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Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
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Qualification of Disciple and Guru

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
9 October 2019, Kolkata, part 1


You can find many sincere seekers, sincere devotees, but it is very rare to get a devotee who has chastity. Gurudev would always ask me about the works, about the money, etc. and he would sometimes say to me, "Who of my godbrothers do I have? Who helps me? Can you find at least one person?" And then he would say, "There is only Keshto from the crops field." Keshto is a disciple of Srila Sridhar Maharaj, a simple, ignorant man, but he was loyal to our Gurudev—he did what Gurudev told him to do without any diplomacy.

I am thinking that in Krishna consciousness, in the transcendental life, it does not matter who is whose disciple, who is senior, who is junior. These things matter in material life—people say, "Oh, I have worked in the company for thirty years and you have worked for ten years, so you are junior!" In material life, you say you have worked for thirty years in a company, but this does not matter in Krishna consciousness. In Krishna consciousness, seniority depends on devotion, on reality, chastity. It is about one's devotion. It is very rare to find a person who has devotion, who can follow Gurudev's instruction to a T. The main criteria of one's progress or devotion in Krishna consciousness is the extent to which one can properly follow Gurudev's instruction.

Another thing is that sometimes we say we have got some akash-vani, something comes to us from the above, but you must ask your heart, you must ask yourself, "You are saying this, but are you not cheating yourself?" This is the main thing. It is necessary to understand this.

We can make so many disciples, we can make so many temples, but this does not qualify one as a guru. The first and foremost quality of a guru is the extent to which he himself is a disciple. You must ask yourself, "Is he a disciple or not?"—then you can think if he is a guru or not. Does the person first of all think he is a disciple or not? And being a disciple is not only taking the mantra. Receiving the mantra, giving some flowers to Gurudev, giving some Tulasi leaves to his chest—these are external things, and these external things are very widely going on in this world. For example, when you write a letter to your guru, you say, "Gurudev, please accept my obeisance." There are so many such disguised gurus available in this world who take your obeisance (pranam) and take your donation (pranami)—but the main thing is to what extent does such guru follow his Gurudev's instruction?



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Chaste and Selfless
'If you have attachment to service for your own happiness, not for the happiness of your Guru, if your own happiness means more to you than the happiness of your Guru, then it is a problem.'


Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Lord Damodara, I first of all offer my obeisances to the brilliantly effulgent rope which binds Your belly. I then offer my obeisances to Your belly, which is the abode of the entire universe. I humbly bow down to Your most beloved Srimati Radharani, and I offer all obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord, who displays unlimited pastimes.'

We are not separate, we are together.