Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.28 - Dynamics of Guru Disciple Relationship (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
sayam pratar upaniya
bhaiksyam tasmai nivedayet
yac canyad apy anujñatam
In the morning and evening one should collect foodstuffs and other articles and deliver them to the spiritual master. Then, being self-controlled, one should accept for oneself that which is allotted by the acarya.
One who desires to receive the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master should not be eager to accumulate the paraphernalia of sense gratification; rather, whatever one is able to collect one should offer at the lotus feet of the acarya. Being self-controlled, one should humbly accept that which is allotted by the bona fide spiritual master. Every living entity must ultimately be trained to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but until one has become expert in the techniques of spiritual service one should offer everything to the spiritual master, who is completely realized in the process of worshiping the Lord. When the spiritual master sees that the disciple is advanced in Krsna consciousness, he then engages the disciple in directly worshiping the Personality of Godhead. A bona fide spiritual master does not use anything for his personal sense gratification and entrusts to his disciple only as much material opulence as the disciple can properly offer to the lotus feet of the Lord. The example may be given that when an ordinary father tries to train his son in business and other material activities, he entrusts to the son only as much wealth as the son can intelligently engage in profitable enterprises without foolishly wasting the father’s hard-earned money.
Similarly, the bona fide spiritual master teaches his disciple to worship the Lord, and an immature disciple must simply deliver everything to the lotus feet of the guru, just as an immature child does not keep a personal bank account but rather receives his maintenance from the father, who trains the son to be responsible. If one cheats oneself by defying the order of a bona fide spiritual master or Krsna, one certainly becomes a nondevotee, or sense enjoyer, and falls from the spiritual path. Therefore, one should be trained to serve a bona fide spiritual master and thus become mature in Krsna consciousness.
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