Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
The diksha guru is like a father, and you can never reject a father even if he commits some transgression. One’s being a father is not dependent on his making or not making transgressions but on a simple biological act. Similarly, the Guru is guru, not because of any material deeds good or bad, but because he has established for the disciple a real connection to a particular spiritual ideal and practice. In other words, the guru literally gives life to the disciple. So to reject the guru means to reject the life that he has given. And many people do so rather hastily which results in their own spiritual detriment.
There is no way to find the guru inside our heart without first recognizing and appreciating the grace of the Guru standing in front of us. As a disciple, I expect the guru to be perfect because I have a psychological need for such perfection. And if the guru disappoints me, I become angry as described in the Bhagavad gita (2.62-63). Then I forget whatever grace he did gave me (smṛti-bhraṁśa) and I lose my intelligence (buddhi-nāśa).
The main error here is that we have not really seen the guru’s grace for what it is. Instead we mistook something else to be his grace: his wisdom, his charisma, his power to give boons, the ego-expansion that comes from having a famous guru, etc. If we recognize the grace, then we will pursue the perfection that it points to.
Everyone will agree that bhakti is the path of Grace and Gratitude. The Guru embodies Grace and is therefore the principal object of gratitude for a disciple. The Grace that came through the Guru WAS and IS real; it is part of the eternal stream of grace that continues in all time and place. If we find fault with the guru, the flow of grace stops.
Guru’s grace is tangible, and it manifests to the disciple in the form of many wonderful divine assets. In Mukta-carita, Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswamipada mentions all the transcendental gifts that he as a disciple received from his Guru:
“I bow my head again and again to the holy preceptor, through whose most celebrated mercy I have received the best of all names, the initiation mantra, Sri Sachinandana Mahaprabhu, Svarupa, Rupa and his older brother Sanatana, the extensive dominions of Mathurapuri, a dwelling place in the pasturing grounds [of Krishna], Radha Kunda, the chief of all mountains, Sri Govardhana, and most pointedly of all, the hope of attaining the lotus feet of Sri Radha Madhava.”
As long as that grace in our life takes the form of serving and striving to realize Yugala Kishor Radha-Krishna, a disciple can never reject his spiritual master. Yet at the same time, one must always increase and revise his understanding of the siddhantas and the methods of attaining the goal of Radha-Govinda’s premaseva in the groves of Vrindavana. If a disciple fails to that, he is like a scientist who is told not to make any new discoveries because Newton had already said everything one needs to know.
We live in a progressive universe filled with vast amounts of information, and more keeps coming all the time. Deeply studying, contemplating, understanding, and acting upon the conclusive truths of bhakti and the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta is a necessary part of being a disciple.
Grace does not come from an impersonal source, it comes a person, Sri Guru, who is representing the Supreme Personality of Godhead Bhagavan Sri Krishna. In essence, Guru IS the Grace, and Grace IS the Guru. We have to recognize exactly what the grace was that I received from Sri Guru. Fidelity to the guru means fidelity to the Grace, and to forever express gratitude for having received it.
All the divine assets described above by Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami pada, beginning with the Holy Name, and on to the hope of attaining the confidential service of Radha and Krishna, came to me from Srila Prabhupada. And every one of them is important for me, especially at this point in my life. To pursue the cherished spiritual ideals I received forty years ago, I have made some changes in my life. However, I will always remain indebted to and grateful to my “ever well-wisher”, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
Samashti Guru ki jai! Guru Krpa hi kevalam ki jai!
Jai Gurudeva! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!