The invisible microbe magic was slowly transcending my material being towards the path of Spiritual. As I was struck by the arrows of cupid, in my intoxicated state, I did not know what was taking me over and how my love for Krsna was evolving. In the madness of wanting to be the highest devotee and everything of everything to my Krsna Master, I was given in to a madness of wanting to be ‘fast tracked’ in my journey of Spiritual learning.
Firstly, what I did not realize or understand is that there is no fast track in the Spiritual and one cannot learn Spiritual like the material worldly knowledge as they are complete opposites. The rules applicable in the Spiritual do not apply in the material world and vice versa. Given my driven personality, always wanting to be number one at everything, I lived and breathed my goal of reaching the highest stage and strived to make my Master proud of me.
However, as I journeyed along under his tutelage, my Master delivered a big shock to me one day in early 2011. He told me that I had not yet even begun my lessons! It came to me as a very big shock and blow to my big fat ego! So one day in the same year, I insisted that I start learning one of the toughest scripture called ‘Tripura Rahasyam’ which was taught by Dattatreya to my Master and by my Master to his first student.
‘Tripura Rahasyam’ is a collection of the most profound teachings of Dattatreya and naturally, I had to take up the challenge! What I did not understand at the time were lessons surrounding the journey of learning and the integral nuances about knowledge and how it is attained. Firstly, it is most important to become like the Potter’s clay in the hands of your Guru. Only then can your Master mold you according to his Will and know what knowledge or scripture he should be imparting or teaching you. How, when, where and what he should teach you. You cannot bring your ego in to the picture, must not demand what you want to learn, or tell the Master how he should teach. If this arrogance persists, the Master will never open up any knowledge to you, nor will you be able to understand the profound meanings and the truth of what is mentioned in the scriptures!
Only the Guru can impart this knowledge along with the experience at its perfect timing. The Knowledge is ‘swayambhu’ or self-effulgent and this illumination happens when your mind and heart is purified and you completely surrender unto your Guru. Just like how gold is put through intense heat to attain the highest level of purity, likewise one has to go through this fire throughout the journey until the mind and heart is completely purified.
So coming back to my story, my Master, just to break my ego, started to teach me Tripura Rahasyam. I never understood a word of it and he read so fast that we finished quite a few chapters within just a few days. This was only to teach me a lesson so that in the future I would not use my mind and demand what to be taught. At the right time the Master will impart the knowledge that is due to me off his own will. The most important thing to learn here is ‘Faith and Patience’ in the Master and to surrender one’s ego at His feet. We must seek His grace with Humility, Humbleness and in love alone.
Nothing will ever come to you with Lust, Anger or Greed (The three gateways to hell). One should give up avarice and all desires. Even, ironically, the desire for wanting to be highest in Spiritual or to be the number one must be given up. It must be remembered that any kind of want is still a desire alone. You just need to go with the flow and never think of possessing anything in this world. This is easy to say but the most difficult to do! That is why my Krsna Master is an Avadhuta (Free Soul). He does not possess nor does he covet any material things in this world. His only motivation is to teach and spread love. He is ever compassionate, kind, benevolent and, forgiving. The Master wears out his human existence for the welfare of this mankind alone. He bestows all his grace on those who have fallen from grace so that they can rise in this world.
From then on, my lesson was learnt. I surrendered my mind, body and ego at the feet of my Guru and told Him that He knows what is best for me and then let Him open the knowledge to me and teach me whatever scripture he thinks is best for me at the appointed time. I have since experienced one of the most amazing learning experiences and the roller-coaster ride of my journey with my Master continues!
He made one thing very clear to me, in the case of his first student he spoon fed her everything – right from learning the knowledge on her behalf to doing her sadhana for her. He gave her everything she asked for on a platter and she did not even offer him any Guru Dakshina! No knowledge can ever be attained without the disciple offering ‘Dakishna” to the Guru. You will read about this at length in my future articles. The culmination of this was that everything she gathered was destroyed when her ugly ego raised its head and she began to believe she was greater than the Master and then challenged Him in everything! This finally led her to leave her Guru bringing one of the greatest sins upon herself. Again you will read at length in my future articles on why it is sinful to leave one’s Guru.
My Krsna Master said to me that no knowledge or anything will ever be given to me on platter nor will he open up anything at all to me until he doesn’t test and judge whether I truly deserve it or not. It is only after he is convinced that I am worthy will he open up the knowledge or lessons to me and take me ahead in my journey with Him. At every step I was being tested continuously and even to-date I continue to give my tests every single day of my life! Even though this entire experience has been difficult, it has only made me strong and got me closer to Him.
With every step, I move towards attaining Prema for My Krsna. The most beautiful and the best thing about this is that my Master holds my hand along the way; just like a mother holds her child and walks step by step along with her baby as the baby learns to walk. He on his own soon began to give me various texts one after the other and continued to repeat the same lessons countless times to me over and over again until I haven’t learn it perfectly. This learning is not a one time thing, but it involves going deep into the ocean of Athanghasagar (limitless ocean)! There is no stopping anywhere! It is an ever-ongoing journey in the Ocean of Krsna Consciousness.
His efforts in making me the diamond I am capable of being is simply exemplary and beyond what anyone can fathom. It cannot be equated to anything that I can do for Him. I can never ever repay this debt to my Master! I am eternally indebted for everything to my Krsna. Even today I still feel that I am nowhere in my journey in this steep upward climb of the mountain of Spiritual. Every single day it still feels as though I am on day one in the Gurukul. Only recently did I understand that I am now ‘Learning to Learn’ under my Master. The aspects called Guru, Knowledge and Learning are subjects that can run into pages and pages. Even learning to learn by itself is an art of learning and profound. I humbly thank my Krsna Master for the first time for opening this lesson up to me.
I conclude this article with a beautiful Prayer which my Master taught me by offering it to His Gurudev. Again His way of teaching as there is no difference between Him and His Gurudev they both are One alone. Here I offer the same to You, my Krsna Guru. Please accept these heartfelt and sincere prayers.
“The constant endeavor to excel myself and not let Your faith in me down, should keep me going every day.” “I have to be the perfect Arjuna or Vivekananda to Your O Revered Krsna,” should be the mantra always. “If I were to ever fail in my duties to You or not follow Your command, then I wouldn’t be able to prove You to be a Krsna or a Ramakrishna.” “My success makes my Your teachings perfect and then You stand high amongst Gods!” “So my sincere prayer to God would be to make me ever successful and help me prove YOU as the Perfect Supreme Master!” OM NAMO BHAGAVADE VASUDEVAYA
With the grace of my Master I have been able to pen this most wonderful experience in a string of words. Thank you for reading and do watch out for my next write-up about ‘Compelling Circumstances’.