Friday, September 3, 2010

Guru and Disciple

This morning I ran across this purport while ingesting my daily dose of Prabhupda, it says, "Faith in the mode of darkness or ignorance is actually faithlessness. Sometimes people worship some demigod just to make money and then spend the money for recreation, ignoring the scriptural injunctions. Such ceremonial shows of religiosity are not accepted as genuine. They are all in the mode of darkness; they produce a demoniac mentality and do not benefit human society." from Bhagavad Gita chapter seventeen verse thirteen
It made me think carefully about how seriously we take Krishna Consciousness; although Srila Prabhupada makes an example of materialists' worship, it occurred to me that even as 'devotees' we choose to remain faithless by being spiritually complacent and ignorant to scriptural injunction. We deliberately cripple ourselves and remain on the neophyte platform simply out of laziness or insincerity. Literally we are crippling ourselves, sabotaging our own spiritual lives. Not only that, but even our own spiritual masters have become lazy and avoid asking their disciples' spiritual whereabouts; these few key questions are very telling of ones spiritual stability and potential but nowadays our gurus are dodging their own duties of questioning the disciple. Why? I think that not only have they become complacent but they are also afraid. Realising the disciples insincerity or duplicitousness, the guru will remain distant, maybe even fearful that the disciple will leave Krishna Consciousness altogether. In reality, this is a kind of spiritual blackmail, the demoniac mentality Prabhupada speaks of, "If you challenge me, I'll just leave your shelter completely." simply because the disciple consciously choses defiance. The guru has no choice but to remain silent. The only way to make progress in anything is to practice and keep challenging ourselves, this works best when an expert third party is involved to give honest feedback. I used to take private violin lessons and every lesson my teacher would first ask, "Did you practice? How much? Which ones? Do you like this one? Which ones are difficult for you?" and we would discuss any problems or questions I had. She was so keen, if I had neglected certain passages, scales or exercises, (I didn't like all of them) she would take notice immediately and chastise me for it. This is how everybody learns, we need a teacher who is not only competent but honest and patient with us.The guru plays an important role by accessing our spiritual capabilities and pushing us just a little outside our bounds. For this relationship to work, the disciple must also remain determined and surrendered to Guru, understanding that it is for one's own benefit, a scenario that these days is extremely rare. Extremely rare. I don't know why I'm going into all of this with you but if you are a disciple or guru or both, please consider your duties carefully and reconfirm your life to the spiritual master. Do your job properly! It is for your own welfare and the welfare of the entire universe. Sometimes we take it for granted but its important not to give up on guru, sadhu and sastra. Don't be a bad student. Don't be a bad teacher.
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