picked up the book "The Principle of Sri Guru and Service to Sri Guru," by Sripad BV Madhava Maharaja. This book is very wonderful, as is its author, and elucidates so many truths on sri guru.
While reading it, I became very humbled. One part lists the qualities of a disciple who has sraddha, or firm faith, and I realized most definitely that I do not fit in that category. Another part, which I am going to share, I found very encouraging for its simplicity and loving mood. Reading this part answered a question that had been floating in my mind, many questions actually, such as, how to progress? And how to become a strong devotee and disciple?
Here is the excerpt:
"...if the neophyte sevaka is sincere and takes full shelter of Srila Gurudeva and the senior Vaisnavas, he will quickly be able to progress to the intermediate level, at which his determination to serve Gurudeva will be focused and strong. One who reaches the intermediate level is said to be mahabhagyavan, 'greatly fortunate.'" [CC Madhya Lila 22.67]
When I read this, I thought of myself and also of jiva souls in general. I thought how, if only I could realize how Gurudeva is my only shelter, and appreciate what he has given, then I could serve him every moment - heart, mind, body, words. Gurudeva said once that we can never repay him for what he has given, not in a million lifetimes. And yet still we should try, we should serve him, to show our gratefulness. Instead, I am in maya, and my mind is so weak, and I do not make extra effort.
I thought of examples we have where people take shelter of Krsna, and how we should follow these examples and take shelter of Guru. For example, Draupadi, she gave up the idea of independence and control, knowing Krsna as her only shelter (when the Kauravas were trying to disrobe her), so she literally threw up her arms and cried out, "Govinda! Krsna!" Because of her immense affection, because of her begging, Krsna gave her mercy and helped her; and also because he is so merciful.
We want to attract Krsna to us. Guru has already attracted Krsna; he can give us Krsna. If I can just take shelter sincerely at Gurudeva's lotus feet, than my life will be successful.
Today here in New Braj, Kishori Mohan prabhu gave a very nice class that is relevant to this post. He said many good things, but one was, we should be like a dog, and guru is our master. The dog has affection for master, he follows him always, he does not compromise and wander away, he barks when someone ambivalent to his master comes along, and he is controlled by the instructions of the master. So by following guru's instructions and serving, sincerely, then as Sripad BV Madhava Maharaja says, we can become strong! I want to become strong, and focused, and progress.
Jai Srila Gurudeva! Jai Srila Prabhupada! Jai Sripad BV Madhava! All glories to the vaishnavas!