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.
Today, in my continued reading of Srila Gurudeva's Sri Siksastaka (which contains Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura's Sri Bhajana-rahasya and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's Vivrti, commentaries on Mahaprabhu's Siksastakam), I read about 4 qualities.
1) humbler than a blade of grass - trnad-api sunicena
2) More tolerant than a tree - taror api sahisnuna
3) Absence of false prestige/pride/ego - amani
4) Offering all respects to others (according to their position) - Manada
After an explanation of these four qualities, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, as part of his Sri Sanmodaya Bhasyam, comments on how the pure devotees possess these four wonderful qualities:
"The nama-bhajanandi Vaisnavas, on the other hand, are even humbler than a blade of grass; they are more tolerant than a tree; and while remaining indifferent toward their own prestige, they are always eager to offer all respect to others. In this material world, they alone are competent and able to chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
The respect which pure Vaisnavas offer to their respective gurus and other Vaisnavas is inspired by their innate propensity to honor others. This is known as svabhavika-manda-dharma. In order to enthuse their followers of dependents in bhajana, pure devotees display affection and encouragement toward them. This is done out of their natural pridelessness. This is known as amani-svabhava.
In other words the respect, honor and affection that such devotees offer is due to the innate feeling of the heart. Pure devotees do not consider such affectionate words of appreciation to be cheap material flattery. Furthermore, by tolerating the tauntful remarks of the foolish, they exhibit their quality of forbearance.
Pure devotees constantly engaged in chanting the holy name consider themselves to be even lower than the straw in the street that is trampled beneath the feet of all living entities in this world. They never think of themselves as gurus or Vaisnavas. They consider themselves to be disciples of the entire world and the most fallen and insignificant of all. Knowing every atom and infinitesimal living entity to be the residence of Sri Krsna, they do not consider anything to be inferior to themselves.
Devotees absorbed in chanting the holy name never desire nor request anything for themselves from anyone in this world. Even if others bear malice toward them or commit violence, they never retaliate nor adopt a vengeful attitude; on the contrary, they pray to the Lord for the welfare of their tormentors."
When I was reading this section this morning, every single paragraph describing the pure devotee reminded me of Gurudeva!! It was so wonderful. I thought of Gurudeva's humility, his kindness, and how very affectionate he was to all. I thought of how, yes, by displaying these beautiful qualities, Gurudeva certainly is inspiring me to continue in trying to water my devotional creeper.
Srila Prabhupada and all of our guru-varga all display these qualities. They are all wonderful, and they shine like bright gems. We do not know how rich we are, in having such wonderful guru-varga acharyas to follow. Their qualities are so many and they are so magnanimous.
I take shelter at the lotus feet of our guru-varga and pray that I may serve them nicely.