Devotee: It is our responsibility as disciples and grand-disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda to set a good example. The disciples must be serious as well as the devotees accepting the role of spiritual masters.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Yes, one who plays the role of guru should be guru in the true sense, not a pretender or a cheater. He must be a real teacher. He should be conscious of his capacity. If I can only carry one ton, why should I accept a load of two tons? If you take more than you can carry you’ll be crushed, degraded. That is the result of greed. Why develop such greed? One should be conscious of his capacity. “I have no capacity, I cannot deliver a soul, I am not liberated myself, so why shall I accept disciples?” That is only cheating and hypocrisy, nothing else. I am not completely free from anarthas, so how can I make him free? Guru means heavy. It also means heavy responsibility. It is not an easy affair to deliver even one soul from the clutches of māyā, the fort of Durgā. To do so, the guru has to spend gallons and gallons of spiritual blood. This is not child’s play. Also, the disciple must be serious.
On the spiritual path there is no question of gauṇa, mundane vote, drawing conclusions based upon the opinions of the masses. Because thousands of people say that Satya Sai is Bhagavān, people accept him as such. This is gaḍḍalikā-srota-nyāya, the logic of the flock of sheep. A flock of sheep is following the lead ewe. If that ewe jumps into a ditch the whole flock will follow. This is going on.
This is a personal matter, not impersonal. If you are serious, if you are crying in your heart, Kṛṣṇa will make arrangement for you. You’ll meet a pure devotee, a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa who can give you Kṛṣṇa. The test is that you will feel spontaneous attraction from your heart for that sādhu. Then you’ll understand, “Yes, this is Kṛṣṇa’s arrangement. I was crying for it and now it has spontaneously come.” This is the only test, nothing else.
Devotee: In order to be protected, the disciple should always follow and not deviate from the orders of the spiritual master?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Yes, don’t deviate. If he deviates he’ll fall down. They commit aparādha, so they fall down. Otherwise, why would they deviate? If you have really developed kṛṣṇa-prema, and you are always absorbed in seeing the all-beautiful form of Kṛṣṇa, how can you be attracted towards the ugly witch māyā? If someone is attracted that means he is not completely free from the clutches of māyā. He has not gotten Kṛṣṇa, so how can he give you Kṛṣṇa? That is my question.
Devotee: Mahārāja, sometimes it is seen that a disciple who is not serious may leave his guru and pursue enjoyment like a karmī. It seems that his deviation is not as dangerous as someone who deviates philosophically.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Yes, his deviation is more dangerous. A karmī is better. A karmī doesn’t know he is deviating, but for a disciple who has come to this path, who has heard philosophy, who has accepted guru, if he deviates it is definitely more dangerous. If someone is branded a thief then people are cautious, “Yes, he’s a thief.” But a thief in the dress of a sādhu is more dangerous.
Devotee: I am asking these questions because I am concerned.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: No, these are important questions.
— Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja (Kṛṣṇa Kathāmṛta Bindu Issue 82)
The Process of Inquiry, Pages 89 to 90 (Gopal Jiu Publications, Bhubaneswar India 1998)
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