sri krishna chaitanya krapika vittah, yah maryada rakshati vaishanavam,
kripavalam madhava prestha kami, sri bhaktidam bharatim ashrayamah
Hare Krishna! Dandavat pranams to all the guru varga and vaishnavas,
I used to go to hear katha from gurudev every year when he used to come to Pune for one month before I accepted him as guru. I used to observe that Gurudeva was always very disciplined and punctual in his devotional activities. I saw him first at mangala arati every day and always persistent. If kirtan was on when he arrived, devotees used to offer pranam out of respect but he insisted to first finish bhajan and then offer pranams.
When I asked him how can I progress in devotion, he replied with two words I remember very clearly till now, "dridh aaradhana" - Serve krishna and chant harinam with firm determination and full belief. He also has a pet dialogue - "bada mushkil" whenever he tried to explain something difficult. When he would speak about Ambarish Maharaja, he always said while following Ekadashi, we should remember his example and believe that Krishna will always help us to follow it if we really want to. One more katha I heard from him many times is about Janak Maharaj katha.
I was really surprised when he could remember a new devotee like me who least interacted with him. When I met him in Jaipur after around two years, he identified me and asked Damodar Maharaj about me. I am sure he is looking at me now also and helping me to progress on his guided path.
When my friend asked what we should do for sadhu-sanga, he told us to be in guidance of Rupal didi as He said she is very quiet but very since devotee. When I got his sanga for months, I didn’t value it enough as I was very new to devotion yet he gave me opportunity to be his disciple in turn.
Thank you very much gurudev for providing me your guidance and opportunities to serve you and forgive me for my offenses.